World IBD Day!

Today is world IBD day! The aim is to spread awareness about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Now one of the reason I guess that maybe this isn’t one of the most publicised conditions is because nobody likes talking about poo. Shit, crap, shite, dung, fecal matter, chocolate export, bum nuggets, logs, big jobbies.

Anyone can develop IBD – and at least 261,000* people are affected by Ulcerative Colitis (146,000*) and Crohn’s Disease (115,000*) in the UK – Although recently published data suggest that this could be as many as 620,000.

The illnesses can occur at any age, but often begin in younger people aged 10-40. There are up to 18,000* new cases a year. Both conditions are found worldwide, but are more common in developed countries.” *Figures published by NICE Guidelines (2013)               – Website for National Association for Crohn’s and Colitis

As many as 5 million people around the world suffer with IBD. It can cause a variety of symptoms from fatigue, weight loss, anaemia, abdominal pain, generally feeling unwell and of course the big one, the shits. Now that last one was something I got bad. I was going 50+ times a day when I was at my worst. I lived in that fucking toilet, watching whole bloody series of 24, and full feature length films in there.

Today is about trying to make people aware of this illness and its symptoms. In hindsight, I should have gone to the doctor about 6 months before I started to have problems but of course, your bowel habits change when you first get to uni and you instantly put it down to a bad diet, drinking too much and generally a poor lifestyle and you can even convince yourself that for six months because you don’t want to go and talk to a man in a white coat about your poo, how often you do it and of course its colour and consistency.

If I hadn’t hung around and maybe actually gone to see a doctor, who knows if it would have got as bad and as advanced as it did. You can’t live in the past and i now have to crack on with my current situation. What I would urge other people to do is not sit on their hands out of embarrassment. I mean come on we have all watched embarrassing bodies and jesus christ GP’s must drink a lot to un-see some of the stuff they have seen, so by that standard talking about your poo for 10 minutes pales into comparison. What if I had gone 6 months earlier and they put me on 1 tablet and that sorted everything out and I never had another problem, now I will never know. I don’t want you to put yourself in that position where your left wondering like I am.

Luckily now with all the advances in modern medicine we can fight this horrendous illness with various tools from drugs to surgery. Medical research is so important I have essentially scraped the barrel in terms of drug based treatment. I was on infliximab and then humira, both biologic TNF inhibitors, trust me wikipedia can explain what they are better than me. Now they are essentially the last line of defence in the war against crohn’s because once they become ineffective there is only surgery. Saying that, I think one more has just been developed but I need to do more research into it. So research as ever is still so important to winning this battle. So if you can spare it, donate a couple of quid by text. Just think of it as me saving you from having a couple of drinks and that hangover not being so bad. You can find the details below. Oh and a picture of me swagging out with my bag out #getyourbellyout

Get your belly out

Me 1 year and 9 months after surgery looking a darn sight healthier!

You can now donate to Crohn’s and Colitis UK by sending a text message from your mobile phone.

 Just send a text saying CCUK14 and your donation amount to 70070

e.g. If you wanted to donate £5 you would text: CCUK14 £5 and send it to 70070.

The full amount of your text donation will go to the charity.

text donate to Crohn's and Colitis UK

 

“The strongest of steels are forged in the strongest of fires”

I HATE the dentist

How very strange, a good day for once (bodily function wise). Although I’m pretty sure it’s because I was hung-over all day the day before and ate jack all alas there is nothing that needs to leave my body today. Hence a good day be default. I actually don’t even remember going to the loo once today, very rare for a day like this. I struggle to remember when everyday was like this, normality. It seems so long ago and I suppose at the time I took it for granted. I seem to be spiralling into deep and morbid thought this evening after watching part of a documentary about a man who had and died from motor neurone disease. You can find his story here http://oftenawesome.org/

Stuff like that always makes me think about my own mortality and how you really can’t sit on your arse and let life pass you by. You could wake up tomorrow with a terminal illness or who knows. There is no guarantee that you are going to live to be an old man. Saying that, at the moment I am still quite happy to lie in my bed till ridiculous hours of the day and sleep like some kind of long term coma patient, only because even if I do get up or plan to do something my arse dictates what I can and can’t do so I rarely ever bother to plan anything and when I do, I have to starve myself for at least a day and a half before and live off of lucozade and redbull. Saying that I went to the dentist today for the first time in two and a half years, because honestly, my teeth have not been high on my list of priorities the last few years. I had my check up expecting to be told I need all sorts of horrendous treatments but all I need is one filling and have to stop drinking fizzy drinks. Hrmmmm I’m not going to make unrealistic goals so I’ll try and cut down instead of outright give up.

Did I mention that as a child I feared the dentist more than the blood sucking, animal murdering, hell spawn paedophile demon that I thought lived under my bed? I mean the most embarrassing time was when I must have been about 11 and I decided I am not going to my next dentist appointment with the dentist from hell whose sole purpose in life was, I thought, to inflict pain and suffering on me like some kind of Nazi POW camp guard. I worked out when our next appointment was and came up with a plan. I would hide in my garden until well after the set appointment time, that way there was no way we could go even if we were late. Now problem number one, my garden is not that large, maybe 15-20 meters long and about 3m wide at its widest. Problem number two was that I didn’t have the balls to actually “run away”. So instead I would put on every single piece of camouflage clothing I owned, face paint, scarves and all (remember, I loved the army) and hide in the small number of bushes we had in our garden at the time.

So the day of the appointment came. The appointment was arranged for around 9.30 let’s say. So I was up at 5am, the crack of dawn because I knew my dad got up early for work and I had to beat him out the door. So I got up, camouflage gear on, face paint on, ready to roll. I could have put a royal marines sniper to shame. I crept downstairs, which in my house is no mean feat due to the lack of carpets and ancient floorboards. I used a spare key to open and lock the back door behind me so as not to raise suspicion through missing back door keys. Now where to hide? I picked the bush that was actually closest to the house as it had the best and thickest cover. It was only about a meter tall, wide and deep. The bush was only about 4 meters from the back door. So I got as deep into the bush as I could, got comfortable and settled in for a long wait evading “the enemy”. About 2 hours passed before the first inkling of enemy activity appeared, my dad opened the back door, looked outside and went back in. I then knew then enemy were on alert and I had raised their suspicions. Half an hour or so later, reinforcements arrive, my mum comes out the back door and actively searches around the garden. I held my breath as she rustled the bush I was in but she missed me and returned to the enemy barracks. During the next hour both brothers came out to look for me and they also didn’t see me despite actually looking in the bush I was in. I was a fucking shit hot commando in my eyes, they had been less than a meter from me and none of them had seen me.

The ultimate test was when my dad, the camp komandant, came out to have one last proper root around the garden. I started to shit myself because he was being fucking thorough. Getting properly into bushes and shouting my name. I thought this was it, I’m fucked and going to be in soooo much trouble. He arrived at my hiding spot and leaned into the bush moved the branches about. My bum hole was now making noises that only dogs and certain varieties of bats could hear. and he looked me dead in my face. That’s it. I’m fucked. But he stood up and walked off, apparently not seeing me. SAS? they didn’t have shit on me! I should have been training THEM for escape and evasion. I exhaled after I realised I was still holding my breath for what was a ridiculous amount of time. I left it another 45 minutes as then it would be midday and well past the appointment and we couldn’t go.

I finally emerged from my hide and now in true commando style walked hysterically crying to the back door realising I was in the shit and this tactic would lull the enemy into a false sense of security and gain their sympathy. I entered the kitchen and into my mum’s arms who was moments away from calling the police apparently. She demanded to know why the fuck I had been hiding in the garden. Through my blubbering tears I told her I didn’t want to go to the dentist because I hated it that much.

“Hold on Hastie, what dentists appointment?”

“The one today at 9.30 that we’ve missed”

“No?! That’s Tomorrow…………”

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