Shanna, 39 yrs old, mother of 2 boys (age 11 and 13). A GI nurse and physician extender at a busy GI practice for 16 years. I joke and say I caught UC at work :) Three years ago I decided that I was done with meds and had the surgeries for a j-pouch.
3 Year with a J-Pouch:
I was diagnoses with Ulcerative Colitis in 2005. I was an RN at a busy GI practice. All day long I would ask patients about their bowel habits and honestly could not have told about my own because it was such a non-issue. Then one day I started having severe Left Lower abdominal pain. This followed with episodes of BMs with nothing but blood for about a week. My colonoscopy only showed ulcerative proctitis. I started out with Canasa suppositories and then quickly had to move up to enemas. When I still did not respond, I progressed to Asacol. Six months after my 1st colonsocopy, my 2nd revealed that the colitis had spread throughout my entire colon despite high-dose Asacol. When on Prednisone, I would be fine, but I could never get off. I had what is called Steroid-dependent colitis. In 2008, I was referred to an IBD specialist who recommended Imuran and Remicade. I did a bit better and was able to get of Prednisone, but then after the 6th dose I was flaring a gain.
That’s when I decided to go ahead with a J-pouch. I did my homework and found a surgeon who did it laparoscopically. She was great. My first visit she spent an hour explaining the surgeries and what to expect. I left that appointment that day and still put off the surgery for another 4 months. I just wasn’t ready to give up on my colon. But, I kept getting sick, flu, pneumonia, strep throat, bronchitis, etc… You name I wold catch it. My immune system was so compromised from the drugs. My last colonoscopy even showed dysplasia (cells turning in to cancer). It was time…time to take it out.
On March 3rd 2009 (3 years ago) I had the first of my j-pouch surgeries. After about a week, with no BMs and using the ostomy bag, I was hooked.
I LOVED my ostomy bag.
No more running the toilet. Just empty the bag 3-4 times a day. I almost put off having the next surgery.
My j-pouch is 3 years old. It takes about 9 months for it to “mature”. I can now eat what I want (yes… even salads and fruits) and I only have 4-5 BMs a day. No more urgency. I can hold a BM up to a couple of hours if needed. I only take Immodium and Pepto and make sure I have plenty of fiber (Benefiber is my favorite).
I know that surgery is a HUGE decision. But, it was the right decision for me.
written by Shanna
submitted in the Colitis Venting Area