World IBD day 2018

It’s like my Christmas today, a day devoted to talking about IBD! For more information,head over to Crohns and Colitis UK. 

On World IBD day, here’s my IBD story…

In 2003, I began to bleed heavily from my butt, I was having stomach cramps, diarrhoea and oh so much blood! I went to see my GP who told me that it must be piles because I’d recently had my second baby.

Embarrassed for wasting their time, I left shame faced, the bleeding continued, it was so heavy some days that I’d wear a pad in my pants. I was going to the toilet 10-20 times a day and was pooping blood and mucus. I began to lose control of my bowel.

One day, I woke in a pool of blood. I was convinced I had bowel cancer and thought I was dying! I went to A&E and was seen by a pissed off doctor who didn’t even examine me, simply told me to see my GP.

I left again, feeling that I’d wasted everyone’s time and perhaps I was over reacting? But I was in so much pain and spent the rest of the day on the toilet. The next day I collapsed at home, an ambulance was called and I was rushed into hospital.

I was dehydrated, hugely anaemic and for the first time, I was listened to. They tested my poo and when the results came back, they did a colonoscopy and for the first time in my life, I heard the words Ulcerative Colitis.

Sam Cleasby ostomy bag ibd chronic illness blogger

Over the next 9 years, my Colitis was pretty much controlled by medication, I had times of flare ups and times of remission. The pregnancy and birth of my third child threw my body into a panic but I was looked after and though times were tough sometimes, there were lots of good times too.

And then at the start of 2013, I began with a flare up, but this time the medication just wasn’t working. So I started on steroids, I got fat, couldn’t sleep, sweated like a pig and had crazy mood swings but it got the flare up under control! Hooray!

So I began to taper down off these meds. And my body freaked out! The flare up returned with a vengeance and I had to up the steroids again. This went on for 9 months till I was at the point of going to the toilet 30 times a day. I was hospitalised and things were really bad.

Thats when the decision was made to go for surgery, and in September 2013 I had my first surgery to remove my colon and create an ileostomy.

ulcerative colitis surgery

Five years on and I’m currently awaiting surgery number 6…

Its been a rough old ride, but one positive thing has been this blog where I’ve shared my journey from the start.

When I started so bad ass, I thought it would be for just me, I thought maybe a few friends or family members would read it. Five years on, I’m about to hit 3 MILLION views and I’ve been on TV, radio and done talks all over the world!

I have been honoured to speak to thousands of people with IBD and offer them support, an ear and a voice and I’m so proud of everything that So Bad Ass has become.

Sam Cleasby ostomy bag ibd chronic illness blogger

It is an absolute honour to be a blogger and to have the opportunity to raise awareness and break the taboos around IBD. I’m massively proud of the things I’ve achieved but the biggest thing is knowing I’ve helped others.

I get messages and emails every week for hundreds of people and I do my best to reply to every single person.

IBD has no cure, it’s thought of as an embarrassing illness as it’s to do with poo and bums, but you know, we all poop! And our bodies shouldn’t bring us shame!

People living with IBD are heroes, every day they’re battling things most people will never understand. And so this World IBD day, I just want to celebrate every person living with IBD.

You are awesome, you are wonderful, you are so badass!!!!


Sam xx

5 replies
  1. Pam
    Pam says:

    Hi Sam. Wonderful description of how doctors and hospitals are so quick to send you home. I refuse to go now until they fix the issue.
    Your story is similar to mine although I have a pee bag as well as a stoma bag you might say “I do come with baggage”…
    Enjoy your posts.
    Cheers Pam

  2. pauline
    pauline says:

    Hi Sam

    My story is almost the same as yours, although I was told I had Crohn’s. I never went into remission no matter how many steroids, chemo drugs, infusions, injections they threw at me. They did the pathology on my bowel after removal and they said it was UC. Better outcome as it’s a cure. I look back on photos when on steroids and I can’t believe that it’s me. It certainly is a ‘rough ride’. I am so glad there are blogs like yours where I don’t feel so alone. It’s a shitty disease, I mean the pun.

  3. Fionnuala Mallaghan
    Fionnuala Mallaghan says:

    Had my annual colonoscopy yesterday.
    I just love your blogs you are an inspiration to everyone suffering from IBD.

  4. Rinse
    Rinse says:

    Sam you are awesome, and inspirational the way you soldier on through so many tough times. I would have folded at the first hurdle. The way you were treated at a & e still makes me so angry.


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