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Appointment update

Just wanted to update you all on yesterday’s hospital appointment after my hernia surgery.

Mr Brown is fairly sure this lump is a seroma, a gathering of fluid. To confirm this I am having a scan next Friday and if it is fluid they will drain it with a needle.

If it is anything else we will deal with it as and when!!

Thanks for all the lovely messages yesterday. I am feeling quite upset at another setback but my doctor did say “after all you’ve been through, this is nothing!!”

I’m trying to stay positive. Something’s the only way to deal with that is to take one appointment at a time. So I’m not looking past the scan right now. Thinking of needles and drains or infections or hernias is just too much to bear and so I need to keep focussed on what is real, what is planned and what I know for sure.

Thanks again lovelies

Sam xx

Op update

After my latest hernia surgery 2 weeks ago I have tried to rest and recover as well as fitting in quite a lot of work! I know people say to take it easy but both my husband and I both run businesses where if we don’t work, there’s no wage!

I wore a corset whenever I was up and about to support my stomach but found after a week, a large hard lump formed behind my scar. I was scared that the hernia had come straight back through but it feels different to that.

As always I have been trying to tell everyone around me that I’m fine and just power through and deal with it. In reality I feel gutted that there is yet another setback.

Mr Brown doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about and suggested it was a seroma. A seroma is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery. When small blood vessels are ruptured, blood plasma can seep out; inflammation caused by dying injured cells also contributes to the fluid.

He has booked me in today for an appointment to take a look at it and so I will update as soon as I know anything more.

I just want to be healthy and to not have any more issues. I know this sounds really minor and it is in the grand scheme of things but it tough when you feel that it’s just one thing after another. I want to know when I get a break from all this, you know?

I’m so fed up of hospitals, doctors and medical crap! I just want to be healthy! It’s not too much to ask is it?

Anyway rant over, I will update soon.

Sam xx

Hernia Surgery Update

I had my hernia surgery two weeks ago and realised that I hadn’t posted an update here (though I have been on facebook and twitter).  I have had a super busy week working with the amazing arts group Responsible Fishing and so have just not had a minute!

So to the hernia surgery!  Our fab friends Caroline and Jamie had the kids for us the night before as I needed to be at hospital at 7am and so it made life loads easier to not have to get three kids up and out for 6am.  I had to stop eating at midnight the night before and no fluids from 6am.  I arrived at the hospital and was taken up to my room where Mr Brown came to see me along with the anaesthetist and nurses.

I was second on the morning list and so went down to theatre at around 9am, and after just a couple of hours was back up on the ward feeling pretty sore and very sleepy but not bad at all.  I was very relieved to not feel sick as after the last operation I awoke vomiting and felt nauseas for days.  That was when I discovered that I have bad reactions with the anti sickness drug Cyclozine and so I was quite anxious this time.

cyclozine allergic reaction

The first night I had quite a bit of pain but was able to control it with just paracetamol and codeine and I was allowed home the following morning.  The only issue was my sleepy bowel… I just couldn’t go to the toilet.  It was the oddest feeling as since my jpouch surgery last May, I go to the toilet and poo AT LEAST 6 times a day and so to just not go at all for nearly 3 days was bizarre!!!

I was a little worried but was told it was very normal after surgery and just to keep an eye on it and to call them and potentially go back to hospital if it didn’t ‘wake up’ after 3 days.  But sometime on day three, my small intestines awoke with some ridiculously loud grumbles and I eventually went to the loo.

paralysed ileum

The first couple of days I had some soreness, but nothing compared to the last two surgeries!  It was well controlled with codeine and paracetamol and I also wore a corset to feel a little more supported.  By day 4 I was up and pottering around the house and day 9 saw me go away with work for 4 days!

I had been very nervous about the op, but it all seems to be going well.  There is a lot of hard swelling behind my scar and I have a little soreness by the end of the day but I am feeling ok.  I am still very tired, I think perhaps its the general anaesthetic that takes it out of you, but with the odd nap and lots of early nights I am doing very well.

hernia ostomy incisional scar

Thanks for all the lovely messages of support, it means so much!

 

Sam x

Hernia surgery tomorrow

So the big day is tomorrow! I am in at 7am for surgery on my incisional hernia with an overnight stay.  I started 2015 with two wishes, I didn’t want to have an operation or move house this year.  Unfortunately it wasn’t to be…

My hernia is very small and usually quite flat but when I exert myself, it pops out and is sickeningly painful and so it is stopping me from exercising and doing the things I want to do.  I have such a busy year with work and I need to be in good physical condition to manage it all.  Hernias only get worse with time, they won’t improve without surgery and so I know that this surgery is the right thing to do.

But I am nervous as hell.  A few people have said that “it’s only a small surgery” and that “it’s nothing compared to the last two”, they are right and I know they are only trying to set my mind at ease but I really am terrified and feeling anxious and sad about this operation.  

The thought of having another general anaesthetic is scaring me, I know they do it all the time but the risks are there.  I’m frightened at the thought of just not waking up.  I’m also scared of there being complications with the operation, but I have Mr Brown operating which definitely puts my mind at ease though I’m still nervy and shaky.

Timm is taking me in to hospital at 7am and I’ll be in overnight. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram or like me on facebook then I will probably be posting on there before the blog.

I am extremely anxious and feeling weepy and sad but I am going to pull on my big girl pants and I’ll be ok. The kids are worried as they always are if I have to go into hospital but Timm is going to bring them to visit tomorrow.

Our amazing friends Caroline and Jamie are having the kids tonight so we don’t have to rush with them in the morning and they are looking after them tomorrow so Timm can stay with me. We’re so lucky to have such fantastic friends who are always there for us and offer to have the children whenever we are in need. I can’t thank them enough and love them very very much.

So I’m off now as I think I’m chuntering on…

Thanks for all the lovely good luck messages as well as the cards and flowers.

✌️& ❤️

Sam xxx

Hernia date booked!

Very quick update about Harry the hernia… I blogged about getting the news I was being treated at a private hospital.

Well, my letter has come through and I’m booked in for the 21st March! Just under 3 weeks time.

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Though I know it’s a routine operation and I trust my fabulous surgeon Mr Brown implicitly, I am very nervous. I think psychologically, I associate hospitals with so much pain and missing my family and so my anxiety levels are quite high thinking about surgery.

I even thought about cancelling, I just got myself in a bit of a panic and was thinking that the hernia isn’t that bad and that I could live with it. The reality is that it isn’t as bad as the last one. But it is uncomfortable every day and stops me doing things. It’s a sharp sickly pain when it pops out but because it’s not agony, I was thinking maybe I should wait.

I got over myself though and know I need this surgery to help me feel like I’m back on the road to recovery and so I will be going ahead.

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I’m hoping that the change in environment may help my anxiety. I’ve never been to this hospital before and so it’s a different feeling to going ‘back’ to the Northern General. The place looks gorgeous and I’ll hopefully only be in for one night.

As with all surgeries, I have this panic that I won’t wake up. But I trust Mr Brown and really do feel like I’m in the safest hands and so I need to try to let go of that fear and accept that I will be cared for.

The kids are upset about me going back in.  They always get very concerned when I have to go into hospitals even if it’s just for a clinic visit, as they are afraid I will stay there for a couple of weeks.  But I have assured them that it will be a brief stay, the doctors say one night in, and this hospital doesn’t have set visiting hours and I will have a private room so they should be able to visit me whenever they like.  This really helps Timm as trying to arrange visits and school runs was quite stressful for him before.

I am having an operation on an Incisional Hernia, which means the weakness is where they cut me for the stoma, this is my second hernia op in a year and unfortunately the chances of it coming back are quite high.  But I will plod on in the hope that one year I will go a full 12 months without any surgery!!

 

I will, of course be blogging up to and after my surgery, so do keep reading!

 

Sam x

Hernia surgery update

I have been awaiting a date for hernia surgery, I am hoping this op is going to set me back on a healing path. My hernia isn’t large but it’s uncomfortable every day and is stopping me doing the things I want to do.

Anyway I heard from my consultants secretary this week. Mr Brown was unhappy with the time I’ve been waiting and has asked for me to be booked in to the private hospital in town rather than the usual one.

It’s a bit of a shock but for once, a nice one! Surgery should be within the next few weeks and will be with Mr Brown rather than just on the general list as was planned before. This has calmed some of my anxiety over this operation.

I was adamant that 2015 was going to have two things NOT happen for me. No house moving and no surgeries!!! After two huge ops in 2013 and 2014, I was really hoping for no cutting open of Sam!! Unfortunately that’s not to be, and I have been feeling really upset, angry and anxious. So the knowledge that I will be under Mr Brown’s care has really lifted my spirits and calmed some of my nerves.

Mentally I am struggling at the minute. I have just so much jumbling through my mind right now. Illness, jpouch, hernia, accidents plus my cut hand that’s still strapped up along with parenting and personal issues are making me feel fucking crazy. I am filled with self doubt, anxiety and sadness.

I’m carrying on regardless. Trying not to piss off everyone around me and just keep going. My head is swimming but I’m trying hard to work through my anxieties and sleep issues. I’ve downloaded a meditation app that I’m using at night to help me relax and sleep.

We are off to Filey for a few days next week and though we still have to work, it will be really nice to get some sea air, get out walking and have a change of scenery.

I’ll be photographing and instagraming my break next week so if you don’t already, head over and follow me over there (samcleasby)

Sam xx

Debbie Downer

Things aren’t brilliant at the minute.  I’m still really struggling with fatigue, I am so exhausted all the time, and this brings my mood crashing down, I feel sad, guilty and useless.  I am still waiting for a date for my hernia operation, the hernia isn’t too big but it aches constantly and I have to wear a big support belt to hold it in if I exert myself.  My anxiety levels are sky high when I think about going under the knife yet again.  We are dealing with some really stressful parenting problems that are filling my head with stress and making me feel quite isolated.

And then two days ago, whilst washing the pots, I cut the back of my hand on a glass quite badly.  After a four hour wait in A&E with the skin flapping off my hand, doctors glued it up and strapped up my hand.  They said I was very lucky and only just missed the tendons, as they lifted the flap of skin, you could see all the tendons and muscle moving and the bone of my knuckle!

bandage hand

It’s all strapped up now, but is very, very painful, my hand is swollen and I can’t move the first finger at all meaning I am pretty one handed at the minute.  I can’t believe how difficult life is with one hand!

And this may sound pathetic, but it has been the straw that broke the camels back.  I am done in.  I felt useless enough with the hernia and fatigue, I am doubting myself as a good parent and life is kind of crap,  but now not being able to use my right hand has floored me.  I know it will heal quickly and within a week or so I am sure I will be fine, but I am gutted how little I can do for myself.

Even typing this is a nightmare, I am one fingered left hand typing and so I will keep the post brief as it is taking so long.

I’m afraid I have little to be positive about today.  Life is pretty sucky and though Im sure there is a silver lining somewhere, I can’t find it right now.

The only positive is that I deal with everything with the awesome and unfaltering support of my husband, and though things aren’t great, at least we are together.

I will try and be back soon with a more shiny, happy outlook!

Sam x

Pouchitis

So for the past two weeks I have been bleeding, Ive kept it to myself as we had our wedding renewal on Saturday and I just wanted the day to be about Timm and I, not about my illness.  Our whole lives had been about my illness for the past year and so I kept my mouth shut and just dealt with the symptoms.

After the wedding I got in touch with Mr Brown, my consultant and today I saw him in clinic, because of the quite heavy bleeding and increased pooling along with a hefty load of fatigue he suspects I have pouchitis.  I had bloods taken today and Ive been booked in for an urgent flexible sigmoidoscopy.  Im pretty gutted and feel like my recovery is being hindered once again, but Im glad my doctor takes it seriously and is getting me sorted asap.  The treatment is a course of antibiotics but we are waiting for confirmation that my markers are up from the blood tests before starting that.

Pouchitis is when an internal pouch becomes inflamed. It is a common complication in people with an ileo-anal pouch or continent ileostomy.

Symptoms of pouchitis include:

  • diarrhoea, which is often bloody
  • abdominal pains
  • stomach cramps
  • a high temperature

Im trying to keep my chin up but to be honest I do feel a bit down about it all.  After the massive highs of the wedding renewal it feels like a real bump back down to earth.  I spent the whole wedding day rejoicing on just how far I have come, thinking about how there were points when I was really ill and in hospital that I couldn’t imagine making it to that day.  But all the while I was thinking about this bleeding and worrying about the causes and feeling set back.

wedding renewal sheffield rock n roll

Pouchitis is a common problem for people with a pouch and so Im relieved that its probably just that but in this recovery it seems to be two steps forward and one step back.  I need to remember that though this is a step back, I am always moving forward and things are getting better.

I have been given picolax to prepare for the flexible sigmoidoscopy which seems pretty scary.  I have of course had so many camera tests and so had all the laxatives before but now I have no large bowel, I can’t imagine what the results will be!! I had a flexi sig last time I was admitted to hospital and though I was terrified before I went in, it was actually less painful than I imagined.  Im not happy about having to have more tests but I am glad it is getting under control and I feel heard and cared for.

Ill keep you all updated!

 

Sam x

 

PS My AMAZING ‘prickly tits’ dress is from Syd and Mallory in Sheffield.

Good news!

I’ve been to see my lovely consultant Mr Brown today and all is good! I have a huge grin on my face because currently my pouch is working brilliantly, my next check up will be in May 2015 and there is talk of discharging me… I have been under a consultant since 2004!!!

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I am 12 weeks post j pouch surgery and I’m going to the loo about 4-5 times a day (which is awesome in case you were wondering!), I know that may sound a lot for a normal person but for a pouchee it is pretty damn good. I have little urgency and can hold it in when I need to go to the toilet. And I’m having no accidents at all! I’m eating pretty much what I want with a few exceptions.

I still have times of massive fatigue, especially if I allow myself to get dehydrated which is really easy to do these days as I have no colon. But as long as I keep my fluid and salt intake up, I’m doing really well. It feels amazing as since the operation I have had many many times where I questioned why I had done it.

Life seemed so much tougher than with my ileostomy and I thought I’d made a massive mistake. But since my last admission to hospital and the big dose of antibiotics, everything has improved hugely! I know life will never be ‘normal’ again, but currently all is good in the world and I couldn’t be more relieved.

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So today I am feeling blessed and happy. Thank you Mr Brown for making my life so much better.

Love Sam x

Thank you to the very awesome RoofTopsNYC for my brilliantly Love is Love tshirt xxx

Back to hospital

So yesterday morning I saw Mr Brown in clinic and after examining me, he thinks I have pouchitis. He said I need antibiotics, fluids, blood tests, X-days and a pouch scope. And so I was admitted back to the Northern General.

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I had blood tests, X-rays, a night on the wards and a pouch scope and though my white blood cells were high there was not much else showing any problems and so I have been sent home with a course of antibiotics to knock anything nasty on the head.

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My first jpouch scope was a lot easier than anticipated. I was TERRIFIED going in, I’ve had plenty of colonoscopies and flexible sigmoidoscopies but this is my first since getting the pouch. I didn’t have sedation and it was all over in 10 minutes. It was a walk in the park compared to a full colonoscopy, a little uncomfortable and the worst thing was the air pumped in. I had a bit of gas and air but it was all fine.

Releasing (ahem!) the air was interesting… It’s already loud enough when I go to the loo now, expelling a load of air that been pumped in sounded pretty fucking amazing. If I weren’t so embarrassed I’d have called out to the rest of the ward “DID YOU HEAR THAT?!!!”

I saw the inside of my pouch which was odd but good and Mr Brown said it looked ‘beautiful’ – I had no idea what the appropriate response up that was so I thanked him… Then giggled.

He is my favourite doctor, it’s always a pleasure to see him and I trust him implicitly. Though I’m still concerned as to the cause of the pain and struggle to poo, I’m happy that he wouldn’t send me home if were worried.

So I’m home and hoping that the antibiotics will make me feel better. I’m still having quite a bit of pain and will have to wait and see how the crapping goes as I haven’t eaten in 24 hours so haven’t been.

Apologies for not replying to any messages (most only came through once I got home!) The internet signal in that hospital is ridiculously bad. It’s like the dark ages!!!

Thanks so much for all the love

Sam xxxxxx