So honored!

It always feels good to get recognized for something, but it is extra special when an award comes from a peer. These folks know the amazing amount of work and passion that can go into a project because they  devote their time and energy to the similar things. About a month ago, fellow blogger Joyce Lameire nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award. I am incredibly honored that she thought of me. Joyce has both ulcerative colitis and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Joyce’s blog, ankysponwhat.com features posts about treatments, managing pain and AS news. Lately Joyce has been writing a series of posts that delve into her history with the disease. For those who don’t know, ankylosing spondylitis is often associated with UC. Though I don’t have AS, I have been learning a lot about the disease through her site and would highly recommend checking it out.

In order to accept a Versatile Blogger Award, the following rules must be followed:

  • Display the award certificate on your website.
  • Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award.
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

It should be no surprise that most of the blogs I follow are IBD-related. There are so many blogs that I absolutely love but I won’t be able to include them all (the list would go on for pages). Here are are 15 of my favorites and the reasons I find them so special.

  • Full Frontal Ostomy Charis, long before we both had blogs, was the very first person that I reached out to online when I was facing ostomy surgery. She is a positive role model and I love her blog and all she does to spread ostomy and IBD awareness.
  • Blood Poop and Tears This is one of the very first blogs I read when I had IBD and then surgery. I love Jackie’s honest account of her life with IBD.
  • Girls with Guts This website and blog is put together by Charis and Jackie (who author the two blogs above). One of the site’s many features are stories of women who have strongly faced the challenges of IBD. Girls with Guts is a huge source of inspiration for me.
  • Inflamed and Untamed Sarah so often puts the exact things I am feeling into words. She does an amazing job of describing the emotional aspects of having IBD and many times I am brought to tears by her writing because I can relate to it so well.
  • Rollin with Outta Colon Cary is an avid cyclist with an ostomy and his blog posts are an artful blend of thoughts on biking, music, photography and the realities of living with an ostomy and the pain of chronic illness. Cary’s posts are full of depth and insight and really get me thinking.
  • Living Bigger with a Colostomy Paul is a fellow outdoor adventurer and I’m inspired by reading about all the things he does with his ostomy. His life is proof that an ostomy does not have to stop a person from doing the things they love.
  • Run Stronger Everyday Even though my running plans have been sidelined due to hip woes, I love reading Abby’s blog. She has been through ostomy surgery and now has a J-pouch. I am not sure when I will be able to return to running (definitely not before my Rainier climb since I can’t risk getting injured), but her blog helps keep me motivated for the day I once again lace up my shoes for a jog.
  • Living Life and Lovin’ It Megan is a newcomer to the ostomy blogging community. I love how she writes about her ostomy experiences in some posts and then things as diverse as chickens and pitcher plants in others. Life is a beautiful mix of so many things and her blog celebrates that.
  • Amazing Adventures- Ostomy Included I only recently discovered this ostomy-and IBD-related blog and am already hooked. Just reading the author’s story reminded me so much of my own—right down to the post-surgery incision complications that I frustratingly faced after surgery. I love this blogger’s adventurous spirit and thoughtful writing and can’t wait for future posts.
  • Gutless Cyclist The author of this blog has also had some health setbacks recently. Despite this, he stays positive and works hard to get back on his bike. Reading his posts fills me with inspiration.
  • Theflowrylife This blog was only started in November 2012, but is already one of my favorites. I love the author’s focus on mindfulness and enjoying the present moment.
  • Love for Mutant Guts It has been great to see Alyssa’s confidence as an IBD health activist grow through her blog. She always has a kind and encouraging word to say too.
  • A Guy with Crohn’s Jeffrey does a great job of spreading IBD awareness. I enjoy reading his posts on a wide variety of topics including gluten-free cooking. To top it off, Jeffrey recently took part in the WEGO Health Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge and managed to write a post a day for 30 days. I sometimes have trouble writing a post every couple of weeks, so that is a major accomplishment!
  • Intense intestines When I first stumbled upon Brian’s blog I couldn’t believe it. Here was another outdoor-loving person who had gone through ostomy surgery one day after I had. The organization Brian started, The Intense Intestines Foundation, has grown to become one of the most incredible resources for those with IBD.
  • Squirt’s blog Donna is a fellow nature-loving ostomate with an adventurous spirit and that shines through in her blog. She does so much to spread ostomy awareness. I am pretty sure if Donna lived closer, we would be meeting up to explore forests, streams and fields on a regular basis.

Now for the seven interesting  tidbits about my life:

  • I have way too many hobbies. As if the plethora of outdoor sports I enjoy aren’t enough, I love drawing, painting, printmaking, journaling, sewing, tying fishing flies, storytelling, writing, drumming and playing the guitar. Whew! The upside–I can’t remember a time that I was ever really bored.
Drum circle fun.
Playing my djembe.
  • I can do an awesome squirrel voice. This comes in handy for the above-mentioned storytelling hobby and the many puppet shows I conduct for kids as a park naturalist.

    My squirrel voice was first developed for the puppet on the right, but has since been used while impersonating a variety of rodent characters.
    My squirrel voice was first developed for the puppet on the right, but has since been used while impersonating a variety of rodent characters. (Oh, and I also hand-sewed these three puppets.)
  • Weather fascinates me. Ever since I spotted a twister that came within ½ mile of my house as a child, I have been interested in weather. I have the National Weather Service radar bookmarked on my computer and could watch clouds all day. I was bummed that all my hospital room windows faced east when I was stuck there during my UC and surgery recovery. It drove me crazy to not be able to see the weather coming in from the west.
  • Social media wears me out. Though I enjoy public speaking and teaching, I am a total introvert at heart. I am the person at parties who you see having an in-depth conversation with someone in the corner instead of mingling. In the same way, I love interacting with people one and one through blog comments and emails. However, I definitely fall short in the realm of social media. The pace of Facebook and Twitter is crazy and by the time I process all the information and think of what I want to say, posts are already dead and buried. And I find writing within the 140 character limit of Twitter nearly impossible!
  • I drive a pink scooter. In an effort to keep my carbon footprint as small as possible, I make my 28-mile round-trip commute on my scooter when the weather cooperates (my bike gets 90-95 mpg). With my pink helmet and blond ponytail, I must look like Barbie going down the street because I often get waved to by little girls.
Heading to work on my scooter.
Heading to work on my scooter.
  • I love gummy candy. I try to eat healthy, but I have weakness for gummy bears, octopi, worms or whatever crazy-shaped creations I can find in the candy aisle.
  • I was a really creative kid. When I was a child, my parents set up art studios in the basement for my brothers and I, and stocked them with markers, paints, papers and all sorts of materials. I would spend hours down there drawing and creating art projects. I also used to develop my very own book order forms for my parents to fill out. Once they marked which titles they wanted, I would make little books and write a tale within the pages so that I could fill their order. My brothers and I also used to type up scripts and song sheets for shows and then perform them for our family.
Sitting in my homemade cardboard sleigh during a one of our Christmas productions.
Sitting in the homemade cardboard sleigh during act one of a Christmas production.
Act two involved some singing complete with a microphone. Now if only I actually could have carried a tune!
Act two involved singing in an elf costume (with a cool microphone)! Now if only I could have actually carried a tune.
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11 thoughts on “So honored!

  1. LOVED learning the 7 things about you! Social media also wears me out (no one would believe that I think!) but it does. And you on your pink scooter is so cute. Thanks for nominating me my sweet friend.

    ❤ Sara

  2. Thank you for nominating me and being such an inspiration. I love how I am the only one you nominated without an ostomy 🙂 I do have to say though, that when I was really sick in 2010-2011 and thoughts of ostomy were running through my head, you showed me that life would go on and helped put my mind at ease. I now know that if that ever becomes an option….my life will continue and there are great people out there, like you, to help support me.

  3. Heidi, what a wonderful post. I smiled all the way through. You look awesome on that bike!

    Thank you for the nomination, but I thank you even more for your description. So kind and thoughtful, as always.

    Know I’m pulling for your successful Rainier ascent. Another inspiring goal I’m confident you’ll achieve, health gods willing.

    Namaste, Cary

  4. Heidi…Congrats! I learned so much more about you and am so jealous. …you have a pink scooter? OMG! Your website is AMAZING! I am stoked to now see others you referenced!
    Shannon

    1. Hi Shannon,

      Thanks! I just took my pink scooter out for its first ride of the spring this evening– a short drive over to the gym. Now that it has finally stopped snowing and the temps are rising, I will be taking it to work every day. Yes- please check out the other sites! They are great.

      -Heidi

  5. I love this blog – Just stumbled across it now on blogs I might like 🙂 You’re advice is fantabulous 🙂
    I only had my ileostomy surgery seven-weeks-ago now and it is the best thing that ever happened to me after more than a decade of being crippled by pain and a constant obsessive need to know where the toilet was whenever I entered a room due to my Crohns/ UC (docs still aren’t sure after all this time – mental I know!!!)

    Anyway I am sure some of these blogs will be helpful 🙂 I love your positive outlook – I too have an addiction to gummy sweets and I wish I drove a pink scooter. For my own mission I have started myself a challenge to do 101 adventures with my ostomy – nicknamed Winnie (the poo) – so far we have done 2 – they are everything from the most bizarre to things I can’t believe I haven’t done and things that are terrifying….

    I guess I want to embrace life now I am not (for the moment) stuck to my toilet throne to frightened to venture outdoors in case of an accident or a fainting attack – I want to show, like you, that life isn’t over when you have an ostomy – it has just begun.

    If you have any tips for my more outdoorsy challenges – climbing three peaks, the 30 things in England and the walking and jump out of a plane (eek) nightmares 🙂 please let me know – any tips on bags and that lot would be welcome – I will be checking this out to see if I can get any tips.

    My blog is http://adventuresofthebaglady.wordpress.com – if anyone has any tips or advice MUCH WELCOME 🙂
    And thanks for the list of others 🙂 I will look through them with glee as I drink my nutritional build up yucky ensure drink!!!

    Much Love

    The Stoma Bag Lady – and Winnie x

    1. Hi Stoma Bag Lady and Winnie (the Poo) too,

      That has to be the best salutation I have ever typed!

      Thanks for writing! I love your blog idea and look forward to seeing you reach your 101 goals! I am glad to hear that you are feeling great after surgery. One of the first things I noticed when I woke up from surgery was that the horrible colon pain I had been experiencing for years was completely gone.

      As far as tips from me for your outdoorsy challenges… sounds like you have already met my first one which is to face fears and not let them stop you. You are approaching everything with a positive attitude head on. You are so right that it is important to embrace the moment.

      For advice- just experiment with products (and have fun with it… I love trying out different stuff and figuring out if it will work for my adventures… or adapting it so that it will). One of my favorite products for exercise and outdoor pursuits are my Comfizz Level One Boxers. They hold my pouch in place perfectly. I also love Convatec Surfit Durahesive wafers. They stick to me through anything… swimming, sweating in hot temps and rock climbing. When I do strenuous stuff I wear a hernia prevention belt. This is especially important as your core is healing. The Comfizz Boxers are also great for holding the hernia prevention belt in place.

      There are tons of other tips scattered throughout all my videos too.

      Ah yes. Ensure. I lived on that stuff between my severe UC flare and surgery and then for a bit afterwards too. Glad to say that I haven’t had to drink it in over two years. Hopefully you won’t need to drink it for too much longer either:)

      Take Care,

      Heidi

      1. WOW two years without Ensure is amazing, says on mine EVEN BETTER TASTE – what the hell did it taste like before ??? I have been drinking them since I was 13 when first discovered i had crohns 😦 on and off that is…not a fan at all, but at least have now discovered the coffee ones which are a little better.

        I have got the comfizz level 1 vest and knickers (pescription ones) so hoping to try others as and when i get to exercise again 🙂

        I know my fistula and second stoma give me a bit of pain every so often and I have a little hernia (own fault thought I was wonder woman I think) – anyway I was the same the constant pain that you hardly ever notice cause its always there was gone VANISHED straight after op – at first I thought it was the morphine… then remembered no drug (including morphine) had ever masked it before – I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was a Miracle – oh what the hell – it was 🙂

        I’m ready for everything this throws at me now….so will keep reading for tips and maybe you will see me scaling a mountain and putting an ostomy flag on top – claiming it for ostomy and crohnies everywhere 🙂 OOOHH WILL MAKE FLAGS 🙂 could be a new worldwide trend 🙂

        Stay well

        Rachel (aka the stomabaglady) & bye from Winnie and, who can forget, Felicity (fistula) and Oscar (the 2nd stoma – he is a grouch)

        (

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