My 2-Year J-Pouch Anniversary

It’s amazing how fast time flies! Soon will be my J-Pouch two year anniversary!

I had no life before my J-Pouch; I had no life before my diagnosis.

I was diagnosed at 17-years-old and experienced symptoms long before, so all I knew was Ulcerative Colitis. And after years of suffering from active symptoms, I gave up hope. I gave up the dream of ever being able to live a decent lifestyle. I never imagined being able to do small things most people take for granted, like long road trips, or traveling at all.  Even if I could manage to muster up enough energy, there were still many other things to consider. One of which being my inability to sit anywhere without a bathroom for more than 10 minutes.

I never thought I would ever be able to comfortably go out with friends or have the luxury of not worrying about my abdominal pain or packing extra clothes for a quick drive right up the street.

Don’t get me wrong, surgery is not a cure.

I am not relieved of everything I suffered with before. I still have complications, inflammation. I still have anxiety and worry about getting sick, occasional abdominal pain, but I’m better.

For the first time in my life, after I had my (last) J-Pouch surgery, I felt like I was in control. I didn’t think of myself as a “patient” anymore. I was a person – I am a person. I was finally able to live life. If you would have told 17 to 22 year old me that someday I would ride in a car as a passenger or travel with minimum to no anxiety or experience a life without steroids – I would have thought you were crazy. I would have blocked your number and never texted you again!

But it’s true.

I feel so much better! Although I still deal with certain things and complications (not to mention the occasional case of Pouchitis here and there) I’m still so extremely grateful for how much my health has improved. I’m grateful for my struggle with Ulcerative Colitis because it’s taught me to truly appreciate and value my health. Sometimes I find old pictures or Ostomy supplies and just think back in disbelief. When I share my story with new friends or coworkers they’re always so surprised to hear what I’ve been through, even more so when they find out I don’t have a colon!

My journey has shown me how strong I am and has helped me to grow as a person.

Ulcerative Colitis is hard. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is hard – but having a J-Pouch has taught me to stay positive and never lose hope. While this may be my “happy beginning,” there are thousands of patients still suffering.

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.

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