Sunday Chills and Turning Into Curly Sue! 

Hey Crohnies and Lucky coiners!

I hope you’re all having a fab weekend.

As all you students know that’s us properly back in the swing of uni again and Christmas break feels long forgotten. I’m currently suffering with not 1 but 2 infections and just getting over a bout of the flu (I have no idea how I wasn’t bed bound but Night and Day Nurse, you are my saviour!) and have been feeling a little better emotionally now I’m back in a routine I know and I’m focusing on getting my uni work done as soon as I can then I can be maybe a week ahead in case I get any more infections so I’ll be able to relax a little bit.

I’ve also been told that the first instalment of the West Dunbartonshire social enterprise grant will be through this week! (Yaaaay!) 

As usual things are crazy busy here, what with my multiple appointments at the hospital, GP alongside all the uni work I have and running the business while making lots of exciting new contacts over the next few weeks. There really aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done but I’m enjoying being kept preoccupied. I’ll always prefer to be busy after spending months upon end in hospital or in my bed.

I actually bought myself a new shirt yesterday since I have had so many leaks my clothes are discoloured from the acidic nature of the poop that ends up over it a LOT! 

  

 I absolutely love the fit of this, it’s so comfy and is even hiding my half full bag without being too obvious!! I am definitely glad for the £8 I spent on this from Primark! They have lots of different colours available too and has been perfect today when I went to go get food teamed with my fuggs (fake ugg boots from JustFab, £35).

I also treated myself to a Remmington curling wand from Amazon (£20.99 on  sale right now) 

  
These are literally the only way to curl my hair and make it last, I went from looking a pale straggly mess to having classic Miley Cyrus curls (before the platinum blonde shortness!) 

  I’d definitely rate them 10/10, my curled have lasted well over a day and a half and are the exact same look as when I did them! 

Happy Sunday,

Jen x

Chilling and a Look Back! 

 Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

Happy Sunday! 

I’m currently dressed in the cosiest one shoulder jumper ever. I have to say this change of weather is really effecting me since it got colder when it snowed the other week, I’ve been feeling pretty under the weather with a dodgy tummy that’s feeing a bit like I have a big (it’s hard to tell these days, especially when you feel unwell fairly often!) I’m also feeling pretty anaemic because It’s been a wee while since my last iron infusion of blood transfusion! 

 
The jumper is one of many available on BooHoo and I have to say the one shoulder takes it from boring old casual jumper to being a bit more on trend and dressed up! 

I posted on the Facebook page yesterday about the trouble I’m having with my bag delivery company and it was pretty painful using a tape I’m really allergic too so I’m paying for it today… This was what I looked like (before the pus yesterday, don’t want to put anyone off their fry up or make their hangover worse).

  
I’d also like to use this post to show how far I think I’ve came in a year… This was me one year ago today after ending up in hospital for emergency surgery after getting an abdominal abscess and sepsis! 

  
And this was me yesterday going to get Stuart, I feel like I take one step forwar and seventeen back but looking at the difference between then and the picture below I took yesterday that at least I don’t look as ill as I was and even though I’m down and still struggling so much with having this bag, at least I’m not in a hospital gown today! 

  

  
Hope you all have a lovely day,

Jen x

Feeling (Un)Comfortable

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

I’m sure as all of you know with scars/burns/ostomys how hard it is to feel comfortable sometimes. I certainly didn’t think that after getting my stoma id be so uncomfortable in my clothes, my appearance, going out and in pretty much every other way possible.

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time in mourning, not only for Duncan and the life he could have led but also the life I could have lived had my Crohn’s been milder or my surgery going to plan or having no allergies to the bags. I know that family and friends read this too so I want to just emphasise how tough it is to watch everyone else carry on in their lives while I not only have lost my best friend but also not be happy about my life. I do spend my days faking a smile or trying to get on with things but with every single leak (4 so far today), pain and tear it gets harder to keep going. 

I spend my days no longer loving dressing up and going out to see my friends or be active but instead stay at home, spending as much time in pjs and hiding away as possible. Uni is even becoming basically impossible with how scared I am of leaks. I was in for one hour this morning and I once again leaked everywhere twice and only just avoided being covered in it. 

I feel like I’m no longer the person I used to be and I am definitely much more negative with every “there’s nothing more we can do” from consultants, stoma nurses and GP’s that I’m now resigned to things being how they are and possibly this being as good as it gets.

At this point I wish I knew how to try and get back to some of the old me, but I can’t see that girl ever coming back as the last few months I’ve been led to think “what kind of a life is this?” And to be honest I’m still trying to figure that out. 

I thought I’d keep you all up to date, especially since I’ve now been staying home so often I mostly stay in pjs and don’t bother with wearing actual clothes so I don’t have many new items to blog about just now. 

This is basically the life of someone with an “invisible illness”, you’d never guess we were any different unless we told you so I suppose one good thing about me being like this and having this platform means that I can share my experiences with you all and raise awareness of not only Crohn’s and IBD but all those other people who have “something to hide”.

Jen x

Dreading Going Back To Uni

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

It’s that time of year now where everyone’s getting back in their routines and most people are back from their Christmas holidays. For us students at uni though this is about to be our first day back very soon! My first day back since the beginning of December is tomorrow and since I’ve been able to avoid going out since uni stopped I’m now terrified about going back.

I am starting to think I’m slightly agoraphobic, I spend all my time out my house thinking about when I can go home and when I’m in my house I’m terrified to leave unless I’m with someone that knows how unwell I can get like my mum or Stuart. I really am trying to focus on getting in a routine (especially with my bag and trying to stop having leaks all the time. Fingers crossed at least once in 2016 I can go more than 6 hours with a bag!) but I will struggle with being on my own and going to uni by myself. 

I will try to go to more lectures than I did last semester but I have to say I am terrified! 

I did on the plus side go out in the snow for a little while and even though I was with my niece and my cousins, I didn’t feel too uncomfortable! 

   
 
I’ll post a blog tomorrow about how I’m dressing for my first day. I’ve also had a few emails about another make up blog and another about how I do my hair with my weave so I’ll be posting them through the week too so lots going on and as always I’m sure I’ll have some kind of hospital/gp appointment because let’s face it, every week there is one! 

Have a happy Sunday,

Jen x

Our Amazing Interns!

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

I’ve been talking loads about all the interesting stuff coming up and one of the most exciting things is that City of Glasgow College where I did my HND have helped me so much these last few years, so much so that I got the amazing opportunity to speak to the second year students about both CrohnieClothing and about what it’s like to leave college and go to uni or to start a business.

Talk about a surreal experience, I got to catch up with Cheryl my lecturer from when I was in Advertising and PR and met some amazing students who I know for sure are going to make a huge splash in the business world. Two of the most amazing people that I have had the pleasure of meeting through COGC are Mhairi-Therese and Annalouise and these amazing ladies have became a part of the CrohnieClothing family!

I’d just like to welcome them into this craziness and I can’t wait to see what posts they come up with! The girls are going to help with all of the social media parts of the business, everything from coming up with ideas for blog posts and Facebook posts to actually posting their own work. They’ll also have a big hand in helping myself make some big decisions in what clothing we will be making so it’s really exciting!

I thought it would be great for you all to meet the girls by them telling us a bit about themselves and sharing some photos with us of who they are!

Firstly Here’s Anna;

“Hello I’m Anna and I’m studying advertising in PR alongside MT. I’m 20 years old and have recently just moved to the big smoke of Glasgow from a teeny weeny coastal town. I love to go running, even though I’m rubbish and have horrible stamina! I’m into music, I like anything rock, punk and indie. Blondie and Fleetwood Mac are my favourites. I love fashion and shopping so hopefully will have some style ideas and steals to inspire you crohnie clothing readers. I look forward to writing for you and I’m excited to be involved in such an excellent and helpful venture for those suffering with crohns disease.
Talk soon, Anna x”

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And Mhairi-Therese

My name is Mhairi-Therese Fowler. I’m a really chatty happy person. I applied for this internship because I know so many people that could benefit from what crohnie clothing offers and I think that it needs a lot of support to get started and i wanted to offer as much as I could whilst also being taught a lot along the way. I love reading, any type of music and social media. I tend to ramble so if I ever do it in posts. I apologise in advance if I do. I also applied because at college I’m studying advertising and public relations and I’m really enjoying it and all tat it entails!”

 

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Thank you so much for coming on board girls and I can’t wait to get started on everything!

Jen x

A Busy Day and Exciting News

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

You all know how often I need to get to the doctor to get antibiotics for my infected skin round my tummy and today I’ve got to rush to the doctors to get a check up and more meds since I’m in a bit of a state again so just a quick post about some exciting news! 

Firstly, not too exciting was I organised my room starting with my stoma supplies, I think most of you other ostomy buddies will agree this is idly therapeutic.

  
Secondly I got some pretty special post through today, CrohnieClothing is officially trademarked! It’s been a long time coming as I filed for the trademark in September but I’m so glad I can finally announce some good news!  

 
I also managed to get my business banking sorted (thank you Santander for putting up with my constant calls to make sure everything was going okay) so hopefully the first part of the Social Enterprise Grant from West Dunbartonshire council will be on its way very soon so I can start stocking and selling Bamboo clothing while also getting together the first line of CrohnieClothing and Lucky Coin ladies and menswear! 

It’s so exciting to be able to say all the work going on behind the scenes is coming to light and getting closer and closer to our own clothes being released!

Thank you all for your support and faith with everything! I’m in the waiting room of the surgery as we speak so I’ll get back to reading some out of date magazines.

Happy Thursday everyone,

Jen x

Facing Fears

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

In line with my New Years resolution I’m determined to not go more than a day or two without a blog post and today I didn’t have the most fun but I did once again leave my house, yay! …however my trip was to the dentist at the hospital to get some work done thanks to years of being on steroids and having to drink a lot of my calories causing my teeth to weaken and led to me getting sedated to do it in as few appointments as possible as to not stress me out and flare up my Crohn’s… Not so yay.

I have a massive fear of dentists, basically a bad experience when I was younger and not being able to grit my teeth during the oh so many procedures that I’ve had in the past have led to it being worse than a colonoscopy for me and for those of you out there who have had the pleasure of a colonoscopy yourselves, you know that is way down on the list of things you want to do in a day.

Thanks to me being a wimp I’d put off my treatment with my dentist for a long time and now it’s leading to me needing more work done than I would have originally but I have to say I’m surprised at how little it is in comparison to how blown out of proportion it was in my head. 

Since I now seem to have grown a pair out of nowhere I have to admit I feel a weird sense of relief about facing probably my biggest fear even if I am getting sedated and taking the easy way out! It’s made me realise how important your teeth are though and that having IBD can really affect everything from head to toe and I for one would really recommend all of you going for a check up before it gets to a bad point, plus you never know, it might give you a little confidence boost with some shiny white teeth! 

  
I’m going to be constantly flossing from now on so please warn me if I have food between my teeth. I’m also off to study for yet another exam and try not to fall asleep into my notes!

Night,

Jen x

Left My House for Once!

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

Not a big deal for most but yesterday I actually left my house for a while, it’s a rare occasion I go out, unless it’s to visit Stuart and his family but that’s basically my second home so I’m not counting that haha! 

I went to B&Q yesterday to get some paint and furnishings for moving from my single bedroom into the much bigger spare room which used to be Duncan’s. It’s not me at all and is all monochrome so I have to make it more girly and homely now I’m going to be sleeping there.

I had been dying for a chance to wear some Christmas clothes I got so I thought why not just get dressed up? 

  
This is my outfit, thank you Primark! Im wearing the Monochrome Checked Twist Shirt (£10 in store) and since I’ve got to have so many different pairs of black jeans thanks to my inevitable leaks and these are the Primark High Waist Super Skinny Jeans (£10 in store). I find these days black is the only colour I feel safe in as if I leak it can hide them slightly more than any other colour. 

The top is so comfy and is so on trend this winter that I can’t believe it’s such a bargain! Where else can you get a full outfit for £20? 

   
On top I wore my Asos leather jacket I got for Christmas. I have no idea what it cost because it was a present but I love the fur collar and I’ve been told it was a very good buy. Go have a look at the Asos range of leather (pleather in my case) jackets Here!

  

My satchel was £11.99 on EBay (most colours sold out but they update stock regularly, mine is the brown one) and they have thousands of different types, colours and sizes plus they’re padded to be laptop bags too! I use mine mainly for uni but since I got a new uni backpack to help with my back pain, this is my day to day bag. Get one online here!
Overall I managed to get out the house for once and I might have been out for less than 2 hours but it’s better than sitting in my room watching Grey’s Anatomy constantly.

All about the baby steps,

Jen x

But You Don’t Look Sick…

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

The title of this post is something myself and so many other people with invisible illnesses hear on a daily basis. It’s well intentioned most of the time and when it’s not it’s normally accusatory so it’s a fine line between a compliment and an accusation. Thus, the problem with having an invisible illness.

Some days I wish more than anything that I had something people could see at a glance and just know I’m unwell, however, if I did I could never pretend I’m a normal person like most other 22 year olds. 

  
Take this picture for example, it’s great what a truckload of make up, a weave and a filter (thank you Instagram) can do. 

You’d never guess looking at this picture that I’m currently about to start yet another course of antibiotics (I rarely can go more than 2 weeks without 500mg of flucloxicillin 4 times a day) and that I have an ostomy and have a bag, alongside a constant skin infection that leaves me scared to go out my house apart from the rare occasions I can’t cope being cooped up anymore. You’d also never guess that I am terrified to go anywhere alone in case I get faint, sick or have really bad pain… Pretty much each of these occur daily. 

  
Under my jeans you’d never guess that I’m in constant pain, mind you sometimes you’d never guess under my bag I was in so much pain because I have to tape it up so much that any kind of air, water or cream touching the infected skin leads to my crying out in pain. It’s hard to see in the picture but inside my belly button is also infected with thanks to the constant leaks I get from the bag and it bleeds any time I change the bag or wash the area. 

This is sadly my life for the foreseeable future as I’ll never be cured of the Crohn’s that has controlled me for the last 10 years and I’ve very little options left apart from more surgery.

I’m posting this to raise awareness of invisible illnesses, I can’t describe any of the others personally, but this is my first hand experience of looking fine in clothes but having a totally different look without them. 

I hope you all have a chilled Sunday,

Jen x

Studying Comfort

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

It’s that time of year where I become so stressed out that literally anything makes me cry and become an emotional wreck (I cried earlier because I couldn’t get my new razor out its plastic jail) and get really down about yet another year of living with Crohn’s. 

In a month it’ll be 9 years I was diagnosed which means it’s been pretty much a decade since I started getting sick. Throw in the stress of exams and the sadness I still feel every single day without Duncan and it’s a lot. 

I’m once again struggling to get out of my bed and into clothes, especially since I have an exam on Thursday but yesterday I made the effort and actually put clothes on so I could go to Asda. Since I’m spending so long lying down/sitting I wanted to be super comfy and these are my comfy clothes.

  
I wear black skinny high waisted jeans that I talk about constantly on here about benign the only trousers I’m comfortable in and I’m not kidding, I have 6 pairs of matching jeans!

I was wearing a black laser cut tee from Primark that was £10 and is still available now! I love it so much I got it in burgundy too.

I also was wearing a half sleeve bat wing shrug cardigan that had a dark green and black stripe over it. I got this in the winter sale in Forever21 two years ago and it is the dream cardigan, I’m determined to get another since it’s starting to develop a hole but I’m still hunting for one online! I hopefully will find an equally super soft material that is so soft against my skin and it’s surprisingly warm! 

  
I also was wearing a pair of Primark Chelsea Boots £12 that I got the other day, I am forever in boots so I can wear thick socks underneath and this is the third pair of these boots I’ve got and I wear them to death (it’s surprising how much driving wears down my shoes). I also got an amazing pair of over the knee black suede boots I’ll be posting about super soon since I’ll probably next be dressed in actual clothes on Thursday and will wear them to my exam.

I hope you all have a good night,

Jen x