2 Years Post TakeDown

by on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 22:02
This entry is filed under: Coping/Support

It”s been two years since my takedown and, as a society, we still don”t have flying cars or cloned dinosaurs. That I know of. I mean, I check the news daily to see if any of these scientific breakthroughs have become reality, but no. Nothing. Come 2034, I better have robot legs with jet thrusters. For now, I”m pretty happy with just settling with the crazy medical awesomeness that is my j-pouch. I”ve had no major issues like, I don”t know, space scurvy (which I imagine space pirates with space-pouches get).
This is what did happen, though:

The Dreaded Pouchitis: Not as dreadful as space scurvey

You see, it took me 2 years and a trip to Argentina to get pouchitis. While there on a business trip, a steady diet of meat, more meat, and some meat, coupled with small breakfasts, very late dinners and no snacks in between, all upset my plumbing. I might have gotten a tad dehydrated as well and yes, I am now 34% fluent in Spanish. My last two days and the flight back was like an attempt at setting a world record for most bathroom visits. They should have punchcards for bathroom stalls where ten visits gets you a free sandwich, but I secretly hope that they will never sell sandwiches in bathrooms. The first thing people told me when I got back to the office (aside from “oh we thought you left so we divvied up your stuff”) was that I noticeably lost weight. Well, I did. Like 12 pounds.

When I had this increase in frequency and odd pressure associated with the urge to push (you know, when you need to give a little push to gently remind your bowels that it”s showtime), I thought it was just a souvenir of Argentinean culture and not anything too bad. On behest of my friend (who happen to have been one of my nurses), I went to visit my surgeon to get it checked out. A cold finger poke later and she said yep, all signs point to pouchitis. Pouchitis is inflammation of the ol” j-pouch, so it might feel like colitis again. Oh j-pouch, you trickster you. There was no something-something-osis (where there is some tightening, which I took as being bad), so I got a short dose of Cipro and I was fine literally two days later. Seriously, this is a cake online casino dgfev walk compared to everything we”ve been through.

Pictured: me doing pushups in the middle of nowhere with pouchitis. See, still better than UC. Not pictured: a bathroom or a sea monster.

Scars: A roadmap to victory!

The scars themselves are minor footnotes in my journey to recovery. I could tell people that the scars are from when I was in a bar fight with a grizzly bear, but I take pride in where they come from and what they represent.

15 pounds heavier; it all went to the cankles.

 

It”s The Little Things: Being an undercover “Normie”

“Normies” are normal people. Having this newfound sense of health, I”m going in deep undercover into their shady, secret underworld of “physical activities” and “not being too concerned with where the bathrooms are”. And I have to say, it”s the little things that make you appreciate being healthy. This point really hit home for me when I recently went to a Rammstein concert and spent the entire show trapped up front in a wave of bodies, able only jump around and bang my head to rock out. I didn”t once get that sense of urgency or accompanying anxiety, and it was awesome. You know when I pulled this off last? 2001 when I was still pre-UC. I feel blessed to have this additional sense of perspective.

Supporting the Cause: Poop

Do you happen to live in the San Francisco bay area and want to be part of a supportive group but don”t like the idea of a sterile, boring support group and your expectations aren”t too high? Well we”re trying something different. I have joined forces with Gwendolyn, a friend and Team Challenge mate, to create a supportive social group for people who are affected by Crohns and/or Colitis. Check us out at http://www.facebook.com/SFSSG!

The SFSSG!

Progress, yo!

I censored the mooning. You're welcome.

 

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18 Responses to “2 Years Post TakeDown”

  1. avatar

    Chris ( cmd@kcmo.net ) says:

    July 21st, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Brevin, thank you for the update. It sounds like you’re doing great. I too am doing very well since my surgeries (June and October 2010)–no pouchitis yet, but it sounds like a minor ordeal. I’d really like to do the Las Vegas marathon this December and run into you, but my vacation hours just aren’t there; maybe in 2012. Space scurvey, eh? That sounds like something from Space Balls or Ice Pirates… hmm. / Chris (Kansas City)

    [Reply]

  2. avatar

    Jackie Z. says:

    July 21st, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Said in only a way that Brevin could say it. I’m stoked you love your pouch. I’m getting there with mine. Thanks for being a support system through my jpouch adventures. You’re a pal.

    [Reply]

  3. avatar

    Mamsie says:

    July 21st, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I am very glad the “mooning” was censored-your MOTHER!!

    [Reply]

  4. avatar

    Lizz says:

    July 24th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Brevin, you are a riot! A really freakin’ buff riot! Yowza!
    Argentina on business sounds awesome sans the tummy and toilet troubles. Glad you wrestled the subsequent pouchitis. Also, did you do the graphics for your support group? ZOMG I lurve it. Can I get that on a t-shirt?

    [Reply]

    avatar

    Brevin Reply:

    Hi Lizz! Yeah I threw together the explosion logo for our SFSSG team. T-shirts, eh? *dusty lightbulb flickering on above my head*

    [Reply]

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    January 12th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

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  6. avatar

    Kat says:

    June 10th, 2012 at 9:16 am

    hey, i really want to thank you for this. i’m 17 and have been diagnosed with UC for about 6 months now. my medication has worked on and off, but at the moment (where i’m right in the middle of my exams to get into university) i’m having the crappiest flare up. i can barely sleep, suffer from horrible pains in my stomach and i feel so stressed about all my studying. but despite all of this, you’ve cheered me up so much today – i’ve gone from crying about all the worst possible situations that could happen, to feeling really positive if i ever need to undergo a j-pouch surgery. hopefully i can sleep a little more soundly tonight and the stress will fizzle away sooner or later. thanks again, please keep it up.
    Kat, from the UK

    [Reply]

  7. avatar

    Brevin says:

    June 10th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Thank Kat from the UK. I hope to be posting my *gasp* three year update soon, complete with sarcasm and nudity. If you would like any long-distance support in a more frequent fashion, please feel free to email me :)

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    Eddie says:

    August 18th, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I’m scheduled for a LAR in the next two weeks, temporary bag, and then permanent j pouch if all goes well.  I’m normally a pretty positive person, but the idea of going to the bathroom 5-6 times a day (on a good day!) is depressing, to say the least.  I guess hikes in the woods are out of the question?  It’s good to read that people keep their chin high… I hope to get their one day.  In the meantime, thanks for sharing.

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