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Worst Selfies Ever

No, I’m not talking about that terrible shot of you from an awful angle on your work night out, or that one where you think you look amazing and then when you look back you have a bogey…

After 12 years of IBD, more colonoscopies than I can count, several shitting accidents in public and going on national TV to discuss poo, I thought I had faced all my most embarrassing moments.  I have shared the majority of these cringe inducing events with you lot, earning me the moniker The Poo Lady!

Yet today, I have sunk to an all time low.

I am working away in Wales and struggling with this prolapse, only it has got worse and now I think I have a pouch prolapse too.  My consultant asked me to send a photo.  No, he doesn’t want one of my lovely press shots, or that hilarious photos of me dressed as the Crack Fox when I went to see the Mighty Boosh.  Nope, he wanted a photo of my damaged arse and vag.

This morning was the worst photo shoot of my life… There was no way I could ask my photographer husband to get involved in this, he’d get all arty and be thinking about composition and lighting and so I have taken selfies of my butt.  I’m sure I have warned my kids about this!!!

Worry not, I’m not planning to share them here! These are for Mr Brown’s eyes only! (Poor man!)

I know it sounds odd, but he is fab and this way he can get an idea of what’s going on without delaying treatment, it takes a while to get an appointment with him and so it is a good way for him to ‘see me’ without ‘seeing me’.

Just when I think my days can’t get any weirder, this happens…

 

Love Sam x

Update

Just thought I’d do a quick update as I’m getting so many lovely messages asking how I’m doing. 

I saw my consultant Mr Brown today, he did pouchoscopy and is happy that my pouch looks healthy! So the meds last week must have done the job. 

With regards to the prolapse, he had a look and agrees there is a definite prolapse in my vagina and has referred me to a gynae doctor to get it sorted. 

The pouchoscopy was fine. I was so nervous before my first one but just want to assure those who may be facing it that it was much easier than any colonoscopy I had with a colon!  They use a much smaller camera and it’s quicker and far less uncomfortable.  I felt no need for the sedation and though there’s discomfort in the air they pump through, the procedure itself is much easier.

  

The staff were lovely, they’re kind and reassuring. I told the staff nurse about my blog and he asked I would be writing about today. He asked for a name check if I were going to be nice and I feel terrible that I forgot his name already!! (*waves hi if he’s reading!) But the staff at Northern General endoscopy unit are all fantastic and make an embarrassing procedure a lot easier to deal with.  So huge thanks to them all. 

Thanks also to my mum for taking me and bringing me home as Timm was teaching today so couldn’t be my usual hospital buddy. 

I’m still feeling quite emotional, the prolapse thing has really thrown me and my head’s all over the place.  It was good to see my regular doctor, Mr Brown, he is so lovely and you know you’re not just a name to him. He saw my tension and said I looked upset and not my usual self. It meant a lot to know that he notices these things and actually cares. 

After my last post, I was very nervous about what sort of response I would get. I was scared I’d overshared. But your messages have made me weep. Those of support and those of thanks and gratitude that I had spoken out about something that had affected them too. Those messages make everything worthwhile, to know I’m helping others gives me the strength to keep writing.  So thank you all, you wonderful readers that give me your time, your thoughts and your support. You’re all awesome. 

I’m writing this tonight, unable to settle, I’ve some tummy pain after the pouchoscopy but also with a head swirling with thoughts.  Many are dark thoughts, but I’m blowing them away with the strength of a child blowing out their birthday candles, and the wish I’m making is for the strength to get over this blip, for the courage to keep fighting and for the continued support of this worldwide gang of bad asses! 

So I have little news, I’m waiting for the appointment with the gynae team and we’ll go from there. I did have one thought though that made me giggle… 

  

 

Well you have to find the funny somewhere, eh?!
Sam X 

I think I’ve found a topic even I feel shy in talking about… 

Type. Delete. Type. Delete. Draft. Scrap. Write. Burn laptop and bury remains in the woods.

I’m struggling at the minute with something that even I, Poo Lady Sam, am finding it hard to talk about.  I’ve shared with you all every high and low of my illness journey in the past two years, from shitting myself to surgery, tears to joy, complications and photos of my intestines!

So why is it that I can’t bring myself to talk about what I’m going through right now?

The truth is that I have a vaginal prolapse. My intestines and pouch are pushing against my vaginal wall from the inside and I am struggling with a rectocele.

This is really uncomfortable, makes toilet trips very difficult and hardest of all, I am so desperately embarrassed and sad about it all.

Why this complication feels SO MUCH WORSE than anything to do with my IBD I have no idea.  I suppose it’s because your fanny is so private, that it’s the centre of your womanhood, that the connotations around a less that perfect vag-j-j are humiliating and hurtful.

Perhaps it’s because we are taught to not speak about our genitals? Perhaps I am worried people will laugh? Maybe I’m concerned this is too private to talk about on a blog?

Even as I write this, I am very unsure of whether I’ll hit ‘post’.  But like every other medical ordeal in the past few years, I thought that the act of writing this could be cathartic, whether I share it or not.

When I say the word ‘prolapse’ out loud, I cry.  I get a lump in my throat and tears spring into my eyes. I feel shame burning across my chest and making my cheeks glow fiercely.

I’m in pain. It hurts, this dragging back ache and a psychological terror that everything will fall out.  Going to the loo is stressful, upsetting and scary.

But worse than all of that is this feeling inside like a small black hole that’s slowly absorbing any good feelings. It’s making the colour drain from life, sucking at happiness. I can’t think how I can cope with this setback, I’m scared.  It doesn’t feel fair. I’ve had my bad luck, surely I get a break now?!

I am trying hard to maintain a jolly personality and ensure that from the outside, everything is ok. I can sense, and I think others can too, that it’s all a bit forced, that my laugh doesn’t ring quite true, that my voice is a little too loud and my smile not very genuine.  I just can’t bring myself to admit to others that I am struggling as I don’t want to talk about my broken fanny!

And this is me! Bloody hell I talk about some of the most embarrassing conditions known to man! I go in the newspapers and on TV and talk about my arse!!!! Jeez, it’s ridiculous that this is throwing me so much.  I keep reading this post in my drafts and adding to it, all the while very much doubting my ability to send it out to the whole world.

As I read up on the problem, I see the nhs suggesting that often they will leave the issue if it’s not severe. This upsets me as I wonder what their levels of severity are?  Right now this is all I can think about. It always feels like there’s something in my vagina, it’s painful in my groin, I spend my evenings with a hot water bottle inbetween my legs!! I also can’t use the toilet very well, having a Jpouch means that on a good day, I poo 5 or 6 times and I currently have pouchitis so I’m going a lot more and I’m feeling very poorly.  So this added problem is firstly making me too scared to go and secondly taking so much time.

I don’t want more surgery. I’ve had 3 in 2 years! But I also don’t want to have this become my life.  I’m developing this intense fear of anything to do with inside my knickers!  The idea of using the toilet is too much to bear, so anything else is just a million miles away.

The thing that makes me want to share this post is that I have learnt that it is a complication that many women are dealing with, some due to IBD and the Jpouch and others due to childbirth, illness, cancer etc and I’m fairly confident many of them feel this embarrassment and shame that I’m experiencing.  So maybe I need to be brave for them in the way I stood up and was brave for those with IBD?

I’ve seen my consultant and I’m back on Tuesday for him to do a scope in my pouch and he’ll also see what’s going on in the front too. So hopefully will have more answers soon.

Till then I am trying to freeze and shrink that swirling vortex of doom that is this mental black hole. Trying to paste on a smile, get through each day and not let this sadness take hold.

X