I just had my colon removed and now I poop in a bag...AMA!
Hi! In January of 2015, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Ulcerative Colitis (you may be more familiar with the "big sister" of UC called Crohn's Disease). The disease attacks my colon (aka large intestine) and rectum, making eating anything ultimately a painful experience and going to the bathroom (for #2) all of the time inevitable. Note that there is no cure for these diseases and only remedies to try and put people into remission.
For a while, I was managing the symptoms of the disease with certain pills but in October of 2015, I got into a really bad "flare" (i.e. disease becomes extremely active) and had to switch medications. Ever since then, I tried new medications to try and control the disease but nothing really helped.
I was admitted to the hospital in August of 2016 due to a high fever and flare and during that time, picked up a very nasty intestinal infection that undid all of my medical progress...which leads us to here!
I just had the first of three surgeries performed that are geared to remove the large intestine and rectum in order to get my life back on track. So for the next 6 months, I will be pooping into a bag that is attached to the side of my stomach.
The main reason for doing this AMA is to bring more awareness to these IBD diseases that you can't really see (I can hide this bag underneath a sweater and prior to the bag, it's a matter of hiding my emotions). It is a physically and emotionally draining disease that has taken any sort of quality of life I had and completely destroyed it and ideally, I will get my life back on track soon enough. For others, maintaining a quality of life is more difficult since medicines don't work or surgery isn't an option. Please be mindful of others around you because if I learned anything from this experience, it's that you really have no idea what other people may be going through.
Thanks in advance for the questions!
Edit 2: Thanks for the support and questions. Feel free to ask more, I'll get back to them later!