Posts

Ive been nominated for a Northern Blogger Award

Thank you to the kind folk at the Northern Blogger Awards for nominating me in the Something Different category.

northern blogger awards

If you’d like to vote for me, then head over to this link and find me in Something Different.

“So here’s how it works – you simply have to scroll through the categories below, find who you want to nominate from the drop-downs, select them and vote! You don’t have to vote in every category if you don’t want to, and you can only vote once! So don’t waste it 🙂

VOTING ENDS ON THE 31ST JULY AT MIDNIGHT!

Votes will then be counted and go towards 40% of the shortlisters’ score, with 60% coming from the judges score.”

northern blogger awards sam cleasby sobadass

Thanks

Sam xx

Bloggers Lounge Blogger of the Year finalist!

That’s me!! I am a finalist in the Blogger’s Lounge Blogger of the Year Awards in the category of Charity & Social Blogger! From many entrants, I have been shortlisted and am 1 or 5 finalists. Woo hoo!!

I am having a tough time with my health right now and so this has really boosted my spirits.  I love writing and this blog is my passion, it has helped me get through the toughest few years of my life and to know that it has helped so many others just feels amazing.

People don’t like to talk about poo and embarrassing illnesses regarding bums, but I do think times are a-changing and more and more I see news articles and stories about life with IBD and many other chronic illnesses and disabilities.  This can only be a good thing and I am proud to shout loudly and be the voice of those who don’t feel able to speak out.  I love being The Poo Lady!

So I am asking for your help!  If you could go along to the Blogger’s Lounge website and vote for me, that would be awesome!  It takes only a minute and you don’t need to leave your details. Just head over to http://bloggers-lounge.co.uk/bloggers-of-the-year/blogger-of-the-year-2015/, scroll to the Charity and Social category, click my blog name and press submit!


Whilst there, do check out the other categories and if you love any of the other blogs, get voting!

 

Thanks

 

Sam xxx

What a week!!

So, this week has been crazy!! After my post of the letter to the woman who tutted at me for using the disabled toilets went viral, the website has had over 2 million views and I have been in newspapers, websites, radio stations around the world and even had an appearance on BBC breakfast.

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I have been on BBC Sheffield, BBC WM, BBC 5 live, Spin 1038, Rother FM and Hallam FM.

I made it over to Australia and appeared on both The Telegraph and News.com as well as countless smaller news outlets.

Lots of Danish and Swedish websites ran the story too. Plus too many sites than I can mention have shared, reblogged and discussed the story as well as the Metro and Huffington Post.

I have been in the Sheffield Star, daily Mail and the Mirror.

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But please don’t think I’m bragging. I am just so pleased that my story, my little blog, my baby has made it into the lives of so many people.

From the start, what I wanted was to make a difference. To help those with Crohns and Colitis to not feel alone, to know there are others who feel the same, suffer in a similar way and that there are a community of people who care and want to make their lives better.

To know I’m part of that, that I’ve made people feel a little better is amazing. I am so proud.

Now, pride is a sin, (I remember this from my Catholic youth!) but I don’t care! I am proud that I have turned the worst two years of my life into something amazingly positive, something that has made a difference to people around the world!

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I have received messages from thousands of people telling me their stories. I am honoured that all these people feel they can share the personal details of their illnesses and feelings. I am reading every single comment and email and trying to reply to as many as I can.

I’m in shock to be honest, the past week has sent me from a blogger sat talking about poo in her office to the couch of the UK’s top breakfast show! I am a little overwhelmed by the attention but so blessed that this has happened.

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I just want to thank every one of you. Every single read, like and share is making a difference to millions of people. This issue is bigger than the IBD audience that I had originally planned it for. Messages from people with all manner of invisible disabilities have touch and I have learnt a LOT.

Moving forward from this viral publicity, I am more motivated than ever to make a difference. I am in talks with three different charities about how I can help to better the lives of my peers and I am so excited.

I know I come across as this confident, outspoken person who is fearless… Inside I am a 33 year old mum, I am a wife, sister, daughter, friend. I was a teenage mum and constantly worry and question myself. I have a chronic illness that will never leave me and I’m always exhausted. I worry people will judge me on my lack of further education and think I’m stupid. I’m a size 16 woman living in a world where women are judged my their size not their character.

But I’m also a writer.

I want to make a difference.

I want to change the world.

And so this past week has taken me, and all my flaws and weaknesses, and taken me one step closer to my goals.

Thank you so much. You’ll never know how much I appreciate every read, every like, every share, every comment.

You lot are awesome.

Thank you

✌️& ❤️

Sam xx

Why we need to keep talking about IBD

What an amazing year 2014 was for raising awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease!! When I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2004, I had never heard of the disease and through the years, so many people I spoke to were completely oblivious to it too.

In 2013, I had a subtotal colectomy and ileostomy formed.  I did what any right minded, modern person does and googled the hell out of it.  I found some great medical advice but very few blogs about IBD.  I talk often about the amazing Inflamed and Untamed, who I fell a bit in love with, and who was the inspiration for me starting this blog, but I could find hardly anything in the UK.

Yet in the past 18 months, there seems to have been a huge uptake in IBD blogs, people sharing their personal experiences of chronic illness of Crohns and Colitis and I think it is bloody WONDERFUL!  It is just fantastic that people facing a life with IBD now have so much information at their fingertips now.  The whole reason I started this blog was to share my stories and experiences in the hope of helping others.

I recently wrote about some of my favourite IBD bloggers, including Thaila Skye and Colitis Ninja, and there are so many people currently working SO HARD to raise awareness, raise money and working to #stoppoobeingtaboo – I raise a glass to every single blogger and campaigner.  We are doing something to make a difference and should be very proud of ourselves!

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So things are good, right? Yes, of course! But they can be SO MUCH BETTER, and we need to all keep talking about Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Why? Because the more we talk, the more we #stoppoobeingtaboo, the more money we raise for support and research, the better life will be for the 300,000 people in the UK and the 5 MILLION people worldwide living with Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is not just a poo disease where you get a touch of diarrhoea…

Firstly, there is NO CURE, though there may be periods of remission, these are illnesses that are with sufferers for life.  The medications taken to control the disease control the inflammation include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, steroids and immunosuppressants.  But the side effects from these meds include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, night sweats, insomnia, hyperactivity, high blood pressure and stunted growth in children. Patients on immunosuppressants are at risk of developing lymphoma, tuberculosis, kidney and liver damage, anaphylaxis, seizures, and serious or fatal infections.

It is also not just about the bowels, IBD can cause issues in other parts of the body, including inflammation of the inner part of the eye, mouth sores, arthritis, osteoporosis, gallstones, kidney stones, skin rashes and ulcerations, blood clots, anemia and several neurological conditions, including seizures, stroke, myopathy, headaches and depression.

People with IBD have an increased risk of mental health issues, from depression to anxiety and stress, patients have to deal with self esteem and body confidence issues.  Fatigue can also be a huge issue which affects every part of patients lives.

20 to 45 % of people with ulcerative colitis and up to 75 % of people with Crohn’s disease will eventually require surgery in the form of colectomy (removal of the large intestine) ostomies, jpouch surgery and more.  This is on top of the multiple hospital visits that IBD patients will often need to deal with the often very painful disease.

 

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Crohns and Colitis UK is a nationwide charity whose mission is to work with all those affected by Inflamatory Bowel Disease, in particular Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, to achieve a better quality of life, improve services, and ultimately find a cure.  They raise awareness, provide information and support, fund crucial research, and campaign and speak up for change.

I am a huge fan of Crohns and Colitis UK, I’m part of the Organisation Team for the South Yorkshire group and raise money for the charity on my Just Giving page (always open for any spare change you would like to throw their way!)

So please, keep talking, keep reading, keep sharing… IBD is not going away and the more we talk, the easier life is for everyone who has Crohns or Colitis.

Thanks for reading.  Please go take a look at my Facebook page and like, my twitter feed and follow and my instagram and follow there!

Let’s #stoppoobeingtaboo and never stop talking about IBD.

Sam xx

Are bloggers self important egotists?

This was originally a post on my old blog, I found it recently and thought it deserved another share, let me know what you think…Sam x

So bloggers, how big is your ego??

I recently went on a large local forum to advertise the Sheffield Bloggers Meet Up (an event I played with for a few months), just a small post saying that I was setting this group up and asking if anyone was interested…

The first reply made me raise my eyebrows, a poster said;

“The only problem with bloggers is that they only care about their own opinion, thats why they  think it’s important enough to blog.  So I doubt there are going to be many who wanna sit around with a coffee listening to other people’s opinions, when they only care about their own.”  

I ignored the post and a couple of weeks later posted a small update saying that the first meeting had gone well and the date of the next meet.

The moderator of the group then post a fairly offensive remark saying

“Yes; many bloggers do need advice, esp. from suitably-qualified mental health specialists.”  

Followed by another post by a different user who said

“Bloggers are just the 21st century equivalent of the pub bore ranting on and on about their personal opinion, not realised that no-one cares what they think. If I ran the internet I’d shut down all bloggers sites as they serve no useful purpose other than to remind us how many self-important egotists there are in this world!”

Blimey! I was genuinely shocked at the comments, I know blogging isn’t for everyone but I couldn’t understand the vitriol.

I pointed out that the poster who said bloggers were pub bores and egotists had over 1000 posts on the forum and questioned what the difference was between that and a pub bore.  He retorted that a forum was a discussion and a blog was a lecture.

When I said that I didn’t force anyone to read my blog and that it was a choice to read my opinion the same way it is a choice to read a newspaper, the lovely poster took the time to apparently read my blog and said;

“As you helpfully provided a link I’ve just had a brief look at your blog and it’s exactly the sort of egotistical self-importance I mean. I know it sounds harsh but all your blog says to me is “look at me, look at me, aren’t I interesting?” There’s nothing wrong with showing your holiday snaps or favourite recipes to friends but you have to be a bit of an egotist if you think complete strangers might be interested!”

So are bloggers all self important egotists?  I love writing and I blog about things that interest me, my life  and things that make me laugh.  I would blog if no one was reading it but as it happens, people seem to like to read my mutterings.  I suppose I do think I have something to say, something to share and maybe you could say you have to be a little egotistical to put yourself out there and think that others will find your blog interesting.

But you could say the same about every writer, author, journalist, mp, actor… Anyone in the public eye really.

I spoke to Violet Fenn from Sex, Death, Rock n Roll who said

If you think blogs are tedious and egotistical, then you are probably reading the wrong blogs.”   

The internet is a big place, and there is room for everyone.  If you don’t like blogs, don’t read them.  It’s really simple!

I think blogging is a really social thing, to me it is like an interactive magazine.  I write an article about something I find interesting and others can respond.  I used to buy a lot of magazines and would never write in about an article that I enjoyed, hated or felt strongly about as it just seemed like such a faff.  Now I buy a lot less magazines but I read a hell of a lot of blogs and at a click of a button I can comment, question or let the author know I loved or hated their work.

People blog for all manner of reasons, some for fun, some to keep up with family and friends around the world, some for business and marketing, some use it as a form of therapy and some to share their interest.  The point is that each one is doing something, they are writing, creating and sharing.  They are making connections both locally and internationally.

Isn’t that the amazing thing about the internet??  Today I have had people from 16 different countries around the world reading my blog, I have had tweets, emails and comments from them.  I have made connections with people I would never have had any contact with were it not for my blog.  I love that, I think its exciting.

So if that makes me an egotist, I suppose I’ll take that label.

I’d love to hear your thoughts (as this is a discussion, not a lecture!) so please let me know what you think.

 

Love Sam x

The office of an IBD blogger…

When you spend as much time on the loo as you have to with IBD and blog about it, the throne becomes a bit of an office…

IWD talk at Barnsley Town Hall – Body Image and Self Esteem

On Saturday 8th March I was invited to talk at Barnsley Town Hall as part of International Women’s Day by Experience Barnsley.  My talk was about my journey of ten years of chronic illness, surgery and living with a stoma.  I talked about Ulcerative Colitis and how my colectomy and ileostomy affected my life.

It was about raising awareness, trying to stop poo being taboo and relating my story to the average woman.  It was about body image, self esteem, confidence and positivity and how we need to both learn how to love ourselves as women and how to pass these things onto the young women of future generations.

Have a watch and please feel free to leave me a comment telling what you think.

Thanks for watching!

Sam xx

MAD awards 2014

This blog has been a life saver for me in the last year, it has been cathartic for me to share my experiences and I have been so overwhelmed by the response I have had from an ever growing audience.  The emails I get daily mean the world to me and I can’t tell you how important it is for me to know that I am helping others.

The MAD awards 2014 are currently open for nominations.  If you would like to take a few minutes to go and nominate me I would be chuffed to bits.

MAD Blog Awards

I have been told Ive been nominated for Best new blog, Blog of the year and Best writer.

If this blog has helped you at all this year and you feel Im worthy I would be so grateful for your nomination.

Whilst you are there be sure to nominate your other favourite blogs.  Time is short as nominations are only open for another week or so.

Love Sam xx