J-Pouch Recovery

Who would of thought that at 27 years old I would be potty training again? It’s been almost 3 weeks since my surgery and although I would say it’s going probably better than I expected, potty training is hard. Kudos to my toddlers cause you guys are all-stars.

The first thing I needed to tackle was my sleep. Reminded of how sleeping was when I was sick, I was getting up between 8-10 times a night. One night between 12:00 and 7:00am (because your number can reset at midnight), I was up 9 times. And like I’ve mentioned before, how can you possibly prepare yourself to have a good, positive day, waking up with a number like 9? This immediately set the tone for the day. I was exhausted, my ass was burning, my incision was aching and I felt like I was spending my days, recovering from my nights.

Luckily I’ve had quite a few visitors who’ve brought me food, kept me company and encouraged me to leave the little bubble that is my house, and see the world. My days go by quickly when there are visitors and they’ve done an excellent job keeping me occupied. I haven’t quite gone stir crazy yet.

Eventually I started taking Imodium right before bed, to which I ended up only having to get up between 2-3 times. By morning I felt refreshed, and rested. For the first time I felt like my body had a break, and I was on a mend.

Careful not to become dependent on Imodium, I ensure that I don’t take it during the day. During the day is when I continue my “training.” I work on holding it and building up my tolerance to the urgency. And very gradually, I have noticed my frequency come down.

Only within the last few days have I noticed that my abdominal muscles don’t seem to hurt so much. Right under my incision is where my stomach would ache, especially during every bowel movement and when it felt like I was straining. But now I feel them healing and becoming stronger. There was one particular incident with a friend and my sister where we were laughing and laughing that I could feel the pain aching, but couldn’t stop myself. And the next time I went to the bathroom it somehow didn’t hurt so much. It must be true that laughter is the best medicine.

I get a lot of questions about my diet and the truth is that I haven’t quite mastered it yet. I was told to stick to low fiber foods for now, and if I have a lot of diarrhea eat those starchy foods like rice and potatoes (or marshmallows). I take a liquid vitamin in order to ensure I’m still getting those nutrients, and again only within the last few days have started to eat raw fruits and vegetables again. Given my known sensitivity to wheat, dairy and eggs I find I’m in a constant battle trying to balance what I can eat and what is really upsetting, with also what’s good for recovery, what’s good for a J-Pouch and what’s good for a normal healthy diet. It’s all still very confusing and I’m still working on it, so don’t look to me for expertise quite yet.

In the mean time I went back to the gym for the first time today. I started my HR course again last week. I’m drinking an excessive amount of water. I managed to go downtown twice over the past weekend (which is a story in itself in terms of accessibility, stay tuned) and even had a sleepover. I plan on continuing to rest, write, work and most importantly laugh

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One thought on “J-Pouch Recovery

  1. Thank you so much for writing this blog! I had my colon removed/j pouch formed/ ileostomy made on February 21st and I am slowly recovering. It is so nice to be able to relate to someone else, I can feel kind of secluded without anyone I know who’s been through the same ordeal. I’ve had UC since I was 10 and this past year from Feb 2016-Feb 2017 has been absolutely awful. More flares than I can count, hospitalizations, missing work, more med changes and my body just didn’t respond. I meet with my surgeon the end of the month and we are planning to reverse sometime the end of next month if all goes as planned. Thank you again for blogging this and bringing awareness to this disease so many of us bravely fight everyday. Keep getting stronger!!

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