I think it’s time for surgery!?

by on Sunday, January 18, 2009 7:41
This entry is filed under: Jpouch Surgery


Thank you all at jpouch.net for providing a source of insight and sense of community to these conditions I thought were non-existent outside of my own experience. Knowing there are people who can relate to your circumstances is a much needed relief. And I mean exact circumstances, not ball-park figure guesstimates like “oh, sometimes I get tummy aches, is that like your thing?”, well intentioned as they may be. This support is a blessing I can’t thank you for enough.

My name is Brevin and I want to punch my Ulcerative Colitis in the face.

It’s not like I just met Colitis the other day, hitting on the girl I was going to ask out and now I want to engage in fisticuffs. No, we go way back. This is a scuffle years in the making. I was diagnosed back in early 2003 and I dealt with it pretty well, all things considered. We would sometimes have slap-fights and call each other names, but nothing that made me cry foul. But given my current condition, ongoing medication, accompanying side effects, and constant need to use the bathroom, it… it gets old. It does. I miss my quality of life. I have had so many medical complications because of my Colitis that I’m on a first name basis with the ER. That’s not something to brag about. I’m at the point where I consider the rest of my life and where I would like to see myself and my well being. I don’t like what I’m seeing with Colitis’s smug face in the picture. But I know the cure, that steak through the heart of the vampire Count Von Colitis, is surgery. Who’s afraid of surgery? Me.

Back in the early days of my UC diagnosis, my GI referred me to Stanford to go check in with a surgeon. Wow. That was the most horrific sync up ever. The doctor was cold, blunt, and scared the crap out of me (being a Colitis patient, that doesn’t take much effort, but still). I left that meeting convincing myself that surgery is not the way to go and I swore that I would try all of the possible alternatives before even thinking about the surgeon’s knife. Well, here I am. All alternatives? Check. Maximum dosage? Check. Progress with my condition? Nope. In my own cowardly defense, there weren’t supportive communities like www.jpouch.net back then, and if there were, I didn’t know about them through utter stubbornness.

Recent events with my health have me seriously considering the surgery. I’m using this opportunity to share my experiences, starting at the decision-making process. I hope these contributions help others in the same circumstances, even if only in the smallest of ways. Getting to write these thoughts down are therapeutical in a weird way, and hopefully current UC patients can relate. It’s a tough decision. It’s not something you sleep on; it’s something you hibernate on. I appreciate your support and I’ll share as much as you would like to know.


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6 Responses to “I think it’s time for surgery!?”

  1. avatar

    Jenelle says:

    January 18th, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Excellent post, Brevin! You’re a very funny writer. Good luck with the decision-making process & welcome to jpouch.net!


  2. avatar

    Brevin says:

    January 18th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Thanks to Megan and Mark for helping me with my first posting. I’m new at this, and extremely grateful to become a part of this supportive community :)


  3. avatar

    Susan says:

    January 18th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Good luck, Brevin. I know how scary surgery is…just got done with the 3 step process. It is well worth it, though. I hope you find a surgeon you feel comfortable with and your process is a smooth one. Take Care!!! I’ll be watching your progress and keeping all available body parts crossed for you!



  4. avatar

    ShalenesUC says:

    January 20th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I, too, am going through the decision making process for the jpouch surgery. I just had my colonoscopy yesterday and the doctor agreed that it was a right choice for me. So now I’m getting things going, setting up another appt with the doc so we can go forward with picking a surgeon and getting rid of this Ulcerative Colitis forever! Good luck to you!


  5. avatar

    Brevin says:

    January 20th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Hi Shalene (did I get the name right?)
    I’m going for my colonoscopy this Thursday so they have a current evaluation of my diagnosis. Pending the results there, the ball is going to start rolling with the Pick-A-Surgeon game. I’m currently 80% sure of going through with the surgery. But it’s that remaining 20% that’s an 800 pounds gorilla with an attitude. Not a scruffy yet lovable attitude, but one of those might-beat-you-up-if-you-look-at-him-funny ones.
    I’ll see what they say on Thursday :)
    Good luck to you as well!


  6. avatar

    ShalenesUC says:

    January 20th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Yes you spelled it right! If I were you, I’d just have that gorilla stuffed. 😉 LOL!


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