Contest Prep with an Ostomy: 9 weeks out

9 weeks…. 9 weeks until this girl Is on stage in front of 100’s of people…

Am I nervous? YES

Am I going to bring my best package to stage? YES

Am I going to eat a massive burger after? HELL YES

Alot of mixed emotions, and to be quite honest alot of them are caused by my ostomy.
I’m absolutely petrified to go in front of a theatre full of people with my bag fully exposed, I know that on IG/TWITTER/FACEBOOK I’m very open about my ostomy but going out in front of the world Is a completely different matter.
A couple of months ago I plucked up the courage to wear a bikini over a one piece at a local swimming pool.. and I tell you this now, some people are so god damn rude.. I mean yeah take a glance Its not something you see everyday .. but seriously did you need to elbow your friend to get their attention to stare aswell? The general public can be disrespectful and I’m almost preparing myself for some rude comments and questions. I’ve already had to block some IG users from making some comments I have found very abrupt.

Some day’s I really do question whether I can do this, and other days I’m so fired up no one can stop me in my tracks.

Its draining to say the least… If I’m not worried about wearing my bag fully exposed I’m having visions of leaking or ballooning which would probably be the worse scenario I can think of.
I’ve recently being trialling my ‘stage bag’ It’s a ‘Coloplast Sensura Mio’ as shown below:

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Out of the 6 times wearing it I’ve had 1 leak so far and the rest of the times after around 8 hours wear I’ve had the starting sights of a leak… this is making me frustrated and my skin so sore!!!
I have heard rumours Coloplast Is however releasing some convex types (I normally wear a Salts Convex) … but when I do not know.. so until then I’m using countless products to make me feel secure and worry free… so far not feeling 100% happy.

My prep diet with an ostomy Is challenging, ask my partner. He’s definitely losing hair trying to make it ‘stoma friendly’ and I really do thank him for all the effort he’s putting into this for me! Alot of food’s don’t agree with me.. so when we make changes to the diet we have to keep an eye on how my stoma reacts.. normally it’s fine but I’ve had some problems with watery output & blockages. But I will not moan because If it wasn’t for my ostomy I wouldn’t be doing this right now!

Besides all my fears with the Ostomy and going onto stage, Im proud of ‘Me’ for even doing this… A year ago I would of never had seen myself even living with an Ostomy let alone competing in my 1st bodybuilding show with it ! ūüôā

I will try and keep you all updated as much as possible!! But until then carry on following my journey on IG ūüôā xx

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‘Some days are just HARD’

Today I’m feeling frustrated, angry, and emotional.

At 9am this morning Conor & I sat waiting at the hospital for my Flexible Sigmoidoscopy which was being carried out by my consultant , which made me feel alittle more at ease. We have a great Patient to Doctor relationship and he knows me inside out! (literally ha)

I went in to the procedure nervous, but I knew the drill and went in with a positive mindset and believed it couldn’t be all that bad and maybe the symptoms I was ¬†having were nothing to worry about.

Well… I wish I asked for sedation now, It was so painful/uncomfortable and my poor Consultant & nurses were trying their best to distant me! which did help slightly !! But looking up at the screen and seeing my insides bleeding and white with ulcer’s Isn’t a pretty sight.

I was offered Oral steroids (Prednisolone) and I point blank refused, I’m 14 weeks away from my 1st bodybuilding comp and I really can’t let my hard work go to waste with the side effects of ¬†pred- water retention, sleepness nights the list goes on… But that’s fine, my consultant understood and pretty much agreed with my reasons, so I’m going to hope for the best on the medication I’m already using (suppositories)

But, this is my frustrating part.. ¬†something will be discussed sooner than planned.. and that’s J-pouch surgery. This Is sometime I wanted to wait to have after I’d finished my last year of University but its looking like Ill be having it during my last year of University, not long after my comp which not only will be inconvenience but I’m mentally not ready to be faced with more major surgery yet. I had a really bad time post surgery, and I really, really don’t want to be preparing mentally for a competition as well J-pouch surgery… which comes with lots of pro’s & con’s.

So right now, yet again I feel like I have nothing undercontrol health wise.. and this is the exact reason why I bodybuild, because it gives me control!

So today Is a sofa day (no training & no cardio) recovering from my ¬†procedure & digesting the fact my J-Pouch surgery may be sooner than planned, I can’t focus right now but I’m also frustrated that I’m taking a day of training…. I can’t win! So many emotions.

As long as I have my partner, family & friends by my side I know everything will be ok, I’m still going to hit this prep hard but today I just need some ‘me time’

Lets hope tomorrow Is a better day ‚̧

But here’s some progress pictures! Really happy with how I’m leaning out, I have 14 weeks to shred out some more! currently doing a ‘Keto diet’ It’s a struggle doing cardio twice a day and training with no carbs! But I’m so motivated to kill this!20150624_152416

As you can by the picture on the right… my heels are bloody massive, and trying to pose in them ends up with me looking like Bambi on ice, so I need some lessons from my friend Lilly ! Luckily ¬†In my category ‘Body Transformation’ I’m allowed to freestyle pose alongside being judged on the ‘T-Walk & 1/4 quarter turns’ This gives me a chance to express my personality on stage…. Front double biceps allllll day! haha

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Update on my Health and current Training Progress

So, firstly Ill like to apology for not blogging in well over 2 months.

I’ve not being having the greatest of times, but after a few changes in my personal life Im feeling so much more happier and less stressed.. which has had a massive impact on my recent health issues. For those who follow me on IG will have seen recently I’ve been having a problematic skin, rectal stump along with uclers on my stoma.

So I firstly had my uclers checked out and the nurse was very happy to say that they won’t be a problem unless they become painful and the cause was probably from stress and or my weightbelt causing friction … but then I mentioned the pain/spasms I’ve been having in my stump (the last little bit I have left from surgery)… this is a problem, not only have I been suffering from the pain but also I’m passing a lot of blood, this is a known sign of a colitis flare and without treating it can cause a whole world of problems…

I mean, nothing Isn’t even suppose to be coming out of my backside ! haha

All jokes aside, Its been a nightmare and without saying to much I felt like some people didn’t have the respect that I’m still sick. I mean, yes… technically you can say I’m cured, but am I really? when I’m still having theses problems plus serve tiredness.. my moaning list goes on!

Ive been booked in for a flex sigmoidoscopy with my GI on the 24th of June which I can cancel IF the medication I’ve been given settles the flare . 3 weeks or so in and so far so good, since coming away from the stressful situations I found myself In I’ve never been better the medication Is working and I’m hopeful that the week prior to the examination I can cancel ! As much as I love seeing my GI because he Is a great man I really want to go a whole year without seeing him … it will be a massive achievement for me .. maybe a sad one lol but to me it would mean Ive really beat colitis !

Now skin issues, this has really dragged me down. There Is nothing worse than having sore, bleeding, dry, itchy skin especially whilst wearing a support belt plus a weight belt. Its calmed down a lot since WORLD IBD DAY (my IG post showing it) and that’s from receiving emails and messages from all you lovely people giving me little hints and tips … so thank you! I really appreciate the messages I receive from all of my IG and Twitter followers and the reposts ! You are all the reason why I do this, and why I’m so open with my struggles. I love bodybuilding and to think it helps fellow suffers believe in themselves its ¬†simply heart-warming, and makes me emotional.. but In a good way! ūüôā

Talking on the subject of bodybuilding, right now I’m currently doing a cut almost like a mini practice ¬†consent prep. This Isn’t helping my tiredness but I’m demanded to smash it and see what sort of results I get! My diet has completely changed and I almost feel starved haha I’ve gone from around 2,600/3,000 calories a day to dropping to a tiny 16,00 calories which my partner managed to spread between 5 meals and 2 shakes!! ¬†I’ve also added in daily cardio, and I’ve upped my training back to 6 days a week !

I’m really excited to see how my body will change, I’m already seeing a differences! I’m definitely weak as hell in the gym ¬†but on the diet I’m currently on I’m surprised I can still lift myself outta bed and work 25+ hours a week too!

Sorry for the messy blog, but I thought it was about time I gave you all a more in-depth update! keep fighting, and I promise I will start to blog more again!!

Everything became REAL.

Digging deep into the past is something Ive always avoided. This illness has taken me on such a journey I sometimes find it hard to express how I feel about it all..

Ever since my 1st ever hospital admission Ive always focused on bodybuilding. Being the best I can, it never occured to me how ‘strong’ Ive managed to be whilst dealing with everything.. I always find myself relfecting back onto things. I find myself wiping away tears of a thousand emotions, tears of devastation, pain, weakness and tears of happiness. I find motivation from this, I find focus it makes me so determined, to better myself.

I never forget the 1st time I was admitted in, being wheeled into a ward full of women.. everything in the room just stopped I started to panic, I couldn’t breathe …. everything become REAL. I was begging my mum not to leave me. The feeling of not knowing is always something someone with a chronic illness has to deal with, I mean I was terrified and was yet to find out that colitis in fact was a life long illness with no cure.
I had many panic attacks during this admission and I really felt after that hospital stay i was strong, especially after counselling. All my other admissions I hadn’t been faced with a panic attack… until my latest hospital stay with my ileostomy surgery.
I had the biggest panic attack, it came on so quick I didn’t know what was happening to me.
My stoma nurse suggested it was time for me to change my bag on my own.. with a mixture of sickness, nerves and pain which wasn’t controlled.. bang a panic attack happened and wow it was very hard to clam me down.

After curling into a ball with all my curtains closed i remember thinking how has this happened? IM STRONG, im emotional strong.. clearly I wasn’t. That night I just broke down uncontrollably my body image was destoryed, my feminine body had been cut into and a bag had been slapped onto my stomach I spent the night feeling very down, even though my partner was telling me how beautiful I was, I didn’t feel it.¬†

I woke up the next day and just faced my fears, i peeled away my bag and looked down at my swollen stoma with stitches all around it and felt sick.. like how is my small intestine now outside of my body? i took time cleaning it.. worried sick Ill never be ‘myself’ again. I thought Ill never bodybuild again how could I with this? I was regretting agreeing to the surgery….

I looked up, around at the 4 closed Curtains, the hospital bed, my hospital bag and my portable dvd player and it just clicked no matter what the future holds ill never be in fear of being admitted into hospital with a crippling flare, and putting my health and life at risk.

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(Heres little Dory now ! 5 months on!) 1st ever selfie … Never thought I would post this!!

My dieased bowel was gone.
I smiled, I felt a overwhelming feeling of happiness, tears rolled down my face. I looked back down to my stoma and whispered ‘thank you’ I may not have my back right now but in time ill be healthy, happy and hopefully achieving everything I want to do in life. Im close to 5 months post surgery and Im healthy, happy and achieving so much more than I could even before my surgery.¬†20150326_153337

(Im now a fitness ambassador for a http://www.protimefitness.co.uk … yes with a bag toooooo! )

No regrets, my bag has given me my life back and im proud to wear it.

Ive come to the realisation that I now know why I only had panic attacks on my 1st and recent hospital stay, and it was the unknown, the vulnerability, the fear of what will happen next?

Accepting your stoma can take time, adjusting with it can take time. Don’t rush it.
It will come, never let this illness stop you in your path.. knock that wall down and smash them goals!

‘I feel like a loser’

So there I was, after having a melt down a few weeks maybe a month after coming out of hospital with my first and the scariest flare up.

I was sat In-front of ¬†a counselor, and I remember the first question she ever asked me.. ¬†‘how are you feeling’ and my reply, was simply that I felt like a loser. Yes a big fat loser, a weak person. Because before I became Ill I didn’t believe in counselling, how ignorant was that? But the 8 weeks of counselling had been the best thing I’ve ever done.

It was just a normal day where me and my partner Conor went for a drive in my car around the sea front, I was currently slowing coming off prednisolone but was still on a massive dose. We pulled over to take in the scenery when all of a sudden I had a massive melt down… I mean I was holding this in ever since I came out of hospital, I went crazy. Conor well… he didn’t know how to control me, he was so upset seeing me in such a state. I think the mix of the prednisolone¬†and my emotions I had just bottled up just got the better of me. I was slowly becoming more and more depressed trying to get my head around what I had been through In hospital, It just all hit me at once. Conor¬†who was my rock, helped me massively and understood I needed professional help, someone who didn’t know me to help me come to grips with everything I was struggling with.

That first counselling session I hid in my shell protecting myself, I was in denial and acted like nothing was wrong. I walked out of there thinking why am I even doing this? This is for weak-minded people (another ignorant bone headed view)

My second session was a lot different, I spent the whole time expressing to the counselor how much it angered me having this illness when some take their health for granted. I just couldn’t get my head around how I was diagnosed In September with an Illness I didn’t yet understand to then end up in hospital a month later which still to this day makes me emotional thinking about it.

Not many people know I’ve had counselling, I normally put on a front and act like everything Is ok, but sometimes I feel so alone, sharing all this with you Is just another massive step Into accepting my illness. Yes I’ve had counseling and NO im not a loser, we all go through tough times with IBD and It’s ok to let off some steam. I learnt so much about myself In the 8 sessions I had, I’ve taken all the advice In and I still use certain techniques In my day-to-day life to help me stay as positive as I can.

Keep fighting IBDer’s x