I was aware at that point in time that I had lost a significant amount of weight – for me anyway. I’d never struggled with my weight so to speak, but I’d always been bigger than most of my friends and always wanted to tone up and be a little bit smaller than I was, but then I don’t think any female is ever 100% truly happy with the way they look. I found it hard to lose weight when I was eating healthy or exercising, but looking back it was all half hearted efforts due to pressures from certain people in my life back then so my heart was never really in it! But I knew that when I was out of hospital I wanted things to change and this time I wanted them to change for me and not because someone was telling me how they thought I should look, what size I should be and how I should dress – not that I took much notice of it anyway, I’m too stubborn for that. I wanted to focus on me though and learn to accept myself as I am, without the criticisms and negativity from others bringing me down, so I decided to do certain things.
I started off by buying a £40 pair of jeans with a 30 inch waist. This may not seem like a big thing to most people but I’ve always been a 32-34 inch waist and never spent more than £30 maximum on a pair of jeans so this was a big thing for me (especially as I didn’t know how long I’d bee off of work for)! The nurses helped me choose which pair because I couldn’t decide between two, although half were telling me to buy both and treat myself. I thought that if I bought this pair of jeans I loved, then it would be motivation to try and fit into them when my health was back on track.
Second thing: I decided I definitely wanted to get my belly button pierced. I’d never really liked my tummy, but thought maybe if I had a pretty piece of jewellery in it I’d grow to love it. It’s a crazy backwards way of thinking but it’s my way of thinking. I was tempted to get it done at the end of the season in Turkey but looking back I’m glad it didn’t because it would have healed up and I’m not sure how trustworthy some of the Turkish piercing shops were. Dad’s always been anti piercings and anti tattoos and he doesn’t really like the piercings I’ve got, but I thought at least I could hide this one from him more easily than my nose or any others in my ears.
Thirdly, I decided I wanted to dye my hair… Pink. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a pink person (apart from when I accidentally dyed the ends of my hair bright pink when I was trying to dye them burgundy) but there’s something about this rose gold / pink trend that I just love. Maybe one day I’ll pluck up the courage and go for it… I’ve got the dye ready at home, I just don’t think I’m that brave anymore. I’m convinced it must have been all the drugs in me talking!!
When the nurses came round later to do the observations they said I was being moved to the main bay later that day as I was no longer being sick all the time and I wasn’t contagious. Although the thought or being on the main ward with other patients was a little bit scary I saw it as a good thing because surely it meant I was getting better and not worse, right?
I knew Holly was coming to visit me that morning when visiting hours started and although I wasn’t being sick any more I was still needing the loo an awful lot compared to your average person (the poo diary was still going as well) so I went to the loo before she arrived, in the hope I didn’t need to disappear as much when she was there.
When I came back from the loo I found that my bed and all my belongings had been moved and I didn’t know where anything was. The room I had been in was completely empty and all my things had been moved to the main bay whilst I was on the toilet so when I came back I was completely disorientated. When I eventually found a nurse who knew where I was meant to be, she took me to my new slumber and I just stood there and cried for a little bit, only to turn round and see Holly standing there with Costa cups and cake bags for me. She helped me unpack and settle into my cubicle and then we just chatted. I don’t remember much (again) just being really emotional and topsy turvy. I’d grown to hate change and the thought of it put me on edge, but at least most of the time I had time to mentally prepare myself (as daft as that sounds) but then I didn’t and I just wanted to cry and cry and cry.
To make things even better, because I’d moved from where I was expected to be, yet again my lunch got lost and never made its way to me. I could see my old room from my new bed… But somehow my lunch got lost across the corridor. Brilliant.
It was that afternoon that I was told I should be on a low fire diet if I’m having a flare up due to IBD, this was the first anyone had mentioned it to me! One of the nurses said she’d get the dietician to come down and see me when they were next doing their rounds and speak to me about what I could and couldn’t eat, but she was surprised I’d been in for a week already and no one had mentioned this to me or my parents.
Later that evening when it came to dinner (mine either got lost or I was forgotten about again because of the move) and we were going down to the canteen to grab some food we picked up some leaflets on low fibre diets and living with IBD so that was my bedtime reading sorted!
However I didn’t do much reading that evening. I was just starting to drift off to sleep and a nurse came round and told me it was time for my enema – again this was the first I’d heard of it! I was confused because I didn’t realise there were different types and didn’t understand why they’d want me to try and stop going to the toilet, but then prescribe me a laxative. There was a doctor in the ward then and they explained why I’d been prescribed this, it was a more direct way of getting the steroids to the inflamed part of my body. IV steroids work, but if you can combine them with an enema which goes straight to the site of inflammation then its supposedly better for you.
Memories of my previous enema came back, although admittedly it wasn’t quite as bad as the first one. But I still spent the next few hours constantly dashing to the toilet when a commode wasn’t available, meaning it was another sleepless night.