I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, in April 2016. I suffered with bloody and painful stools, and abdominal pains. I was put on a number of different medications, including steroids, but nothing worked for more than a few weeks. I was in and out of hospital for about a year before I caught a C-diff infection which, combined with my UC, caused me to need my colon (large intestine) removed and an end-ileostomy formed. An ileostomy is when the end/part of the intestines is pulled through a surgical hole in the abdomen and sewn in place, forming what’s called a stoma. An adhesive bag is then placed over the stoma to collect food waste. I had this for just over a year before opting for a reversal. This meant having two more surgeries; the first to create a j-pouch – a interior “quasi-colon” made using part of the small intestine – and a temporary loop ileostomy while the pouch healed. The third and final surgery is to take down the ileostomy so that the j-pouch is fully functioning and I can go to the bathroom “normally”.
As of writing this, I am still waiting to have the stoma take-down surgery but that’s not too far away.