JPouch Surgery/Takedown: 1 Year Later

Some of you who are new around here probably aren’t too familiar with my journey with Ulcerative Colitis.  Let me sum it up for you: I was super sick with a chronic form of IBD (the twin sister disease to Crohns) for nearly 4 years, couldn’t get off of the satanic drug Prednisone, and went to Mayo hoping for a magic bullet cure. That cure happened to be a two-part surgery to remove my entire colon, which meant a 3 month vacation with an ileostomy bag, and subsequent surgery to remove the bag and restore internal plumbing.  That’s the short of it; if you prefer the long version, you can check it out here.

The first week of March marks the one-year anniversary of my takedown surgery at Mayo Clinic.  What is takedown?  Loosely, takedown is when they get rid of your bag and put your small intestine back inside of you where it belongs (that’s what the ileostomy is – a small part of your small intestine that sticks out through your tummy.  WEIRD!).  Then, since I no longer have a colon, they had to create a miniature version for me out of my own small intestine. It’s really miraculous.

So now, a year later, I’ve had my ups and downs, but I have never been happier. I am so glad I chose to have this surgery. I eat almost anything I want, and I have more energy than I can remember having in years. The fear of illness is greatly diminished, meaning my anxiety is so much better than it used to be. Before, I was always so concerned with making sure there was a bathroom in the (very) near vicitinity. I never felt like going anywhere or doing anything. Life was kinda grey and blah.

Many people come to this blog because they’ve googled UC or UC blogs, or the like.  I’ve had the marvelous opportunity to build relationships with some awesome women who have been in the same boat as I; the ability to bond with other girls who are suffering with the same disease, and sometimes the same surgery, has been so uplifting and so helpful through all of this.  If you ever have questions, please feel free to comment here, send me an email, or do it anonymously via Formspring.

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