A few days ago I had a bit of an eventful morning. As you know Margaret has been playing up, and on this particular night I had to wake up to sort her out and empty the bag at 1:00am and again at 5:00am.
At about 8 I woke up and noticed that the bag surrounding Margaret was huge, I opened my eyes to find my first ever leak. I will spare you all the details but lets just say it wasn't very pleasant.
I don't know why I had woken up but thank god I had. Up until now setting my alarm at set times has meant that problems like leaks have been avoided. We are wondering whether I have had a bit of a stomach bug as Matt has also been feeling un well. Speaking of Matt, through out the whole time this was going on, he did not wake up once. How, with all of the commotion, cleaning up and disruption, I don't know. But I love him for this.
Leaks are not supposed to happen and there are many products out there to stop them happening.
I immediately woke up my Mum to help me out as it was turning in to a bit of a nightmare. My Mum is amazing, she never fails to be right by my side when I need her. Her nurse training is a definite plus, she doesn't get grossed or freaked out by all the goriness so I never feel embarrassed. I think that is where I get my practical head from, none of this has ever grossed me out. I can openly see anything and not be disgusted. I have changed and emptied the bags and dressings by myself pretty much from the start and am not really phased by any of it. In fact I find it all pretty cool!
I couldn't imagine and have never had to do any of this on my own, and that is massively down to my Mum. I am surrounded by an amazing family and every one of them helps me get through everything in their own way, which I am truly grateful for.
After everything I got to shower for the first time with the bag off. It felt amazing! I was so worried that the water would hurt Margaret or the wound around it, but it didn't at all. If anything it was soothing and it allowed me to get the whole area really clean, which is so important. It felt great to be free, and allow my skin to breathe, I also looked in the mirror with the bag off, for the first time since I was in hospital. The first time I did this I was horrified that this is what my body looked like and felt so awful about myself. Since then, the swelling has pretty much gone down and I feel a lot like my old self, I actually already feel really attached to Margaret. Is it weird that I talk to her?
I am not bothered by having her there as she really is quite small and low down for a stoma. The part I am still getting my head around is the bag bit, but I will get over this and when I can move on to a smaller bag, I think things will be a bit easier and it'll look a bit more subtle.
So here we have it guys, for the first time, this is my bag. I won't show you Margaret just yet as she is still pretty ugly looking (poor thing) although you can kind of see her shadow through the bag. I still have some swelling to go down, but thankfully I am starting to look a bit better. As you can see the bag is really flat against my skin, so isn't very intrusive.
I was also sent a band/cover that goes around my stoma to feel ever more secure. This will be great when I can start going back to the gym or if I want to be really slimmed down under clothes. It reminds of me of those Bridget Jones style sucky-in pants but are a lot more comfortable.
The products out there, to make our lives easier are amazing. I think so far, this my favourite 'freebie/sample', I am going to order another one in black and then I'll be all kitted out! I am also on the hunt for some pretty bag covers! Becky has said she will try and make me one and my Mum will soon be on the case I am sure! I am dreaming of Cath Kidston bag covers...
There are some wonderful sites out there with lovely ladies ready to hand make covers for you to fit the exact size of your bag. They have a selection of their own fabrics available as well as making them in your own fabrics. This is great as it means you can get bags to match your underwear or outfit.
As I have had a few rubbish days both feeling low and poorly I have spent the last few days in bed, resting or sleeping. I did, however, manage to get myself outside to sit in the warmth and be around my family. My gorgeous doggy Flynn came and kept me company. For months he has been by my side making sure I am okay, he has arthritis too and has been poorly so I think we understand each other. He is the soppiest, most loyal dog!
His brother, Harry dog on the other hand is a compete nut case, and do not even get me started on Jake, that puppy has lost the plot.
When I got out of hospital Flynn ignored me for a long while, in fact, it is only recently that he started to pay me any attention. Whether he was annoyed that I had abandoned him for a few days, could smell the hospital on me or knew there was something different about me I don't know. Finally he has returned to being my best buddy, sitting next to me in the garden.
I also received some pretty cool ostomy products in the post, a whole load of OstoMists. These cute little spray bottles are scents which you spray in to the bag to absorb any smell. They come in so many different scents its mad! It means that when you eventually empty the bag, what comes out smells of whichever scent you sprayed. Scented poop.
I have yet to use any of these but I have had a little whiff of each one, so far my favourite smells are tangerine, apple and mint! All very light and fresh and nothing like air freshener, which is a plus! What is brilliant is that they do not just mask the small but absorb it. At home it is a lot easier to deal with everything without feeling embarrassed or self conscious, out of the house I can imagine it is a bit trickier, especially if you aren't using a more private disabled toilet. These scents are a hand bag friendly size and stops that embarrassing smell situation.
I have also been doing some more writting with a few exciting guest blogging and media opportunities in the pipe line. I have always loved writing and English was always my favourite subject at school, AS English Lit was tough but up until this blog I had missed putting words on paper (screen). My plan has always been to work for fashion magazines, until now I have concentrated on the styling side, helping in fashion cupboards and on photo shoots. This blog has made me realise that writing may be a route I go down, I am scared I wouldn't be good enough but I guess you don't know until you try.
Exciting times are ahead!
Lots of love