Daily Archives: May 19, 2023

World IBD Day: Angus’s Story

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 7. It started with some blood in my poo and I was sent for a routine Paediatric appointment as I had no other signs of Crohn’s. 3 months later at the Paediatric appointment I was sent straight to the children’s ward at University Hospital Wishaw and given a blood transfusion as I was chronically anaemic. I then had lots of tests including a colonoscopy, endoscopy and an MRI that diagnosed Crohn’s. I was put on a liquid diet for 6 weeks, this was really difficult for me because I love my food. The liquid diet was to allow my bowel to rest. Unfortunately, I was a nonresponder and my symptoms came back worse than ever and I was put on steroids and had to stay in hospital. For the next 3 years I was in and out of hospital at appointments, tests and numerous inpatient stays as the IBD team struggled to find the right treatment for me. I have been on azathioprine tablets that I still take. I was tried on Infliximab infusions that I had to go to hospital for, this was changed to adalimumab injections that are done at home. I would get better for a while then my symptoms would return.

In December 2021 I had to have surgery. This was going to be a right hemicolectomy but my Surgeon reviewed my MRI scan and carried out a smaller surgery of appendectomy and cecectomy. At Christmas of 2019, I was in hospital for 2 weeks and was cheered up by the players from the Glasgow Warriors. They sparked an interest in rugby. After my surgery it took a few months to recover, then I was back on the rugby pitch and I’ve never looked back, I put Crohn’s on the sidelines! The Catherine McEwan Foundation has been a great support. They are amazing at supporting people with Crohn’s and raising awareness around the condition. They put on great activities that allowed me to talk to others going through the same struggles with Crohn’s. Derek has helped me since finding the Catherine McEwan Foundation and whenever I see him he puts a smile on my face.

Mental Health Awareness Week: Managing Anxiety

Avril is our incredible psychotherapist who works with our IBD Mental Health Support Service users. Avril has over 22 years of mental health nursing experience, and has also studied CBT, mindfulness, transactional analysis, life coaching, hypnotherapy and NLP. Her invaluable skills and expertise allow her to put together tailored plans for our Crohn’s and Colitis patients to help them battle with the demands that their condition puts on their mental health and face the challenges ahead.

Avril has shared her easy to implement tips and advice on how how to manage anxiety.

Tips and advice:

  • Keep physically active – go for a walk
  • Avoid alcohol or Recreational drugs
  • Eat healthy
  • Prioritize sleep 
  • Establish a routine 
  • Name what your feeling
  • Take a cold shower ( or if your brave a cold ice plunge)
  • Breathing techniques using 555 rule ( breathe in for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5, and then breathe out for  and repeat)
  • 333 rule ( look around your environment to identify 3 objects and 3 sounds then move 3 body part)
  • Keep a journal 
  • Challenge negative thoughts – ( PAUSE, NOTICE, LABEL thoughts, INTENTION)
  • Mediation
  • Talk to someone


  • Anxious is how you feel not who you are. 
  • Anxiety lies, there is a way through it, you just haven’t found it
  • don’t worry about the path ahead just focus on your next step.
  • Worrying about the future or thinking of the past robs you of the present moment.

If you would like more information or would like to apply to access our IBD Mental Health Support Service visit > https://bit.ly/MentalHealthSupportService