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Electric hot water bottle review

Last week I saw that Chloe from CPstudentblog was talking about an electric hot water bottle on Twitter and it made me curious and so I went onto amazon and ordered the Bauer electric hot water bottle and thought I would share my thoughts.

Bauer electric hot water bottle

It was £17.42 and because I have Amazon Prime I got free delivery. So it was much more expensive than my usual trusty hot water bottle that was about £5 but I thought it worth a try.

I use a hot water bottle every day, since my last surgery I am in pain every day and heat on my stomach is really helpful with pain relief. I even have one at work so I can have one wherever I am!

Patientinfo says “Heat and ice have been used for many years to treat pain and to reduce swelling, and many people have found them effective. More recently, studies have been done to investigate whether heat and ice really make a difference to healing and the results have been inconclusive. In general, when used sensibly, they are safe treatments which make people feel better and have some effect on pain levels and there are few harms associated with their use.”

I have no contact with the Bauer company and this isn’t sponsored in any way it’s just sharing my experience so it might help others.

This is a plug in device into the mains, it has a charger that sits flat on the floor and is easy to attach to the water bottle. It is a soft touch fabric pillow filled with liquid and has the charging port in the middle. You put it on charge for around 10 minutes and a light on the charger goes off once it is heated up.

The first charge I found the bottle was only warm and felt really disappointed, I put it on to charge again and then it felt really nice and hot. Since then I have only had to charge it the once, I then give it a jiggle and it feels as hot as a normal hot water bottle and lasts for hours.

It has really changed my life and is so great for pain relief and also just to warm your toes if you’re a bit chilly!

The best part for me is that I feel it’s given me back my independence, before I was constantly asking my husband or teenagers to go and fill my bottle for me and I found that upsetting and a bit embarrassing. The guilt of asking your family to care for you is enormous when you have an impairment or chronic illness, even though they say they don’t mind helping, I always feel bad asking.

And so to have this plugged in right next to my bed just gives me a sense of independence that means so much! Knowing that I can plug it in whenever I want, I don’t have to go up and down the stairs, I don’t have to ask others is wonderful. There have been times when I was so sore that I couldn’t manage to go and fill it myself but it was the middle of the night and I didn’t want to wake anyone so I just suffered till morning.

I am a huge fan of anything that gives comfort and independence to people and the electric hot water bottle is certainly doing that for me. I love the easy plug in that most people would be able to manage alone even if you have poor mobility.

So there we go! I would recommend this product if you’re a hot water bottle fan and would go as far as to say that it would be a great present for someone with chronic pain this Christmas!

Its one of the best things I’ve ever bought!

✌🏽& ❤️

Sam x

Bella Beat health and fitness tracker

I’ve been trying out the BellaBeat fitness and health tracker for the past few months, you can watch my review on my YouTube channel.

Find Bellabeat on their website for more information or to buy your own.

 

I wasn’t paid for this review but I was gifted the products by the company. I am free to give an honest review and Bellabeat have had no say on how i shared my thoughts or what my review said.

I occasionally work with companies to review products, I only work with companies I trust and who I think have products that you guys would be interested in and I will always let you know if this is the case.

✌🏽 & ❤️

Sam xx

Reiki

Reiki is a form of complementary medicine developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui. Since originating in Japan, reiki has been adapted into varying cultural traditions across the world. Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a “universal healing” is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.

Pat Hayward from Angelic Healing got in touch with me a few months ago, we’d met a few years ago on a course and stayed in touch through the power of social media. Pat had been reading about my surgeries and the struggles I was having with anxiety and offered to come and see me to give me a reiki session.

I’ll be honest in saying that I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea of reiki but thought if nothing else then it would be a relaxing experience and so I took her up on her offer.

She came to see me at home and we had a little chat about what was going on and how I was feeling. Pat is a very calming and open person and I felt immediately at ease with her, I found I could open up to her in a way I wouldn’t usually be comfortable with.

She brought a massage table and some crystals and played soothing music as I lay on my back and closed my eyes. She explained that she’d be moving around my body and to relax, and that if I felt uncomfortable to let her know.

As I lay back my mind starting wandering to worries and things I needed to do. I often struggle with massages as I can’t switch off but very quickly I began to relax and my mind cleared.

With my eyes closed I began to see swirling colours coming in and out of view, my body let go and I found myself in a really deep state of relaxation. I watched the colours moving around and wondered to myself why I’d never noticed that the lights in my living room did this with my eyes closed!

Around an hour later, Pat touched me on my arm and told me she had finished, she suggested I take my time in getting up and got me some water.

I felt as if I’d woken from a deep peaceful sleep even though I’d been awake the whole time. As I relaxed back I closed my eyes again expecting to see the lights again but they were gone! No matter how much I tried I couldn’t see the beautiful swirls and that freaked me out a little!!

Pat told me to try and relax for the rest of the day and to drink plenty of water. I couldn’t thank her enough, I can’t remember the last time I felt so at ease, so calm and so rested. She suggested I spent some time with my shoes off and grounding myself by being outdoors with my feet on natural ground.

After thanking her and saying goodbye I went up to the allotment, I took off my sandals and stood with the sun on my face. All of a sudden my stomach gurgled and my ostomy bag completely filled up! It felt like my body expelling everything in one go, not painful at all but almost like I was letting go.

As I said, I wasn’t sure about reiki before hand, I can’t explain any of these feelings or the things I saw. But I can say it was one of the most peaceful and relaxing experiences of my life. I would definitely do it again!

If you are feeling stressed out and wound up, I would recommend trying reiki, it may not be for everyone but for me it felt like a really healing and beautiful experience.

You can get in touch with Pat through her Facebook page to find out more or if you’re not around Sheffield then search for a reputable reiki healer near you.

✌🏽& ❤️

Sam

 

I wasn’t paid for this review, but Pat gave me the session for free. She did not request a review or expect anything in return but it was such a great experience for me that I wanted to share.

This Morning with Philip and Holly… And So Bad Ass

Yesterday was a whirlwind of awesome! I appeared on ITV’s morning show This Morning and got to meet the very wonderful Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby and talk about my all time favourite subject, poo!

I was invited on by TV and radio personality Judi Spiers, who along with her husband, invented a product to help people to change ostomy bags.  I reviewed the Riksack for them last month and they had been invited onto the couch for National Bowel Month and asked me to go with them.  Hooray!!

The researchers got in touch and had seen my blog and thought I would be great on TV, which was a huge compliment, almost as exciting as when they told me that Philip had been reading my blog and loved it! Arghhh!!!! So, if you are reading this now Mr Schofield, hiiiiiiii you are a living legend and a total fox!

I got the train down to London the night before after a traumatic decision over what to wear on the telly box.  I asked my awesome followers on Facebook for advice and advise they did… Over 300 of them, though unfortunately all saying different things!! In the end I went for a flowery dress by Lindy Bop which I felt comfortable in and also felt fab in.  Of course, I also wore my sparkly, gold boots.

I got picked up in a car from my hotel and taken to the studios, hilariously there were some paparazzi hanging out and they got excited as I pulled up.  Unfortunately they were super disappointed when I got out of the car, I still waved and smiled just in case! (HA!)

The staff at This Morning were all lovely, very welcoming and trying to put you at ease, there were drinks and pastries and snacks but I didn’t eat as I didn’t want my stoma farting and bag filling up on live TV.  I went into hair and makeup where I was attended to by #MrFaceMaker and then back to the Green Room I went.

I filmed a pre recorded piece where I changed my ostomy bag using the Riksack, I was hoping to be the first stoma on live TV but alas, they cut that part out of the live show.  It was a bit odd to change my bag in front of strangers, the team were very sensitive though and made sure it was just a producer and a cameraman.  After changing my bag, I asked the producer what she thought, she admitted that she had been concerned as she was squeamish and was worried that it was going to be difficult to watch, but she was amazed that my stoma was so small and not nearly as terrifying as she had imagined.

This is why I do all the things I do, to change perceptions and break those taboos.

So we then went onto set (which is much smaller than you imagine and all in one room) and I met the King and Queen of daytime TV, Philip and Holly.  Philip came over and kissed me and welcomed me to the show and I went over to Holly… and curtsied.

WTF? Whyyyyyy would I do a curtsy?? I was just a bit star struck and then I laughed and said “Oh.  I just curtsied” THEN CURTSIED AGAIN!!!

This is why I shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

Anyway, they had a laugh at my weirdness and then we sat on the sofa, I was with Judi and surgeon Mr Ian Daniels and off we went…

The interview went quicker than you think it will, it seemed to be over in a flash and then we were done! I wish I had said more but the slot was about the Riksack product and about signs and symptoms of bowel disease and bowel cancer and so it was important to get that info out.

I loved every minute of it and would love to do more TV as though it is terrifying before, it is so enjoyable once you are there doing it.  It is hard to get a lot of info into a 7 minute slot, especially when there are three people being interviewed it is nigh on impossible to say everything you want.  So apologies for not getting a bit more So Bad Assness out there!

Holly is as beautiful in real life as she is on TV.  Seriously, I was a bit in awe of her and she was really sweet and lovely.  She was very friendly and complimented my dress and they both congratulated me on this blog and my work in disability.  Philip is a total fox.  I loved him in the early 90s with Gordon the Gopher and can’t believe I got to meet such a famous celeb.  He was really friendly and put you right at ease.  People have asked me to dish some dirt on the two of them, but I cant! They were just lovely!

I am really proud of myself.  The past few years have been hellish and there were times when I was in HDU or crying in pain in bed or leaking and feeling like a monster when I felt so low that I couldn’t imagine going on.  So to be on live TV four months after my last surgery was a HUGE milestone.

I do what I do to make others understand what life with an illness or disability is like, I do it to break taboos, to educate, inform, support and inspire.  I do it to make a difference.  I do it because I need a reason that I have had to go through all this.

I didn’t plan for my life to be a series of battles, of medication, surgery, illness, pain and suffering.  But this is the hand I was dealt and so I will use every single one of these things to help others and make a difference in the world.

You can view the interview below, thanks for all the lovely messages on Facebook and Twitter, they mean everything.

Sam xx

A look back at 2015

Happy New Year badasses!

2015 was a crazy year for me with mega highs and terrible lows, I wrote 116 posts on this blog with over 2 million views, here’s a look back at my So Bad Ass year.

January

I started the year by giving up the razor, which I led me down a hairy path of self awareness and body love. I travelled around the country doing talks for Pelican Healthcare, Sunday Assembly London and Crohns and Colitis UK talking about confidence, invisible disability and overcoming tough times.  I got mad about the show Too Ugly For Love, talked periods and got another hernia named Harry.

sunday assembly london sam cleasby public speaker about confidence and body positivity plus size

 

February

Well, it all went a bit crazy in Feb after I wrote a post about the lady who tutted at me for using the accessible toilets.  This post went viral and went around the world being shared and viewed millions of times! I went on a ton of radio shows, in nearly every newspaper going and even went on the BBC Breakfast couch to talk about poo!

This led me to start the More Than Meets The Eye campaign to raise awareness of invisible disabilities.  I worked with Scope to push the message that we aren’t alone and get people talking about the life of people whose illnesses or disabilities can’t always be easily seen but affect many parts of their lives.  It was a brilliant campaign that I am very proud of.

sam cleasby bbc breakfast ibd blogger

March

March found me slagging off Katie Hopkins (standard) and having a crazy time with the media surrounding what became known as Tutgate!

I wrote a really popular post called ‘Ive been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis – Now what?’, talked about Feminist Underwear, Aiming High in life and had surgery to repair an Incisional Hernia.

April

I went viral again in April (I need to be more careful!!) with photographs of my #StomaSelfies going in the Independent and all over the internet.  This led to some lovely comments and positive messages and also some dicks deciding to be horrible and others to attack me for ‘sexualising disability’!  I also wrote a post called ‘Crohns and Colitis – More than just a poo disease’

I went on a girls holiday to Magaluf in April, it felt like a real breakthrough in my recovery, that I was able to go on a wild jaunt with great friends and not have my illness get (too much) in the way.

#stomaselfie sam cleasby stoma ostomy photo shoots sam cleasby

 

May

In May I got myself a literary agent!! I was over the moon and it was a dream come true, it has been a long slog and we are still working together to hopefully get a book out to market.  It was also World IBD Day and I did a talk at the Seven Hills WI about body image.And my son got all his hair cut off to raise money for Crohns and Colitis UK raising £550!

I also started working as a contributing writer for the Metro, this was a massive thing for me, I have always wanted to be a writer and between getting my agent and starting to work for the Metro, I really felt like I was getting there!

seven hills wi talks sam cleasby self esteem public speaker so bad ass

 

June

In June I did some more talks for Pelican Healthcare about body confidence with an ostomy and also wrote a post that was very popular (and still is) called ‘What happens during a Colonoscopy’.  I generally got pissed off about fat shaming with posts about that twat Steve Miller and the cringeworthy term Mummy Tummy.

I was struggling with the effects of Pouchitis and fatigue and not having a great time mentally and emotionally and so wrote about Going Dark and avoiding family and friends.

July

July was Tramlines, Sheffield’s inner city music festival, my husband is the production director for them and so July is a crazy busy month for us as a family.  I was also out working for art group Responsible Fishing UK and worked away for most of the month.  I did a couple more talks for Pelican Healthcare too.

sam cleasby public speaker

 

August

August was Music in the Gardens time, where Crohns and Colitis UK were invited along to be their chosen charity, as a volunteer for the South Yorkshire group I went along with Timm and Charlie to shake buckets and raise money!  We raised £2800 for the charity and couldn’t be prouder!

I wrote the post ’10 great things about IBD’ ,opened up about how it feels to have an absent father and was shortlisted as a finalist in the National Diversity Awards as a Role Model in Disability.

 

September

In September I attended the National Diversity Awards where I didn’t win but got very pissed off about the fact that they got the name of my disease wrong…

I also wrote a post explaining what a Jpouch is, medical apps on your phone, incontinence, my Alexa Chung story and I had my 2 year no-coloniversay!

sam cleasby blogger awards

October

I’d been really struggling with my health for a while, but in October it was getting a lot worse and I had a particularly nasty time with Pouchitis which then cause gynae issues. I was struggling emotionally and had some big decisions to think through regarding the future of my jpouch.

November

I was invited down to Parliament in November by Crohns and Colitis UK to talk to MPs and peers about life with IBD, it was such an honour and a really proud moment.  I also took part in the Scope End The Awkward campaign, in their A-Z of sex and disability, I was their I for Intimacy and did a few newspaper, radio and TV interviews about the brilliant project.

I was really struggling with the Pouchitis and ended up having another stint in hospital for treatment, this really cemented the decision that my pouch needed to be removed and I would need to have a permanent ostomy, it has been a difficult decision to make and to come to terms with.  Surgery will be in January.

Oh, I also made the finalists of the Bloggers Lounge, Blogger of the Year Awards!!! It was all go in November!

sam cleasby so bad ass parliament ibd blogger

 

December

December found me writing about body size, body hair, why wheelchairs aren’t a fashion accessory,  and comparing ourselves to others. I also appeared on Sheffield Live TV and was discussed on The Wright Stuff!

I wrote a letter to Santa, had a bit of a breakdown with all the mega life stresses going on and then returned to fight another day.

 

 

So there it is, that is my year in (not so) brief… It certainly has bee a roller coaster, the ups and downs have been tough but I came through it pretty much unscathed.

Thank you to every one who reads and supports my blog, your messages and audience means so much, it genuinely feels like an honour to share my journey with you and I can’t thank you all enough.

Thanks for sharing my 2015 with me, I am awaiting my next surgery which is a BIGGIE and I am terrified/relieved/angry/over the moon… Basically a whole bunch of mixed emotions, I will share them all with you as I go.  So please stay with me, keep reading, keep sharing, keep getting in touch.

Don’t forget to head over and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Here’s to a So Bad Ass 2016!

 

Sam xx

 

 

Lift Plus 360 – ostomy adhesive remover review

So those clever chickens over at Opus Healthcare have come up with this new product Lift Plus 360, a medical adhesive remover for people with ostomies.

When I had my stoma I always used an adhesive remover as taking the bags off were the trickiest part, that super great seal you yearn for when putting the bag on to ensure there are no leaks suddenly becomes a huge chore when you have to take the bag off, especially if you use extra flange extenders or those stoma donuts.  The adhesive removers act to pretty instantly stop the sticky.

It can be painful and really affect the skin around the stoma to pull the bags away and so I always recommend a good remover.

Now the Lift Plus 360 goes one step further, the new spray can be applied from any angle (hence the 360° name) meaning it is SO much easier to use.

lift plus 360 opus healthcare ostomy supplies

I no longer have a stoma and so I called on my lovely pal who has a permanent stoma to try out Lift Plus 360 and let me know what he thought.

“It really does work!” he said “whatever angle you spray it from, you get a great steady stream that is directed exactly where you need it.”

“The worst part of a bag change is pulling the sticky side away from your skin, especially if you’re a bloke who has hair on the stomach area.  With some sprays it doesn’t take all the adhesive off and I end up pulling my hair out, with Lift Plus 360 it was a breeze!”

Adhesive removers have been around for a while, but Opus have redesigned this to make it more user friendly.

Opus say:

Opus Healthcare, a division of Alliance Pharmaceuticals Ltd, has launched Lift Plus 360, the latest range of non-sting adhesive remover. Using the latest bag on valve technology, Lift Plus 360 is a highly effective range of medical adhesive removers that reduce the pain associated with the removal of stoma pouch adhesives. The new spray can be applied from any angle (360°) offering greater efficiency for the user and comes in two varieties.

The new range is an upgrade from Opus’s previous product, the Lift Plus. By removing the propellant to create Lift Plus 360, the product is no longer cold on the skin. It is also more environmentally friendly as the removal ensures less wastage due to greater product emptying.

Other benefits of using Lift Plus 360 include:

  • Reducing the pain associated with removing pouches and flanges
  • It will not irritate sore or broken skin
  • Dries instantly and no need to wash the skin
  • The spray can be applied from any angle (360 degrees), offering greater reliability.
  • The removal of the hydrocarbon propellant ensures:
    • The product is not cold on the skin
    • There’s more product in the can
    • Less wastage due to greater product emptying
    • It’s more environmentally friendly

To order a sample call 0800 458 7605 or for more information take a peek at the Opus website.

The site also has some great ostomy information so is well worth a look.

Sam x

This post was sponsored by representatives of Opus Healthcare.  I do a few paid reviews on this site but ONLY choose products and companies that I believe are a good fit for my awesome So Bad Ass readers and will always disclose when posts are sponsored.

Poo pourri review

Who has seen the Poo Pourri campaign? I LOVE it, it’s a brilliant advert that after I fell on the floor howling, I wanted to try it straight away! Take a look…

With over 31MILLION views on YouTube, I’m not alone!

Here’s what they say.
“When you spray Poo~Pourri into the bowl before-you-go, our proprietary formula creates a protective barrier on the water’s surface. This barrier is designed to trap unpleasant bathroom odors beneath the surface and keep them out of the air. All you’ll smell is a refreshing bouquet of essential oils!”

poo pourri for ibd

I can honestly say this product works!!! I thought my crazy explosive jpouch poos might be Poo Pourri’s nemesis but even for me, it works. The bathroom actually smells better when I leave!

I know it seems expensive, but it really lasts. I got my bottle for Christmas and I have barely used a quarter of a bottle and that’s with me going 8-10 times a day!

I take it out with me if I’m going to friends houses or out in public and it’s just an extra little safety blanket to know that I’m not going to feel embarrassed of the smell. This is super gross but because my digestive system is cut short, food isn’t broken down in the same way and so sometimes my poo smells a bit like vomit! (YUK!)

I love Poo Pourri and think they need to do an advert for people with IBD, ostomies and Jpouches!!! (If you need someone for that ad, I am IN Poo Pourri!!!!) I actually left a review for them, something I never do, as I am so behind this product.

poo pourri for ibd ostomy jpouch

Smell can be a massive issue with people with IBD and a product like this can help a lot. I recommend this all the time and wholeheartedly think you should try it. They do a ‘stink free guarantee’ and if it doesn’t work, they’ll give you your money back!! How’s that for confidence!

Give it a try, you won’t regret it!

Sam

 

This review is not paid for by Poo Pourri or endorsed by them, it is a genuine review of a product that I love.  If you buy it through the links in this site (the amazon ones), I will earn a few pence for recommending it.  It will cost you no more but helps fund this site a teensy bit!

Thanks x