Sunday, 31 January 2016

A Washroom Wordsmith – A Restroom Reporter!

The story begins with me being on the phone to my Mum, trying desperately not to sh*t myself after eating a Dominos in hospital. Because we all know what food is like in these supposed places of aid. Pair that with my four-week-and-going-strong-veggie-pledge (good job I didn’t take the plunge and go vegan just yet) and we have a recipe for my imminent death by starvation - If it wasn’t for the vegetarian Dominos pizza…

I didn’t really have any juices (of the creative kind) flowing a couple of days ago to write about the ostomy reversal surgery I had just had. I did an Instagram post and left it at that, not wanting to bore the entirety of my Facebook friend list with hospital sob stories, but at the same time not wanting to leave the Ostomate World as a traitor not having shown my support.

…However I have just this moment had a sudden bout of creative juice. Double entendre intended.

Mum probably thought I sounded a bit morbid, that was because of the situation I found myself to be in at the time. Anyone who has lived with an IBD will completely sympathise with the lengths we will go to not to have to visit the toilet 20+ times a day.

But then again, considering the items I was requesting her to bring me in the next day - HUGGIES AND SUDOCREM - I’m sure she made the assumption of what I was going though.

Anyway, after hanging up I decided I could wait no longer for the toilet-hogger of the hospital ward to finish with the bathroom and so I went to find some other available toilet. I didn’t fully consume my surroundings until after the initial relax-and-relief we all have after finally finding a toilet. But once that familiar feeling of bliss had broken over my face and I peered around I noticed a bidet to the left of me.



This is a girl who just prayed for the softest arse wipes that could be located on the planet, plus nappy rash cream; and she finds herself, by accident, in the presence of a small, bathlike, French little fella by the name of a Bidet.

I’d never actually used one before when I’d been to France, and here I was in Grimsby of all places about to use a bidet for the first time. I’m going to leave the rest of the story without explanation but that really was one of the best discoveries I’ve ever made.

Today I also just read this article that delivers a completely punk-ass take on ostomies. It tells about the narrator’s feelings pre-ostomy surgery. Her attitude was very similar to mine had been before I had been fitted with my ostomy. It made me wonder what I was doing with no writing inspiration when it hit me. After 18 months of not using the toilet as most people do to emit waste, I had rekindled my prime writing workplace – the latrine! Not that it was a good thing that I used to have to spend that much time chilling in my bathroom - that was the result of having Ulcerative Colitis. I really did have to adopt a lifestyle of eating, dressing and sleeping on the loo until my arse cheeks weren’t even in tact. But my goodness, I only just realised how much writing time it gave me.

This blog post is aimed at anyone and everyone. But for ostomates reading this who are feeling a bit shitty right now let me just say whilst I’ve been reminded, for humans, despite our many flaws, are incredibly optimistic creatures; our worst memories are frosted with a rosy hue.

Cast yourself back to your worst moment; your scariest flare up; all the blood and gore; your most gut wrenching wretch with nothing to chuck up; the most exhausting alarm call, waking up from a sleepless night of pain; your skinniest days with the darkest black eyes, steroid face, and ribs sticking out.

It isn’t as bad as that moment. You are alive! You survived! Well done!

And as for me, that’s it for my surgeries, and whatever I end up doing to earn a living, I will always be a washroom wordsmith – a restroom reporter!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

What Maisie Wore: To College Prom

6th form leavers meal, I'm a student so I'm on a very tight budget, luckily I found this dress in Oxfam a while back and got these shoes from Asos on sale... This is what it looked like...

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Happy Birthday Bob!

On Tuesday I was invited to have an interview with my local radio station BBC Radio Lincolnshire with Melvyn Prior, a year on following "that blog post about the suck me in knickers"! It's very important, I think, for people like me, who don't mind openly discussing the subject to do so because I know how much easier it is to live with an ostomy when people fully understand what it is and why it was/is absolutely essential to my wellbeing.

This post seemed fitting after the interview, today of all days because it is HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB, 1 YEAR OLD TODAY!

The reality of living with an ostomy (1 year later)

There are some common misconceptions about ostomies - most of which are either not true or can be avoided and made less of an issue. For example ostomy dialogue! They do make noises (very occasionally) but this is ultimately just a stomach rumble for anyone else only our stomachs are outside, so you can hear it more, but by wearing a band, belt or suck me in knickers you can't hear it at all.

Also if I'm going on a night out I time my eating, I wouldn't eat between 11am and 8pm, which gives me between 6pm and 2am to relax and not worry about Bob! I'm not advising this, it's probably not the best idea before having a drink but that's what I do and I feel a bit more at ease by doing so.

A lot of people worry about dating before having the operation. Well I'm sure you already know that physically it makes no difference but I completely understand why it might be a worry, but honestly people aren't horrified by ostomies, the only person scared by him [Bob] was myself a year ago today. Actually thats a lie, a year ago today I was quite happily lying back with morphine dripping into my vein...

I wish I'd have known this before the op...

Dancing as recovery? Two weeks after having the operation when I was well and truly fed up of watching films 24/7 and missing all my friends, I decided that the sooner I got out the house and started doing normal things with Bob (quite literally) by my side, the better. So I got dressed, slapped on some make up and went for a gentle dance. It turns out that dancing, is good for the body, good for the mind!

McDonalds are acceptable once in a while! The bowel is where liquids and salts are absorbed and since I don't have one I have to consume slightly more of each, which means McDonalds was my first trip after being freed from the confinement of a hospital bed! Dehydration is something very important to mention too and one change I have noticed since the op.

In conclusion, over the past year I have realised that the fear of osmoties are only made by ostomates themselves. I know that by having a sense of humour, being open, and surrounding yourself with a group of supportive friends is really all you need... Forget the suck me in knickers!

Please have a listen to my interview because it's only available on iPlayer for a limited time...
Happy Birthday Bob...
And thanks for reading,

The AMAZING photos are from mine and Just Little Lucy's 18th where we scattered disposable cameras around the room and let people get creative...

My black jumpsuit (left) Asos
My sexy little sister's prom dress (right) Blessed

Thursday, 4 June 2015

CSM BA Fashion Show 2015

Central Saint Martins. No one can deny the massive talent that emerges from that university over and over, year after year, and if you can truly say that you wouldn't want to go and study a course there at some point in life well, you're crazy, maybe even lucky because it's pretty difficult to get a place there anyway, I know, I tried and failed to get onto the Art and Design Foundation along with thousands of other applicants, turned up arms cradling portfolio only to get the heart wrenching email a few weeks later with the news...

Anyway, I very luckily got given a ticket (from a family member who used to study tat CSM) for the BA Fashion Show, which was yesterday, and I am absolutely delighted to say that my first ever fashion show was a CSM degree show.

On the runway there were skateboarders (Milligan Beaumont, Print student) and neon cycle wear from Hiroko Masano, who was one of my favourites with dresses layered over the top, a lost old man that appeared to be god followed by female models dressed on feathered hats and garments, which I later gathered were meant to represent well... whores. Taking home the L'oreal Young Talent Award was Jim Hu, whose work challenges whether free will truly exists; because everything is composed in some kind of orderly, mathematical manner.

Outside in Granary Square were some of the students that didn't make it into the show (there are only 40 places) which was really unfortunate because out here there was so much talent also. If anything though, the students' work that was outside had more of a lasting impression, it gave us a chance to get up close to the clothing - even to touch it! A favourite was the collection made from false nails...

Fingernail Dresses
Spotted: Fashion Obscura blogger Maddie modelling in Granary Square

What Maisie Wore to CSM Fashion Show: Red coat vintage; Topshop Mom jeans; Bag with fringing Beyond Retro; Black Converse

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Bob: Meet my stoma!

What is a stoma?
A stoma is a part of the intestine that protrudes from your abdominal wall, placed in between the belly button and your hipbone where waste is emitted into a disposable bag. The difference between an ileostomy and a colostomy depends on what part of the intestine has been removed. When the colon needs to be removed, you are left with an ileostomy (like me) where the ileum (the end of the small intestine) makes up your stoma. A colostomy is created when you need your small intestine removed.

Why I have one?
You might need one because of an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s or even bowel cancer. I had Ulcerative Colitis.
To start with the flares could be controlled by steroids intravenously but during my last one, even a pretty high does of this didn’t make a difference. I always knew there was a chance I might need surgery but I wasn’t expecting it to be so soon.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is inflammation of the colon and rectum, I was diagnosed at nine and since then have tried all of the medication under the sun to try and control the flare ups, a lot worked for a few months at a time and then I would eventually develop antibodies towards them and would have to stop. Flare-ups consist of vomiting, bleeding from the colon and diarrhea that all result in other stuff like weight loss and for me, anemia.

Anyway yesterday was a week since the operation, I got out of hospital really soon, only five days after having it but according to my surgeon and my stoma nurse I had youth and determination on my side. I’m not going to sugar coat the situation and say I like it because I don’t, I do after all have a bag of crap on my side the whole time but at least I no longer have Ulcerative Colitis and have to take a lot of medication, always at risk of long term side effects. I no longer get tummy ache and I am now waiting to heal good and proper so that I can go for a following operation to make a pouch so that all being well in a years time after a third operation I can pooooo again!

Yesterday I tried on a pair of Primark suck me in knickers and you literally could not even see the bag at all. I cried with joy, I thought I wouldn’t be able to wear any tight clothes but I honestly think I could wear my skintight bodycon dress with these babies on!

Also yesterday I officially named my stoma Bob, I’m stuck with him for a while so I thought a name would help us to bond. Bob the blob. Me and Bob. I’ll let you know how we go and what exciting things we find to wear…

Maisie X

Monday, 12 May 2014

The perfect prom

It's almost a year now since my high school leavers prom, it's gone so quick and I know that a lot of girls get really nervous about theirs so if I were to do mine again, this time with a fairy godmother sat on my shoulder, I would tell myself these 5 things:

  1. Fake tans/Spray tans/any kind of tans are not a necessity! A lot of girls got themselves extremely brown for my prom but actually it looks so much nicer when you're a natural colour, I used tinted moisturiser for a few weeks before hand so that I was an even shade all over but that was it and looking back at the pictures I'm so glad!
We three pride ourselves in having skin as pale as any vampire, actually I'm not pale enough!

  • Do not be painting your nails 10 minutes before your transport arrives! I did this, I'm sure you will be much more organised than me but make sure of that, I really should have asked my hairdresser cousin to straighten my hair too. Oh and I should have practiced my make up more too...

  • Don't spend loads of money. I was organised getting my dress because it was the only one out of hundreds that I liked and as soon as I saw it on the Coast website, I immediately asked Mum to measure me up. I didn't spend all that much money on prom, I didn't have my make up, hair or nails done professionally and my whole outfit was from the high street apart from my clutch which is my Mum's. The feather cape is Biba at House of Fraser and the shoes are from New Look.

Elliott was the best dressed boy by far, would you just look at how beaut he looks in the grey suit and waistcoat!

  • Luckily, my best friend who was also my prom date, her Mum organised for us to ride in style in an old Morris Minor but if it wasn't for her I would not have organised any transport in time, so think about how you want to arrive. I got ready at Ellie's and this was really fun, the getting ready is actually one of the most fun parts especially if you're going with your friends.

  • Take as many pictures as possible and don't be afraid to ask people to take them of you. This is one thing I regret, I didn't photobomb enough! - and I didn't get one (non-fussy) photo of just myself, you will remember your prom forever so get lotsa shots!

  • And above all (this is a bonus rule) just have fun, don't worry about it because you'll enjoy it even if the DJ is 'soo 2004'! Be the last one dancing, you can always request for a bit of McFly!
Let me know how your prom goes or tell me where you got your dress from if you're had it, I spent so long finding one I liked!
Maisie X