I am 30 years old and this month marks 14 years that I've had my j-pouch. For as long as I can remember, I have been uncomfortable. Constantly needed to run to the bathroom, sometimes 10 or more bowel movements a day. Cramps and general discomfort. I guess I kind of got used to living with it and thought that this is what life with a j-pouch must be like. It became the new normal for me, so I never thought much of it.
I admit that I have not been great with keeping up with having my pouch checked. I've had my pouch since 2007 and I don't think I went for my first pouchoscopy until 8-10 years after that because I thought everything was fine. At my last one in 2019, the doctor told me I had mild inflammation but that it wasn't anything serious. He didn't give me anything for it.
This past Christmas, I got COVID. Shortly after, I began having issues with constipation which is the total opposite of the issue I usually have. I went to my colorectal surgeon's office who did a scope in the office and was told I had inflammation, so she gave me Canasa (generic) suppositories for one month. It got slightly better after that, but not much. A week or so ago, I called back because it was worsening again so she gave me another month's worth.
This past Friday, I woke up feeling very bloated and nauseous and then I vomited before even eating anything. I barely had an appetite. The doctor's office told me to go to the ER to rule out an obstruction. My blood work, urine sample and CT scan all came back fine. I was discharged on Cipro and Flagyl, and was told to take a probiotic as well.
Since I started taking these meds, I have been feeling very fatigued, but my bowel movements have decreased to only 1-2 times a day. I called the doctor back to ask if I still needed to take the suppositories and he told me only if I need them to help stimulate a bowel movement.
I can't explain it, but my digestive system feels different than it ever has. I don't have the urge to go to the bathroom and my bloating, cramps, and nausea are gone. I guess you could say I'm "constipated" but it's different than before. Before, I felt the need to go, but I would push and only a little bit of stool would come out. Now, I don't feel the need to go much at all and I'm not nearly as hungry as I usually am.
Is this a negative reaction to the medications I'm on, or a positive one? I feel like 1-2 bowel movements a day for a j-pouch seems like too few, but I always felt like 7-10+ was a lot.
This is my first time on antibiotics for pouchitis and I'm starting to wonder if I had pouchitis all these years that was left untreated. Is this what "normal" life with a j-pouch should be like?
FYI, I am scheduled to go for another pouchoscopy next month.