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Hello! I am studying to become a ship Officer since 2 weeks, i'm going to study for 4 years and i am going to practice/work on ships for 1 of those years, now to the question. I have talked to many people and they all seem to agree that i can pass the health tests to work on ships, but i'm just generally worried about getting sick on board, since it can take a long time before you get to a doctor/harbour/helicopter.

More specifically, i'm worried about Ilius or Bowel Obstruction - i've heard that jpouch people get these some times, a friend of mine who also has a j pouch got one, she has had many surgeries. How common are these, and how fast do you need to get surgery? Will you die otherwise? Is there something you can do yourself to help when you get one?

All other issues i think you can take care on the ship or can wait until you reach a harbour, for example i will bring my own pouchitis medicines and self-medicate if i need to, and also bring some codeine phosphate if i feel real bad.

So should i be worried or is it all right?
Original Post
Try sticking with a safe diet while working on the ship, preferably liquids. In my case of bowel obstruction it became unclogged after being hospitalized and feeding me through a intravenous. It was just one more miserable pouch experience. I was not in fear for my life though.
Working on a ship, like anywhere else should not be a problem if you have a healthy, functional J pouch...bowel obstructions, if you have never had one, are rare occurances and should not be a problem...if it ever happens just put yourself on a fluid diet, inform the ship's doctor about your conditon and drink a lot of warm tea, grape juice and use a heating will survive a few hours if needed and the ship's infirmary is equipped with the essentials if necessary.
I wouldn't allow your pouch to limit your life or your go ahead and if ever needed make sure that the ship's doc is aware of your conditon.

Unless you have had a history of ileus and blockages since your takedown in April 2011 that you have not told us about, I would not be too concerned.

I suffered ileus and 4 blockages in the immediate aftermath of my surgery in 1992, and no ileus/blockage in the now over 20 years since my original 2 step surgery. These issues, when they do arise, are usually right after surgery. There are some people who get a few blockages every year, but if you do not have this history, it is not clear what gives rise to these concerns.
I have had 4 bowel obstrurction since my takedown surgery on 7 May 2010. I had surgery with two of them but I had plenty of time to get to a hosptial. I know on a ship you will be hours away but don't let this hold you back. I hope you stay with what you want to do good luck.
I had bowel obstructions about every 4-6 weeks for a year. They all resolved on their own with a liquid diet, stretching, hot baths, etc. Know the symptoms of a bowel obstruction well. Unfortunately, the final one I had landed me in the ER, but the emergency team could't find the obstruction on the imaging so they waited to perform surgery. When my body went into shock after 17 or so hours they decided to take me into surgery. 90% of the small bowel died because the blood supply had been cut off the entire time and was removed leaving me with short bowel syndrome, very tiny intestine, and a new way of living.

I'm in no way discouraging you from your adventure, but it's a good consideration to have and be as prepared for as you can be, just in case.

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