Friday, 12 August 2011

I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while. George Bernard Shaw

Oh I wish!

The school holiday is double edged sword. I'm utterly exhausted from dealing with daily (no make that hourly) sibling arguments and keeping on top of their schedules, but I'm loving spending this precious time with my gorgeous boys and feeling SO much better in myself.

I have to admit though, I'm finding it pretty challenging keeping two very lively boys busy and active. They're rather like puppies and need 'exercising' daily otherwise things get out of hand. My boys don't do things like sitting still, reading, colouring and jigsaws. They are proper muddy and tree climbing boys, which I love and wouldn't have any other way - but it just means keeping them busy and entertained. And that is tiring when I'm on top form, let alone just 4 weeks out of surgery. To make matters worse my eldest son has ADHD and to say he's 'lively' would be a bigger understatement than when Noah said 'it looks like rain'.

If they were at school, I'd probably allow myself an afternoon nap or at least 30 minutes on the sofa watching unspeakably bad daytime TV. But that can't happen.. the moment I sit down the wail of 'muuuuuummm' from another room raises my blood pressure to boiling point and requires some sort of intervention.

So I have developed a new found routine however and I don't feel guilty one bit - I am convalescing after all! It involves having a lie-in until about 8am with a cup of tea and my novel while the boys watch some cartoons on TV! it's blissful and just what I need to start my day - a tiny window of peace. If they were at school of course, I couldn't do it, so I'll enjoy it while it lasts. Every cloud has a silver lining..


So..on Tuesday, hubby got home early from work, so I grasped the opportunity pulled on my trainers and said 'I'm going for a run (shuffle), if I'm not back in 30 minutes send out the search parties'. My first run since surgery and my first proper run in about 2 months. And set off thinking I might manage 10 minutes, then need to walk.  I surprised myself by not only being able to run for 20 whole minutes without stopping but felt pretty fantastic too. I bounced along the road feeling full of energy and positivity!  I'm now wondering if I could take part in Tunbridge Wells 10km which is only 4 weeks away. Rather bizzarely I did this same race last year with my temporary ileostomy which I had at the time. And have done nothing since.. yes I think I might give it a go.

I've also recently bought an ID bracelet for when I'm out running or riding. 

It's a sport band you wear around your wrist and has details of your name, GP and emergency contacts, medical info etc inside. I worry that if something was to happen to me when I'm out and medics don't know about my ileostomy, I may not receive the right treatment. One complication of having an ileostomy is that I can get very dehydrated and suffer from low electrolyte levels. If I was to get into this state when out on my own and become unconscious, I'd possibly just need IV fluids so this information is stored in my band.  I think it's probably a good investment of £14 that everyone should make. Be safe out there!

Leaks - SORTED!

You'll also remember I've been struggling with leaks from the bag. Utterly demoralising and depressing to be honest. Not being able to work out what was going on or why was frustrating and making me feel quite miserable.  However, my amazing stoma nurse Lesley, came round on Tuesday morning and between us we figured out what I've been doing wrong. Without going into too much detail, I had some plastic spiky stitches around the stoma which was preventing me from getting a good seal with the wafer (the bit that sticks onto my stomach). In addition I had been cutting the hole too small which was pinching the stoma and forcing the 'output' under the wafer and causing a leak.  So she removed the stitches and we cut a bigger hole for the stoma - and BINGO! so far so good. No leaks since. My fingers are firmly crossed. 

So it's the weekend now and I'm looking forward to being able to go for another run and maybe a bike ride too. On Sunday we are going to our Annual BBQ with our running club and I'm really looking forward to catching up with all our friends. We couldn't go last year as I was still too sick.. but this year I'll be enjoying a burger, sausage and glass of wine with the rest of them! Can't wait.

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