My name is Kyle Thomas, I’m 21 years young and I go to school at Rhode Island College, and I didn’t let UC beat me.
Some more about me:
I’m a radiology student in Rhode Island and I love sports, hanging out with my buddies, food and just having a good time. Did I mention food? I stay active by working out and I play the drums, guitar and piano in my down time. I’ve had UC for almost 4 years now, but living happily thanks to my IPAA (j-pouch) surgery last December.
Currently no symptoms, just mild irritation of the j-pouch once in a while, which settles on its own or with a brief course of antibiotics. (flagyl or cipro)
Life After J-Pouch
My story began in 2010 when I was diagnosed with UC, but I’ve posted about that in past. My purpose of this entry is to let people thinking about having the j-pouch operation know that you can bounce back to your old self. Both my doctors and myself decided it was time for surgery last December and it was not easy. However my parents brought me up to have mental toughness, which proved to be successful at the end of it all. Now, almost a year later, I can honestly say that sometimes I forget I don’t even have a colon. I am back to doing my daily activities, going to school, working and loving life.
The best part of it all, is that the symptoms of urgency are gone. No more rushing to the bathroom, or embarrassing accidents at the least opportune of times. No more pain in my abdomen or bleeding during bowel movements.
I want other UC’ers out there to know that there is a positive outlook to surgery, and to be brave. I was scared, too. I was 20 years old and I felt like I was forced to grow up and become a man in order to handle it all. But in the end, it created life lessons that I will carry forever, and in turn will make you a better person. My thought process was that if I could handle the pain and agony of UC for almost 3 years, I can certainly handle this operation.
The hardest part of it all was the fear of the unknown. There’s no test course you can run through to see what life and your body will be like afterwards. And, there was no turning back. But, I wanted what was best for my body and at the time, my condition was so horrible that it needed to be done so I went for it.
I currently can eat almost anything I want. I still stay away from corn and seeds, as well as other foods not easily digested by even a normal GI tract. I also rarely drink alcohol in excess, because it can cause some irritation when going to the bathroom. I go between 4-8 times a day, but it depends on how much and what I eat. Those are average numbers, and at first they didn’t sound too appealing. But, when they are spread out every few hours, it’s really quite normal (especially after dealing with UC frequency).
So, to sum things up, I’m back to doing physical activity, lifting weights, playing club sports, working and going to school. Confidence in the dating field has risen tenfold as well. Good health plays such a big role in that department. Some advice to end on is to never give up hope. A strong person has a foundation built with the bricks “life” has thrown at them, and patients with IBD have some of the strongest foundations I’ve ever come across. If anyone out there needs advice or some input about potential surgery, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imodium (to thicken the stool)
written by Kyle
submitted in the colitis venting area