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Back to work!

At six weeks post surgery I made the decision that I wanted to start working again. Luckily I work from home, I run a photography company with my husband Timm called The Picture Foundry Timm has been carrying the weight of the business for the last couple of months and so I wanted to try to get back into the office.

It was great as there was no pressure from Timm, I knew I could do just as much as I felt comfortable with and could go back to bed whenever I needed to.

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It feels good to be back in the office, laying in bed all day may sound heavenly but when it is not through choice it isn’t much fun.  Its lonely and doesn’t help self esteem.  I needed these six weeks as before now I just haven’t been able to think about anything other than pain, tiredness and poo.  I have been on heavy painkillers that make my mind fuzzy and running to the toilet frequently.

But now things are starting to improve massively and so I want to be back in the chair. I want to be working and I want Timm to have a tiny bit of pressure taken off him.

It is so easy to get into a habit of not moving about and by the end of my first day in the office I was in quite a bit of pain just from being sat up rather than laid down.  The muscles in my stomach, back and legs have already forgotten how to just be upright for most of the day!! I am sat on my frankly hilarious donut cushion which really helps in the butt department.

I know I am so lucky, I have worked for other people before and it hasn’t worked out due to my illness and toilet issues, I honestly couldn’t imagine having to go back to a full time external job right now, but as a self employed person I have the benefits of being at home and having the full support of my husband in our day to day work.

I am taking it easy and Im not taking on too much, I will be sensible and Timm wouldn’t let me do anything he thought would hinder my recovery.  It feels good though.  I feel like I have a worth and Im not just a patient…

Love Sam xx

Living with my ileostomy bag – Photo shoot

I know I have been a little quiet of late but the honest reason is that life is all going quite smoothly at the minute.  My stoma and ileostomy bag are behaving and life is getting back to normal… Actually better than how I was before as I no longer have any symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis.  No pain, no meds and no constant running to the loo!

Living with a photographer has its benefits, one of which is having him on hand to photograph me when I ask!  This shoot was kind of unplanned and was just around the grounds of our studio at The Picture Foundry.  Our chickens are limelight whores and decided to jump into a few of the shots.

I think the shoot shows that Im in a good place at the minute, I feel relaxed, happy and kind of proud of my little bag.

Enjoy xx

 

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

 

 

 

Love Sam xx

Update

Sorry I have been away from the blog for a week or so, the downside to feeling better and stronger is that you have to start doing all the things you were doing before illness!! I am back to work, which to be honest feels GREAT.  I run a photography company called The Picture Foundry with my husband and getting back on track feels really good.

sam cleasby

I am driving again (AT LAST!!!!) I felt really isolated and out of control not being able to drive for so long.  We live out in the sticks and have no buses, we don’t even have pavements – so being literally back in the driving seat is a big move forward to me feeling like myself again.  Im also back into the grind of housework and the like.  That bit I could do without!!

All this has meant that I haven’t had time to update the blog, so I am very sorry and I promise to try and be a better blog keeper!  You can always take a peek over at The Picture Foundry’s blog to see what we are up to.

Ive been getting some fab comments this week though about the blog – it still surprises me how many of you are reading.  Thank you!!

One comment that made me laugh…

‘I love reading your blog! Its just like that 50 shades of Grey!!’

‘Ermmmm are you sure you are reading the right one?!!’

‘Ohh I mean I just can’t put it down, I read it as soon as I get in from work!’

 

I have also had quite a few comments from people who want me to write more about life affirmation, positivity and how to improve your life.  That seems like a big thing to do, but Im willing to give it a shot, so look out for some new posts soon.

In other news, I have been asked to speak at an International Women’s Day event in Barnsley next year.  It’s such an honour to be asked and though I am nervous, Im definitely going to do it… Id better get planning!

I still feel a little in shock about the events of the last two months, sometimes I can’t quite believe that it all happened.  Physically I am healing really well, though I still feel tired easily and Im not back to 100% – I am feeling almost back to normal.  I have eventually found what seems like the right ostomy bag for me.  I was having a lot of issues with leaking and the flange not sticking properly (Its ok, you are allowed to laugh at the word ‘flange’) but after trying out a few different products I have found the DanSac diamond shaped one piece is working brilliantly for me!

I had a bit of a tummy bug last week and had diarrhoea (how can you tell? asked a lot of people – it was like water and there was a lot of it!) and so decided to try the marshmallow trick that was mentioned in hospital.  Apparently a few marshmallows really slow down the output and can stop you getting dehydrated.  I found these bad boys!! The BIGGEST marshmallows I have ever seen!!

mega marshmallows

I attended a Stoma Open day last week.  My friend said they should rebrand it as the Ideal Stoma Show – y’know sex it up a bit! Anyway, it was good to see the different companies and products but if Im honest I found the whole thing quite difficult.  Id say I was one of the youngest people there by a good few years.  Most were over 65 and so the event was aimed at that age range.  It made me feel a bit out of place.  Stall holders seemed to assume I was a carer and didn’t interact with me as they were the other folk visiting.  The thing is, I KNOW that there are a lot of people with stomas through IBD in the 20s to 40s, so it just made me wonder, where are they? Do they just not want to attend these events? Is it because they don’t need them or because they seem so keyed to older patients?

If you have a stoma I would love to know if you attend events like these and if not why not?  If you do, then let me know your experiences of them.

Love Sam xx

Make your What Ifs happen every day

Im revisiting some old posts from my old blog, updating them and reblogging – so don’t think you are going mad if you think you’ve seen some posts or photos before!!

My other life is running a business with my amazingly talented photographer husband Timm Cleasby.  In December we took a huge leap and moved into a 15th century mill and started The Picture Foundry – our photography studio and arts hub in South Yorkshire.  As you can imagine, this takes up just a little bit of my time!!

At The Picture Foundry we have a kick ass photography studio as well as gardens, woods and a stream that we are filling with awesome sets and play areas… tree houses, a stage, a ridiculously amazing chaise longue…. We also run Responsible Fishing from the mill – an arts group set up by Timm and our friend James.  They come up with the most fantastical ideas and then put them into place, there is the stone balancing workshops that go out to festivals all over the UK, there is Camp Cardboard, which involves taking a huge pile of cardboard boxes into schools and encouraging the children to transform the school hall into a massive cardboard den.  They currently are working on a frankly bizarre yet exciting idea of building a life size version of the childrens game, Mouse Trap…

The thinking behind our move was to have a better work/life balance and to initiate a creative hub.  Life is short and you never know what time you have here so we wanted to fulfil our dreams, to make the things we have talked about for years actually happen.  A saying often heard nowadays in our home is “whats the worst that can happen?”

We knew that for us, the worst that could happen is to have regrets.  I want to regret the things I have done, not the things I haven’t!  We didn’t want to get old and to look back and think ‘what if’ – so we make our what ifs happen every day.

positivity life change bravery

Its not easy, we have three children, a dog, two cats and five chickens.  We have to think about money and schools and children and we have panics that perhaps we should take an easier route.  But the majority of the time, we feel blessed.  We feel proud for taking a leap and lucky that we have each other.  We wake up every morning and think ‘FUCK ME!!! LOOK WHERE WE LIVE!!!”

Since my surgery it feels even more important to live each day to the maximum, to take risks, live your dreams and make choices that bring you closer to your goals.  Life is very short.  None of us know what time we have on this planet or when life will throw us a massive curveball that will change your life forever.  I knoooooowwwww I blab on about positivity but I truly believe that with the right attitude, a big lump of courage and a bit of luck we can achieve anything.

Love Sam xx