Sunday, 11 November 2012

#NHBPM 20th November

'Write about Regimes, Medicines..'

Throughout the first few months of my life with Crohn's Disease, the doctors and nurses caring for me ran me through a variety if different treatments and drugs to try and get my symptoms under control. Looking back now, I went through a pretty huge amount of trauma at an alarming speed.
Over the course of around 12months, I'd been on a liquid-only diet, I'd had a course of steroids, was on Azathioprine, and a veritable banquet of other drugs; my symptoms never improved. Eventually the only option left was surgery, my Crohn's was so advanced this was done pretty swiftly and thankfully, it's worked. It has taken away the worst affected area and since then I've been feeling so much better.
After my surgery I joined a drug trial my hospital were running. This trial is specifically designed for Crohn's patients having had the same operation as me, to see if their symptoms are eased by the drug post-op, or, if no medication the best way to go. To make sure the trial results are accurate and successful, I won't know if I've been on the drug it a placebo until the trial comes to and end (it's 3years long).
The drug I may or may not be taking is called Mercaptopurine. When I first started the trial I was on quite a high dosage. I was vomiting, constantly nauseous and faint. My dose was reduced until my symptoms were manageable then eventually these symptoms stopped altogether. I've been relatively well since then.
Some of the more pleasant side effects of this drug are, weight loss, hair loss, stunted periods, skin rashes, weakness and nausea. I've suffered, and suffer from the majority of these, but as these can also be attributed to Crohn's, it's impossible to establish what's causing them.
The trial will be finished (for me anyway) in just over a year and I'm a little anxious. What happens if it's the drug keeping me from getting sick? Do u stay on it? What if I've been taking nothing all this time? Do I continue in the same vein and cross my fingers or try something new?
Change can be good as far as medication goes, but where my troubled colon is concerned, lets stick to what we don't know for now anyway..

This post was written as part if WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

#NHBPM 15th November

'Nominate Someone for a Health Activist Award'

I took a slightly different approach to this blog post due to some recent, very sad events.
I've nominated lots of amazing bloggers for HA awards and I'm very excited to see if any of the fab folks I've nominated make it to the winners podium. I think there are so many worthy winners and the calibre if writing this year is so high. All these people deserve recognition and I could have written this post about any one of them. But instead I chose to write about someone I can't nominate.
This is someone I became dear friends with, (as much as you can be friends with someone online), but never met.
Mimi, or @Pythonette1 as she was known on Twitter, where we 'met', passed away earlier this month.
She was one of the first people I'd found on Twitter with Crohn's Disease like me, and was a complete breath of fresh air. She was warm and funny and had an amazingly positive outlook on life. This couldn't help but rub off on anyone who came across her. She helped me realise I could live a happy and fulfilled life despite my recently diagnosed condition.
She was friends with so many people on Twitter and I know they l share the same sense of loss I do. The loss of a friend and the sadness of not having been able to say how my h she meant to us when she was still around.
When I heard of get passing I cried. Real tears. I've never cried for someone I've never met. Apart from when I'm watching 'Beaches' obviously, but that's a given.
Talking of beaches, Mimi lived in Australia. We often joked about swapping climates for a few days. I live in Scotland so we were literally on different sides of the world. She kindly offered to pop some glorious sun in the post and I'd fire back some our cloudy skies to give her a rest from the heat.
Mimi was a constant support to me, and hundreds of other Crohnies. Whatever came her way she dealt with it head on - and never forgot to ask how we were at the same time.
She sent her smiles in 140 chars here's to cheer us on, on an almost daily basis. That's a real skill, and one of the many reasons she will be so sorely missed. RIP Mimi xx

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

#NHBPM 18th November

'Advice for Someone Caring for a Crohn's Patient'

I often try to detach myself from my condition and consider for a while what it must be like to live with, or just be around someone with an incurable illness.
This is harder than it sounds. On my first few attempts at this I'd think 'That must be hard when I do that' or 'Thats unfair on then when I do that' - but I'd always come back to 'BUT IT'S WORSE FOR ME'. No it's not. Not necessarily.
On the whole my loved ones don't ever complain or voice any gripes they may have about 'caring' for me. I can only assume this is out of consideration for me. They don't want to make me feel bad, or cause me any guilt. After all, I'm dealing with enough, and none of it is my fault..
But let's take a moment to consider how my illness affects the people around me. In ways extreme to mild, Crohn's is always there. Therefore it's always the big fat diseased gooseberry when my partner and I go out for dinner. It's waddling around badly and embarrassingly when my friends and I go out dancing. It's trailing behind like an OAP when I'm out shopping with my Mum. This in itself means my condition has to be considered by me AND my loved ones in every little thing we do.
As far as caring for a Crohn's patient goes, it requires a lot of patience. Not because I am difficult or I complain, but because when Crohn's comes to the party it's often not invited, and causes so much awkwardness we often have to leave early. Thankfully my close friends and family (and most of all my partner) have this patience in abundance.
Caring for someone with Crohn's is not really about the physical acts of mopping up sick, cleaning a toilet it dabbing a fevered brow, (although these may be required from time to time, sorry it's in the small print), it's more about learning to adapt, and help the patient adapt to their new situation. It's also important to be brutally honest from time to time - feeling constantly rotten can get you down in a big way, so it's vital you have people around you who have a pair big enough to tell you to snap out of it.
It's equally important, as the patient, to appreciate that the people you love would never try to hurt you, so when they tell you to calm down it cheer up, maybe, just maybe they know what they are talking about.
It's all about finding a balance between learning to cope on your own and allowing others to help. Crohn's can be a damn nuisance, but don't let it get in the way of your relationships, if you do, Crohn's wins again. Not on my watch soldier.

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

#NHBPM - 11th November

'Your fave thing not health related, that likely improves your life'

I've thought long and hard about this one, and no, I'm not slipping in innuendos to warm you up for an x-rated favourite thing. This posts is 100% suitable for under 18's.
For me, that old cliche "Laughter is the best medicine" is so true. Of course Morphine is good too. If you can combine the two EVEN BETTER.
I love to laugh. I know that in itself sounds obvious; who doesn't? But I love it. When I know I am going to be around people who make me chuckle I get happy little butterflies in my stomach. I get giddy spending time with funny people. I forget for a whole I'm ill.
When you spend a lot of time in hospital, you treasure those very short few hours when you get to see the people you love. My family are FUNNY. My friends make me LOL big time, and my other half is HILARIOUS. These are all excellent qualities to be around when you feel like everything is bleak.
When all you feel us pain and can't see a glimmer of light, let me tell you, telling me a story about someone falling over will take me from nought to sixty in the happiness stakes in less that 30seconds.
I love Twitter too. I follow lots of funny funny people. So even if I can't be around humour in a physical sense, I can laugh at the people in my phone any minute of the day.
I love to watch comedy programmes, see funny films, go to comedy gigs and I LOVE to see people fall over. It's approaching Winter here and my chuckle muscles are getting giggly just thinking about the outcome of folk negotiating icy streets wearing badly gripping shoes. BRING IT ON.
With a chronic illness, you can choose to let it make you miserable, or you can choose to be better than your condition. I laugh at myself a LOT. Let's face it, Crohn's is ridiculous and it should be treated as such. You have to eat yet your body doesn't want to let you. Nature is playing the biggest joke on you it can. Don't be a spoilsport, just go with it. LOL.

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

#NHBPM 9th November

'Advice for new Patients'
(Bonus Prompt)

When I read this prompt I thought, "That's a nice easy one". I picked up the laptop to type and my fingers didn't move. Why?
I figured this should be easy advice to give, it's not so long ago I myself was a new Crohn's patient. I should be an expert on bestowing my freshly garnered knowledge!
Well the truth seems to be I'm not. My diagnosis took a long time. Various potential causes for the pain I was suffering were touted before I finally knew what I was dealing with.
Apparently this is more common than Crohnie's would like. It would be wonderful if Crohn's was easy to diagnose, but it's not. It can be incredibly difficult and frustrating for doctors and patients alike.
When the diagnosis has been confirmed, it opens up a mixture if confusion, sadness, anxiety, and for me; relief. Relief to know what I was dealing with. A relief to know what I'd tried to prove all along, that there really was something wrong with me.
Of course that wasn't exactly something I'd been happy to confirm - I by no means wanted to feel like that, and I certainly didn't relish hearing the condition I had (have) was incurable.
I suppose the best advice I could pass on to new patients just getting to grips with Crohn's is to learn everything you can about your condition. Knowledge is one if the best weapons against the disease. Think of it as a pre-emotive strike; you can't stop what's happening to your body, but you can arm yourself with as much information as possible so you know what lies ahead. For me, that took a while to click. I really didn't want to know the in's (and more importantly) out's if my colon and beyond. I felt horrible and uncomfortable, and the last thing I wanted was to talk to others whining on about what terrors lay ahead. I can't say I was wrong to feel that way, because that was my initial reaction, and I can't apologise for my feelings. However, knowing what I know now, I realise that sharing my story and hearing from other sufferers, CAN be a positive thing.
Growing my knowledge on Crohn's has been a great help. It's awesome to get the insight from patients going through it and not just doctors.
Another important nugget of advice would be to be patient. A patient Patient if you will. Don't pressure yourself into recovery mode, or try to get back to the way you were Pre-disease. Stress and Crohn's make for unfriendly bedfellows so this is the last thing you want. Believe me.
Don't feel bad if you have difficulty in adjusting to your new body either, it will take time, so please don't beat yourself up if you feel you should've made more progress. What you are going though IS a big deal.
Finally, don't be afraid to let others in. You may feel alone in this bit you are not. Your lived ones may be as confused and frightened as you are, so don't shut them out. Let them help you navigate your way through this. Again, this is easier said than done, and the urge might be to push people away. But no one said this was going to be easy! Being one myself, I know that us Crohnies's are a tough bunch. We have to be to put it the hours fighting this disease on a daily basis. You are too. And you don't have to fight alone. X

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

#NHBPM 7th November

'Redesign a Doctor's waiting room'

Now I'm no Lawrence Llewelyn- Bowen, (a flamboyant interior designer, Non-Brits), mores the pity. But I do know a thing or two about spending time in doctors surgeries. As I'm sure most of you are aware, waiting rooms are places in which you are often forced to do a lot of just that; waiting.
This, when you are feeling nervous and anxious, or feeling like death (or all of the above), can be a rather frustrating prospect. I know doctors and nurses are very busy people so its understandable at times we may be waiting later than our initial appointment time. Not every patient can be dealt with in a window of only a few minutes of course. So what could be done to make these places more comfortable whilst we wait?
For one, comfier seats. Ok so I don't expect to feel like I'm at home, or have my rear housed on some velvet cushion, but I would like to sit on a chair that doesn't make me feel like a geriatric. Or on a seat so solid I can feel everyone of my backside bones in action. Some of us have issues down there y'know?
Secondly, all these depressing health posters. Get rid. We are here to see the doctor already, do we really need to be worrying about a million other things we might have, or catch while we are here? It feels like we are sitting in a mobile version of WebMD - "Do you have Cancer?", "Have you checked your prostrate?" - Look give it a rest. I checked my prostrate last week and it's gorgeous as ever ok. Leave it.
I propose, pictures on one wall of semi-naked men, semi-naked ladies on the other, and for good measure, cute wee kittens and puppies on the ceiling. Covering all bases there I'm sure you'll agree. Taking everyones minds off their troubles in the process and, as an added bonus, giving the doctor a head start (if you'll pardon the pun) on the severity of any potential erectile-dysfunction cases he may be dealing with.
Finally, I really think it would help, I can't really explain why, to have those doors like off of Star Trek as we walk into the doctors office. Or better still, a smoke machine like off of Stars In Their Eyes ; "Tonight Matthew I'm going to be.. CURED"

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

#NHBPM 10th November

'Should people post about their/ their loved ones health on social networking sites?'

Myself, I consider the above question to be two entirely separate issues. As my health is 'mine' and 'my' life - I feel it's my right to discuss my condition openly with the world at large. I feel it helps, me and others, to understand my illness. I try to shy away from talking about the involvement of my friends and family. I express how much they mean to me and how they support me throughout my illness, but I never talk about any issues they may have, outside of my Crohn's Disease.
I think there is a major difference between being open about my life and talking about people who perhaps would be uncomfortable about being thrust into the blogging spotlight. It's not my place to discuss anything about my family other than how they affect my life.
This can often prove quite difficult when writing my blogs as they play such a big part in my life. I'd never want to divulge anything that made my loved ones uncomfortable, and if that issue ever arose, it would be deletion central!
I understand why some may openly talk about their loved ones health issues. It may help them cope, and understand. It may help to tell others, perhaps for support outside of the family, or to share information. As I do, for my own condition.
However, the difference between doing all this for yourself and doing it for someone else is that it's THEIR life. Their privacy. The first concern should always be the person you love and what they want. I know if the colon was in the other body, my family wouldn't want me to quite so open about them as I am about myself. And I understand that.
People's privacy is just that, private. Why would I encroach on that?

This post is written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

Monday, 5 November 2012

#NHBPM 26th November

'Interview your Health'

Today the author of this fine blog, Miss Kathleen Nicholls, will be interviewing her Health.
Let the fireworks commence!

KN- "Hi Health, are you well?"
H- "Hi Kath! Wel.."
KN- "No point in answering that one really as clearly, CLEARLY, you are not. Neither of us are, are we?"
H- "We'll I think thats a little harsh.."
KN- "The fact that you are an absolute bastard isn't up for debate, the question is WHY?"
H- "If I could first defend myself.."
KN- "No. You can't. Because I can't defend myself against you now can I?"
H- "Ah, we'll I see where you are coming from.."
KN- *yawns* "Skip to the part where you explain your complete bastardness please"
H- "I feel this is going nowhere. I sense so much hostility from you.."
KN- "Really? Really?! You've brought this on yourself big guy! I was happily going about my business until YOU decided to ruin all that by landing an incredible disease on my arse. Now I have to navigate my way through life with symptoms I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, spend time in and out of hospital and have bits of my once untarnished body mutilated by the surgeons knife.."
H- "We'll obviously I'm very sorry you feel that way.."
KN- "Oh your 'sorry?!' What use are your apologies to me?! Are you going to make us better? Are you going to perk up your act and start acting like a normal person?"
H- "Oh do stop whining! Christ I can't talk to you when you are like this! Always the drama queen.."
KN- *aghast* "I am NOT!"
H- "Are too"
KN- "Am not! Right this is ridiculous. I'm understandably very angry with you and you don't seem to care."
H- "I do. I'm diseased too you know. We are in this diseased body together"
KN- "But I can't do anything about it- you are in control"
H- "I can only give you the hand nature dealt us, rely on you giving me a helping hand and staying positive"
KN- "Im positive that your an idiot"
H- "Oh grow up"
KN- "What, so now my growths stunted?! Because again that's YOUR problem"
H- "I don't have to sit here and listen to this"
KN- "Oh yes you do. In fact I think I need the toilet again.."
H- "No, please, not again.."
KN- "You've brought this on yourself. That, and that curry we ate 5hrs ago. Lets go"

#NHBPM 25th November

'How have your goals as a patient evolved?'

As a 'blogger' and a Crohn's patient, I've found my 'goal's' have changed pretty significantly since I was first officially diagnosed.
Originally, my main concern was with myself. I wanted to get well and desperately wanted the doctors to get to the bottom of my illness.
Post surgery, my concern was healing and learning to negotiate my way past having a huge scar where I was once unblemished, and filling my days while I recoup rested.
Since then, now almost 2years after the operation that saved my life, my 'goal's' are more focused on helping to try and educate and inform others on my illness. And, where possible, offer support to others going through the same thing.
I've also become so much more interested in learning all there is to know about Crohn's disease and educating myself on how best to help my symptoms, outside of the hospital. I've also decided to become more open and honest about my condition. With everyone, from close family to doctors and nurses. I've tried to adapt to my illness as best as I can, and make a negative a positive, whenever possible. I'm evolving with my disease, hopefully for the better.

This post is written as WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

#NHBPM 21st November

'Write about Mental Health'

Although Crohn's Disrase is a condition mainly affecting the body, it's also, possibly somewhat surprisingly, a condition that can also be a major factor in the decline of a patients mental health. Depression, and similar issues are unfortunately quite common in Crohn's sufferers, and patients dealing with long term or similarly 'chronic' illnesses.
As Crohn's is incurable and the effective treatment can be incredibly difficult to pinpoint, it can be a constant battle to cope with the frustration.
Personally, I've found this aspect of being a Crohn's sufferer to be one of the biggest challenges to face. Mainly because there is no easy answer. Crohn's can be incredibly unpredictable and this unpredictability can also be very difficult to cope with.
When I was at my worst and awaiting surgery, I was in constant, excruciating pain. This in itself was almost unbearable for me, and also my friends and family to deal with.
Getting no relief from this led to very black moods and hard times. I tried to remain positive, but this, as anyone who has ever felt this way knows, is easier said than done. Talking, I've found, always helps to ease a little.
Of course sometimes, when u feel down of unhappy with my lot, I don't want to be around anyone, I just want to be alone in my sadness and wallow. But this doesn't help. It's hard and painful for me and my loved ones. My partner is wonderful in helping me open up and it's comforting to know he is there when I need him.
But I also know how hard it must be for him to live with someone who struggles with these feelings.
For me, talking helps greatly. It helps to share the burden with someone. Even if you feel alone there is always someone, somewhere who will be willing to listen. X

This post is written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

#NHBPM 6th November

'A time you took the high road..'

Being a Scottish lass, 'taking the high road' is something I'm well versed in.
Other than vague directions though, 'taking the high road' obviously has another meaning..
Other than the excruciating pain, sickness, constant fatigue and fainting, amongst others, Crohn's hasn't really caused me any major problems. In the grand scheme of things.
In terms of accepting help, and letting people in - that's where the big issue seems to be with me. I've had to get to grips with being a 'patient' and not being able to do some things for myself.
Crohn's can in itself be a very debilitating illness. At it's worst, it leaves you weak and helpless. For someone who strives for independence, this can be incredibly frustrating.
I wouldn't say I'm a 'difficult' patient. I don't complain often or whine about my misfortune. But I don't open up enough to explain what I'm going through. Which can be just as difficult for others; how can they help when they don't know the extent of my symptoms?
So for me, 'taking the high road' is learning to loosen the reigns a little and accept help. I'm still struggling with this, but I'm hoping it will get easier. I suppose I expect too much of myself and I'm not yet ready to let go of some of the things I could do easily 'P.C' (Pre-Crohn's). This will come. But finding the balance between retaining my independence and letting people in, will be one of my harder challenges.

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

Sunday, 4 November 2012

#NHBPM 5th November

3 Things I'm Thankful For 

1. My family & Friends
Without this motley crew I don't know where I'd be. I have a wonderful relationship with my parents, my partners parents and our surrounding families. I am very fortunate to have some amazing friends who I know I can turn to for anything, even if it's just a spot of reassurance and a cuddle.
They have all been tirelessly supportive of me pre and post diagnosis, and continue to take an active interest in my development with my disease. They have grieved with me on the loss of my pre-Crohn's life and pushed me to see a life beyond it. They always listen when I want to talk and always seem to know how to perk me up. I love them beyond belief and my colon and I are blessed to have such fantastic support.

2. The NHS.
They literally saved my life. My Crohn's was incredibly advanced when I was finally diagnosed and it meant the only option left in the space of a few months was surgery. i had an outstanding doctor who pushed for my surgery all the way and the care I was shown before and after was incredible. I was back on my unsteady feet in no time and have been monitored closely since. I know I have several options on who to call in the case of a Crohnie emergency and that in itself is incredibly reassuring.

3. My Writing.
This may sound slightly pretentious, but I absolutely adore writing my blog. I love the fact that people out there (not just my mum) take the time to read it and I love that it has opened up a whole new hobby to me. I have caught the writing bug and it's helped me greatly in coping with my illness. It's helped me to see I am not alone, and neither are any of you.

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days 

#NHBPM 12th November

'Call BS on something. What's something that's just ridiculous?'

Where Crohn's Disease is concerned, there are so many ridiculous theories on what it is and what it entails, that I lose count. On an almost daily basis someone will comment on my condition in the most ludicrous way that I have to laugh. Either that or physically restrain myself from punching them between the eyes. I've developed a method whereby I have someone on hand to tie my hands and feet when the urge arises. Not as enjoyable as it sounds. Of course I can often get past that, as the man I bunny-hopped towards and head butted discovered.
I digress.
The main issue I've found in the difficulty most people seem to have in understanding Crohn's is the massive lack of knowledge of the condition. Speaking as someone who lives in Scotland I had never heard of Crohn's until I got it, now I know many people from my neck of the woods, a few very nearby, who have the same illness. I suppose it's understandable I hadn't encountered it, no one I knew had it and as far as I knew I didn't- but surely at some point in my life it would've been mentioned? I often think why is this? Is it the embarrassment of discussing your illness, or fear of how people will react? Or just, like me, the occasional boredom of having to explain Crohn's all over again?
It could have a LOT to do with the inane comments and opinions we as Crohnies have to contend with.
Now please don't get me wrong, I am always happy to talk about my disease, it's a massive part of my life and I'm in no way ashamed of my illness. I'm happy to educate people who honestly want to know more and are open to listening.
What I don't like, is constantly having to go through the rigmarole of disputing idiotic 'facts' about Crohn's. During some conversations I often feel I'm batting away a pesky wee fly buzzing about my ear WHO JUST WON'T DIE.
Some of my fave's and most quoted are as follows. I've helpfully provided the answers too. Feel free to print this off and push it down the gullet of any Crohn's-baiting-quiz masters you may come across;

Q: "You have Crohn's? You must be at the toilet all the time?"
A: "No. I have difficulty digesting food which often means I need the toilet more than most, but if I were at the toilet 'all the time' that would mean I'm going right now. And I'm clearly not. OR AM I?"

Q: "It's just like IBS isn't it?"
A: "No. No it's not. IBS is a 'syndrome' not a 'disease'. IBS does not cause bleeding and does not put you at risk of colon cancer. It does cause abdominal pain and bloating, and diarrhea. It does not require surgery, cause skin irritation, fevers, weight loss, anemia, loss of appetite, rectal bleeding, fistulas, strictures, depression, arthritis, liver complications, fibromyalgia, or osteoporosis, to name but a few. Clear?"

Q: "It's just a sore stomach?"
A: "If you consider living with a pain similar to labour pains on a daily basis 'sore' you are stronger person than most. The pain normally comes in waves causes excrutiating pain all over the stomach and back. This can last days to weeks, without relief. Longest labour known to (wo)man"

These examples are just a drop in the colon to the others I could list. But I didn't want to be writing this post til the end of time, I know you all have lives beyond my blog.
So, if you think you are and expert on the wonders of my disease, please don't patronise me by telling ME what i'm going through, because I ALREADY KNOW. If you want to find out more, just ask me - the response you get will be a helluva lot friendlier than the other option.

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days

#NHBPM 4th November

What's In Your Bag Everyday?

Having Crohn's Disease means that on a daily basis I get up close and personal with the porcelain. I often have to visit the facilities wherever I am, so that can require ensuring I have suitable 'back-ups' in case a flare strikes.
I have a BIG handbag. And strong shoulders. If your brave enough, take a peek inside my handbag;

Bum Wipes - Soft moist loo roll. This is one if the best inventions by modern man/woman. Using loo roll on your rear all day can be very painful and irritating on your skin. These are great to have in your bag to use instead as they keep your nether regions soft and FRESH.

Spare Knickers - Pretty obvious one here. Accidents can happen. Mortifying accidents. So it's always sensible to have a spare pair tucked away just in case the worst should happen.

Painkillers & Medication - I always have my medication in my bag and at home. Some in my bag on the off chance I can't get home and have to miss it. Far from ideal. Plus, painkillers like Ibuprofen and Tramadol/Co-codamol are always in there as pain strikes on a daily basis. The thought of bit having anything with me at all would send me into a panic and worsen my symptoms.

Vaseline - Anyone who knows me will be aware I have a pretty hardcore Lipbalm addiction. I usually have (probably weirdly) around 4 or 5 tubes on me at any given time. Skin and lips get dry due to my condition so it's handy to have on hand.

Moisturiser - Again, I have dry skin most of the time, as Crohn's affects every part of the body, so I like to have a wee tub of something to keep me soft as peach ;)

Sick-bag - Horrid thought I know, but when I'm having a flare I feel queasy most of the time. And as I spend a LOT of time on public transport, getting off in time is sometimes not an option..

Mobile - My phone is always with me, the reason it gets a mention here is because it contains my next of kin's number under 'ICE' - this, in the UK is the word paramedics use to find which family member to call in an emergency. Very handy if the worst (after needing spare knickers obviously) should happen..

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30days

Thursday, 1 November 2012

#NHBPM 1st November

Why I Write About my Health..

The main reason I write my blog has changed quite a bit over time. I started writing shortly after my surgery for Crohn's Disease in early 2011. It was on the suggestion of my brother, who thought it may be a good way to pass the time during my recovery. On writing my first few posts I felt odd. As it takes a while to grow an 'audience' or gain people who followed the blog I often considered stopping altogether and felt foolish, like I was embarrasing myself. Thankfully, the encouragement of my brother and my close family and friends inspired me to keep writing. Soon I was hooked. It felt as fun as writing my diary, but in public. I started to enjoy it more and more as more people began to read it and comment, and I began o make friends through the sharing if stories and information.
I opened my writing up to a bit of a wider audience by posting my blog on Facebook and Twitter, and suddenly I found people from all over the world were reading my daft diseased tales. The thrill of knowing strangers were enjoying my writing was another boost. It meant my blogs were interesting to people outside my clsoe circle. Plus it gave me something to keep my mind active and off my bowels when I was off work and in a bad way.
Don't get me wrong, I by no means think that I am a great writer! I know I am distinctly average, but I do think my blog offers quite a unique twist on traditional health writing. I try to write in a humorous way, I want to show my disease is not all I am. That for others suffering it's not the end of the line.
I begun writing for myself, now I like to think I write for others. I want my blog to appeal to people who suffer from Crohn's and those who don't. I want it to help people laugh at their condition and feel they are not alone. For thse who don't have Crohn's but perhaps know someone who does, I want it to help express to them what it's like living with the disease, and to inform them on what Crohn's entails.
Bold ambitions for a silly little blog I know, but something positive to aim for I think. If I can achieve at least one of those aforementioned ambitions, i'll be a very happy diseased bunny indeed.

This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM