Person Just Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis

So, were you just diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (‘UC’)? Hey, I know what you’re feeling. I’ve been where you are right now. You might be young, maybe in your teens. You might be older, with children and grandchildren. Maybe it’s your child who’s been diagnosed with UC. Regardless of where you’re at we’ve all been there, all of us with UC, and it’s OK to be scared, shocked, indifferent or whatever you’re feeling right now. I can imagine you might feel so embarrassed right now, because I was too. In my mind I was saying how can a doctor ask a girl these questions about my toilet habits but I know the doctors need to know the answers to be able to help you.
When I was  back in school the students thought I was different because I missed a lot of school . Things were falling apart, I got a lot of bullying with people saying ‘You’re different… don’t hang with her…. omg 😲’. It wasn’t nice. Most mornings I didn’t go in to school until a bit later. If I went to the toilet for a long time, the teachers would be taking me outside the classroom to ask questions. I had to explain to them where I was for so long. These conversations would take five minutes each time which felt so stupid as teachers wouldn’t know what I was going through. I got depression a lot but never told anyone because I didn’t know what they would think. Most of my friends knew because I told them and at least they understood like most people I thought would.

UC is a part of me, and I’m doing the best I can. I can honestly tell you that living a meaningful life is possible. Right now, I have a part – time job in a factory packing fish and I have great support there. I take photography out on the ocean and at different places usually taking photos if people ask for example if there was storm or if somebody was at sea and wanted their photo to be taken. I go partying with few friends at weekends and I am currently in the National Learning Network, I love it there with many great teachers and students.  I go to concerts. I have friends I can talk to and who appreciate me for who I am, regardless of me having UC.
You may wonder what Ulcerative Colitis symptoms are. People having a flare up of Ulcerative Colitis may experience or all the following symptoms:
·         Diarrhea

·         Abdominal pain

·         Tiredness/lack of energy

Doctors will do examinations of the large bowel from the rectum to the caecum to diagnose UC. This is what I had to do many times before, it isn’t scary. I didn’t care at the time, I wasn’t worried. I mean worrying yourself isn’t good.  It is important that the bowel is empty for the tests so your doctor can get good views of the bowel wall. My doctor prescribed a special drink to take on the day before my examination to ensure this. I was given a sedation for the test which takes approximately twenty minutes. I was asked to rest in the recovery room for about an hour and could be given light refreshments before I was discharged home. Capsule endoscopy is a recently developed technology which may be helpful in certain cases. My doctor also took into consideration how I was coping with my symptoms. He prescribed drugs to reduce the inflammation in the colon and help to heal the inflamed intestine lining. These drugs were useful in rating mild to moderate flare – ups and are used to keep my colitis in remission.
What foods can you eat with UC?
·        white bread without seeds

·        white pasta, noodles, and macaroni

·        white rice

·        crackers and cereals made with refined white flour

·        canned, cooked fruits

The foods which you should not eat are:
·         brown rice

·         quinoa

·         buckwheat

·         oats

·         wild rice

I have no shame or embarrassment in saying I have UC to people if they asked what was wrong with me. It’s not a pleasant thing to have throughout your 20s but one key thing about living with UC is accepting you have it and to not feel embarrassed about discussing it. After all, everyone goes to the toilet – it as natural as breathing – so what the sheepish attitude to talking about bowel disease? But coping with UC is not simply about managing the disease, it can severely affect mental health too. For example, anxiety and depression are heavily associated with having the illness. I do have positive times and navigate times but hey that’s going to happen. They say life is short but you got to be strong for what you have.
I was diagnosed March 2013 when I was 16 years old. For the past five months I have been feeling good like nothing is wrong with me as I have been taking my medication every day. I never like taking the medicine and it’s really annoying for me. I take it morning and night. At one point, I was going to the bathroom 10+ times a day. At one point in time, I had gone in my pants and washed myself off in the toilet in secondary school. It was horrible and I lucky to have a spare pants with me, because being caught short isn’t nice feeling to have.  It had all become so normal at that point. But you know what? Its ok even if you don’t experience all of this, or half of this or even any of this. If you got out of the bed today – congratulations and just remind yourself tomorrow is another day.
I take my medication, exercise and try to follow a good diet. This disease, as we all know, shows us that our body will not always do what we try to will it to do, and don’t worry, I know it’s not easy. I can’t tell you anything that is going to take away this disease because right now its 5 years later and we still dealing with what has actually caused it. You can realise that having this disease is an opportunity and a blessing. With everything you will go through, you will gain experience to understand how much the mind matters through difficult times. This will force you to become mentally stronger and more resilient after a few hangups. And having this disease will lead you to your life’s work: inspiring and educating others on how to get through difficult times. So, in closing, I want you to understand that most of this journey will be in understanding that you have this choice. Once you realise this, you will know you are not cursed but blessed to have been able to live a life full of hard won lessons.


The Ardagh Martello watch Tower.

67530734_362009611136241_7403230094413529088_n.jpgBefore the construction of the batteries in the late 19th century there was already a considerably military presence on the island.  Four Martello Towers existed on the island, these were built during the Napoleonic Wars. The four, all circular in shape and built of rubble masonry, were sited to defend the anchorage between the mainland and the small Harbour of Lawrence Cove on Bere Island.

Each tower contained a large revolving cannon on it’s roof, which could be pointed in any direction. The Bere Island Martello Towers were reported as ready on 2nd February 1805 and were therefore probably the earliest Irish towers to be completed. Two of these Martello Towers were demolished in the construction of the later batteries however both the Ardagh and Cloughland Martello Towers still remain in good condition.

Had a good few days with my cousins and lovely to see Mark and Gabriela  from Germany great to catch up she so kind and so happy got on really well with her. Cant wait to go see them soon next Holiday.


Blue Pool, Glengarriff

Glengarriff is a popular holiday destination on the Beara Peninsula. While the Peninsula is beautiful it is not full of sandy, attractive beaches so this is one of the better swimming locations in the area Blue Pool nature park is in the middle of the town and is the access point for the ten minute ferry to nearby Garinish Island.  On the way across you are likely to see the seals sunning themselves on the rocks. The island is well worth a visit to see its Italian style gardens. The nature park contains wooded walks and a viewing point for the many seals who habitate in this area. The park is family friendly, with a play area and toilets.

The swimming spot has stone steps which lead you into the water. It seems to be one of the few access points around. The water is deep and fresh and   if you’re lucky a seal might join you as you swim.

Here are some pictures from the Glengarriff Fairy Walk its an amazing spot for especially children and to even go for a walk in the mornings with the dogs.



Dunboy Walk


Hi Everyone.  I am lucky enough to live along the Wild Atlantic Way and one of my favorite walks is in Dunboy Woods.  Dunboy Woods are situated just two miles outside Castletownbere on the road to Allihies.  I usually park at the main castle entrance just beside the main Allihies road.

In the late 1700s, the Puxley family came to Beara. The Puxley family were in charge of the Allihies Copper Mines and they were very wealthy. They bought the site that had the ruins of Dunboy castle and decided to build a mansion next to the ruins.  They never fully finished the mansion as they became bankrupt and they had to leave the country.   In 1921 this mansion was burned down in the Irish War of Independence by the IRA who saw it as a symbol of British rule in Ireland.

In 2007, there were plans to turn the Castle ruins and Puxley’s burned mansion into a luxury hotel. However, the company that was building this luxury hotel also became bankrupt in 2009.  The mansion is not open to the public but you can walk very close by it along the road. From there I continue alone the road that brings me to the ruins of Dunboy Castle.  Dunboy Castle (Irish: Caisleán Dhún Baoi) was a stronghold of the O’Sullivan Bere, a Gaelic clan leader and ‘Chief of Dunboy’, and was built to guard and defend the harbour of Berehaven. Its presence enabled O’Sullivan Bere to control the sea fisheries off the Irish coast and collect taxes from Irish and continental European fishing vessels sheltering in the haven. It was also a centre for the import/export trade to and from the continent. Today, much of the castle is destroyed but the ruins are open to the public.



Dunboy Castle was the scene of the noted Siege of Dunboy in the summer of 1602 which ultimately led to its destruction and the breaking of the power of the O’Sullivan Bere. At that time Donal Cam O’Sullivan Bere was in rebellion against the English crown and Elizabeth I had sent a 5000-strong army under the command of Sir George Carew to suppress the insurgents. Even with its small garrison of 143 men Dunboy Castle was thought to be impregnable but following a fierce artillery bombardment the walls were smashed and after some desperate hand-to-hand fighting amid the rubble the defenders were finally overcome. The 58 survivors of the two-week siege were executed in the nearby market square.  Faced with overwhelming odds and starvation, the O’Sullivan’s left Beara on their epic march to Leitrim.  I sourced this historical information from the following two sites

Once I have taken in enough of the peace and tranquility, I start my return journey.  I go back to the beach, then turn left up through the forest, then I turn right out onto the road which brings me back to where I started.  On average, it takes me about an hour to complete this walk and while I have never actually measured the walk, I am guessing that it must be at least three miles.

The reason that I love this walk so much is because it is primarily off-road.  It takes me past two historical castles and it is beside the sea.  The views are breathtaking.  The terrain is relatively flat and the surface of the forestry tracks through the woodland is well surfaced.  I wear hiking boots and bring water for when I stop to admire the views.  There is free parking at many points around Dunboy Woods.  And it is usually relatively quiet there.  I consider myself extremely lucky to live near such an amazing walkway and I try to walk here once a week to clear my head.  I love it there and I have walked there since I was a child.  It is amazing and I highly recommend it if you are in Castletownbere.

Hungry Hill Walk

August — 01/08/2019  Difficulty: Hard. Only suitable for experienced hill walkers or groups accompanied by experienced hill walker.Do not attempt in mist.

I finally done the Hungry Hill Walk which is something I always wanted to do but in that time i was only 19 years old and I was going true lot of depression and Eating disorder so Yesterday was the day and i am so proud of myself and i am so delighted too this is done in my goal. There was Two people with me i found it very good because its lot easier we got there up half way at 10:30 to 12:30  and we got down to the car for 3 o clock. We had our break too at 1 o clock when you are heading up you do need 2 or 3 stops for sure and take a break for the legs especially.

Start from the junction between the R572 and a third class road 300m east of Rossmackowen church. At the top of the road a track brings you into Coomnagapple Glen. It runs past Park Lough and skirts around the end of the southwest spur. Start your ascent at the dip in the track after the second Beara Way marker. Head straight uphill for 50m or so, then start walking over to your right towards the spine of the ridge. Keep left of all the bigger out cropson the way up and you won’t have a problem. Half-way up the spur the ground steepens significantly and you’ll to the foot of a high crag. At the foot pick up a narrow track that leads uphill around it. Keep working uphill on the rock bands and terraces until you are stymied again. Go left until you can continue your course.  From here you can see from the top of the hill Cork and Kerry mountains, Cape Clear, Fastnet Rock, the Skelligs and the great bays of the southwest and their attendant peninsulas.

The descent requires care and concentration. You must head north along the county boundary to the 650m contour. Then cut down left to rejoin the boundary at the 550 contour. It is a shoulder rather than a narrow ridge, so try to keep to the centre line. As the slope gets steeper small heaps of stone mark a path through the outcrops. If you spot them it saves you the hassle of finding your own route down to the col. As you head upwards again towards spot height 442m you’ll come to a small lake that is not marked on the map and lead you to doubt your position. I assume that the presence of this lake, and two smaller ones we came across further up, is due to the heavy rain of the past few summers and low evaporation rates. The rock in this area is impermeable shale, so the water doesn’t filter down.


Hope you all have a great day

See you next time, Aoife

Bantry house and Garden

Bantry House and Garden is a stately home situated on the Wild Atlantic Way overlooking Bantry Bay in the south west of Ireland.

It houses an important private collection of furniture and objects of art. It has been home to the White family since 1739 and was open to the public in 1946. Today visitors can explore the house and formal garden, have tea in the tearoom or even stay the night in the B&B located in the East Wing. The estate is unique since it is still lived in and managed by the family.  We can offer you tips, suggestions and recommendations from catering to wedding cakes and everything in between.

What a fabulous Thursday afternoon a great surprise to meet my godson and his brother an Mother no matter in life i always be there for those kids and there be days i might not be around but there in my heart 💞 I would recommend anyone to even to travel there the views are amazing.  https://www.bantryhouse.com/

Just think about this !!  ” Life doesn’t allow for us to go back and fix what we have done wrong in the past, but it does allow for us to live each day better than our last ” 🙌


How do we stay away from drinking

In 2016 in secondary school, I been in fights and been out of class because I got depressed and had anxiety. Everything was falling apart. Nothing felt right. I had a good part time job but that didn’t last because of my alcohol addiction. I knew I had this problem but I was just hiding it away. I couldn’t take anymore so I had to do something I asked for HELP in a Treatment Facility in Kerry called Talbot Grove. This is a private treatment centre for addiction and for addict’s families. The programme is for people who suffer from alcohol, drugs, compulsive gambling and eating disorder.

It will all be worth it as long as you keep fighting. You may feel alone in your struggle, your loved one may not understand, but you can always explain. You will have good days and bad days, but the bad days will get fewer. Your problems won’t magically go away but they will be manageable. You might not feel different at first, but when you’re done you will be happier, healthier, stronger and recovered. That’s why you have to keep fighting. I came to A.A. when I knew I had a problem. I didn’t want to show myself I just thought things were ok. But if I didn’t tell that I had a problem I would still be in a bad state of mental health and everything would been getting worse.

I’m actually

living a life now and not just existing, wouldn’t change it for that world so I wouldn’t. I couldn’t have done it without my family, friends and psychologist. If anyone is struggling out there, trust me if I can do this anyone can I’d be willing to help anyone and send you in the right direction, I have been through the struggle myself. Just remember “Distance is nothing – it is only the first step that is difficult”.

I now have really good mental health and my physical health is much stronger too and I am happy about that. I also have a book from Alcoholics Anonymous and thanks to them I can read this. I got my keyring too, I can call them as they are open seven days so I won’t be stuck, I can talk without picking up a drink.

It was one the best and most life changing experiences that I have ever had. The counsellors were fantastic their understanding of the disease of addiction was very powerful. Thanks to them I now living a life beyond my wildest dreams and I couldn’t have done it without their support.

The Secenity Pray God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
and wisdom to know the difference.

Park Hotel Kenmare 🔥💕

Dating back to 1897, heritage and luxury are combined at the Park Hotel Kenmare to create a gracious home, that is yours to enjoy.

A vibrant hotel with wonderful facilities like our Deluxe Destination Spa SÁMAS, SISLEY Treatments, 25mt Lap Pool, Cinema box and Daily Lifestyle Classes, but a place where we are not ashamed to be old fashioned. This Victorian landmark, dating from 1897, with its splendid views over the glistening waters of Kenmare Bay, the ever changing light of the Cork and Kerry Mountains, the adjoining 18 hole golf course, garden walks and the Heritage Town of Kenmare is home to one of Ireland’s finest hotels. Tradition, in every sense, is important to us, as is the fun of today, the devilment of a younger guest, the delight of a couple holding hands and the delivery of true service. It is a rare place where the decadence of the past is married with the modernism of today.

Readers of both Condé Nast Traveller and Travel & Leisure magazine have voted the Park Hotel Kenmare as the Best Hotel in Ireland.

Park Hotel Kenmare, a little Irish magic in the Kingdom of Kerry, on the majestic Wild Atlantic Way awaiting your arrival.

So I went here today with my family it’s one of the 5 star hotel I was shocked I came in the door and I couldn’t believe it when I saw it I took so many photos because it was so nice , I didn’t even want to leave the place and the staff and the people were really nice and caring, one day I will work there because the views were amazing and also it looks really popular place to go to especially if you were stuck can book a room to stay in there. This first part is about the hotel and especially my first time looking at it I can’t believe the person who owns it are so rich to have a houses to rent/ or buy + have the hotel have it running for this long.. mostly you see people buy buildings and then leave it to let and have nothing in it which is a shame 😡😩

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend 👍🏻😊