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When Your Doctor Says the S-Word: My J-Pouch Story (Part Four)

With the wedding over, the next couple of days were going to be the hardest. I knew that. Part of me was going to be gone forever. How could anyone accept that? And yet, they had to. It is hard to imagine what life will be like on the other side of surgery.

Two days before, I went to meet my ostomy nurse to get marked up for surgery. I was scared. I drove to her office and met her. She was so sweet and beautiful. She talked me through what life would be like and gave me a few resources. She also listened patiently as I asked my questions and voiced my concerns. One of my biggest fears was something called “volvulus.” I had just read about Sara Ringer having emergency surgery just a couple of months before to have her intestines untwisted. While she assured me it was rare, it was still scary.


When I got home, I showed my husband my belly with the two markings on them. I still couldn’t believe it. My emotions, compounded by the steroids started taking over. I don’t remember how we got to what happened next, but I remember vividly having just had a fight with Dave over something really silly and ending up crumpled in a heap in my closet underneath several blankets.

I can’t do this!” I screamed through tears, “I’m not strong enough!

Dave knelt down next to me. “Sweetie, you are. It’s going to be ok.

Eventually, he managed to coax me out of my blanket-fort of solitude, and I decided on my “last meal.” That is, the last meal my colon would ever have to digest. I went to my favorite restaurant where I ordered my favorite club sandwich. I had avoided vegetables for years because they made my symptoms worse… but this time, I ate every last one. I paid for it dearly, but I didn’t care.

I slept it off and woke the next morning to a liquid fast. Tomorrow was the big day. Today we had family coming to town to be with me and wait with Dave during surgery.


I began having doubts. I went in to work anyway to help take my mind off things, but sadly, it didn’t.

One by one, my family members showed up. I consumed myself in my blog and drawing ninja pictures—my coping mechanism. I didn’t know how else to deal. Expressing myself with cartoons was the only way I could get through it. Even ninjas get scared…

I continued to sip on my chicken broth. It wasn’t so bad. At least this prep didn’t involve a colon cleanse! Those were awful. I had several visitors come in. They all wanted to talk about surgery, but I didn’t. I couldn’t.

Our pastor from church showed up and talked with me and Dave. Afterward, Me, Dave and my Mom gathered around for a quick prayer before he left. Even my cat seemed to know something was up. He kept kneading my abdomen as if to say, “You’re going to be ok. This evil intestine will be gone forever.” It was strangely comforting.

Read Part Five

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