RIP squirt, hello squirtle

The 5th may would have been squirts 7 year stomaversary. Unfortunately he left us a week before.

The past 5 weeks i have been on a rollercoaster from hell. I’m writing this from my hospital bed, i have been in hospital for 5 weeks. I am nowhere near the end of this journey but thought would be a good time to write what has led me to here.

There is no need for me to go into what led me into this situation, online is not the place to start analysing all the mistakes, and I’ve been reminded to not beat myself up, but the long and short of it is i thought i was superwoman, I thought I could do the same, even more than a normal person, and didnt learn from my hernia op in november last year. I’m not saying you can’t live a normal life with a stoma but just dont think your invincible like i did!

Saturday 21st april I began getting pains. I thought was just a blockage which ive had many time before and have manged to clear myself. The day continued and wouldn’t budge. I was due to be working that evening. Although I was still in pain i still went in, not wanting to let anyone down, I had went to work with blockages before and Waited till they passed. Like msny other times before I thought it would pass on its own. I finished at 11.30pm by this point I was in agony and couldn’t get a taxi home. Eventually got home about 1am. Early hours of sunday I woke up still in agony and began bringing up bile and poop. I realised I’d had no output for aproximately 15 hours. I rang ambulance and got rushed to hospital. I was alone and scared
I was taken to the emergency Care hospital. A Ct scan showed my bowel had twisted behind my stoma where my hernia had been, strangulating my bowel. I had emergency surgery to untwist my bowel and removed the damaged section and have my stoma reformed. 2 days later was transferred to one of the smaller hospitals to recover.
At this point i was still unable to eat and still being sick, though a small amount of liquid stool was coming from my stoma. They assumed i just had ileus from surgery and it would rectify itself after a few days. I was given ng tube to empy bile from my stomach due to being sick alot. I knew something still wasnt right and begged for tests. A week later my requests were granted. Tests showed the bowel was still twisted and i was transferred back to emergency care where my surgeon took over the case. As i hadnt eaten in nearly 2 weeks being nil by mouth he requested i get a central line in my neck for intravenous tpn feed. This required a surgical procedure to make an incision in my neck.
The following day i underwent another ct scan then was operated on by my surgeon who moved my stoma to the left side of my body and stitched up the site from where my old stoma was. Squirt was no more, my new stoma was named squirtle. 2,days later transferred back to the smaller hospital, where the care is much better! The emergency hospital just want to patch you up, ship you off, there is very little care, and were not good with managimg pain..
The wound from where squirt was got infected and opened up a little so had to have an open wound to manage. The ng tube was removed and they began introducing food back into my diet.
I thought i was on the road to recovery. Eating started well but then my bowel shut down and my stoma stopped working. i began bringing up bile again so was returned to nill by mouth and ng tube put back. As they hadn’t weaned me of my tpn i was  only being fed by tpn.
A week later after me again begging the doctors decided to do more tests. they agreed the bowel should have began to work by this point. Since being admitted i had been in constant pain needing high levels of pain killers. A gastrografin test was done which showed no blockage but showed areas where it struggled to pass showing there was still some problems, a ct scan was also ordered it showed my bowel had twisted again so got transferred back to emergency care for more surgery. Surgery was done the following morning. And due to severity was open surgery. The 2 previous surgeries were lsproscopic with a few inscisions about 10cm long.  I woke up in recovery and was taken to intensive care where I stayed for 4 days before being moved onto the ward. I had a midline inscision from my breasts to my bikini line. I had a straw sticking out at the top and bottom, a type of drain called penbroke drain. Where my belly button used to be was a hole where you could see the straw, the old stomach site had been opened up. The belly button and old stomach site were packed with dressing, being told they’d heal from the inside.
I found out that my bowel had twisted and done a loop then got stuck within the mesh from the first hernia repair causing adhesions. The part of bowel which had twisted had an abscess and the mesh had became infected. I was told all the mesh had been removed. I was in alot of pain which wasn’t managed very well. I had a pca with morphine.  I spent one day on the ward at before begging to return to the smaller hospital where i knew i would be looked after. My ng tube was removed and i began eating food. I found this really difficult. After not eating for so long and also the fact that the previous week i was fine till i began eating, then bowel twisted, so in my mind i worried if i ate again my bowel would twist again,also everytime I’d tried food in the previous weeks i was sick. Aldo my stomach would crsmp when i ate, the only thing that i could eat with no issues was icepops and ice lollies, my bowels had been manhandled quite a lot so i gathered they were just bruised and needed time.
Not knowing why it twisted didn’t help, plus i had been right everytime up till this point, and drs always wrong so found it difficult to trust. As i began to eat and squirtle began to work i had another panic when my bag began filling with blood and blood clots, it only lasted 20 minutes, the nurses weren’t to concerned as was dark blood and not fresh. Although upto now it hasn’t happened again it still worried me.
Determined to get home, I perservered. My dr said i had to eat my way out. 7 days after surgery the tpn was taken down, leaving me on my own to eat enough to get me through. I was prescribed fortisip drinks to help. Also after 7 days the pca was taken down and i was put onto oxycodone with oxynorm as back up for times between doses when needed. This made the pain bearable. The two open wounds continued to cause problems, as i write i am awaiting on tissue viablitity team to come and look at my wounds.
Squirtle is behaving and I’m slowly recovering, managing a little more each day, and slowly managing to walk around. The catheter is being removed which will mean needing to get up alot more! I am hoping to get home sometime next week. I know i still have a long way to go but I’m an ibd warrior and i won’t give up!




It has been a while….

Sorry, I got so busy living life!

Though last year things took a downward turn.  After overdoing it at work, and not much support I ended up with a parastomal hernia.  I had it repaired in November 2017, though I still worry it will come back.  I did get a bit cocky thinking I was invincible and was so determined not to let my bag stop me that I didnt take enough precautions.  But that is me as a person.

But apart from that life is great, a pretty normal life.

I will try to check in more often.


donna & squirt


What makes something go viral?

It has been a while since I posted in this blog, a lot has been going on.

The #getyourbellyout campaign being the highlight.

The campaign took momentum and has raised a lot of money and has done a lot of good. The video is nearing 6000 views and still going, though it is beginning to slow. The amazing team have not stopped though, they are now selling merchandise, and have a competition for a calendar.

We should be proud of that achievement, but this week I read a blog post by jess at uncover ostomy and realised I feel the same as her.

An interview on the BBC, which was hijacked by some ‘expert’to say ibd is caused by junkfood, very quickly this took up speed, all the papers were writing it and soon the lies became viral.

As mentioned the #getyourbellyout campaign gave people the courage to post pictures of there belly’s, including us ostomates.

So a month or so in, a girl in a bikini with an ostomy, a very good looking girl, who said she aspired to be a model, suddenly began appearing everywhere! Her photo went viral, her story went viral.


Now yes I am mostly happy about this, but it makes me think. All the papers and everyone who shared it began thinking that the campaign was after her picture, and that we got our confidence from her, when in fact it was the other way round!

Some of us ostomates have not been afraid to wear bikinis as shown in the ostomy awareness video from many years ago.

Some of us have been spending nearly every spare moment trying to raise awareness  jess being one of them, a very beautiful model who began the uncover ostomy campaign and spending years dedicated to it. So why didn’t any of her pictures go viral?

download (1)

So in the scheme of things is 5000 really that big? I have been doing a few other videos for different causes lately, and as usual sharing the video’s everywhere. Check out my videos, on youtube, meardonna mearvideos.

I noticed my husband sharing ridiculous video’s, when I look at these daft videos the views are in the hundred thousands!! Here is a recent video he posted and yes it is a bit funny but still! and it has had over 85,000 views!

What also annoys me is he never shares my videos unless I twist his arm, yet he shares all of this trash! I am thankful for my many friends who do share my videos, but they never build up that momentum. 

In a world where an overgrown kid gets famous for recording himself playing a stupid xbox game, with hours and hours of total rubbish, and the most annoying laugh in the world, I begin to think something is seriously wrong!

Maybe I’m just having a failure moment but it makes you think.

Why I’m glad my disease was in the serious end of the scale.

20% of UC patients have disease effecting whole of colon, and where it is classed ad serious.  With a lot of those requiring surgery.

The diagnosis of ulcerative colitis justover 6 years ago was a horrific blow, especially as the disease attacked so severely. I went through many times thinking why me and thinking it was a bad thing.

All these years on, i look back and I’m thinking of how much my feelings have changed since then. 
My mum has diverticulitis  and for over a year has been literally begging for surgery, some people will ask why, because such surgery is always a last resort! Though I wish that wasn’t the normal thinking! These diseases, are not pleasant, we all have our limit of what we can tolerate, luckily my mum finally had surgery and is doing really well. And is looking forward to being able to live without worrying about where the toilets are.

I have had many conversations with other ibd’ers over the past few years and also recently, there disease is classed as controlled. Most are on medications which have side effects, and thy still have to live with the symptoms of UC. They wouldn’t be allowed to have surgery as they are looked at as being controlled.

I look at those strong fighters, and am thankful I am not one of the 80%, how the tides have turned.

I wish that surgery isn’t always going to be seen as the last option, as if it is a failure, losing the battle, where it should be seen as winning.
This past week I have been sailing at work, and Out for a hen night which included an all you can eat buffet and Rocky horror theme, when I look back at this week, I would not have been able to do all of this with my colon. So I am grateful.



A Group of IBD’ers decided after the no make-up selfies, to start there own campaign.  I’m going to be totally honest, as always 🙂


On the one hand I’m a little upset that even after all there amazing hard work it did not get anything like the coverage that the no make-up selfies got!  That was all over the tv! But then IBD isn’t Cancer, it’s no like IBD is serious and people don’t die of it do they????   I hope you know that was sarcasm!!!!!!!

As soon as I heard about it I jumped in, taking my belly pic and nominating friends,


I was deeply dissapointed when a fellow IBD’er/ostomate, messaged me demanding me to remove it and to un-nominate her as she wanted nothing to do with it all.

It made me feel sad that all the hard work of many great IBD’ers, to remove the stigma, hadn’t really worked, have we really gotten anywhere???

After I pulled myself out of that downer, and after finishing loads of wedding video’s, I thought I would make a positive contribution by offering my services to make a video.  

As the campaign took hold, many many people took part, over £3000 was raised for crohns and colitis uk, The video was launched last night and over 300 views already!!!!!!

So to end on a positive I am happy and proud!!!!!!!!  It goes to show what can be done when people band together, as a community we are strong!!!!

It also gave me more of a kick up my barbie backside to continue to keep fighting!!!!!!!

I’m a happy barbie girl 🙂

On a side note, My mum had surgery yesterday, she now has a colostomy, so there is now 3 baggies in our family!

I just hope her little friend, who we have not named yet, is as well behaved as squirt is!



End of an era and disasters

This time last year I got my first car, ladybug


We had a year together, she got me through learning to drive and gave me many months of happy drives and never let me down. This weekend I gave her to my future sister-in-law, as I got a new car, blackbird.


It was my future sister-in-law’s hen party so me and ladybug had our last journey together, which involved getting lost and a 3 hour journey becoming
7 hours!


Because my son has CHD, I dressed up as a ladybird.

Although it was really nice to go to my future sister in-laws hen party it was frought with disasters! We were staying at there house. The toilet situation was not ideal for an ostomate, I hadn’t thought about that as my ostomy is apart of me now so i don’t think about it anymore. Then also we were going to a spa, and I had spent the night before leaving worrying on whether to take my costume or bikini, both from vanilla blush! It wasn’t till the morning I realised I had left both swimming costume and bikini back home! Kindly my future sis in law leant me a tankini but as it was a normal tanking and not ostomate swimwear, my bag was on show! So going to a posh hotel, with my in laws and my future sis in laws family and friends. I was petrified! The first time I have ever been petrified with my ostomy. I was anxiously waiting for some comments or at worst to be chucked out of the spa because of complaints, well these sorts of things have happened before to people! Nobody battered an eyelid, and the day went off without any issues. I was worried I was going to ruin the hen do. The evening we all had to wear tutu’s this was mine! I made it myself!


Atleast with a tutu I had no worries about my ostomy being noticeable. The rest of night went without anymore issues, though nightlife in derby is nothing compared to Newcastle!
Next task is to find dresses for wedding as I have 4 this summer!

goodbye 2013

Today is the beginning of 2014, so a time to look back on 2013.

2013 for me was a great year, it was almost a hospital free year, had it not been for those nuts!

I bought my first car, passed my driving test, got a job that I love, which has also pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I have surprised myself. Others having faith in me when I doubted myself.

I got to see meatloaf, bonjovi, emeli Sande, and boyzone

On our 12th anniversary Paul and myself renewed our wedding vows.

As a family we went on a 2 week Mediterranean cruise, where I spent most of the time by the pool in my vblush bikini!

I performed in a pantomime along with my kids, I played an Indian and a pirate and had to learn to conquer my 2 left feet!

As an ostomy Community we fought against stereotypes with very good results.

I set up squirts ostomy covers, and sold many covers and gave many away to very deserving people.

What for 2014? We’ll I hope to attempt a whole year with no hospital admissions! Another jump, possibly the Baltic, and to continue living life to the fullest!