1 Year Later

by on Monday, May 10, 2010 15:49
This entry is filed under: Coping/Support

Time flies when Colitis isn’t busy punching you in the gut. It’s been one year since that first surgery when I became a proud owner of a J-Pouch and I’m here to tell you that hey, look, it totally paid off. I’m hitting the ground running with my new lease of life and it’s fantastic. Ever since I got my health back, I’ve had no complications aside from a chronic case of kickbuttitis and the urge to do everything I couldn’t do in the 8 years that I hung out with that jerk Ulcerative Colitis. That urge, coupled with  an intimidating sense of freedom (that normal people, or “normies“, have been allowed to experience but do not seem to get excited from) have been rocking my world.

I came in at 151lbs right out of the hospital in 2009. I used "Avatar" quality CG to replicate the picture with me coming in at 191lbs today.

I posted my 6 month anniversary here, and not much has changed aside from my new addiction to adrenaline and endorphins (and Vitamin C chewables because they taste like candy. Don’t judge me!). But I’ve been busy living life and supporting the cause! Instead of typing a lot of silly nonsense, I’ll just share silly pictures of my accomplishments with nonsense-filled captions!

I raised over $4000 for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) by completing a half-marathon with Team Challenge. I started training right after I came out of the last surgery by walking small distances and eventually ran 3 of the 13.1 miles. I now run about 5 miles twice a week and continue to support Team Challenge. I expect everyone on this site to attend the next Vegas Half-Marathon in December dangit.

I haven't been to the snow since 6 years ago when I poo'ed all over the place. Way to ruin nature, Colitis! But this past April I finally enjoyed an epic trip to a cabin, complete with snowmobiling at night and staring Mother Nature right in her beautiful eyes. In this picture you DON'T see a bathroom and I didn't even freak out by that. Does a bear crap in the woods? Probably, but for once I didn't!

That is a ^%#$ing cart of meat. I hope this will convey my current lack of restrictions in diet.

The scarring is such a non-issue. Seriously, who cares. The sweet irony remains that the largest scar on my torso isn't even from getting an intestine removed.

So for anyone who is trying to accept surgery as a final means or is already horribly scared by this ordeal, please know that it does pay off. Yes it’s scary and yes it’s a change to your world but you adapt and the world simply adapts with you. I’m healthy again and I feel blessed that I even received this opportunity. This J-Pouch community has been incredibly supportive to me and I will always be supportive in return. Always. Except while Lost is on, but that show only has two episodes left and then I guess I have to go cold turkey.

Thank you.

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24 Responses to “1 Year Later”

  1. avatar

    Russ says:

    May 11th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Congratulations on your successful jpouch surgery and thank you for posting this very inspirational update! And dig that meat cart!

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    Emily says:

    May 11th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    True to form Brevin, you deliver great support and wisdom with a massive dose of humor! I have said it again and again, and I will say it till the end of time, I COULDN”T have gone through my surgery without you. So proud of you, and you are so right, life is pretty dang awesome without the nasty colon hanging around! Congratulations!

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  3. avatar

    Gwen says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 7:23 am

    You, my friend, are SUCH an inspiration.

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    Jonas Olesen says:

    May 15th, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for setting this out, you have aided a lot of us distressed with the comparable trouble. The road to soberness is not an open 1 to take. But with a big dosage of commitment, help from a solid treatment and a lot of support from a loved one, the route away from alcohol addiction becomes simpler the longer you go on.

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  5. avatar

    Bruce says:

    June 28th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I would love to know about your diet. Do you take any meds and do you take a fiber supplements? I badly want to gain 15 pounds, I’m about 135 now.

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    Brevin Reply:

    Hi Bruce. I don’t take any meds aside from Vitamin C and Metamucil when, sadly enough, I crave the taste (Orange Metamucil FTW!). Where are you in your UC/Crohn’s journey? Once you have a j-pouch, you start absorbing protein correctly!

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    Bruce Reply:

    Hi Brevin,
    My take-down was November 2009, so I’m about 8 months post surgery. I’m having a difficult time slowing down my system, everything goes right though. I have incontinence at night. When the Doc has me on Flagyl (for mild pouchitus) and I take some fiber, I usually don’t have a problem at night. Psyllium causes cramps because of the amount I need, so I’ve been trying guar gum and acacia gum with not much success so far. Maybe I should try some other products???

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    Brevin Reply:

    Hmm… what’s your average diet like? What do you tend to eat and tend to avoid?

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    Bruce Reply:

    Whey protein shake in Rice milk of soy milk when I wake. Later in the morning I’ll have cereal or oatmeal or English muffin. Lunch is white rice with beans or gabanzo’s, or a cold cut turkey sandwich. Afternoon snack is yogurt or maybe another protein shake. Dinner might be pasta or rice or sometimes meat like chicken or a burger. Ususally a light dessert or snack by 8 pm.

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    Brevin Reply:

    Holy crap you eat beans! You’re braver than I am! I avoid the gassy foods, but other than that your diet sounds ok. Do you eat fruit/veggies?

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    Bruce Reply:

    Only black beans occasionally, but I go to the bathroom so much it doesn’t matter if I have a little more gas :) I’ve tried Beano too. Fruits/ veggies very little… applesause and well cooked veggies is about it. I did have fruit salad the other day with not much problems. Should I cut down on protein? I usually mix the protein shakes with fiber to help get my 3 doses of fiber a day… If I can manger the cramps. Any other diet suggestions?

    [Reply]

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    Brevin Reply:

    There are a few odd things here: How often are the cramps? Do you go to the bathroom a buttload (ha! butt load)? Do you take that amount of protein every day, or do you stagger them?

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    Bruce Reply:

    Cramps usually happen at various times in late afternoon to early evening (3-7pm). I go to the bathroom early morning., then once around lunch, then 2-3 times late afternoon, and usually 1-2 before bed…6 times during the day, 2-3 times during the night. I do take about the same amount of protein everyday. At least two protein shakes per day, plus any other protein that I get from meat, yogurt and other foods daily. I started to take psyllium, 1/2 tsp, 2-3 times per day again (8 am, 3 pm, 7 pm), because the other fibers don’t do much forming, they usually just make “sludge,” psyllium gives bulk and form if I take enough…but gives me the cramps. I mix it with the protein shake, or just plain soy or rice milk.

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    Brevin Reply:

    Hi Bruce, feel free to email me at br3vin@gmail.com so we can track this down.

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  6. avatar

    John says:

    July 8th, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Thank you Brevin, Your a real inspiration. I remember reading your first article about the ordeal with your first surgery. I read it shortly after I had my first step of 3. Im now about 7 months out from step 2. Ive had a few complications that have prevented step 3 thus far. I just had a repair surgery to my pouch, so now my anticipated take down date is August 26th. Im so glad you have a new lease on life. Im just now barely starting to get back to the things I loved most in life, but I figure once I have the takedown Ill be an animal.

    John

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    Brevin Reply:

    Thanks for the kind words, John. It’ll all be totally worth it!

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    Becky Reply:

    Hey Brevin, I am so happy I found your comments….I am still in aww over finding this thing called the Jpouch ! I am a 40 yr old women, look in my 20’s & very proud of it (: I have lived with Crohns since my early 20’s ..I have a 17 yr old & a 2 yr old, I have lived with an ileostomy since 02. I HATE it more then anything, my Drs always told me it was permanent??? Obviously NOT the case ! I have been having many problems since the baby, I was searching for answers on the web & found you (: Please if you can e-mail me so I can ask you some Q’s about the Jpouch I would more than appreciate it !!! Besides Im not sure I can find this site again LOL !! Thank you for any help you can provide me, Im scared & confused & excited to find out more. (: Hope to type soon !!! Sincerely, Becky

    [Reply]

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    Brevin Reply:

    Hi Becky, what is your email?

  7. avatar

    Baby Gas says:

    March 16th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Baby Gas…

    […]Jpouch Life: Stories of Colitis, Crohn’s, IBD, Ostomy, Ileostomy & J-Pouch Surgery from around the world[…]…

  8. avatar

    whole psyllium husk says:

    May 10th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    whole psyllium husk…

    […]Jpouch Life: Stories of Colitis, Crohn’s, IBD, Ostomy, Ileostomy & J-Pouch Surgery from around the world[…]…

  9. avatar

    Mark says:

    December 11th, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Im so scared about my appointment today to discuss my surgery. Reading your post has made me cry as it shows there is light at the end of the tunnel. Really connected with your words as everything you say about colitis is true. Thanks for posting this

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    Brevin Reply:

    Hey Mark, how did it go?

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    Mark Reply:

    Hi Brian, well they didn’t quite take the time to look at my Colonoscopy report so they were unsure what direction to take with me! (Was pretty upset about this!) however I am back in for another colonoscopy and consultation this month so fingers crossed! Just been training hard to ensure I have a healthy body, healthy mind! Thanks for asking bro!

    [Reply]

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