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Birthday cake with 3 candles.

3 Years with my J-Pouch

It’s yet another Pouch-aversary for me! This one is a special one! Three years. I can’t believe it’s been three years since I went through the ileal-pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) surgeries. It’s insane to think about how sick I was this time, four years ago. All the pain and tears. The countless medications and hospitals visits.

Sharing my story about my j-pouch surgery

Someone recently asked me if I’d ever shared an (in-depth) version of my story with Ulcerative Colitis and undergoing the J-Pouch surgeries. In honor of this occasion, I decided to go ahead and share more about the entire experience. You can view that story here: My IBD Story: Diagnosis, Steroids, Biologics, IPAA Jpouch Surgery.

The surgery wasn’t an easy transition

On July 1st, 2015, I had my final surgery. My ostomy was reversed and I then had to rely solely upon my pouch. It wasn’t an easy transition. I had some awkward and embarrassing moments, quite a few to be honest. The initial transition (from life with an ostomy to life with a J-Pouch) was a lot. I had to learn my body over again. I had to train my pouch. I had to see what normal wasn’t to learn what normal was. I dealt with blockages, over time inflammation, I’ve had sigmoidoscopes and various treatment plans.

I sometimes think about the what-ifs around the surgery

My J-Pouch gave me a second chance at life. At times I think about the what-ifs. What if I never chose my doctor? What if I never scheduled my surgery consultation? What if I actually believed everything I read online about Ulcerative Colitis and J-pouches? If I believed everything I read online I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.

In 2014 I saw nothing positive about life after Jpouch surgery. In fact, I found everything but. I found groups for people who wanted to go back to an ostomy, I found articles online about the terror and trouble people had gone through since their surgeries. There was a bit of medical information, but very little first hand (positive) reviews. That’s a part of the reason why I started blogging and sharing my story in the first place.

I want to show the good parts of life with IBD

I hope to show people that you can live with IBD. You can live with a J-Pouch. Whether you’re living with Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, a J-pouch, whatever! Sure, we have our bad days. We’re people. We are auto-immune. We’re sick and hurting. We’ve spent some of our best days in pain and some of our worst suffering in silence. Our lives aren’t rainbows and butterflies, but no one’s is. I want to show the real, unfiltered bad side of IBD, but I also want to show the good. The good things IBD has inspired in my life. The good people my condition has allowed me to meet. The amazing things I’ve done, that I probably wouldn’t have ever thought of doing if it wasn’t for the struggles I’ve gone through with my IBD.

In spite of what was shared back then, there are many success stories of people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and getting a J-pouch. Sure, there’s complications, as with anything else. But I’ve come so far and it’s so much better than where I was with my colon. So this week I celebrate! All of the good and bad times I’ve spent living with my J-pouch. I’m so grateful for 3 years! Here’s to many more!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi Shawntel,

    Congratulations on your 3 year anniversary! You are truly a warrior and I commend you for choosing to see the positive in your tough journey. IBD is so hard (I was diagnosed with Crohn’s) and I can relate in finding that a lot of information out there can be quite morbid and negative.

    I love that you express that you can absolutely thrive in life with IBD. It certainly isn’t easy but it is absolutely possible.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope you continue to share and be transparent about your incredible journey. You are so inspiring. Rock on!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    8 months ago

    Congratulations!! Carry on, Warrior!

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