Hiding Your Ostomy Bag With ‘Sexy’ Lingerie

Hiding your ostomy when you’re in your underwear can be kinda hard sometimes, especially when even the special support underwear you ordered just misses the top of your bag. I don’t tend to wear ‘sexy’ underwear, I’m one of those people that still own underwear from when they were about 14 (clean, of course). And as for matching underwear, who cares when nobodies going to see it? (Queue those that “do it for themselves” and sure, I admire you for taking the time to buy matching sets.) But yesterday, shopping in Brighton, I ventured into H&M to take a look at the clothes whilst I waited for my boyfriends mum to finish her tour of the pavillion. I wasn’t intending to buy anything –  I didn’t really have the money – but didn’t want to wonder aimlessly within the crowd of people outside.

For some reason I tend to avoid the underwear section in commercial clothe shops. I’m always almost certain they’ll be nothing for me. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I feel like, how can I be sexy without clothes on?

I spotted a really nice dress to the far right of the clothes shop. As I walked closer, noticing underwear surrounding me, I realised it was one of those see through dresses you wear for intimacy (oops). It was just gorgeous though, and I ended up buying it. But I still worried how my stomach would look, what with it being seethrough and all. The scars not too noticeable, but the beige ostomy bag that sits upon my tummy is pretty hard to miss.

Stressing out a little as I flicked through thong after thong, I came across a pair of silk and lacy high waisted underwear – not the overly big tummy holding pants you see in M&S. They were absolutely beautiful. I pondered over the idea of buying them for a moment before I took them over to purchase them. I love support pants, I wear them every day. But I never thought “big pants” could be sexy… until now!

They were £7.99 – IMG_2143an absolute bargain for the quality of the underwear! They really suck your waistline in without revealing any lumps or bumps, even when my bag is not completely empty, my stomach still looks flat! They also hold you in at the waist, giving you a really nice hour glass figure.

I’d really recommend to anybody feeling uncomfortable in the bedroom, or who just likes to wear nice underwear!

What It Is Like To Have Ulcerative Colitis

It wasn’t until after I’d had surgery that I was informed I’d been suffering with ulcerative colitis. I say suffering, but of course I’d been living without realising what was going on inside my body; and that’s why I think this is an important thing to talk about. The fact I didn’t know and ended up so severely, makes me wonder how many other people in the world are unknowingly living with IBD.

Of course I knew something was up, I was living on a daily dose of laxatives, getting up two hours earlier than necessary, drinking a lot of coffee and smoking just in the hopes of going to the toilet. These methods worked on an irregular basis, so to ensure I could go to the toilet at least every other day, I had an extremely high fibre diet. For some reason most people associate IBD with diarrhea, but I was the complete opposite, dealing with intense constipation constantly. Alongside this, I had lost a lot of weight. Growing up a chubby kid, and settling down to a size 10 around the age 17, I rapidly went down to a size 6. Of course I was chuffed with this, I’d always struggled with my body image and to finally be so skinny I thought I’d acheived something great.

When I was 16 I tried the pill, but the doctors soon took me off of it as it was messing with my hormones. I was left the choice of two non hormonal pills, which either made me gain weight or just bat shit crazy. In the end, when I was 18, I tried the depo injection. Again, I was an emotional mess on it, so I came off of it. The 9 months that followed the injection left me with irregular bleeding. My stomach would cramp like crazy and I would thank God when I wasn’t on my period for a day. I’d been in and out of the doctors for this for quite some time. Until one day, at work, I noticed I had a vast amount of bleeding down the back of my leg. It had come from my rectum. I had been suffering with cramps that day, and went to the doctors. I told the doctor what had happened, but he rolled his eyes at me and told me it was just my irregular periods. I insisted that it wasn’t, and explained I had checked where the bleeding had come from. Ignoring what I had said, he sent me in for a cervical scan at the hospital. Of course, my scan showed the all clear, and my questions were left unanswered.

They had ignored my weight loss due to the fact I had suffered with bulimia in the past, and tried to convince me the bleeding and cramps were due to my depo injection. They continued to give me laxatives for my constipation, and I was left feeling like a hypochondriac.

Certain things were a struggle, feeling confident enough to go out; knowing I was constantly bloated. Sitting at my desk at work cramping over in pain. Not being able to eat foods I enjoyed because I couldn’t risk the pain it would cause. And of course feeling like nobody believed something was wrong. Even before my emergency surgery, I had been to A&E 3 times. Each time they informed me I just had a stomach bug, it was just my periods, I was just overreacting…

So, to tell you the truth, I don’t know what it’s like to have ulcerative colitis. Because I was always given a different explanation as to what my symptoms showed. Had it been diagnosed earlier, there is a strong chance it could have been medicated and I wouldn’t have had to undergo surgery. I urge anybody experiencing symptoms they feel are strange, to fight for an answer. We as humans know our own bodies, and we know when something just isn’t right. It’s scary how we can live whilst our bodies are silently failing us. And how close we can come to death. I wish I could tell you what it was like to have ulcerative colitis, that I’d had an answer. But I hope the symptoms I’ve talked about in this post can help anybody else struggling in a similar situation.

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I Got A New Tattoo Today!

Today, I spent the day with my mum, who is probably the coolest mum you could ever ask for. As a spur of the moment thing, we decided to go and get some new tattoos. She decided to add some flowers to an existing tattoo, and I braved it and got one I’d been contemplating for a while! I’ve had four tattoos in the past, one being a cover up of an awful tattoo I got when I was sixteen (I know I’m stupid). I currently have a gothic marylin monroe in an old fashioned frame, swallows down my arm and two large roses down my waist & hip. I decided to get the inside top of my arm today, and letters instead of pictures!

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I’m getting the lettering retouched in a couple of weeks as I plan for a leg piece, but I absolutely love it! I can’t wait for it to heal!

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PS, if anyone is wanting a new tattoo, I highly recommend Crooks & Kings, their tattooist Jordan also did the other tat on my arm!

Is It Awkward To Spend The Night WIth Someone When You Have An Ileostomy Bag?

I guess I’ve covered a lot of stuff on this blog, what I’ve found easy, awkward, uncomfortable etc. It hit me as I was at a friends this weekend that I’ve never written about spending the night a friends house when you have an ileostomy bag. I thought perhaps this may be something somebody may put off, worried that there may be an issue during their stay.

As a whole, I personally don’t find it too awkward. But I also think that may be because I have never had to deal with a leak or anything like that whilst there. If I’d had an issue then I think I would be a little put off staying elsewhere, just in case.

Getting changed for a night out whilst with others can be a little awkward, especially when they’re slipping their outfits on while I’m struggling to get into my support pants, with an extra pair on top if I can still see my bag through my dress.

It can also be a little off putting staying elsewhere when you’re in need of changing your bag. I’d definitely advise that if you are nervous about staying somewhere, change your bag beforehand, heating it a little with a hair dryer to get an extra stick, after a hand has been left on top for around five minutes. If you don’t have time to do so, it is best to change your bag before eating, or a time when it is not as active, to ensure no mess is made in somebody elses bathroom. (Though I’m sure if they’re you’re friend, they’ll completely understand).

Having a sleepover should be an enjoyable experience, and you shouldn’t let your ostomy get in the way of some much needed girly time. Or guy time? There is not much that can get in the way, apart from the odd leak or needing a bag change. So always prepare yourself with items you could possibly need when leaving.

When I first stayed at a friends, funnily enough the only two things I was worried about were sleeping in a bed with somebody other than my boyfriend (who had learnt how to sleep with me again!) and whether her toilet would flush the babywipes I needed to use or whether I’d be embarassingly unblocking her toilet. (It’s happened too many times in my own flat). Luckily, her toilets accepted my heap of babywipes. And I don’t think my belly got knocked in my sleep either. Unless I was just too knocked out myself to realise.

It took me a while to build up the courage of staying elsewhere, but after doing it a few times my nerves eased. I guess it’s also easier for me because all my friends and more are aware of my ostomy. It may be a little more nerve racking for those whos friends aren’t aware. In this case, my honest advice would be to tell this person about your situation. You’ll have a much more enjoyable time if you’re not worrying!

So, in preparation of packing for a friends, or just to ease your worries and help you be a little more comfortable:

  • Pack babywipes, bag, spray, 11781680_1040916482632154_3077692111485797478_nwhatever you need to cut a bag, dry wipes and nappy sacks, in case of a leak
  • Take some support pants if you have them, these also help silence any noises your ostomy may want to make should you be eating dinner with others!
  • Pack some pjs, something to ensure your bag is safe whilst sleeping next to somebody else for the first time
  • Be honest about your situation should anything go wrong, there’s nothing more awkward than making awkward excuses. That’s just… awkward.
  • HAVE A GREAT TIME AND DON’T FEEL AWKWARD

Did I say awkward enough yet

10 Things I Thought I’d Know By The Time I Was 20

I think 20 is that age that really makes you realise you’re an adult. 18, sure, you’re legal, you can go out, clubbing, drinking… in the UK anyway. But at 18, you’re still excused for, like “oh, she’s only 18, she doesn’t know any better!” whereas at 20, it’s sort of more frowned upon when you do something that perhaps you should’ve grown out of… or known better. But really, I don’t think we ever know better. We sort of just.. adapt. Pretend, even. We create this perception of adulthood through movies and education. But half the time I’m pretty sure I’m questioning what other people my age are doing, and trying to understand it, let alone actually doing it. And here’s a few things that I still can’t get my head around, that I really assumed I would’ve learned by the time I turned 20…

By the time I was 20, I thought I’d know how to handle money. I grew up spending my pocket money the day I received it, never thinking to save up to get something really cool, often spending it on sweets. Now, as I receive each monthly pay cheque, I seem to somehow forget about the rent that’s due two weeks after, and accidentally my wardrobe gets more and more crowded.

I thought I’d know how to make friends. I was never great at meeting new people, I was never completely shy, but I was just a little socially awkward. I assumed I’d get over that 10 years later. But nope. Here I am, alone at my computer.

I thought I’d know how to pay bills. I live on my own now, with my partner, but I STILL do not understand bills. Or rent. Or invoices. Or anything like that. And I blame it on my education. Like WHY did they think it was relevant to drill the Pythagoras theorem into our heads, but avoid teaching us HOW TO ACTUALLY RENT A PLACE?!

By the time I was 20 I thought I’d have it all figured out. I thought I’d know what I want to do. But nope, here I am, sitting with my two cats wondering where I want to be in another 10 years time.

I thought I’d know how to be confident. How to stop myself picking out flaws and actually accept myself. But it’s harder than you think to do that. I still look in the mirror daily and frown at certain things that I’m just too lazy to change about myself.

I thought I’d be a little more independent. That I’d be able to stand on my own two feet with nobody else’s help. I thought frequent calls to my parents for help with money, food and laundry would be pretty much non existent. I mean, sometimes they are. For two days at least.

I thought I’d know better by the time I was 20. That I’d learn to go with my head instead of my heart. But countless wrong decisions that at one point I’ve felt so deeply passionate about have left my crying under my duvet with a tub of ben and Jerrys watching Bridget Jones over and over.

In fact, I thought I’d know MORE. But it’s okay because we have google. I mean where else are you going to go when you want to know how many calories are in the large pizza you just comfort ate to take away your troubles.

I thought I’d know how to cook. I’d never learnt before I moved out, and I just assumed it kind of just came to you when you decided to flee from your parents nest. But apparently not. I swear I’d never eaten so many microwave meals and beans on toast than I did the first few months of living independently.

I thought I’d still know the people I hung out with 24/7 in school. But these people have since become distant strangers. I think that’s the hard part of growing up. The people you felt you knew so well suddenly aren’t there anymore, but you just have to deal with that and move on.

Approaching adulthood isn’t all bad though. You begin to appreciate how much your parents put up with, and kick yourself for ever leaving your room so dirty. You can stay up all night without your mum knocking on your door reminding you you’ve got an early start in the morning. And if you don’t feel like doing the dishes, that’s no pressure. There’s also the pros of having an ID. I love being asked for ID when buying a bottle of wine (that’s something I never thought I’d drink too!) – with the shopkeeper looking me up and down, trying to determine whether I’m over 18 – only for me to hold my awful mug shot licence up against my smug little face. It’s the little things.

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The Best, Tummy Flattening, Medically Approved Support Wear!

Let me just say, I would never, ever – EVER – promote anything I didn’t believe in or think was actually helpful to those that read my blog. But I can honestly say, these Level 2 – Medium Support Wear are absolutely PHENOMENAL. Seriously, since having a stoma I have been wearing support pants from Sainsburys. They’re cheap and cheerful and for the most part worked like a treat – but only for a few hours, before my skin would itch and my bag would leak from incorrect flow.

Today I received these wonderful support underwear and tried them on for review. And I swear to you, even if I didn’t have a stoma, I would be wearing them. They are super soft and stretchy, and even sitting down I don’t get that horrible bit of fat that sits around your ribs when wearing tight clothing (just me?). I CAN ACTUALLY BREATHE WHEN I’M SITTING DOWN!!

They have a little custom section around your abdomen which supports your stoma, alongside helping overcome difficulties such as incontinence and post surgical wounds. No flow of the stoma is restricted. For those of you with an ostomy, it is literally like a dream come true. Just to demonstrate to you the actual glorifying outcome of these support wear:

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Side view, tummy is sucked in (yes I’ve put on a bit of weight alright we know that) bum is still perky and they aren’t super tight on your legs, not like some of those support pants that give you prominent thigh chub!

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When lying down support under wear crease with the natural creases of your body, instead of digging into your tummy or making you feel insecure about the upper body chub that sits over things that are just TOO TIGHT

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And finally, when wearing a tight dress – my ostomy is now invisible! All the comfort and that wonderful feeling of being able to wear something that you once threw away to the back of your wardrobe, thinking you’d never be able to wear them again.

I knew they’d be good but I didn’t realise just how good. Just to give you a little more persuasion as to why you should 100% invest in a pair of these, here at the benefits and features of the support wear:

  • Gives a smoother body shape
  • Sports – can give extra support, security and confidence during activities
  • Breathable fabric keeps skin cool, dry and comfortable
  • Improves bag adherence potentially reducing leaks
  • Medium compression aids release of gas & reduces bloated bag
  • Supremely comfortable, firm but flexible, holds larger continence pads securely
  • Helps you forget about your medical issues and regain your confidence
  • Gives support where it’s most needed, whilst keeping crotch area comfortable and not too restricted

This support wear comes in a variety of sizes – S/M, M/L, L/XL, XL/2XL, 2XL/3XL and in black or white.

I wear an 8-10 and my support wear is a S/M.

Those with an ostomy, hernia or post surgical wounds will be over the moon to know these one of a kind beauties are also available on prescription.

If you’re interested in this product, go take a look here: http://www.comfizz.com/products/ostomy/level2/ladies/boxer-white.html and let me know how you get on!