Thank you all at jpouch.net for providing a source of insight and sense of community to these conditions I thought were non-existent outside of my own experience. Knowing there are people who can relate to your circumstances is a much needed relief. And I mean exact circumstances, not ball-park figure guesstimates like “oh, sometimes I get tummy aches, is that like your thing?”, well intentioned as they may be. This support is a blessing I can’t thank you for enough.
My name is Brevin and I want to punch my Ulcerative Colitis in the face.
It’s not like I just met Colitis the other day, hitting on the girl I was going to ask out and now I want to engage in fisticuffs. No, we go way back. This is a scuffle years in the making. I was diagnosed back in early 2003 and I dealt with it pretty well, all things considered. We would sometimes have slap-fights and call each other names, but nothing that made me cry foul. But given my current condition, ongoing medication, accompanying side effects, and constant need to use the bathroom, it… it gets old. It does. I miss my quality of life. I have had so many medical complications because of my Colitis that I’m on a first name basis with the ER. That’s not something to brag about. I’m at the point where I consider the rest of my life and where I would like to see myself and my well being. I don’t like what I’m seeing with Colitis’s smug face in the picture. But I know the cure, that steak through the heart of the vampire Count Von Colitis, is surgery. Who’s afraid of surgery? Me.
Back in the early days of my UC diagnosis, my GI referred me to Stanford to go check in with a surgeon. Wow. That was the most horrific sync up ever. The doctor was cold, blunt, and scared the crap out of me (being a Colitis patient, that doesn’t take much effort, but still). I left that meeting convincing myself that surgery is not the way to go and I swore that I would try all of the possible alternatives before even thinking about the surgeon’s knife. Well, here I am. All alternatives? Check. Maximum dosage? Check. Progress with my condition? Nope. In my own cowardly defense, there weren’t supportive communities like www.jpouch.net back then, and if there were, I didn’t know about them through utter stubbornness.
Recent events with my health have me seriously considering the surgery. I’m using this opportunity to share my experiences, starting at the decision-making process. I hope these contributions help others in the same circumstances, even if only in the smallest of ways. Getting to write these thoughts down are therapeutical in a weird way, and hopefully current UC patients can relate. It’s a tough decision. It’s not something you sleep on; it’s something you hibernate on. I appreciate your support and I’ll share as much as you would like to know.