Dining with a Crohnie

I love food, I really do, but reading this post you are going to think are you sure? You seem like a barrel of laughs to go out for a meal with… I promise it’s all good if the rules in my head are stuck to!

If not I usually grin and bare it so you would probably never know I am on the edge of break down (ha!)

I try and go out for dinner as much as possible. It’s something I have loved to do since I was little. Anything from a bar lunch to something more formal I am always willing to give it a try – as long as there is bread rolls on the table as back up.

So what are my fears, rules and weirdness when it comes to dining out with me? Well…

  1. I always read the menu before I go anywhere. I don’t do being spontaneous when it comes to eating. I will usually have a first, second and pudding option picked out and ready to fire to the waiter. I don’t do waiting as it gives me time to overthink!
  2. Sharing food gives me the fear. I am a bit like Joey from friends, although it’s not because I am greedy I just don’t want your germs. I will share with Russell, close friends and family but that is pushing it.
  3. I like to distract myself while eating. I have to either be talking, watching TV or in a deep thought about something – I tend to glaze over. If not I end up focusing on what I am eating the end up in pain.
  4. My stomach is always making noises. It is not necessarily because I am hungry. It can sound like a whale calling… It can be embarrassing when it grumbles in the office.

Food

  1. Majority of the time I am full after 2 bites. I have had to train myself again to eat more. It is kind of like mind of matter. I am continually telling myself ‘I CAN do this!’
  2. I will ALWAYS find something wrong with a meal. I use this as an excuse to not have to finish it. Russell is always on hand to eat my leftovers though.
  3. I don’t cope well if my food is touching or if someone else (Russell) mushes their food together.
  4. I would happily live on puddings for the rest of my life.
  5. If going out for a meal I like to know every detail as my anxiety goes through the roof – Who is going, what are they eating, do they share food, do they do starters, where will we be sitting, are we staying for pudding, will they comment on my eating habits, do they know I am this weird (hahaha), is the toilet near by, will they judge me if I don’t eat my vegetables….
  6. I will only eat things made my certain people (although I am working on this one). For example, I will only eat my dads omelettes or my mums sandwiches.

Now please don’t let this list put you off inviting me out. If I don’t eat I am quite happy enjoying your company… maybe even with a glass of gin in my hand!

Chaophraya

Festivaling with a Crohnie

So, after watching Glastonbury over the weekend, I got proper festival envy. I spent Sunday watching George Ezra on TV feeling sorry for myself. T in the Park was my summer holiday for a few years but sadly that is no more!

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I have been lucky to attend my local festival, Party at the Palace and had great fun. They were great with my invisible illness and let me use the ‘posh’ loos instead of the smelly ones. For it being held in my little town, some big names have been at it. The Proclaimers, Nile Rogers (Chic), The Feeling and many more. This year we have The Kaiser Chiefs who I LOVED back in the day. Yay. Fingers crossed they have the same great staff as before, and I can sneak to the posh loos – maybe bump into Gok Wan on the way? Festival 1You can camp at PATP but as I have a flat near by I don’t need to. Although I would say the camp site has always been the best part of T in the Park.

Now when I told people I was camping at T in the Park, many looked at me with confusion and fear. “No way will you manage”, “Have you seen the toilets???”, “You will hate it!”

To be honest – I was fine. Yes the toilets where stinking but that could easily be blocked by stuffing baby wipes up your nose. Hand sanitizer was a god send and I was really one too many ciders drunk (sorry mum!) to care.

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The first year I camped, I upgraded to the VIP toilets and showers. I put fresh make up every day and flowers in my hair. I was looking for that perfect Instagram festival photo but by my second year I just walked around like a minger and had a baby wipe shower in the morning (you can never back to many wipes!) My make up was limited and I never even used dry shampoo. I was a total tink but had the best time! The clothes I packed where a lot less than the first time too – I took a suitcase on my first TITP trip. It was packed with outfit options, pot noodles, ham sandwiches and enough loo roll to tee pee the whole campsite (when in reality I was keeping it for my poor bum). After the trek I learnt very quickly less is more AND you can live on chips, cheese & curry sauce without getting a pain.

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As Crohnie what are my top tips for keeping up with the festival goers?

  1. Pack baby wipes – they are handy for everything! Also, don’t feel guilty about not sharing.
  2. Keep hydrated (boring I know, I would much rather keep drinking vodka) this will help your insides, especially kidneys if on azathioprine.
  3. You will probably look like a drug dealer with all your meds but take them! Store them in a safe place and if you forget a dose (due to cider brain) don’t panic – Just remember to take them at your next normal time.
  4. Know where the first aid tent is… in case of emergency!
  5. Don’t feel bad if you end up missing an artist and have to stay at the campsite. That is where all the real fun is.

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PS Crohnies – Another bonus about using the toilets at festivals are that they are already  bad, that no matter what you added to the pan it never really makes a difference (TMI? sorry!) SO be brave, be bold and go dance the soles of your wellies off…

You can get Party at the Palace tickets here

 

 

Drinking with a Crohnie – Linlithgow Marches

HIP HIP?! HOORAY!

I get asked a lot if I am ok to drink alcohol, and the answer is yes! (woo) I tend to drink spirits – gin being my favourite – but every Crohnie is different. I struggle with cider and beer which is a shame, as there is nothing better than on a hot day (rare occurrence in Scotland) than to crack open a fruit cider and burn my ginger skin.

Anyway, Tuesday was Linlithgow Marches. A historic event where the boundaries of my little town are checked and declared safe with lots of pipe bands, floats and celebrated with a few alcoholic beverages. You can read more here about the ins and outs – A lot of planning goes into running the day smoothly so thanks to everyone involved!

My family celebrate the Marches by doing a pub crawl along the high street, which Linlithgow has plenty of. We start at the West port and head along to the Low port hitting every pub along the way.

It is an early start on the Marches with pubs opening at 7am – we held off until 10am… This year we were sensible though and lined our stomach with morning rolls cooked by Russell (unlike previous years… oops!)Marches 1 .jpgThe first procession along the high street starts at 5am but I was still sound asleep (I did walk it last year) so I was glad to see the 11am one. This years floats included Beauty and the Beast, Baby Boss and Ghostbusters to name a few.

Marches 2

As the pubs are busier than usual toilet queues are very likely. This is the one time having Crohn’s can come in very handy as I have a ‘Can’t Wait’ card. I do use this to my advantage – naughty, I know! A BIG shout out though to Ellie’s Cellar who let me quickly pop in. I did return the favour by purchasing a mini Edinburgh Gin to top up the hip flask. It is great to see so many people out celebrating together and having a laugh. I always end up bumping into people I haven’t seen in ages. It is a great excuse to catch up!

Marches 4

Being the kids Russell and I think we are, we headed along to the shows that are set up in the Tesco car park. After a few spins on the waltzers I decided I was hungry so went to get pizza. Which unfortunately ended up all down my white dress. I am hoping Vanish will be able to remove the cheese stains.

We met back up with the family and next thing I knew I was up on stage in the local hall singing along with a band to the Proclaimers. Sorry for anyone who had to hear!!!Marches 5

After a little dancing Russell and I decided to call it a night and get some chips and cheese for the walk home.

Definitely one of my favourite days of the year and you will be glad to know I woke up hangover free unlike someone else I know (Russell).

Long live the Marches! 

 

One Love – One World

After the recent events that have taken place in Manchester and London I have had an ongoing feeling of sadness and confusion. From someone who often lives with their heads in the clouds, I am really struggling with the evilness in this world and I am sure I am not the only one!

After balling my eyes out at the Ariana Grande One Love concert for Manchester, I found myself giving a pep talk to my reflection in the bathroom mirror at 3am this morning (damn a dodgy Chinese) – I will not get lost in the oblivion of terror hashtags or endless scrolling on news apps. Although, I will also not put my head in the sand and pretend the world is fine. It is far from it.

To everyone who has been affected by the last couple of months I want to give you a big hug and never let go. You have been in my thoughts more often than not and I know nothing I can say can make a different to the state of the world right now, but I think we could all try to lift each others spirits.

Smile more, laugh more, hug more, celebrate more, communicate more and just LOVE more.

Do not let ANYONE stop you from living YOUR life… and certainly don’t live it in fear (which is easier said than done) but remember LOVE WINS.

Clair
Keep smiling!

 

 

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