Come in, come in. Please make yourself comfortable, the kettle has just been on so feel free to make yourself a drink. I’m Stephie and I just wanted to take the time for you to get to know me and I you.
I’m currently 29 nearly at the dirty thirty dear lord! I live in God’s own county North Yorkshire England and I’m very proud of being a Yorkshire lass. I have an adoring, hardworking, caring husband called Steven (00Steve) we have been together 6 years, married nearly 5 and a sneaky cheeky tinker tots of a 2.5 year old little girl called Lyra-Beth (Ra-Ra) I’m currently a support worker for Autistic adults and have been for the last 5 years. Before that I was a senior home carer for Alzheimers and Dementia for 5 years. I’m the eldest of three, I have a sister who is 27 and a brother who is 26. I’m also a huge Sherlock Holmes fan well that and most crime programs (think Criminal Minds/Castle etc) a Discworld fanatic. I’m addicted to tattoos currently have over 30 individual ones with another to be added on Monday. I fancy myself as a punk rock princess, but I love nu-metal/swing/50s/60s/80s. I love the punk/grunge/vintage fashions.
Okay so that’s my basic family background out of the way here comes the health bit *deep breath* I have been ill since I was 10. The GP’s kept telling my parents I was faking illness to get out of school (I was one of those weird kids who LOVED school) after being taken to A&E one new year because I was bleeding heavily after going to the toilet I was finally referred to a paediatrician. That doctor spent the next 3 years just palming me off with a concoction of laxatives and fibrogel. They eventually booked me in for a colonoscopy and made the diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. On one of my many hospital stays due to flare ups I was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary and put on high doses of prednisone and azathioprine.
The surgeon that saw me wanted me to have an Ileo-anal pouch created. Which is where they remove your colon and large intestine; they then reattach your small bowel to your rectum. I was terrified I point blank refused and requested to keep trying the medication. He accepted and was really nice. Can’t say that for everyone unfortunately. Fast forward to being 21 having spent more time in hospital over those 7 years than I care to admit and trying everything I could get my hands on from infusions to methotrexate (which my exes mum used to give me because I felt like a junkie) I gave in and had the surgery. Now I used to be an AWFUL patient to those who judged me by the fact I had no visual illness. Thankfully for me my dad is hospital security and would roll his eyes when he was pointed in my direction and escort me for a cigarette.
I wasn’t told about the ileostomy whatsoever until a nurse started drawing circles on my stomach. I hit the roof like I said I wasn’t always a good patient. I underwent the surgery without an ileostomy as I was VERY melodramatic/immature/scared/ill informed and said I would kill myself. I don’t like admitting that but it’s the truth and we’re all friends here right? So after my surgery I didn’t have the best time of things. My bowel catheter leaked at every slight movement and by the third time I couldn’t bear the tutting or disgust from the nurses on a GASTRO SURGICAL ward, I rang my mam. She and my sister (who also works in healthcare) demanded clean sheets and clean water and they cleaned me up.
Now I didn’t have the best relationship with my sister so I felt embarrassed and everything else you can imagine. But she just got on with it. They were disgusted I had been refused meals and not seen the surgeon since before my surgery. That needless to say was soon rectified I can assure you. My sister is a force to be reckoned with and damn good at her job. Once released I didn’t feel like taking things slow and went for long walks with plenty of rests until I could do it without (about a week or so) I also went back to work after 6 weeks rather than the recommended 12. Now that definitely did not help things.
I went to Rome with two incredible friends from school the year after to celebrate (my year anniversary and them finishing uni) and had a bikini on showing my flabby (probably not as much as I thought mind) tummy scars and all. It was LIBERATING to say the least. I went to Edinburgh for the first time of many since then to see one of my best friends. I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years and got with 00Steve. After trying for a baby we fell pregnant in early 2013 I didn’t have the best pregnancy due to having A LOT of adhesions and my bump being unable to stretch very well with the scar down the middle of it. But Ra-Ra was born via elective cesarean at 36w 6d at a healthy 6lb 6oz on our 2nd wedding anniversary. I was incredibly lucky that 00Steve took the full 6 weeks recovery time off to help me. I however was LOST when he went back to work (hats off to single mum’s there) We moved from my hometown to Great Ayton 2 years ago and on her first birthday I made the conscious decision to lose the comfort weight I had been slowly gaining. I became a runner and I loved it.
But June last year I was taken into hospital via ambulance and diagnosed with pouchitis basically Colitis in the pouch. I was devastated to say the least. Being released for only 2 weeks 00Steve and I completed Total Warrior we took it slow but it was soooo much fun. We plan to do it next year. We did have the loveliest Newfoundland called Jenson but when my health deteriorated we rehomed him to a friend’s parents he is so well loved it’s hard but at least he is happy.
In October last year I made the decision that being on antibiotics for the foreseeable future was not what I wanted to do. So I opted for the Ileostomy surgery. I saw a surgeon who said because I had so much anger I was not mentally strong enough! How effing dare he? He had met me for 10 minutes. I had spent 3 months before telling my gastroenterologist (and 00Steve) researching, looking at pictures of stomas whilst crying, reading blog posts (so bad ass helped immensely always gotta trust a Yorkshire lass to be honest). I was admitted to my local (to work anyway) A&E after being unable to control my pouch from leaks, and being in stupid amounts of pain. I saw the surgeon that night that provided my aftercare from my previous surgery and he said he needed to do tests etc to see how bad I was to put forward my case so I could get the end ileostomy rather than the loop ileostomy (which I DID NOT want) I was admitted again last month after being told I would be getting the operation I want/need at the end of April. From the sounds of it I will always have pain but adhesion pain is so much more manageable than the flare ups so that’s not too bad.
Okay soooo since this post is like a billion years long and we’re all up to speed I will continue in another post! Hope I haven’t bored anyone too much! Thanks ever so much for getting this far.