My name is Dennis, I’m 23 years old. Currently working for a bank and enjoying life. I live with my girlfriend and 3 dogs. I’m currently with an end ileostomy and looking to possibly do a j pouch next year.
Some more about me:
I’m a Freemason, have a wonderful girlfriend of almost 2 years, and now have 3 dogs roaming around my apartment.
0 symptoms since surgery
Had Colon Removed in 2011 and Now Have Option for J-Pouch,
(but am seriously freaked out from the past experience, need some insight)
In the early spring of 2011, I was in college and living the typical student life. A few weeks in to the spring semester, and I could tell I wasn’t feeling right. My stomach was always upset, going to the bathroom 5-10 times a day and barely anything would come out. One night after work, I went home and blacked out. Woke up throwing up black blood and feeling god awful. I went to the hospital immediately. After sitting there for hours on end, feeling miserable with a 165 heart rate just sitting there, they diagnosed me with ulcerative colitis, and gave me some medicine to bring the heart rate down and make things better. I started to feel ok in a couple days, still puking and crapping blood though.
Unfortunately this meant that I had to go home for a few weeks and recover. Was feeling better in a couple weeks but going to the bathroom still wasn’t right. I went to our family doctor who had gave me some antibiotics because I was apparently ill with strep throat as well. This screwed my world up, I threw up constantly, going to the bathroom every 20 minutes. Just feeling near death, my parents drove me to a hospital in a nearby town. The doctors were all tied up due to a bad accident. I was seriously slipping in and out of consciousness by this point. After sitting miserably for about 45 minutes I just screamed that we needed to go somewhere else. They helped me walk to the car and we drove to Vanderbilt which is about 2 hours away. Plus an hour wait when we got there. I was literally laying in the floor just waiting for them to take me to a doctor. We get to a waiting room, heart rate through the roof, have to lay pads down because I kept crapping every ten seconds. I sat in a triage room for about two days, then they wanted to do a colonoscopy to see what’s going on. All I can really remember is going in to the room for that, vaguely being awake when my surgeon comes in and tells me they’re going to operate.
Unsure of how much time passed but I woke up in another room feeling god awful. After a brief recovery there, I was transferred to another room, where I was to recover. Spent about two weeks there, getting slightly better, but still felt like crap. My entire colon was removed, except enough to eventually make a j-pouch.
They said after a couple weeks I was ok to go home. So we made the trip back, but I couldn’t eat. I felt miserable. Trip back to Vanderbilt, blockage, more operation. Recovery took me so long, I was literally in the hospital for 3 months straight. I had to do TPN and have all the nutrient bags sent in. I went from 135 lbs to about 84. It was a depressing and horrible trial in my life, and I don’t want to relive it again.
After about May I was finally where I could eat food and get sent home. I still had to use the TPN bags for a few weeks, but quit early because I was feeling so good. Started walking around my neighborhood a couple laps before I’d get really tired, had to take some more medicine to keep my heart rate down.
Six weeks later and I was medically released. Started working midnights at Walmart for a year, felt fine, transferred back to another college(ended up taking another break recently, probably will finish my last 20 hours soon), and got my job at the bank where I work now. I basically live the life I did before, just without a colon.
Here’s my issue. I’m covered on insurance by my work, but due to the recent government plans, I am getting put back on my parent’s insurance in January, which will almost completely cover reversal surgery. Because my case was so bad, they did not set up a pouch during surgery, so I’d have to have both done. I’m basically traumatized from the whole experience, but my girlfriend is very supportive and wants me to get it done while she can support both of us. I’m really on the fence about it because I’m fine with the way things are now. This would just cover being self conscious mostly. My transport tech at the hospital had the same procedures done when he was my age, and he even showed me his stoma scar. He said it took him about 6 weeks to be ok, and about 4-6 months to be normal.
- What is the typical recovery time-frame for this surgery?
- What can I expect the complications to be?
- What is life like with the J-pouch?
- I’m just so worked up thinking about my last hospital experience that I don’t want to risk getting so down again.
Medications / Supplements:
written by Dennis D
submitted in the colitis venting area