Lifestyles, Slimming World

Slimming World @ Target – Absentee Me

I am sorry for the absences and the lack of updating I just missed quite a few sessions this month due to work and life so just haven’t had anything to post about, and I haven’t been in the right frame of mind really.

I had a busy Easter and I had a break from work which was very nice but just feeling exhausted, tired and not myself overall. I don’t know what is the cause exactly. I am not sure if it is just work in general, the chronic illness or something else.

Not sure what it is that is causing it but I am kind of getting over it – or pushing through with adrenaline – so will start plugging away and get back on this blogging wagon.

Sorry!

xoxoxo

General Musings, Lifestyles, Ulcerative Colitis

My First Colonoscopy

Not necessarily a title I thought I would be writing when I started this blog over two years ago, then again I didn’t imagine I was going to end up in hospital last year and be diagnosed with a life long chronic illness.

But hey, that’s how the cookie crumbles.

As I am now technically in remission and have been pretty solid since leaving hospital last September (a little too solid if you look at my waistline…), at my last appointment I was told I would be scheduled in for a colonoscopy to see how my ulcerative colitis was looking after the outbreak and to get a clearer view of current scarring and progression.

I don’t think anyone likes the sound of a colonoscopy and what it entails. I know that I certainly wasn’t! But it would have been more idiotic to not go and get checked. Sooo…

Prep:
I didn’t realise how rigorous the prep for a colonoscopy was, and that you started it up to really a week before with phasing out iron supplements, only eating low fibre and no caffeine two days before ‘prep’ day, and then the amount of meds you take on the day. Ironically, with my current condition I would never submit myself to that amount of laxatives – too many summer 2016 flashbacks. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t have caffeine on an event day…..#eventprofessionalstruggle

In all honesty though, my prep went well, yes it wasn’t fun racing to the toilet more frequently and I was starving by the next morning. But I was good and kept myself hydrated, and seemed to avoid majorly bad stomach cramps, probably because I followed the stuff to the letter – and hell low fibre meant I could have that pastry for breakfast after my event day….heavenly!

Colonoscopy:
I was lucky in that my Mum was able to drive me to and from the hospital on the day, so I could have the sedative. By the time I got to the appointment (luckily in the morning) I was starving – and was avoiding food TV shows – though somehow it was still on at the hospital – burgers, torture! But I have to say the hospital and the staff in Endoscopy at John Radcliffe were so prompt, really quick and I wasn’t hanging around very long.

I don’t like needles – and needles really don’t go into me very well – but this time the Dr was really good and got the cannula in the vein first time. So a bonus! If I am honest I cant really tell how long the procedure was, it seemed very quick, but I suppose I was dopey on sedative and oxygen, I do know I was chatting to the Dr – it relaxes me. But it was pretty painless overall, and I can’t say I felt uncomfortable.

Recovery:
Pretty quick, of course my blood pressure would drop, but it was minimal, and I am not surprised as I usually have low blood pressure.I am sure I did in the hospital last year, but other than that I was fine and I got a cup of tea & a biscuit – heaven! The main drama was trying to contact my Mum to bring me my clothes as she had gone for a coffee and there was rubbish phone signal…typical!

Outcome?
I still need to have a follow up with the IBD Clinic and with my local surgery to discuss the results, overall things seemed fine, though I had a lot of polyps which I think the Dr wants to get down, but as I had a pretty severe outbreak last year, he wasn’t surprised they were there, but he wants to evaluate my medicines. But I didn’t get any major alarm bells. So I don’t feel worried.

Then best of all after the procedure I went with my Mum to the Garden centre to have a mooch and eat lunch – all I had was a pretty standard tuna mayo jacket, but  it tasted oh so so so nice. I even saw bunnies to boot. So it wasn’t really a dramatic day, and if anything I felt more hungry and tired from the experience than sore and rubbish. So definitely better than I expected.

Sorry if this was a long post – and potentially boring for some! But I hope it informed others about to have a colonoscopy in some way, yes it is not the nicest thing to have to do but really it is not the worst and it’s  a procedure that can save your life.

 

 

 

 

General Musings, Ulcerative Colitis

Honey cures all ills…

I appear to have come down with a horrible sore throat, bunged up kind of cold! Which just came on with no warning – joyous! However, I have honey, and honey is amazing. It soothes my throat, tastes nice in tea and is an overall comfort! So while I may be feeling rubbish, at least I have honey.

While I do use medications for illnesses where I am now taking such a high dose of medications for my Ulcerative Colitis I really don’t want to pump my body full of more drugs and chemicals, and would much rather use natural cures and remedies that I at least know are effective.

Honey is well established for its medicinal properties, and is naturally antibacterial and antifungal. I am not touting it as a miracle cure but I do think Honey has benefits and it has always personally made me feel better.

And on a day where I sound like a cheesegrater has ripped up my throat, honey is just the ticket!

General Musings

Is life hitting me with signs?

I am coming to the end of 2016, and I am starting to look back, reflect, evaluate on what has been unquestionably a strange year. A year with great highs and deep lows.

And I wonder, did certain things happen to give me a sign, a shake up,  a call to action and have I ignored them and only now looking back do I realise that I should be taking more heed?

Firstly, the highs; moving out into our first home, doing well at work and getting a promotion, standing up as a bridesmaid for my friend, feeling generally happy and satisfied in my personal life.

But then there are the lows, or rather the signs; in April of this year me and C went on a holiday to the Lake District, had a lovely time overall except we happened to find a person who had died, while we were on a walk.We did what we could, called the emergency services, talked to the police but there was nothing to be done for the poor person as it appeared to be a heart attack. It was a strange incident. Really unsettled us, but also just made you realise that life is short and you never know what is going to happen.

It was probably about then that I decided to make a career change, move on, really try to get back on to something I wanted to do, but I applied for other things and also let practicality take over and went for an internal job at work within my team as it was one of those ‘stupid not to do it’ moments. And I got the job which meant a promotion and a pay rise, all lovely things and I was pleased but it felt kind of hollow.

Then literally a week after accepting the job (perhaps even less when I think about it) I started getting ill, like really ill out of the blue, no cause.

Of course about five weeks later, and botched Dr’s appointments, I then ended up in hospital which led to my Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis. Which is fine, it’s sorted (sort of – currently in remission) and I have come back to work. But I am not feeling satisfied or enjoying it.

Perhaps I am being ungrateful, selfish? But I really can’t help but think that I had two pretty big events happen in my life this year that reinforced that life, mortality, is short and fragile and should you really spend your days being unhappy for the sake of being practical.

So I am looking back and looking to 2017 and I feel life is hitting me with the signs that I need to make a change, need to act and stop being afraid to take a risk to be happy. I don’t want to make it three times the charm after all.

Lifestyles, Slimming World, Ulcerative Colitis

Week 3 & 4 @ Target: 10st 11lbs

Ok, so at present I am currently out of target range, I was last week and I was this week however I have stayed the same over both weeks so that it is a win.

While it is of course frustrating to have not lost, I am not too surprised, when I got weighed again for the first time I was probably rather artificially light – it was pretty soon after hospital and it was quite a low weight for me to be able to maintain when I am still getting symptoms and myself under control. Plus as I said I have been putting on weight quite easily and  I am hungry all the time, though I am getting that under control (sort of!) and on top of that I have the steroids which I think are helping me retain water – got to love that!

So overall I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t have a loss this week. But I do really want one next week, so definitely going to eat better where possible – like I said still figuring out the food stuff, but it is getting better and going to schedule in some exercise, even if it is just a walk!

I am definitely getting frustrated though and wish I could just eat normally again, with no fruit and veg worries, fibre worries, nut worries, spice worries etc. while I have been eating some of this stuff I’m still not eating it 100% as I don’t know if it will cause an upset. But this does make Slimming World and the free food concept harder, but hopefully increasing those foods slowly will be ok and mean I can snack syn free again!!

Still wish me luck it’s a long journey. I’ll keep you updated.

 

Food & Recipes, Lifestyles, Slimming World

Week 1 @Target – +5lbs

So I am going with this week as a new beginning, and starting it as being Week 1 of my Slimming World journey as a target member.

I am not surprised I have put on 5lbs, which is annoying but with being ill I think I’m absorbing food a bit and with the UC (Ulcerative Colitis) I am still trying to figure out what I can and can’t eat as some sites say not too much fibre which obviously means the slightly unhealthier bread options and also can be limiting with not having a lot of veg to fill me up as speed food, and eating it raw as snacks as it is harder to digest. So I have got a learning curve ahead, but I am hoping thee healthier I get and the more into remission that I can reintroduce more fibre and eat more like I used too, perhaps finding ways to eat veg and fruit that won’t irritate.

I also need to shake off bad habits where I have been eating what I like recently rather than thinking about what I am eating and making naughty choices. I’ve been looking over my Slimming World recipe books for inspiration on good lunches and dinners, and I am slowly trying to incorporate some of these changes and hopefully begin stabilising as I don’t want to just keep putting weight back on at all. I’ve been having risottos with soft veg like peas, as well as making the Slimming World fish pie. Just have to do more of these things.

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Mushroom Risotto, Salmon & Peas
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Slimming World Fish Pie

It probably doesn’t help that I haven’t been exercising at all like I was, from 3/4 times a week to nothing. But I am still weak and I know I have to pace myself to get my stamina and strength back, so my plan is to do so more walking around where we live and look into swimming at my local gym as that is a good way to use lots of muscles. Hopefully this will help and I can build back up to my old routines.

I’ll see what happens next week, but I just don’t know at the moment. It’s kind of a week at a time for me. Wish me luck!

xoxo

 

 

 

General Musings, Lifestyles, Slimming World

A BIG UPDATE!!

You all may or may not have noticed that I have been exceptionally silent over the past 7 weeks or so, this was not by my choice, after writing my last post at the end of July I started feeling really unwell.

At first I just thought that I had caught a stomach bug and tried to carry on as normal in the first week, I went to work at first and got sent home accordingly and went to Slimming World (lost 1.5lbs whoop) but my stomach pain was getting increasingly worse and other related symptoms.

I had to cancel my Mums birthday surprise and re-arrange it for a later date in September and my pain was increasing so I went to my GP and started having tests to try and determine what was wrong, but the tests kept being delayed or going wrong with the lab (and this was a continuing frustrating theme throughout August).

I was also at the same time in this second week prepping to be a Bridesmaid for my Best Friends wedding – and despite the sheer agony and pain I was in I was determined not to miss it and I didn’t. I was taking any medication possible to curb the pain, but that also wouldn’t put me to sleep! So that was a challenge, however on the day I got ready with all the others and just tried to think of anything other than the pain so I could be there at the Church, walk down the aisle and also get up in front of everyone and do my reading. Which I did – but it exhausted me. I was lucky that it was a lovely day – but not one of the scorchers otherwise I would have felt so much worse. However I couldn’t do the rest of the day, by the time I got back to the venue I had to go to mine and C’s room and I couldn’t leave it so we had the food sent to us and I chilled there. I was gutted to miss all the celebrations in the evening but my BF totally understood and we had a few visitors in the course of the evening so it was still a lovely day – just not how I had imagined.

After this I just kept getting worse over the next couple of weeks and with delayed tests I just felt like I was going nowhere. I was struggling to eat properly. I felt nauseous all the time and weak. I had to miss a work training trip to Brussels, and also going out to the meal my Mum had planned for my Nan at Tom Kerridges pub the Hand and Flowers. So I was also feeling pretty miserable that whatever this was, was ruining my summer and plans. My Dad – who had been away and hadn’t seen me for a while was shocked at how I looked, and in late August & September it all came to a head, I had finally got referred to see Gastroenterologist, but I had started fainting so my Dad took me to A&E at the John Radcliffe and I got admitted to Hospital.

I ended up being in the Hospital for over a week, they were great and I quickly got diagnosed with a preliminary diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis (I say preliminary but the Doctor was like 99% sure!) and started on a course of steroids to treat the inflammation and fluids for dehydration. When I left the Hospital I had to go back for a Potassium infusion as my blood tests showed it was low so I had to go through all that again before I was allowed to leave. Despite being in the Hospital so long – not my favourite place – it really helped and I started feeling so much better, my appetite came back and I just felt better and more me really.

I’ve been on rest since leaving Hospital and lots of medication of course, though I’ll be back at work next week and I am working out the details on if I will be part time for a bit – just to ease me in as I am definitely better but I still tire easily and my energy can run down quick if I over do it. Need to build stamina again. I also need to get to grips with this illness as it is a chronic illness I will have for life. I can be absolutely fine and then just relapse so need to get my brain round that. But it shouldn’t stop me having a life, doing what I want and just being me as long as I manage it properly.

You may have seen my Instagram post from Slimming World that with this illness I lost a lot of weight and went from the 2nd August (my last weigh in pre-illness) at 11st6lbs to weighing in at the hospital 9st4/5lbs. Quite a big loss. I’ve put some weight back on since as I just felt TOO skinny for me and weighed in at Slimming World as 10st 0.5lbs, which I feel more comfortable with as I want to get my muscle strength back as well and perhaps put on a couple more pounds. Either way though it meant I got a few awards and I set this as my Target weight, obviously this isn’t how I wanted to lose 20lbs (yes that much!) but I can make a positive out of it and maintain going forward – my only issue is eating fibre as this can irritate the gut but I am going to have to figure out food and what irritates me all over again and being healthy for me.

Either way I apologise for the quiet spell and for this very long update!!