What Do You Mean, Where’d Your Colon Go??
Most people go through life with their colon perfectly intact, doing the things it’s supposed to do without much fuss unless you eat some bad shellfish or one deep fried Twinkie too many. For a lucky few of us though, our colons have decided to wreak havoc on our bodies and ultimately to our lives. Most of us with digestive issues (Irritable Bowel Diseases) didn’t end up this way by being a candidate for My Strange Addiction or because we ate exotic or overly processed foods… or cotton balls. I know I, and a number of fellow IBDers, had healthy eating habits before disaster struck and yet our colons decided to go rogue on us.
On March 21, 2012, after 8 years of battling Crohn’s disease (a chronic auto-immune disorder that I will explain in another post) I will be going through an operation to remove my large intestine (the colon) which is known as an Ileostomy. It’s a life changing operation, with both pros and cons and I’d like to document it in a blog in the hopes that it helps me and possibly someone else in the same position I am one day. So yes, while most of the world get to keep their colon for life, mine is going…somewhere, never to return. Well, maybe in like 15 years stem cell research will know how to build organs from scratch and I can get a new one; but, until medicine catches up to science fiction or the FDA starts looking at how well research is doing in Europe and other places I’m stuck with a bag. To put it bluntly.
I don’t like the idea much. Who would? I do like the idea of getting my life back after eight years of this shit (not to be crude). Eight years of relying on both modern western medicine and practical eastern practices. For a long time I was able to avoid hospitalization, and I have to admit it made me cocky - I felt like I had a milder form of the disease than the many testimonials I’d heard from others. The month-long hospital stays, the near death expiriences. That wasn’t me, and it wasn’t going to be as far I was concerned. But like they say, you make plans and God laughs.
This past year my confidence was put through the grinder. I was in the hospital for a week in November ‘11 and in January of this year I spent a good 3 weeks at California Pacific Medical Center, over 2 weeks in the ICU and 5 days totally konked out. Yeah, talk about a reality check.
So yes, I am using this pace to talk about my experience. With Crohn’s, my surgery, my life post-op. There’s a growing number of resources for those with IBDs, and I hope I can offer a unique and candid account - the good, the bad, the ugly - to the list. I’m open to all and any questions, there’s a box in the right hand corner just for that purpose.