My name is Kyle and this is actually my 4th time posting on this site. I first joined about a year after I was diagnosed with UC, but I started posting updates when I made the decision to have the J pouch operation. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a very active 21 year old guy who loves sports, working out, good food and good times with my friends and family. I had my takedown surgery (part 2/2 of j pouch) on February 7th, and this is just an update on the process and how I’ve been doing after about 3 and a half weeks.
Some more about me:
Baseball, football and basketball, I love music, especially Weezer and Billy Joel. I’m from Rhode Island and I’m going to school for medical imaging. Also, I no longer have colitis thanks to the work of my awesome surgeon and his surgical team.
I have zero symptoms because my UC is gone! My body is just adapting to the J pouch day by day and I am finally almost off of prednisone for the first time in years.
3 Weeks Out of Takedown Surgery
So here is my J pouch update. There was no prep for this surgery, only I couldn’t eat anything the night before. It was pretty much the same routine as the first surgery (colectomy and j pouch construction) once I got to the hospital. I got my bracelet and then undressed and put on my johnny. Then a nurse came in to give me my IV and then it was just the waiting game until surgery time. They wheeled me in, put me to sleep and before I knew it, I was awake in recovery. The first thing I noticed was, no more bag! But I also had what felt like a throbbing at the surgical site, I think just from my intestines getting used to working together again. I was then wheeled to my room for the next few days. Once the anesthesia wore off, I realized I was in a lot of pain, mostly due to the amount of gas in my system that I was unable to pass due to my bowels still being asleep. I hicupped a lot and burped here and there but it didn’t really ease any of the gas pain. I walked as much as I could to try to wake up my bowels but it didn’t really help. My doctors has me try some clear liquids (broth, jello, water) the day after the surgery. They went down fine, but I became nauseous a few hours later and threw up because whatever I ate that was thicker than water would not pass trough my system. So I waited a few more days and finally started to pass movements through my j pouch 4 days after the surgery at around 1:00 am, and I went 3 times that night. I figured things were going well, so Tuesday I tried some more clear liquids but things still didn’t feel right. Wednesday came and I felt better, I ate some toast and kept it down (so I thought) but still had a LOT of abdominal pain. Foolishly I let the doctors convince me that it was normal and I could go home, so I did. I felt like crap and continued to throw up for the 2 days I was at home, and then was re admitted on Friday, when they took an x-ray whi ch showed my bowel was still asleep, being the reason why I could not pass anything solid.
So, I spent the weekend in the hospital, on IV fluids only, to give my bowel a chance to really wake up. On Sunday (10 days out of surgery at this point) I successfully had clear liquids without abdominal pain and on Monday I ate a solid, low fiber breakfast successfully and did fine with it, allowing me to come home. From then on it was smooth sailing. I slept great that night, and I now that my j pouch had begun working I was going to the bathroom around 10-12 times a day. I experienced some pretty painful butt burn during that time, but calmoseptine helped a ton with that. Now that I am further out of surgery I have started to take one stool thickener a day, which has reduced my BMs (depending on what I eat, of course) to only about 7 or 8 times a day, and it also helps prevent butt burn. I have also gotten used to dressing my wound. My surgeon left my ostomy site open to heal from the inside out with less chance of infection. The doctors cleaned it, packed it, and dressed it in the hospital twice a day, and now that I’m home and it’s healing well, I do it myself and only once a day, usually after showering. It’s strange having an open hole in your side, but it should heal up pretty well, leaving a decent scar, however.
Although it isn’t the same as having a colon, it is definitely better than living with colitis. And, I know I am still adjusting and things will only get better. With a j pouch, for me anyway right now, I can feel a lot more digestion going on than I used to, and I can feel the food emptying into the pouch. The urgency to go to the bathroom is gone, and it is a different feeling when you “have to go,” but you still know when it’s time to go. I’m currently able to go to school and do everyday things without pain or discomfort, and in a few weeks I should be able to exercise and start working out again (thank God). My recovery for this second operation was longer than average probably due to my dependency on prednisone, making the healing become a little slower than most, so don’t let that scare you if you are about to have a takedown or are considering surgery at all. I am very happy with my outcome and I can’t wait until I am fully back into the swing of things, even though I already pretty much feel back to my old self again.
I was given dilaudid for pain in the hospital, then was switched to perkaset while at home for about a week and a half. I am no longer on any pain medication, but have tapered to 5 mg of prednisone daily until I follow up with my surgeon.
written by Kyle Thomas
submitted in the colitis venting area