Thursday, 25 July 2013

An allergic reaction and 'The Margaret' dance

Hey Guys,

So I had another bit of a palaver over the past few days. It turns out Margaret is a bit sensitive and grumpy and was not happy about having her bag changed. As you guys know I have swapped to a convex bag, which should help my skin and wound heal faster and stop it being sore.
It turns out I am allergic to these new bags! To those that know me, this is not really a surprise eh! I endured many comments whilst at school about being 'allergic to everything' - many conversations have been started with words such as,
"Are you allergic to water?"
"Oh Gabi, I bet you're allergic to air"
"Oh my god, you are allergic to everything"
"What would happen if I stuck a peanut up your nose?"

But yes guys, I have found another thing I am indeed allergic to. It started Friday night with prickling and itching under the bag's seal, I ignored it through to Saturday night at which point the itching was unbearable. I was heading out so didn't change the bag so endured it for a while longer, putting it down to the heat. I woke up Sunday morning and I had scratched at the surrounding skin so much it now had open and sore patches. The surrounding seal was also disintegrating where I had scratched at it so much. I took the bag off to find a red, raised rash where the adhesive had been stuck to my skin. I can't tell you how itchy it was, I washed the area and used adhesive remover wipes to get rid of all of the sticky stuff. I then sat with no bag on for as long as I could to try and ease the itching and allergic reaction before putting a new bag on. I applied barrier cream, which helps look after the skin underneath the seal and then stuck one of my original bags on. I have since spoken to my stoma nurse and it has been decided to just have me stick to the original bags which I know work. The heat has of course not helped at all.

Despite Margaret being a nightmare again, I had a really nice weekend.
Saturday night was my friend Wyn's birthday party. This was obviously something to be excited about as it was going to be the first time in a long time that all of my friends were together, but it was also going to be the first time Margaret stays out past 10pm! Wooo, Go Margaret! Two of my best friends came round before hand whilst I had a crisis about what to wear.

My bestest friends, Becky and Jo

We eventually got on our way and walked the fifteen minutes to Wyn's house, ciders in hand. 
Wyn's was brilliant, he had put in so much effort in to the evening with fairy lights, marquees and DJ decks everywhere. The place looked especially amazing when the sun set and it got dark. 

I have two main highlights from the evening.
1/ Was a little dance move I like to call, The Margaret. 
At some point in the night I noticed some balloons which were lit up from the inside so they glowed. I thought this was BRILLIANT and got very attached to one of these balloons, carrying it around with me. Later on in the evening someone came up to me and asked what on earth I was doing. I was inadvertently hitting Margaret with the balloon, as it was so itchy. I didn't know quite what to say so went with the story that I was just dancing... I thought that would be the end of that. Until to my horror a whole group of my wonderful friends started copying my "dance move". I couldn't bring myself to tell them that I was actually trying to stop the intestine sticking out of my tummy from itching so just went with it. The only person who knew for a while was Becky, and we were creased up laughing for so long. 
So to all you lovely lot who spent much of your Saturday night slapping your stomachs, now you know why!

Me and my balloon. The flash, as you can see, was very bright.

2/ The second highlight was when Becky and my friend Sam picked up two huge beanbags on their backs and 'sumo whrestled' with each other before landing in a heap. Can you tell we are all in our 20s?

At about 1:00am Matt came and met us all from work which was lovely, recently he has been working so much and so hard that I haven't really seen him all that much. We spent a lot of time dancing, which I have really missed. By 2:30am I was exhausted. Matt and I headed to the local McDonalds (naughty!) as I was starving before grabbing a taxi home and sleeping for a long, long while. 

I have spent the last few days going on walks, heading to the pub and baking.

Summer Fruits Drizzle Spong Cake

I have been feeling a lot happier and like my old self thanks to being able to drive and getting out a lot more. Fingers crossed everything keeps just getting better eh! 

Lots of love, 


  1. Hi. I just wanted to let u know I had an illeostomy 5 years ago. Went through some trying times and a lot of pain with it but with the help of my lovely family I got through it and at the beginning of this year I have had it reversed. I am just now getting back to normal so I wanted to let u know that I admire what u r doing & wish u luck with ur bag as a fairly young woman myself with 2 young children & a job I know life can b difficult with a bag but u can cope with it so all the best for the future. Jane. Xx

    1. Hi Jane
      Thanks so much for getting in touch, & being so kind. I'm really glad you are starting to feel better.

  2. Hi Gabi

    I've an Ileostomy and I'm pretty much allergic to everything too! I'm waiting for my final reversal op which should be before October. I cannot wait. I'm incredibly grateful for my stoma as without it I most likely wouldn't have made it, it saved my life. But being allergic to most products hasn't made it an easy journey. One bag however was fantastic for my skin and I wondered if you'd tried it. It's made by oakmed and has seaweed in the flange, oh and it's a convex bag too :) ask your stoma nurse about it, good luck

    1. Ah brilliant, thank you so much for the tip. Im going to look them up now and talk to my stoma nurse when I see her next. How long have you had your ileo now?
      At 8 weeks, Im already hoping for a reversal. although trying not to get my hopes up!

  3. Fab, I just hope you're not allergic to them too!
    I've had my stoma since may 11. I didn't know I had UC, was admitted to hospital with tummy pains, bleeding, the took them a few days to figure out what was wrong but by then I needed emergency surgery. I had no time to think about it but I was ok with it. I already knew someone with a stoma so I thought if she could do it so could I :). They removed 95% of my colon, created Sophie the stoma and saved my life.
    In March I had the 1st of my reversal ops. I was really sorry to say goodbye to Sophie, I'd grown quite attached to her- even though she was a pain in the bum lol
    I've now got Stan Lee the stoma, he looked angry when he was new, a bit like the hulk so I called him stan. He's a bit more temperamental than Sophie but I know I'll miss him when he goes too
    Good luck with it all, I'll keep reading your blog to see how you get on
    Cherie x