Boots’ 1-Year Update

by on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 11:47
This entry is filed under: Coping/Support
I'm healthy & happy!

I'm healthy & happy!

So my one-year anniversary of my first surgery is about 2 weeks away (December 10th), and I thought I would update everyone. I’m sorry, I haven’t been on this site in a few months, because I now have a 2nd job at a hospital and am very, very busy. I want to start and say that if anyone would like to contact me to talk about how I’m doing and how I handle things, feel free to e-mail me at

Everything’s been pretty much back to normal for me, though after all that I suppose I can’t estimate what normal is. All I can say is that I feel amazing, I have no pain, and I feel like the year 2008 was a shadowy part of my life that is now over and I can continue doing whatever I wanted to do before anything happened.

For a little bit in May 2009, I came down with a virus or flu and it caused me to start going to the bathroom more frequently, up to 12 times a day. My doctor prescribed prescription immodium and also Lomotil. Those helped me out alot and I am on the Lomotil til this day. I take about 4-8 pills a day, depending on when I remember it and whether I think I’ll need it. I’ve learned to recognize the pattern of my bowel functions. Since I have the IRA, my digestive tract is much faster than normal people. For instance, it can be as short as 2 hours. This can work out to my advantage, when I know I have something to do on a day, I can plan when I want to eat, so I will be clear and not need to use the bathoom. I also no longer have the urgency I did before and that is a major relief.

I also try to take a fiber supplement once a day, but most of the time I skip out on it because of work schedules. Thankfully it doesn’t make a huge difference for me. I go to the bathroom about an average of 5 times a day. This is on a non-restricted diet. I actually eat whatever I want, and nothing has seemed to bother me. I eat vegetables, sometimes raw vegetables, and I’ve experimented with nut and seeds. They don’t bother me, but they don’t totally digest either, and I feel like I’m just better off being without them.

The one thing about my life right now I wish I could change is the fact that I don’t get to sleep a night through. I notice it on the that I work at both my jobs, because I get more tired. Since I get up about 2 times a night, I never really get to enter the REM cycle of sleep, which is the restorative part of sleep. So therefore, it’s like I start to enter the deep part of sleep, but then get up to go to the bathroom and it really becomes a series of long naps. But I have to say that is a small price to pay for the health I can live with now.

As far as relationships go, I’ve had quite a few attempts since my partner left me right after my first surgery, but none had been successful. I feel it was a mixture of my being nervous about how they would feel about my disease, and also my needing the independence I feel like I lost while I was sick. I have hope that one day something will work out and I will stick around and keep attempting relationships until I can find one.

I had a very fulfilling summer with my friends this year and I have done a lot of stuff since being healthy. It had finally allowed me to get a full-time job and get on with my life. I’m currently looking into graduate schools again (I applied to 10 right before I got sick and had to withdraw my applications when I was diagnosed). I now have the opportunity to achieve what I want, and know that at 23 years old, I can say I survived the disease and that it’s part of my past. I never take for granted the health I have and it will always be on my mind, and something I will never again ignore.

6 Months Post-Op (this picture was taken over the summer)

6 Months Post-Op (this picture was taken over the summer)

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5 Responses to “Boots’ 1-Year Update”

  1. avatar

    Brevin says:

    November 24th, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Very cool!


  2. avatar

    Megan says:

    November 25th, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Mike b – So wonderful to hear from you and so thrilled you have recovered well. You look EXCELLENT! It is great at 23 yrs old you now have your life back. You should definitely head to graduate school that will be a nice challenge now that you feel good, but also give you some time to enjoy being healthy and in school. I know when you are ready you will find a great man to love you for all your experiences – he’ll be special compassionate man who sees your strength of survival and not what your missing. Please always keep us updated on the site and let us know how things are going as the years pass :) Congrats!


  3. avatar

    Colin says:

    November 25th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Boots — I saw that you had your surgery done in three stages. Was that still the case? Also, I saw you had yours done at the Cleveland Clinic. I just got done with step one of my three step surgery done at the Cleveland Clinic as well. Who was your surgeon? How long did the whole process take for you?


  4. avatar

    booties4986 says:

    November 25th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Yes, I had the surgery done at Cleveland Clinic. It was supposed to be a 3-part J-pouch procedure, but instead I had the ilio-rectal anastamosis, which is a 2-part procedure. I don’t regret the procedure at all, and I’m glad I was able to have it done. Not many people can qualify for the IRA, because you have to have a rectum clear of disease. Mine definitely wasn’t at first, but by the time I had my check-up right before the 2nd surgery, they decided it was healthy enough and the DAY BEFORE my 2nd surgery, we changed it around and had the IRA done instead. LOL, it was a little un-nerving, but I’m happy with the result. My doctor was Dr. Geisler. He’s phenomenal.


  5. avatar says:

    September 4th, 2015 at 8:39 pm

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