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2 Years Post TakeDown

Posted Jul 21 2011 1:02am

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.

In hindsight, Argentina gave me plenty of clues that they had it in for my j-pouch. This stall at a soccer/football stadium didn't even have toilet paper roll holders, let alone toile paper. An omen, if you will.

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 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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