My experience with a J-Pouch


I did not have a great experience with a J-Pouch. In fact I don’t think there was really a great moment. He’s what I wrote a few years back:

I had my first operation which was to construct my pouch and a new ileostomy in June. The reason for the new Ileostomy was because the part of my bowel that was use for my original one was going to be used to connect my pouch to my bum. The temporary ileostomy I had worked slightly differently to my original one and took me a while to get used to.

At the beginning of September 2009 I had my ileostomy closed and my pouch was connected. I initially recovered quickly as expected however I went soon took a turn for the worse. I was unable to keep food or drink down and end up losing a lot of weight. I ended up having to be admitted to hospital due to my kidneys failing and being chronically dehydrated.. It was a very traumatic and unexpected time as we thought that I would recover quickly and be back to normal.

Over the following 4 months I was in and out of hospital on what seemed to be a weekly basis, it was horrible. I missed a lot of university and ended up having to pull out of my 2nd year, it seemed at that time if I wasn’t in hospital I was lying in bed at home.

It wasn’t until my 3rd visit to hospital that the doctors diagnosed me with Pouchitis which is basically Ulcerative Colitis but in your pouch. This wasn’t picked up earlier because I wasn’t showing the typical symptoms of Pouchitis. Because of this they were able to put me on a high dose of antibiotics which got me out of hospital on 22nd December 2009, just in time for christmas.

I then spent the next year and a half on antibiotics and throughout that time I felt reasonably well. I was never 100% but I was going to the toilet less than when I had Ulcerative Colitis and didn’t have a Ileostomy. I was only admitted to hospital once after that and that was due to me taking myself of the antibiotics.

I was able to carry on my life as normal, I proposed to my girlfriend and we began the task of planning a wedding. I entered the real world of work and eventually ended up getting a job at The Farm as an Runner. I ended up not going back to uni but instead trying to work my way up the TV ladder, I got 2 promotions in a year and everything was going well.

However as things were closing in to our wedding day, the antibiotics which I was taking seemed to be having less effect on me. A month before our wedding I was admitted to hospital with Chronic Dehydration. I was at this point that me, my fiancé and my family along with the doctors guidance decided that the best decision was to have my ileostomy put back. None of us had planned or wanted this but we knew that it was the only way that I would make it to the wedding and that I would not have to be on constant medication.

It wasn’t an easy decision for us but I made it to the wedding, I was able to go on Honeymoon. Even though having a bag isn’t ideal it was much better than having constant antibiotics and the chance of ending up in hospital within 24hours.

Having a pouch wasn’t right for me, but the doctors have always made it clear that the way my body has reacted is unusual and 98% of patients with a pouch don’t react in the same way. If I was well whilst having a pouch I would have never gone back to the bag, it was only because of extreme circumstances that I had to.

Here’s some more pictures, these are my favourites:

Doctors at work

Doctors at work

Opened up

Opened up

Hands going in!

Hands going in!

Stitching me back up

Stitching me back up

Out of Operation Number 1

Out of Operation Number 1

Op 2 - Connecting me back up

Op 2 – Connecting me back up

Op 2 - Everything all connected and stitched up

Op 2 – Everything all connected and stitched up

Scars - where my ileostomy used to be

Scars – where my ileostomy used to be

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