My surgery experience is probably one of the more positive ones out there. After suffering with severe ulcerative colitis for three years and going through every drug the hospital had to offer, I elected to have surgery.
On the day I first met my surgeon, I was given three options:
- Keyhole surgery removing the colon and leaving the rectum intact
- A full panproctocolectomy. Removal of colon, anal canal and rectum all in one operation
- Removal of colon and formation of J-Pouch
Due to the severity of my colon, and the fact that my rectum etc. were all inflamed and ulcerated, I opted for option two – extreme I know, but I didn’t fancy the idea of going back for seconds.
This was a very scary time, both for me and my family, with two small children under the age of nine, all sorts of thoughts went through my head. How would I cope with the bag? How will the children react? Would I be able to be active with the kids again?
The day of the operation came and I went down for surgery at 12:15 pm and got back to the ward at 9:15 pm and was drugged up to the eyeballs!
One week after the surgery I was allowed home, but I could only either stand or lay on my side. I have to admit, the stitches in my bottom were rather tight…
When I got home, I introduced the bag and Dad’s ‘strawberry’ to the kids straight away. Thankfully, the kids understood and were supportive from the start. They were intrigued about Dad pooing into a bag, but the novelty soon wore off and it was all put behind them.
The stitches stayed in for three weeks. Having them removed was not a pleasant experience and one that brought tears to my eyes, to put it mildly.
Since then, I haven’t looked back. At nine weeks post-surgery, I enjoyed a holiday to Centre Parcs with my lovely little family and I even managed to ride a bike! I can now eat and drink whatever I want with no issues. It’s fantastic!
Now it’s time to get my fitness levels back up and start enjoying life again. I have signed up to a number of events in 2019, not only to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis, but also to raise awareness and to hopefully help people going through the same experience.
At eight months post-operation, I am back running and also up to 52 miles on my bike, so I am feeling great.
During 2019, I am undertaking a number of physical challenges to raise awareness and to raise money for Crohn’s & Colitis.
- Tour of Pembroke – 57 mile ride – 18th May
- Carten100 – 100 mile ride from Cardiff to Tenby – 1st June
- Wales Long Course Sportive – 112 miles ride – 6th July
- Ride London – 100 ride – 4th August – Part of the Crohns & Colitis Team
- Cardiff Half Marathon – 6th October
- TeamEvsy – 100 mile ride – October 2019
I want to show that anything is possible, even without a colon – #NoColonStillRollin
I know my experience is probably better than most people’s and I feel really lucky to have had such a great experience.
Dan uses the Platinum bag from our Vitamin E range. If you would like to find out more or order your samples, click here.
To donate or contribute to Dan’s Just Giving page, click here.