Supporting the Colitis, Crohn's, ostomy and J-Pouch community one butt joke at a time



Its more Than Showing Up

Recently I’ve been having a hard time training for Team Challenge. I can’t seem to find the time to train properly, I’m getting frustrated and discouraged. For me, just signing up and showing up to the start line isn’t anything worth writing home about. Anyone can register for the race. Anyone can buy the gear. Anyone can say “I’m on a Team Challenge team”. To me…this is about finishing the race. Finishing the race is what will be amazing. There is nothing amazing about showing up. Its about how you finish. And when I say “finish”, I don’t mean how great your time is or how fast/slow you were. I mean that you trained, you showed up, you ran/walked the race and you finished it strong just like how you planned. You don’t punk out along the way. You don’t give up when things get too hard.

I had a long chat with my TC mentor and manager last night about how I was discouraged in my training because I simply do not have the time to run 15 miles a week right now. I had planned on running this race as much as I could and right now, that’s not even close to 13.1 miles. My manager and mentor told me that maybe I should consider changing my race strategy to explicitly run/walking. Which is essentially interval training. I can’t believe I didn’t think about that. I was so focused on how my training was lacking, that I didn’t consider my plan was flawed. Right now all my schedule allows for is running when I can, so that means when race day comes, I’ll run/walk this 1/2 marathon. My body won’t have conditioned itself enough to run the whole thing…and you know what? I am fine with that because this is part of what I signed up for. I signed up to troubleshoot this. It would be easy to give up, or to just say “Fine, I’ll walk it”.

But that’s not who I am. I will fight to do my best. I will show myself and my team that I am stronger than UC. I am stronger than MS.

Sure. Things happen. Life happens. I could go into an MS relapse tomorrow that takes away my vision, or numbs me from the waist down…but I will do what it takes to get out of it, and start training when I can.

Team Challenge is a workout for your body AND your mind. Its improving my mental strength. Its showing me I can do more than I thought that I could and most of the time the only excuses I have are ones that I have convinced myself are true. “I can’t do it because ________”. Pick your favorite excuse. I’ve already used it.

To me its not amazing to show up, its amazing to complete something you’ve trained so hard for. Amazing is the feeling you get when you cross the finish line, not when you register for the race. It doesn’t take courage to sign up, it takes $75 to sign up. It takes courage to do it…and complete it. It doesn’t take much to buy all the equipment and call myself a runner. Running is what makes the runner.

An informative rant

You know what pisses me off? Well theres a myriad of things but if I were to pick one to focus this post around it would be…this phrase, “Isn’t a jpouch a cure for colitis?”.

There is such a lack of education in that sentence and frankly it’s not the patients fault. I have heard GI’s and surgeons refer to surgery as a cure and I’ve read a boat load of articles that say the same thing and all I want to do is strangle them for flooding the world and the internet with completely false information.

“Well if your disease is only in your colon, and you remove it, doesn’t that solve the problem?”
Daaaahhhh! I am going to speak for most people that I know with IBD (and I swear I’m super close to knowing everyone in the whole world with IBD), and say that our diseases while confined to our colon, absolutely affect other parts of our bodies. Whether its lingering arthritis, skin rashes, hair loss or whatever….its still a result of having UC. Sure, the UC is gone…doesn’t mean it isn’t lingering.
Also…we all still have some of our rectum. Whether that is 3cm or less…that part of your body can still hold UC. It can still flare and cause discomfort. Sure, your whole body isn’t down for the count, but it doesn’t mean it is gone.

And my favorite part of this argument is pouchitis. I am currently getting over a bout of pouchitis and all I can think is that I wouldn’t have pouchitis if I was cured.

Cure. What a dumb word. People…wake up. Nothing has been cured since polio…why? There is no money in a cure. All of you out there hoping for one, hold your breathe until it comes because its not happening. We might get really good treatments in the future…but not cures.

Before I had my colon removed, my rheumatologist said to me, “I wonder if in 10 years we’ll think about colectomies like how we think about lobotomies now”. Which was hilarious and terrifying all at the same time. If I learned anything from that, it was that not all doctors are dumb enough to call this a “cure”. Or to think that removing large organs solves problems.

So here is where you pay attention. A jpouch is not a cure. Getting a jpouch means trading one really huge problem for a bunch of other smaller problems. Keep listening.

I would gladly have my colon removed any day of the week (and twice on sundays). I am SO happy now, and so much healthier but it doesn’t mean that I am cured. I have residual things I deal with, that are nothing like having UC, but they are still there because of it.
Remember, Doctors are dumb.

For those of you out there thinking about surgery don’t let any doctor convince you this is a cure. If they do, either run out and find someone new, or put them in their place and tell them how wrong they are. Considering I haven’t met a single surgeon who has a jpouch, or experienced pouchitis, they can’t tell you its a cure from personal experience.

I know this is a little scattered but I am so tired of seeing people confused when they hear this isn’t a cure. Or worse, disappointed that they still have problems after their jpouch.

Its not a cure. Think of a jpouch as an extreme form of long lasting treatment.

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