I am new to this site, and just had my closure (take down) surgery a little over two weeks ago. After perusing this site, I have noticed that most stories here are focused on the various complications with the jpouch.
In order to balance out what I have read so far, I was hoping that, if any of you out there would be so inclined, perhaps you could recount some success stories? I would LOVE to hear from people who have had few problems with the pouch. I appreciate that the first six months or so are always a bit tough while the new pouch adjusts to its job, but are there any people out there who have sailed through this procedure? I am guessing if there are people who have, they may not feel the need to join a support group site,.. but perhaps there are some out there. One can hope.
I had my surgery in 2001 in Rochester, MN Mayo. At the time I was 22 years old and living with UC, and after 3 years my GI found cancerous polyps. I had been on EVERY UC meds and had been on the highest amount of steroids possible for 1 year, this sunk my immune system and did nothing for my UC. I was bleeding profusely and my hemoglobin was rarely above 8 and received 2 different transfusions. Needless to say my life was hell
The surgery itself as you know was scary. I spent almost a month in the hospital because I came down with a fever. When I left the hospital I was 22 years old and a colostomy bag. I spent the next 3 months trying to adjust to life and eventually found the bag to be apart of me. When I went back to Mayo for my letdown surgery, things went better. The pain and recovery seemed to be a snap. Weirdly though i spent a week in tears because I 'missed' my colostomy bag. The doctors said it was the same loss that an amputee has.
Since my surgery 16 years ago, I spent many healthy years. I had 2 successful pregnancies. And am able to enjoy a normal life, eating and drinking and living life to the fullest. Back in 2012, i developed a hernia on my scar. And than life changed again. I spent the next 4 years in pain due to scar tissue (also related to C-sections). I was relived of the pain on a trip to Mayo last year. It was pretty much my last home. I had a 10 minute procedure and 4 years of chronic abdominal pain was gone! However while I was there I was there they ran the normal test (scans, scopes, etc.) and discovered a lot was going on. I had previous battles with pouchitis, which were always treated with antibiotics, however after numerous upper scopes, and lower scopes, ct scans etc. The doctor now has diagnosed me with Crones.
I am living now with a j-pouch and crohns. I am now 39 and trying to overcome. Do I regret the surgery....NO, it saved my life. My scars make me who I am and I will continue to make progress because I know that if I can make it through that surgery, nothing can stop me!!!