At some point up to 75% of Crohn’s sufferers will have surgery of some form either by electing to have the procedure or having it due to complications.
Surgery will remove infected parts of the intestine but will not cure the disease but for many people it will improve their quality of life and allow them to return to normal activities.
IBD is a disease that you never wanted and wished every day you never had and having surgery to change the way your body functions, particularly if you elect to have it, is a big decision. But, at some point you feel enough is enough and it’s time to start pooping a different way.
First Being Offered Surgery
For 12 years I maintained my IBD with a variety of medications and had my ups and downs with flareups and remission. Then I experienced a particularly bad flareup and was presented with two options – surgery or try a different medication. My specialist listed the pros and cons of surgery and the number of pros was far greater than the cons but I just wasn’t ready so I opted for the medication – Humira.
The Humira worked wonders and felt like some sort of miracle cure. Apart from Runner’s Trots (which people without IBD experience regularly), I was in remission for the next three-and-a-half years and surgery was never part of any of my thoughts. Then, I was back in flareup town!
Surgery Now Felt Right
Five months into a bad flareup where I felt worse than ever and where Prednisone nor Humira nor my maintenance drugs Balazsalazide and Azathioprine were having any effect on the inflammation perhaps surgery was now a real option.
I hadn’t given surgery any consideration but when I saw my specialist and it was mentioned, without hesitation I responded with a yes. He also gave me an option of trying other medications but what if my body didn’t respond? I’d reached a point where I needed to feel normal again and surgery appeared to be the best option on the table.
After meeting with my surgeon to discuss the procedure it was decided that only the infected part of the colon would be removed along with the rectum and anus (Proctocolectomy with Colostomy). This would be irreversible surgery.
After a few push backs, the surgery is currently scheduled for January 15th, 2019.
But is it the Right Decision?
I’m hoping so and after making the decision, speaking to my surgeon, speaking to a specialist stoma nurse and friends who know of people with colostomy bags it certainly seems the right decision. The fact that I’m electing to have irreversible surgery initially caused minor doubts but they passed.