Home My Journey Salou Round 2 : I’m Home!

Salou Round 2 : I’m Home!

by InvisiblyMe

I returned safely to the freezing cold UK a couple of days ago and I’m already wondering how I’ll survive the winter! I know my health conditions affect my body temperature, but most people are feeling the chill already. I was incredibly fortunate with the weather in Salou, which, for the most part, was warm and sunny each afternoon. If I could move there, I would!

Mentally, I was a bit of a mess for part of the holiday. I had a lot on my mind, and sadly when I returned home I felt like I hadn’t even been away. The first time I went, even though I was sad to leave such a gorgeous place, I was looking forward to coming back because I felt a little refreshed, more positive, more motivated to stay alive. This time, with apprehension about coming back, I feel totally exhausted. I also caught another cold and my body was feeling the effects of trying to keep up whilst I was away; for 2 days afterwards everything hurt, my joints, muscles, bones. I’m still quite rough now. Pain can amplify negative feelings, as many of you know.

I won’t get too negative on here, but as I always say, I do try to be honest. Things aren’t always rosy and you can’t always find the positives and glow with appreciation for simply being alive. It’s okay to feel like shit. It’s okay to feel so tired that you want to give up. But I promise you, things can and will change. You just have to ride it out.

Looks can be deceiving, so remember that when you look at photos others, such as myself, may post online and on social media, and the memories and feelings they share.

So, on to the happier memories! The trip itself was fine, and I was through customs with my huge carry-on full of medications and stoma supplies with no problem (Thomsons again allowed for extra weight in hand and hold luggage for supplies). I wanted to make sure we did this because I’d been so close to the edge; my mum had always wanted a proper holiday abroad, and so we split it in two parts and tried our best. I felt grateful I was still alive, when I wasn’t sure I would be after that first surgery, but I also wasn’t sure I could see a future and I didn’t want to have another regret on my list. My mother really enjoyed the holiday and being able to see the beach and the sea and generally take in the atmosphere at the hotel too. I love seeing her happy.

A mini group photo with some rather scary white eyes!


Forever Jack’s girl…

Got a fancy for a Calippo, then had to walk miles to find one. But it was worth it.

We did a lot of walking (my hips still don’t like me for it) compared to usual, though nowhere near what I would have liked given I can’t physically manage it. We visited Cambrils one day, I even had a night or two out (none of my body liked this the next day but I certainly needed it), and for perhaps the second time in my life I managed to get a bit of a proper tan!

I missed out on quite a bit. Evenings in the room on my own because I was too poorly, trips we had to skip, and so on. We tried to pace the basics and do just little things. It’s frustrating having to make so many adjustments but you just have to do the best you can.

A quiet off-road in Cambrils that was incredibly peaceful.

Lovely soft sand, but I’ll never know how people can spend hours doing nothing lying on it while roasting in the sun.

I was ill a couple of days (not stoma-related), including being sick and then passing out one evening, which is why I have a mark on my face in some of the photos from where I hit my cheek on something on the way down. I wish it was a more exciting battle scar from an extreme sport, but alas, it was probably from the bedroom table.

One or two days early on there were a few stomach issues with the stoma but I put this down to initial dehydration as I tried to get adjusted and settled in and drinking more water. The all inclusive aspect here is so important and helpful because bottled water was included. I had a few issues with food because my stoma doesn’t seem to like any meat that’s not soft or processed/lean chicken or turkey, and neither does it much like undercooked and harder rice or peas. It was a bit of a challenge to navigate but I just went extra careful. I am incredibly lucky and thankful to say there were no other stoma problems like leaks, and my anxiety over this lessened as time went on.

Don’t trust a man who wants your hand in his mouth.

Poolside for another game of bingo (lost every single one…)

A rare night out for me… And how I’ve missed them! It wasn’t ideal when the pain was so intense and I felt poorly, but it was a little glimpse into the ‘pre-2015 life’ that I’ve missed.

House hunting on the bus… I’ll have this one!

The hotel entertainment was far quieter than during peak season (July/August), but what there was was still fantastic. I met some amazing people and will always cherish those memories.

I did a little dancing too – and loved it! I avoided the pool, less because of fear of bearing my body in a bikini, but because I could see the grimaces of people trying to get in when the water was obviously pretty chilly!

I also had a rather bizarre experience of finding someone who made me realise that I’m not dead inside, that the stoma and health issues haven’t made me lose a part of myself I thought I’d lost. Yes, these things can make you feel like less of a woman and it throws relationships and such out of the window for a while, or maybe even forever. I felt I had to say something because with ‘invisible illness’ and chronic pain, people don’t understand why you can’t walk faster, sit in a normal chair, go out more often and so on. I did discover that it’s possible to tell someone you don’t know all that well that you have a stoma and that they don’t have to be disgusted by it – another person can see this as not being an issue and still ‘fancy’ you or like you, or enjoy your company as a friend or acquaintance. This is rather different to having a relationship with someone, which isn’t going to happen for me now because of my health. However, I hope that it gives others in a similar situation looking to meet someone – as a friend, work colleague or potential partner – and tell them early on about a stoma, some hope. 

I am still rather unwell and exhausted right now, and not in a great headspace. It’s been nice to relive a little of the good times going through photos and writing this post, but I’ll leave it there for now. As always, thank you for taking the time to read. I’ve missed you guys! I hope you are all as well as can be…


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Alyssa October 2, 2017 - 4:30 pm

I have to say, I love your hair color!!! I am glad you made it home safely and it looks like you had an amazing time!!!

Invisibly Me October 2, 2017 - 5:16 pm

Thank you Alyssa! I think the sun has already started the turning-ginger stage of the colour 🙂

Natalie | Surviving life's hurdles October 2, 2017 - 5:25 pm

It looks like you made some great memories on your holiday but like anything with a chronic illness I understand how it can come at a price! I hope you are managing to get plenty of rest now? I’m going to France next year and I’m feeling both excited and apprehensive about going. Wishing you all the best for a good month ahead now you’re back xx

InvisiblyMe October 2, 2017 - 5:33 pm

It really does come at a price, and I regret that I felt so unprepared for how I could feel. I’ve rested in bits and pieces since coming back as there has been a lot to get done at home, but I’ve not been too bad at it! I can understand your mixture of excitement and apprehension, but with with preparedness you will have an amazing time, and it’s certainly something to look forward to. Thank you so much my lovely – I hope October is a positive month for you also (with plenty of Halloween crafts around the corner too..!) 🙂
Caz x

Margaret from soulfood101blog October 2, 2017 - 8:12 pm

your hair still looks great. Sorry you aren’t feeling the best, but I’m happy for you that you were able to be stoma related free and got a few days to enjoy. You got to dance and go out :):):) So happy, even with obstacles, this sounds like a wonderful trip :):)

Invisibly Me October 4, 2017 - 5:49 pm

Thank you! I hope you are well – take good care of yourself 🙂

Margaret from soulfood101blog October 4, 2017 - 5:59 pm

You are welcome, and thank you for the well wishes :):)

Debbie L October 2, 2017 - 11:21 pm

Oh you looked so lovely, as usual! I’m so happy for you, that you have learned to travel and not let your stoma be a prison to you! It sounded like a WONDERFUL holiday.

Invisibly Me October 4, 2017 - 5:50 pm

I think practice and having done it twice without much time between has actually really helped with my confidence, at least in terms of the practical elements. Thank you so much for reading and the comment Debbie – you take care 🙂 xx

Debbie L October 5, 2017 - 6:36 pm

Practice makes perfect!!! Praying for the best for you – you are so special and I love reading about your very honest journey!

T. R. Noble October 4, 2017 - 4:43 pm

Really glad you pushed yourself 🙂 Our thoughts alone can wreak such havoc on us can’t they?

I lived in Florida for several months and while I enjoyed the beach, I agree, I don’t know how people spend ALL day there. How? I mean, sure, maybe an umbrella would help. But, sand gets everywhere!! 🙂

Invisibly Me October 4, 2017 - 5:51 pm

Oh yes, we’re certainly blessed with such an awesome ability to think and reason, but we’ve evolved to ruin ourselves with thinking too! Hahah I’m so glad I’m not the only one that thinks that about the beach! Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

T. R. Noble October 4, 2017 - 6:04 pm

🙂 you are welcome. Yes, thinking always has pros and cons for sure. I’ve been trying to fight negative thoughts with the positive truth 🙂

Ipuna Black October 5, 2017 - 4:12 pm

What a wonderful trip! I love all of your pictures. I love your positive energy and motivation to always push forward!

InvisiblyMe October 5, 2017 - 7:16 pm

Thank you, Ipuna! 🙂

sunlight in winter October 6, 2017 - 4:05 am

Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip– and that’s awesome about the realization that someone can still like you, despite your health issues. I’ve had a few of those epiphanies myself and I’ve been so grateful for them, each time. Sometimes we can learn from so much from just meeting the right person at the right time, even if it doesn’t turn into a long-term relationship.

meethiflyer October 6, 2017 - 12:08 pm

Very nice, indeed! ?


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