Who is Jake Borrett? (1)

Who is Jake Borrett? (1)

Believe it or not this writing blog has now been running for just under seven months. Where has all that time gone? I have no idea. One thing I know is that it could not have been done without you. You are what has made this blog a success. You are all brilliant individuals.

So I thought after all this time it would be only right that you learn a little bit more about me. Who is Jake Borrett?

Why did you set up the writing blog?
This writing blog would not have existed without the dedication from the staff at my secondary school. My English teachers and particularly the Learning Support staff were so inspirational that they got me interested into English language and literature.

There are many blogs out there on the web. For me, a blog gives me an outlet to express my deepest emotions, fears and desires into words that perhaps I would not be able to say out loud. This is especially the case when it comes to the articles raising awareness for Inflammatory Bowel Disease ‘Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis’ and Dyspraxia.
I have had many tough times with these conditions, but if I can break the barriers that they present and at the same time inspire others to have confidence in themselves then that is all I ask for.

Who are your biggest inspirations?
My biggest inspirations have to be my family. Without a doubt my dad, my mum and my sister are people which I always look up to. Despite the tough times they have gone through themselves, be it illness, bereavements or suffering, they have always tried to remain strong. I am very grateful to have them in my life and cannot thank them enough.

What is the one film that you would recommend to someone?
As you know, there so many great films that have been produced. If I had to pick one it would be the 2002 movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’. Russell Crowe does a magnificent job of portraying John Nash, a Novel Laureate in Economics. Based on Nash’s real life, it is rich with emotion as it focuses on the sensitive subject of mental illness.

What is the most memorable place that you have ever travelled to?
I have been fortunate to been able to have travelled to a varied number of places over my twenty years. It is so hard to pick, but I will never forget swimming in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Swimming with the fish as they tickled at my feet was unforgettable. If you have always wanted to do it, then please do. You will love it.

Swimming with the fish in The Great Barrier Reef was unforgettable.

What piece of advice would you give to someone?
Well it would depend on the person who is receiving the advice as everyone sees the world differently. Saying that, I would encourage people to try to live life without having any regrets. Regrets are hard to deal with and they can haunt us. If there is something you have always wanted to do, you should try to strive for it. After all, many of us want to be happy.  


I hope you learnt a bit more about me. There may be more articles like this in the future. Ultimately it is you which make this writing blog a success. Words do not do it justice to how much it means to me.

Just to let you know this upcoming Monday, or Monday 29th September 2014 if you are reading in the future, I will be starting my second year at the University of Hertfordshire with brand new people. This is because I had to defer my second year due to a Crohn’s Disease flare-up back in October 2013. This is something which I am apprehensive about, but hopefully it should all go okay.

Do not worry; I will still be back next week with more content. Until then thank you so much and have a fantastic week.

When I Hear The Sirens

When I Hear The Sirens

When I hear the sirens…I panic.
It’s the cops out on their morning call,
Saving the good guys and punishing the bad.
Oh yes they deserve their credit, but here I am
Hoping they do not find them in time.

When I hear the sirens...I shudder.
It’s the firefighters out on their evening job,
Controlling the heat and saving the trapped.
Oh yes they deserve their recognition, but here I am
Hoping the flames continue to burn.

When I hear the sirens…I weep.
It’s the paramedics out on their night run,
Healing the injured and caring for the sick.
Oh yes they deserve their praise, but here I am
Hoping their treatment does not work.

When I hear the sirens…I close my eyes
To remember all those I panicked for;
To recall all those I shuddered for;
To mourn all those I wept for.
But no one will do the same for me.

Here I am hoping the flames continue to burn...Copyright © 2005- MarcusObal. All rights reserved.

More Than Just ‘Imaginary’

More Than Just ‘Imaginary’

It took over four years to get my diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. This might not sound like a lot but for a nine year old going through excruciating pain, both physically and mentally, every day seemed like forever.

This is one of hardest pieces of writing I have ever done. Perhaps this is because it is so difficult to express all my experiences and emotions over four years into such few words. To put it in four and rather kind words, my doctor was incompetent.

Back in 2004 when I was just nine years old I was suffering with extreme abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and stunted growth. As many sufferers may recognise these are classic symptoms of either Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Both are chronic and both are incurable. So it was only natural that my family had a feeling there was something wrong with me and so took me to the hospital. This doctor supposedly worked as a consultant paediatric with ‘skills’ in toileting issues, chronic pain and fatigue. Unfortunately he still does.

In a word he treated me dreadfully. I have read his profile recently and it still states that he believes tests and investigations are rather ‘unnecessary’. He was very reluctant to treat me. I have to say that most of our appointments were spent going through poo charts. Any blood tests that we arranged he would ignore the results and pass my blood off as being normal.  One point down the line after much pain, ambulances and fighting, he put me on laxatives. I was already going to the toilet at least six times a day so laxatives were not the correct treatment for me. I just accepted it then, but now I know the truth.

What makes it so much worse is that he branded my disease as ‘imaginary’. He put it down to an ‘over anxious mother’. In reality I was suffering from an unknown serious condition and he just could not accept it. My mum was never over anxious; she was just doing what anyone would do for their loved ones, seek help. Unfortunately this help was not given in the right moral way.

Yes we all make mistakes as human beings but it is not acceptable on any level to belittle or insult someone. Plus his insults didn’t make any sense. How could all my pain be a result of someone else’s worry? The answer is it can’t be. My voice was muffled as I was not allowed to express my feelings to someone was supposed to be a professional.

After four years of fighting with my doctor, we had enough. We managed to get a second opinion. After an endoscopy and colonoscopy I found out I was suffering from Crohn’s Disease. My new ‘second’ doctor urged the ‘first’ accountable doctor to apologise. All my mum received was a half-hearted phone call. The scars will never truly heal.

One of these scars is the photograph below. It is taken in Gran Canaria at the time when I was undergoing the laxative treatment. I do not remember the holiday for its beautiful scenery but spending most of the day in the toilet. Every time I look at the photograph it reminds me of the struggle I went through, but also the amount of strength I have now have and the unwillingness to allow my voice to be silenced again.

Gran Canaria, April 2005:
‘Smiling has always been easier than explaining why I’m sad.’  (© 2014 IdleHearts)

The point of this article is not to rant or to bash this specific doctor. There are many doctors who are extremely supportive and some are even lifesavers. It is just unfortunate that I and many others out there have come across those horrible few. Some do not even receive an apology for all their pain.

No, the point of this article is to raise awareness for Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, which are two very real diseases. So please do share this blog article. Also if you or your loved ones are experiencing any sort of pain and suspect something is wrong, do not let anyone else pass it off as simply imaginary. Speak out against them. You deserve to receive the right support and treatment you need to strive in society. You have the right to be happy. Do not let anyone take this away from you. I know I won’t.

Stay strong everyone and thanks for the brilliant support.

Stuffed Toys

Stuffed Toys

She got them out the cupboard and placed them onto the bed. All six stuff toys, all bears, all looking forward expect one. There was something about this bear. It was largest than the rest. But that wasn’t it. There was something else. It was staring at her. It was judging her. If only she could read its thoughts.

There was a buzzing from downstairs. The phone made this noise every time somebody wanted her. So she did what she was told. She followed the sound into the hall. She picked it up. But no one was there. She slammed it on the hook and went up as before.

She stopped at the entrance to her room. She noticed it. Something had changed. The sixth bear had gone, but where?