by on Monday, December 21, 2009 7:43
This entry is filed under: Support Systems

DSCN0680Hey thought I would post an update on how everything is going so far, it has been almost three months since my total colectomy and I am doing great. As for now as I am waiting to return to college in mid January, I am working out at the YMCA 3-4 days a week and just preparing for school again. My life really hasn’t changed that much since the surgery, other than I feel a lot better, I am going out with friends and don’t have any problem wearing my clothes with my bag. I still find it a bit weird going out and meeting new people because everywhere I go people seem to know about what I went through and want to see my bag and my story. And I feel like some people don’t really understand it, like they look at me differently and that it is gross to have the ileostomy. But I guess anyone who really has half of a brain understands that it was a necessary procedure and my life is better now since the surgery. As for returning to college I don’t think it will be that difficult with my bag considering how good I am doing with it. I am majoring in Biochemistry at University of Minnesota-Duluth, I was enrolled for the first week this Fall 2009 semester but became so ill that I couldn’t attend class any more and I had to withdraw and have the total colectomy surgery, since the surgery in the beginning of Oct. I have just been recovering at home. I am able to have the takedown procedure as soon as Jan. but I think if I decide to have it then I would really get out of the groove of school. So I think it is best for me to go back to college in Jan. 2010 and as soon as the semester ends in late May, I will have the take down surgery in June. I will have the summer to recover and get used to the j-pouch which I think will be good since at first I have heard the j-pouch can be different but with time it stretches and my body will get used to it. It really was a difficult decision to withdraw from school and miss this whole semester but I know it actually would have not been possible for me to continue school with the way I was feeling, you can’t function at your highest caliber without your health. It is really crazy to see some how so many people take there health for granted, they don’t realize how lucky they are until something bad happens. Even though I missed the semester and the credits for my major, since the surgery I won’t have to worry about the colitis, I can totally concentrate on school and take summer courses to catch up on my missed semester. Which is not a big deal at all, I am pretty sure I remember hearing that most college students don’t finish they undergraduate degree in four years, so I won’t sweat it. It is just nice to have my health back, and I couldn’t have done it without my family and my surgeon.


Post Total Colectomy
Post Total Colectomy

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9 Responses to “Update”

  1. avatar

    Elise says:

    December 22nd, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Grant, so glad to hear you are doing well :) I had my ileostomy step 1 surgery in June. I found out after my surgery that my j-pouch would not be created because I ended up having Crohn’s instead of UC. I was devastated, but I am now totally fine with it. I have a permanent ileostomy, but I have my life back too!! My friends, family and fabulous boyfriend that I met only a few months before my surgery, have all been so supportive and happy for me. In another few months, you will actually forget that you have your ileostomy at times. I forget all the time! I thought I was doing well three months ago, but I cant even feel it now!! How cool is that. Brevin (who blogs on this site) and I even completed the Las Vegas Half Marathon on December 6th for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, I am still in shock that we pulled that off! Good luck to you and I hope that you keep embracing the new and improved you :)



    Carl Reply:

    I am curious to know why they were not able to diagnose the Crohn beforehand (maybe your surgery was an emergency?).

    For my part the diagnosis is still not clear and I was told I need to have my colon removed because I have many polyps in my colon and that gets in the way of cancer detection :-(

    I am in the process of getting a clear diagnosis (via blood tests, colonoscopy and CT Scan) and will see what happens next.


  2. avatar

    Brevin says:

    December 24th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Good ol’ health : )


  3. avatar

    trish says:

    December 27th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Grant, I went through step 1 in May and have had wonderful success since my surgery. I have to be careful not to get dehydrated but I was never the best at taking enough liquids anyway. I decided to wait for step 2 also because I am trying to finish my education. I have finished my required classes for graduation and only need to student teach to get my license (English major). I will be going through step 2 Jan. 4 and I am ready for it, but to be honest, I am like Elise: I would be ok with a permanent ileostomy cuz its allowed me to have my health back. I can do anything now. I hike, run, swim…everything….and don’t feel sick anymore. But I hear that the 2nd step also takes adjusting and truthfully, I am a bit nervous because I don’t want to jeopardize the good health I’ve had since May. I’m putting my education on hold an extra semester too but hey…I guarantee you that lack of stress will make the healing process smoother. I wish you the best of luck! – Trish


  4. avatar

    trish says:

    December 27th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I did finish this semester w/ my new body and ileo. but it wasn’t bad at all. I only had to leave class twice the entire semester to empty my bag and I never had a problem with noises. Elise is right – It becomes a part of you and you won’t feel like it is an alien attachment forever. Its very easy to forget about when you realize that life really is normal even w/ an ileostomy. Concentrate on your health….Your degree will come!


  5. avatar

    marie says:

    December 29th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    hi- so good to hear all of your comments- i am scheduled for surgery january 25, 2010- and i want to consioder sticking with the ileostomy- and not going for the j-pouch- i too am sick of medical complications and just want to have some degree of okness to my life- any comments from others would be appreciated… thanks, marie


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