My name is Charlie, I am 28 and have been part of the Comfizz Team for over 10 years and this is my J-pouch story.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) in 2009 which resulted in me having my colon removed and having a temporary ileostomy (for about 18 months) I will not go into too much detail about this as I am here to speak about my J-pouch.
I had three surgeries in total, first one to remove my colon, second one to create the J-pouch and the third one to connect everything together.
It was not a difficult decision for me to agree to the J-pouch surgery. I was only 16 at the time and felt I had nothing to lose and in all honesty, I think this got me through dealing with having a stoma knowing it would not be forever. My mind set would be completely different now, if I did have to have stoma again, I would be more accepting of this. I think this is due to age and knowledge.
I must admit it was difficult at the start as I was not used to going to the toilet again! It was very strange! I do not know how but up to this date I have never had an accident which I believe is very uncommon, so I guess I am lucky in that sense.
I go to the toilet between 5-8 times a day depending on what I eat and how much I eat. I know this sounds like a lot, but you do get used to it! Although, it can be very annoying if you are out in public and need to find a toilet. After all this time I am not comfortable using public toilets and will avoid at all costs. When using disabled toilets, people like to judge and stare as if to say why are you using a disabled toilet you look fine to me! I also find it hard to use the bathroom when staying over at friends or family members homes. This is just my own insecurities I mean at the end of the day we all poo! Other than this I do not really have anything negative to say about having a J-pouch I feel extremely grateful that my surgery was a success.
I am lucky as I can eat and drink pretty much everything and nothing seems to really upset me- there are certain things I know to avoid but also know the outcome if eat them. I occasionally take Imodium, this mainly if I drink alcohol and if I am dehydrated.
I have never looked back since making the decision and would advise anyone thinking about this to go for it depending on their circumstances and to do their research. I more than happy for anyone to reach out and ask me any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).