Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of having my ostomy takedown, AKA: The day I got rid of my "bag"! I blogged about my last surgery here and shared one year updates from my first and second surgeries as well. So today I'm posting a one year update of using my J-pouch.
Where do I start..? First of all, best decision I have ever not made. Haha, I say that because I really didn't have a choice. I was told precancerous cells were covering my colon and if I didn't remove the whole thing I would definitely get colon cancer. I never felt like someone was telling me what to do. It felt right from the moment I heard the word "surgery". After dealing with Ulcerative Colitis for the most part of my 20's I was ready to live my life normal again. No more harsh medications with cancer warnings, no more high doses of prednisone (which I was on for 3 straight years and ultimately caused me to develop osteoporosis), no more running to the bathroom just from brushing my teeth and no more living in constant worry. I was going to be free of it all. But first I had to get through my last and final struggle... I needed to wear and ostomy bag for 7 LONG months. The day of my final surgery was long awaited and I was so happy to finally be normal. After my surgery I was singing and smiling (hello, drugs!), what a relief to be done with it all. Or so I thought. The next struggle was waiting for the bullet size hole on my stomach to close up and looking at that was more difficult and painful than looking at my intestine sticking out of my stomach. When I was finally released from the hospital, the hole had started to bleed.. A lot. And I posted about that horrible, traumatic experience here. What a nightmare!
I am so happy to say a year later that I have been doing very well and in one month I will be giving birth to my baby girl! Having a J-pouch during pregnancy has been pretty normal. I have been "going" more do to the pressure on the pouch and I've had some awkward cramping from the baby kicking the area, but besides that, nothing to complain about. I'm having a c-section so that nothing changes the function of the pouch and I'm hoping for a quick, uneventful labor. I know that if I didn't have my colon removed, I wouldn't be where I am now and I would hate to think where the road of Ulcerative Colitis would of taken me. I will always look back at my journey and be grateful for what I learned. I value my health so much now which is why I am so interested in keeping my diet and lifestyle as healthy as possible. I won't take anything for granted. I still can't believe how much I went through last year, feels like that was a different person. I have no idea how I survived it all. But I now know how strong I really am and I am proud of myself and I love the person my journey has made me.
On the left: Very sick with Ulcerative Colitis, my weight was below 100 pounds but my face was very bloated from Prednisone. On the right: 8 months pregnant, on no medication, feeling healthy and happy!