WARNING: A POOP POST.
YOU MAY WISH TO JUST COME BACK TOMORROW FOR A MORE APPROPRIATE POST.
One year ago today, I had my colon removed due to a severe flare of Ulcerative Colitis that was not responding to outrageously high doses of Remicade or steroids. They removed my colon and appendix and created a J pouch out of the end of my small intestine. The J pouch was an internal pouch sewed down into my pelvis and attached to my anus where my colon used to be. The J pouch was supposed to serve as my "new colon" one day. To divert the flow of my poop while the J pouch healed, I was given an ileostomy. An ileostomy is when they pull the end of your intestine through your stomach wall. My poop flows more or less continuously into a bag I wear over the ileostomy, who I christened Squirt (for obvious reasons). Of course, you all know the end of this story... the J pouch unfortunately got very sick, and was removed on August 23, and Squirt was with me to stay...
I wrote this list back in January... and on this day, Squirt's first birthday (the anniversary of my first surgery. We won't even talk about my colon. Haven't missed THAT worthless organ for a single day!), I want to honor the little guy with a post all about him. Yes, he's weird. Yes, I'd prefer to not have him. Yes, he can be inconvenient, gross, and... noisy. But all in all, he can't help any of those things, and I regard him with mixed respect, disgust... and a weird sort of affection. So here's why I love Squirt:
- I get packages in the mail! Yeah, sure, they are just bags and stuff I have to mail order for Squirt, but it's SO fun to get a box in the mail! I love it.
- I get to choose when I go to the bathroom to "poop" (empty Squirt's bag). I used to almost have accidents multiple times a day since my colon was so inflamed and worthless. I had this weird radar thing where you could have blindfolded me, taken me to any public place, spun me around, let me go... and I would still have been able to find the bathroom within 15 seconds. This is a skill I've heard most people with UC develop. My radar is fading now, as the urgent need is simply not there anymore!
- Also, pooping hurt. A lot. No longer! I don't feel a thing!
- I don't have to reach behind me to wipe. It's all conveniently located in front. I can see what I'm doing when I empty the bag, unlike you "back poopers."
- It wasn't me that passed gas. It all collects in Squirt's bag. ;) So no one can blame me.
- If I wanted to, I could be a terrorist and blow up planes by breaking the whole "3 oz" liquid rule by filling my bag with explosives.
- I have a built-in excuse out of every situation. "I need to go play with Squirt" - no one wants to ask more. ;) Haha.
- No chance of: hemorrhoids, constipation (although, not that that was EVER an issue for a UC sufferer!), colon cancer, colonoscopies, or rectal exams...
Happy birthday, Squirt. If I'm the motorcycle, you're the side car. You're the slightly annoying constant companion I couldn't live without. Many happy returns.