Chained to the Toilet – Day 2

Day 2 of this flare and I am onto toilet roll number 4, season 2 of RuPaul’s drag race and my 3rd pair of clean jammies – so far so good I would say (all considering that is!)

I am currently off sick from work which I HATE doing due to my Crohn’s but I think my colleagues will be thanking me on this occasion. I am extra moany, extra whiney and extra smelly… but I feel like when I phone in sick I don’t sound sick. I don’t even look sick.

SO what is wrong with me this time?

I am peeing poo – yip – that is happening. l also have blood in my poo and severe stomach cramps. The thought of leaving the house with no access to a toilet is giving me the FEAR! Thank goodness for painkillers, antibiotics and hot water bottles.

I am not even attempting to push on today . I am admitting defeat to this flare by curling up in my new bed (it eventually arrived) and working my way through a pack of Andrex wet wipes – Sometimes you just have to treat yourself and your bum.

Fingers crossed I will be back at work soon. Doing what I do best and pestering my colleagues with my how to be an adult questions!

Toilet RollP.S. Not looking for sympathy here. Just keeping it real with all you lovely readers.

 

 

 

Holidaying with a Crohine

Russell and I have been on a few trips during our nearly 4 years of being with each other and every trip I am a slight pain, as I like to know every little detail, have a fear of unknown loos, through the roof travel insurance and if venturing to a sunny destination – usually end up burnt to a crisp.

Our first trip was to Ibiza in August 2014. My main concern on this trip was how am I going to poo? Bearing in mind my poos can smell worse than sewage. There is no amount of frebreze that could save this situation. Every time I needed to go I would make an excuse ‘Oh I forgot my headphones’ , ‘Oh I forgot my book’ , ‘Oh I forgot the sun cream’ – you get the drift. This of course only worked if we weren’t in the room to begin with. By the end of the week (as my confidence grew) I just told him to stand out on the balcony while I took to the thrown. To be honest, toilets were the least of my worries once I ended up with sun stroke!

 

Ibiza
I was nearly pooing my pants on this!

 

By the December of 2015 we were fed up with the cold so booked a last minute deal to Tenerife. We flew out and were put into a fancy suite at Hotel Arenas Del Mar. It was lovely and the bathroom was huge. I had been with Russell 2 and a half years by this point so pooing didn’t seem to be too much of an issue. I didn’t make him stand out on the balcony. However, the all inclusive drinks and a lightweight Clair were a slight problem!

Tenerife

For my birthday in 2016 we hopped over to Dublin to celebrate St Paddy’s day and watch Ireland destroy Scotland in the Six Nations (boo!) Anyway, to celebrate my birthday we went out for a nice meal which ended up with me being glued to the toilet for the entire night crying for my mum! The meal was reappearing out of both ends – Not a pretty sight! Thankfully our hotel, The Spencer, had very good plumbing. This trip also included getting lost twice, a smashed phone and a stadium that sold cocktails.

 

Dublin
Do I suit a beard?

 

By the May I had managed to convince Russell we needed a trip to Blackpool (my favourite place) so after days of trailing Booking.com I found the perfect B&B – The Wescoe. It was a beautiful B&B with a fancy bathroom (heated towel rail – yes please!) I loved it so much we stayed again this year. There was no poo drama on this mini break you’ll be pleased to hear.

 

Blackpool
Happy as Larry.

 

On our return from Blackpool we were back on the road down to Centre Parcs with Russell’s family. For this trip my bowels were not playing I nice. I was so nervous about the toilet situation I COULD JUST NOT GO and this resulted in me being constipated for a weekend – sigh! Not even eating a curry (which I tend to stay away from due to unsightly circumstances) got things moving. I also learnt on this trip I am not as active as I thought I was but did eat the best pancakes ever!

 

Centre Parcs
Used the bike once, then I retired from cycling.

 

Onto our last trip of 2016, a long weekend in York. Luckily we were staying at my step dads flat – with 2 bathrooms – so I was totally fine with the toilet situation. Although the journey down was tough as I had a urine infection so we had to stop at every services along the way. It was only right to get a Costa every time too! We ended up staying longer than planned as I developed some ugly viral infection which started to clear need the end of our trip. Also, we discovered the delightful parmo and now crave one every time I am drunk!

 

York
It was freezing but alcohol warmed us up!

Now what do we have planned for our next adventure? FLORIDA… in 180 something days! If you have any tips I would love to hear them.

P.S. I am already memorising food menus in preparation.

 

Happy Birthday Dad!

Dear mon père,

Happy ’44th’ Birthday!

You might be the biggest pain in the bum sometimes (minus Crohn’s) but you are also the best Dad ever. You are king of the thumb head selfies, cook the best egg and soldiers (who knew boiling an egg could be so difficult) and are always on hand to help with whatever anyone needs help with. I could keep going but I would be here for days.

Anyway as it is your birthday I thought I would share with my readers some of your selfies and style through out your 54… I mean 44 years on earth. You can actually see you lose your hair over the years – I hope baldness isn’t hereditary! It is also payback for all the bad pictures you post of me.

Dad 2
When your head and face had plenty hair!

 

 

Dad 4
Did you hair start to thin as soon as I was born?!

 

 

Dad 3
A thumb selfie in Barcelona

 

 

Dad 5
The facial hair has reappeared… slightly less colourful than before!

 

Dad 6
You cannot deny that we are related!

Looking forward to celebrating tomorrow. I have everything crossed that the Scottish sun will stay at least one more day.

Lots of love
your delightful daughter, Clair x

 

 

Living with a Crohnie

home-sweet-home-clipart-2.jpgAs I mentioned in Monday’s post I am now living with a boy (!!!) After living in my cute, girly, pink flat for 2 years I have officially moved out and moved in with Russell.

Gone are the days of having the bathroom to myself, star fishing the bed and controlling the tv…

Actually to be honest I still do all of the above (much to Russell’s annoyance).

Anyway what have I learnt about flat sharing?

Well…

  1. You can never, ever, ever have enough toilet roll. A pack of 12 rolls for 2 people, one of whom has IBD isn’t even going to last a week.
  2. If you can’t decide on what to have for dinner, pizza is always the answer.
  3. You have to wash other peoples underwear.
  4. Your nice, expensive, LUSH beauty products will start to vanish faster than ever before….
  5. It kind of feels like you are playing ‘house’ (see pic below) but you have to deal with adult problems. You are the adult too, so you have to fix said problems! (or phone your closest relative when you nearly burn the flat down… oops!)
  6. Russell is the cook and I am the cleaner.
  7. Together we are rubbish at making decisions. “You pick”, “No you Pick”.
  8. Running to the M&S garage for late night snacks and toasties (next door) is costing us a fortune.
  9. I am adjusting surprising well to Russell’s 5am work alarm.

and last but not least

10. It is best to make up fast after an argument/disagreement!

Clair Russell
Playing house with Russ at playgroup.

All in all the I think the flat sharing is going well… I am sure Russell would agree to an extent – Although I am maybe a bit too messy, own too many clothes and sing badly in the shower!

Help wanted! Please!

Walk it

I have signed up to walk 10K for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. Bearing in mind I do very little exercise and the only running I do is to the bathroom.

Jumping out a plane or abseiling from a building sounds much more fun. Also, more daredevil-ish too but for now I am in right in thinking I will struggle with this challenge!

Why am I doing this?

I have Crohn’s Disease and I have done for the last 6 years. If you know me, chances are you have seen me at my worst: hospital trips, needles, tablets, infusions, tears – the lot.

I want to raise money to help people get diagnosed earlier so they can start treatment. Also raising awareness to speak up about early symptoms. The worst year and a half of my life was when I was undiagnosed. I was scared, in pain and kept getting fobbed of with IBS.

Crohn’s can be… and in fact is a serious illness, that left untreated can cause immense damage.

Now here is where I need your help!

I know there are A LOT of charities out there who need help too and I understand that you can’t donate to everyone but I would just love if you could share the fact it is ok to talk about poo! No matter what age or gender (as I was recently told to leave it to boys to talk about this subject) Girls poo too. In fact, I poo more than you might think is humanly possible!

So, if you wouldn’t mind could you possibly share my blog/Facebook page/Twitter/Instagram and hopefully it will reach people who are struggling with coming to terms with Crohn’s or Colitis – I know I needed a push to open up!

poo-emojiYou can also sign up to walk 5K or 10K here.

Or if you are feeling extra generous my Just Giving page is here – but please don’t feel pressured!

The support already is very much appreciated and even led to me being recognised in a public toilet of all places.

I am now away to charge my Fitbit and become less of a lazy potato!

Thanks in advance,
Clair x

 

 

I was on the radio…

raising awareness for Crohn’s Disease!

I was interviewed by one of my best friends/news reader for Forth 1. I am pretty open about all things Crohn’s related so I was pretty sure I would be able to talk away with no problem, until the recorder was placed in front of me and I was unsure if the word diarrhoea was appropriate for the airways. Then giggles started.

I am not all high tech with how to get the recordings onto here.

Bear with me… For now, I shall just expand on some of the answers that were played out.

The first question was about the symptoms. Que me pausing to ask if I could say diarrhoea – because lets face it, that is a pretty big symptom of the disease. Along with constipation, bloody poo, piles, mucus, ulcers, fatigue, joint pain, fistulas, stomas, liver problems, UTIs….

I then talked about how I felt being diagnosed at the age of 17 after a year and a bit of uncertainty and ruling out other conditions. Back when I was diagnosed I never told anyone, I always had a sore tummy so would just say that. Now I like to be more detailed and see the look on peoples faces when I explain. They are usually shocked a 23 year old girl can be so open about her daily bowel movements without a red face.

Moving on, I covered how if you are struggling to be diagnosed, which can take AGES – push your doctor for every test available. Blood and Stool sample tests, Colonoscopy, CTE scans, MRE Scans, Small bowel enema, capsule endoscopy and more. They all sound scary, but worth it to get the results. I am the worst patient ever, so I found some challenging to say the least.

I also discussed how the disease affects my every day life. On the recording you can hear me giggle as I compare my body to an 80 year. Which it does feel like that on some days. Even worse it can feel like an 80 year old who has been hit by a bus. Ow!

The reaction I have received from being on the radio is really, really heart-warming. It is nice to see so many of my friends and family tune into hear me moan more publically about this yucky disease.

Anyway, thanks for listening and making me feel like a local celeb. I owe ya x

flare

 

 

Feeling the love!

As it is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would get a little bit more soppier than usual and spread some love. I thought I would take some time this morning to say a BIG thank you and love you to a few special people in my life.

**Scroll to the bottom if it gets a bit much… Reading this back made me cringe ha **

embarrased

Russell… I really have no idea what I would do without you. You are always on hand when my hot water bottle needs refilled, the toilet roll is running low and my clinginess is at a high. You put up with my ever changing food rules that resemble a fussy toddler, you never walk away when I start crying in the most awkward places (Aldi being the main venue for my tears) and you offer the most reassuring hugs ever. Thank you for being a little lazy potato like myself and never being annoyed when I just can’t be bothered dragging my bum out into the world.

The parents – Mum and Dad, You are always both on stand by with calls and texts to make sure I am ok. I have never had to ask for anything (other than a puppy… still waiting) I know you both worry lots, I appreciate your unconditional love millions. It has been a learning curve for all of us on this Crohn’s journey, and still is, but thank you for being there. From collecting my repeat prescriptions, handing over stool samples, being with me when I get my blood taken and telling me getting a camera ‘shoved’ up my bum will be ok. Thank you also for supplying Andrex toilet roll in both houses. My bum appreciates it more than you will ever know!

The step parents – Claire and Max, I probably rely on you both more than the parents above (haha!) You handle my ranting much better, you listen to me moan about my bowel habits without pulling faces and are always on hand for hugs. To Max, thank you for the offer of private health care – thank goodness that fistula fixed itself and to Claire, thank you for the constant reassurance and keeping my dad semi sane (ha!!) and how could I forget the surprise toilet roll present!

My friends… you never moan when I cancel last minute – THANK YOU. You are always there to listen with either coffee, alcohol or nachos in Lyndsay’s case, they are the best! I have had support from the lot of you for many, many years. Just know that I appreciate all the texts, meme tags and plenty Code memories.

All of my cousins/aunties/uncles… There is a lot so I am not even going to begin with names. Thank you for the support of this blog. I can always rely on the shares coming from a few of you. Having a big family means I can always cry to someone – usually Gemma, sorry Gemma! Providing me with endless food from macaroni to party bags of buffet food. It makes my day so much easier not having to cook. Did I ever mention I hate cooking.

The Murdoch Family… Thank you for welcoming my inflamed insides and I into your family. I have lucked out with being part of the most caring family ever.!

clair

Sorry for the speech like post. I started typing and got slightly a bit carried away! Anyway, here is the short and sweet bit if you glazed over reading the above. Thank you and Love you to all my family and friends.

Less soppiness will resume tomorrow x