One Step Back, Followed by Two—Maybe Three—Steps Forward

Yesterday ended up being a pretty rough day. I think I’ve been underselling the pressure/cramping I’ve been experiencing in/on my J-Pouch. During the course of my treatment, both my GI and my surgeon have (independently) referred to me as “stoic”, and I suppose there’s some truth to that. I just chalk up whatever I’m feeling to “the way it is” and move on. This was true when I was suffering from my ulcerative colitis symptoms, and it’s true during my recovery from surgery. But the fact of the matter is this J-Pouch pressure hurts. A lot. And the pain meds don’t help with it. Yesterday, the pressure was building to a crescendo of pain about every 10 minutes. I’d rate it a 7 or 8 on the pain scale at each peak (as a point of reference, I never reported more than 5 when I was in the hospital). The only saving grace was that the “peaks” were relatively short-lived. If they hadn’t been, I would have been in the hospital. Bottom line: it sucked. 

Now, to what I hope is the good news. Yesterday, I ended up releasing a fairly significant amount of mucousy liquid from the J-Pouch over the course of five “accidents” on my couch (it happened three more times after the two I originally reported). This was both unpleasant and humiliating, because each time it happened was largely outside of my control. I’d just be laying there watching Harry Potter, quick build of pressure/pain, and then…  No one likes not being in control of their bodily functions. No one wants mysterious liquid coming out of their butt. No one wants their wife to have to clean their ass like an infant. But it relieved the pressure.

Today, I’ve only experienced the pressure pains three times and with much less intensity than yesterday. I’ve had no “accidents.” I spoke with my surgeon’s nurse practitioner, and she assured me that all of this is perfectly normal. She noted that everyone’s experience is a little different—some people create a lot of mucous, some create very little; some people have small discharges several times a day; some have large ones once a week; some people don’t experience it all. But, without a doubt, it’s good to lose the fluid; it should relieve the pain I’ve been experiencing; and it should slow and eventually stop. All good news.

In other good news, my JP Drain has slowed way down, and I will almost certainly be able to get rid of that tomorrow or Thursday. It will be nice to have one less apparatus hanging off of me.

All in all, today has been a pretty good day. Other than the back pain I woke up with (which the Norco promptly killed) and the truly terrible TV I’ve been watching (Hardcore Pawn, anyone?), it’s been another day of slow-but-steady progress. Can’t complain about that.

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This entry was posted in Ileostomy, J-Pouch, Recovery, Support, Surgery, Ulcerative Colitis and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to One Step Back, Followed by Two—Maybe Three—Steps Forward

  1. John Casy says:

    Hi Ben
    Sorry to hear your having alot of pain. Thats no fun. With all the different pain killer meds out there they should be able to help you wiith one that will ease the pain. No need to suffer.
    I hope tomorrow will be a much better day for you.
    John

  2. Pingback: It’s not all rainbows and butterflies. | Know Guts

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