I recently got an email from a new reader who was asking me the kind of questions I like to answer! I always wanted to know the details about what an ostomy or jpouch would look/feel like so I’m always happy to answer these kinds of questions. All the answers here are as I am now, 5 months post takedown.
Can you sleep all night?
Most nights. I wake up sometimes depending on what I ate, and what time but most nights I’m good. And if I have to get up, normally its only one time. In the beginning after takedown, I was getting up a few times but it has slowly stopped. But I am always able to wake up, I don’t have accidents.
How many times per day do you go on average?
I’d guess between 5-7, I really should count this. But its not so much that I really notice. I know its more than “normal” people but its not noticeable and its not weird.
Does your butt hurt?
Hah. Yea sometimes it totally does. I have to put in some work to have a bowel movement, so sometimes when I’m done, the butthole hurts. Its not unbearable, but sometimes I have to adjust how I sit. And most of the time the pain is manageable without meds, but it is literally up in the butt hole. Its a strange sensation.
Can you pass gas?
I can! After takedown that is the first thing that started happening before poop. I’m slowly learning the difference between pooping and farting, but I still squeeze like crazy just to make sure I don’t poop. I have learned that when I start to pass gas a lot, it means I have to poop. Also if I lay on my left side, its easier for me to pass gas. Only my left, its weird.
How long after your final surgery did you/would you have been able to go back to work?
I was a counselor at camp for a week 1 month after surgery, and that was 24-7 little kids, waking up early, staying up late, walking 16 miles a day, swimming and activities. I was honestly great after surgery. I left the hospital after 5 days not on pain meds. If your take down goes right, I would say after you’re out of the hospital you could go back with in 2 weeks if not less.
How long after your j pouch creation surgery could you/ did you go back to work?
Surgery number #2 and 3 were tough for me. I actually had a 4 step. It sucked. But surgery #2, they went in to create the pouch and couldn’t. They took out the rectum and recovery from that surgery was awful. It took the full 8 weeks. Some of it could have been a mental thing because I was really depressed. But #3 where they made the pouch was ok. I think it was a few weeks until I was back to normal. I don’t have a job now, but I would assume 3 weeks or so you could work. Maybe start off part time and then see how you feel.
Does going to the bathroom out your butt suck after having the convenience of a bag?
Yea. Sometimes. In the beginning it totally did. I even wrote an entry how I missed my bag. Its just so easy. But give it time and your pouch will kick the bags ass. Granted I’m still always on the hunt for a bathroom, but I was like that with the bag too. At least this way, my bag doesn’t fill up, my pouch does…and I can hold it.
Overall, how is the function of your j pouch?
Honestly good. Surprisingly good. Not every day is perfect, and some days I get frustrated, but over all, I feel like I have a normal butt. Its not like it phases me anymore. Its like a ninja robo butt, kinda.
Maybe this is a weird one, but have you ever leaked while having sex? In my head I feel as though it must press on the pouch while doing it… no??
Oh man I was SOO afraid of this. I talked to a ton of my jpouch ladies about this before cause I was FREAKING out. I didn’t wait that long to have sex only a couple weeks maybe? I didn’t leak, and still havent ever leaked. Sometimes it feels like it will, but I just have to concentrate a bit more but nothing crazy. I can’t explain why it didn’t/doesn’t leak…it just doesn’t. But I did have that whole tilted vag thing months ago…so…if you have a lop sided lady part it might be different for you. Mine calmed the crap down, and stopped being tilted so I was ok.
Can you play sports with the j pouch just fine?
I’d be lying if I said I was a sports player. BUT I do attempt running every now and again. I’m not good at that either. Anyway, for a few weeks, even though you feel good, wear a pad. The first time I was working out was like 6 weeks after takedown, and I started to run and leaked. My pouch had never felt the pressure from running before, so it wasn’t a real surprise. I don’t need one now, when I run though. I swear, it all gets easier.
Do you worry about being able to have kids one day???
Honestly, I don’t want kids. BUT here is what I do know. All doctors recommend, if not require c-sections for jpouch ladies. Some women do have a hard time getting pregnant with all the scar tissue, but I know it is possible. There are women out there who have carried multiples with jpouches so it is not hopeless. I think it will be more difficult than it is for the average bear, but not impossible. I think I’d avoid unplanned pregnancies like the plague because planning for one just means you will have more control and be able to monitor your health more. I know that when I’m on my period, my pooping gets all outta whack so I would imagine that carrying a human inside of you would do something similar.
Do you have any crazy town questions? Send them my way.