Finding my comfort with my Stoma Style

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Top: Topshop // Skirt: Charity Shop // Coat: Charity Shop // Boots: Nasty Gal // Bag: Topshop // Belt: Primark // Bag: Topshop // Earrings: Asos

The art of fashion and having my own style is something I treasure so dearly. It's my way of expressing myself and freely experimenting with anything and everything without being scared of judgements! When it became apparent to me that the prospect of my fashion freedom may become slightly more limited due to my ileostomy bag, I thought to myself 'Absolutely not!'. Some people completely change their wardrobes, find things more adaptable to your new body but I didn't really want to change my look!
So this is how I'm finding my comfort with stoma style...

Getting out of hospital was a huge relief to me, it sounds so silly but I was so excited to see my wardrobe! I'd spent 16 days rotating between my primark sloth nighties, old band t-shirts and we can't forget the beautiful stockings that 100% finished off the look. When you're ill, appearance is the last thing on your mind and I knew I was starting to get better when I wanted to make an effort and actually get dressed!

My go-to comfort pieces were high waisted joggers, wide leg trousers and midi skirts. Anything with an elasticated waist which wasn't tight became my best friend as my abdomen was still very sore from my wound and basically from being sliced in half! As my stoma lies about the same level as my belly button, I opted for all my high waisted clothes as you don't want to be putting pressure on your stoma or on your bag or else it could be a bit of a mess! Luckily for me I generally go for high waisted things as they've always suited me much better so there was no pieces in my wardrobe which I looked at and thought 
'Great, I can't wear this anymore!'
Even if there was, I would've found a way around it...
 I avoided denim and any bulkier materials for a while, I'm not a great fan of jeans but I found that if I tried to wear them they'd pull on my wounds. Anything extremely tight on my stomach was avoided. I'm still quite cautious of tight things now, more for the fact that the pressure might pop the bag (what a messy situation) rather than the fact tight things expose the outline of my bag a lot more.
I own my bulky belly!

Midi-skirts were and still are my go to piece for when I'm wanting to look slightly more chic, yet 100% comfy. Our high street is completely riddled with a variety of midi-skirts but honestly, the nicest ones are hidden in the Charity Shops! I'd been after a black one for so long and had been tempted to purchase a Topshop one but of course, I came across one in my favourite £1 Charity Shop.
It has a slight floral pattern to it which adds a lil bit of interest, but the main thing is that it pretty much feels like I'm wearing nothing, what more could you want?! It's not tight anywhere, doesn't cling to anything and is a piece that has made me feel really confident with my look now I'm living the bagged life. 
A black midi-skirt will match with anything, a chunky knit, a cute off the shoulder blouse or a basic tee, bagged bod or not, get yourself a black midi skirt!

So I'm still finding comfort with my stoma style but I really don't think it's going to change what I wear.  With more time will bring more experience and more advice that I can share, I'd love to do some 'Stoma Styling' posts, that's got a good ring to it!

Fashion is where I'm most confident, the fact I have an added accessory now is more exciting than upsetting, of course I'm going to own it!

Lucy Jane






Thank You

Saturday, 16 March 2019

This blog post isn't about me, it's about you.
Everyone always asks me
'How are you so brave?'
'How are you so positive?'
'How are you still smiling?'
The simple answer is because I have so many reasons to do so but the one main reason that keeps me going is you.
The people who support me.

The past 6 weeks may have been the hardest 6 weeks of my life but I have never felt as loved and supported by so many people as I did then and still do now. Every message or comment I received online, every card that I got sent and every single person who has seen me, given me a big hug and said the loveliest things to me is truely the reason why I've handled everything so positively.

So this post is a to say a 
HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE THANK YOU!!!!!!!
to you all.
 I wish I could come hug you all or buy you all a drink but for now this will have to do!
So thank you so much and I honestly will cherish the support forever!

Thank you to anyone who commented on any of my instagram, facebook or twitter posts, so many people are quick to be negative about social media but those little comments pushed me through some of the worst nights in hospital. 

Thank you to anyone who liked my pictures, showing support in a small way which still meant the world and raised awareness!

Thank you to anyone who messaged me! Those personal conversations were like little sparks to keep my fire going, knowing I had people behind me made me determined to not put the fire out!

Thank you to all my fellow ostomates, IBD warriors and people from the Crohn's and Colitis community who were there for me day and night to make me feel less alone throughout the journey. You all know who you are and you are all incredible people!
I'd especially like to thank Billie (@billieandersonx on instagram!). She answered all my weird and wonderful questions and was constantly an inspiration to me throughout the journey, you truly are amazing girl!!
And I'd like to thank Alisha (@alisha.vernon on instagram!). We connected in the Crohn's and Colitis forum as Alisha had her operation 3 days before me, we're the same age and needed some support. 
It feels like we've gone through this journey together even though we've never met and she's been a constant support as well as someone to compare all the weird and wonderful things that come with having a stoma. I'm so proud of you and so glad we've had each other through this journey, can't wait for the day we actually meet!

Thank you to all my incredible friends, you all know exactly who you are!
Words can not describe how much it meant to see familiar faces whilst being in hospital, all the nurses would make a joke of how popular I was but I'd say 'I'm not popular, I just have a lot of bloody amazing friends!'. 
Thank you to anyone who sent me a card, I'll keep these forever and want you to know that all these messages were very special to me, the little things spurred me on.
Just a huge thank you to all the closest people I've had in my life these past two years, thank you for sticking by me through everything and still loving me for me, with or without a colon!
I won't name names because I'll be here for an absolute age but to all my friends I bloody love you all and appreciate you more than you'll ever know, even though everyone tells me I've been amazing you're truly the amazing ones to me!
Hopefully I can say a proper thank you when my festival birthday party rolls around but for now, I hope you know how much you all mean to me!


Thank you to all my family for caring and supporting me so much all the way through, you saw my battle with the disease and helped me keep going.
Thank you to my Nana for being an inspiration to me and helping me through what she had faced 50+ years ago. I like to say we're now twinning at 19 and 82, she gave me so much confidence in having an ileostomy bag as she's lived with a stoma for so long and has always lived life to the fullest!

Thank you to all the nurses who looked after me at both hospitals and have throughout the past two years. Although some of my experience wasn't great this time, I'll always remember the nurses who went the extra mile to make me smile and keep me going. 
Thank you to the student nurses who I constantly told how amazing I thought they were, having someone there a similar age to chat to helped me so much and they all worked so so hard, to all student nurses you're amazing!

And finally thank you to TEAM LUCY!
These past two years Team Lucy has consisted of myself, my Mum, my Dad, my consultant Dr George and Jo my IBD nurse but after surgery it's only fair for my surgeon Mr Rate to join.

Thank you to my Mum and Dad for being there no matter what time of day, for sleeping on uncomfy chairs, spending days and days in hospital, going without nice coffee, doing everything for me when I was incapable of doing it myself and for simply being there.
 I have the worlds best Mum and Dad and I don't care what you say about yours, mine win.
 They go to ends of the earth for me and I am so so SO grateful!
I love you both millions!

Now these people probably won't read this but I have so much to thank them for.
Thank you to my surgeon Mr Rate, for diagnosing me with Colitis all those years ago. Little did we know it would come full circle and he'd be the person removing my diseased colon.
Thank you for doing a really good job, making my scar and stoma neat and giving me my life back!

Thank you to my IBD nurse Jo who is literally super woman and I have relied upon so much through my journey with colitis. Whenever something went wrong she always helped me make it seem right and without her I know my approach to my illness would've been a lot different. 

And finally thank you to Dr George for guiding me through my journey with Ulcerative Colitis for 2 years. Medications may have not worked for me, but with your help I'm certain I tried all possibilities and made all the right decisions. Thank you for making me feel so informed and supported every step of the way.
I'll never forget when he told me I was one of the strongest fighters he'd come across, that will stay with me forever.

So I think that's everyone I want to thank and I genuinely do mean every single word I say.
I kept fighting because I knew so many people were cheering me on and I'll forever be so grateful of that!

Lucy Jane








My Disease - A New Chance At Life

Monday, 11 March 2019

My disease is Ulcerative Colitis and it is going to be mine forever! 
I want to raise awareness and share my story because my disease is not  going anywhere, and it certainly is not going to beat me. Please don't let the title of 'My disease' scare you off because I want these posts to be knowledgable, helpful and informative. Having a chronic disease has become part of daily life to me, I want to write these posts to share my experiences and not feel isolated throughout.



Helloooo to any readers who have stuck around despite my long absence from the world of blogging, I hope life is going beautifully for you and that good things are happening. Sitting down to write this post feels a bit weird, I kind of feel like I've got a new perspective, a new outlook so I thought I'd briefly tell you about my new chance at life...



Since January 2017 I have suffered from Ulcerative Colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease which for two years controlled my life. Life consisted of countless toilet trips a day (up to 20+ at my worst), no control over my bowel movements, constant bleeding in my stools, exhaustion every single day, ridiculous amount of drugs and medications, stomach cramps and bloating, cutting out so many foods, infections after infections and basically looking back my health was ultimately shit.
No matter how hard I tried to fight it, Ulcerative Colitis was my life and no medications were going to give me my life back.

On Saturday 16th February my new chance at life was given to me. 
I underwent major surgery and had a sub-total colectomy leaving me with a lil stoma I like to call Sally! Now this probably sounds completely alien to you as I know at first it all did to me so I'll try and explain in simpler terms.
I was cut open down my belly and the majority of my large intestine was removed apart from my rectum meaning I still have a tiny bit of intestine left in my bum. After removing my large intestine, they took part of my small intestine and made it poke out in a little hole known as a stoma. I would've loved to have seen the process, bit weird, I know, but I find it so fascinating how my body has changed and would've loved to see it all happening. 
To sum it up I now poo out of my stoma (the bit of small intestine poking out of my belly) into a bag and no longer can poo or fart out of my bum!
As this all happened so recently, I thought I'd just provide a brief overview as I don't really want to re-live why I ended up having the operation, the build up and my time in hospital as it's all very fresh and traumatic but eventually I want to write detailed posts about those things and provide more of an insight into my experience. Although I have a very positive outlook on my stoma, I still need time to process everything and deal with it all myself, it's a big life change!

I do look at this whole process as my new chance at life because when I re-live the past two years I realise I wasn't really living, I was simply waiting for the day my health came back and it never did. The diseased part of my body which was attacking me every single day has almost fully been removed and therefore my body can start fighting fit rather than fighting itself. I can now have goals and know that I'll be healthy enough to reach them like getting to University this year and finally living my dreams and that is all I could ever wish for! That diseased large intestine was the controller of who I was, it impacted every aspect of my life for two years and turned life into a battle.  I'm only 3 weeks post-op as I write this and I know I've got a long road of recovery ahead but right now,  I have the mindset that this surgery will be life changing and will be the best decision I'll ever make. 
Basic things are still hard to do as it's going to take time for my body to heal, sometimes I forget I've been sliced open and just want to go go go! Regardless of the aches and pains, the way I feel now is so much better than how I felt consumed by my illness and that's why I know things will only go up from here!

So I'm Lucy Jane and now I have an ileostomy, this is the start of my new journey which I hope to be the start of my new life, come along for the ride!

Lucy Jane

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