Before This – After This

This sentence is going to probably be one that only fellow IBDers can understand or read without thinking WHAT THE F… ; )

Today is eleven years since I went to the bathroom “normally.”

I have a lot of dates that I will most likely never forget. Yesterday and today are two anniversary days; not in the celebratory sense but they are important in my journey with ulcerative colitis.

January 6, 2003 was the date of my second major surgery. I had been having issues with my Jpouch at that time so my surgeon thought that giving me an ostomy would allow my pouch to heal. I went into that surgery never giving a thought to the fact that it would be a permanent situation.

I wasn’t told about the benefits of doing a Jpouch in two or three steps so my doctor did it in one. I was so thankful because I didn’t want to go through anymore surgeries and at the age of 15, I sure as hell didn’t want to have an ostomy for a couple months either.

The few months following my second surgery to give me a {what I thought} temporary ileostomy, I was healthy. I needed to take time off of high school but I was able to be part of the mock trial club which made me feel like I was still part of school and all of that.

But then things took a bad turn. Fevers returned and the severity of my situation became even clearer to my doctors and parents. For some reason, I never made room for the possibility that that surgery could so significantly change my life. I thought I escaped having an ostomy forever because I made it through the first one without needing it.

I think there are a lot of moments and days that are forever ingrained in our minds. Sometimes we don’t think the date or event is significant until somewhere down the line.


  • liz sangster (@TiggyLiz)

    I have to make a decision about having a j-pouch in march don’t know what to do I have gastro paresis and was in the hospital for a year after colostomy …j-pouch doesn’t sound like cure all they promised

    • Marisa Lauren

      Ugh I’m so sorry! I’m not familiar with that so not sure how it could affect a Jpouch. While it’s not a cure all, it works well for many people. Course we are all different which makes it sooo friggen challenging. Thinking of you!! xoxo

      • liz sangster (@TiggyLiz)

        gastro paresis is a condition that with me was caused by wound infection because my incision opened the muscle at the base of my stomach is semi paralysed and I have to take medicine to keep food down ..took awhile to diagnose. it was touch and go. thus my fears.liz

        • Marisa Lauren

          That’s very interesting. Thanks for educating me!

  • Sherri

    They always promise that surgery is the “cure”. With IBD it rarely is.

    • Marisa Lauren

      True unfortunately.

  • liz sangster (@TiggyLiz)

    I had really bad experiences with a lot of the doctors and nurses a little understanding could have made a hellish situation better

    • Marisa Lauren

      It goes such a long way!!