Posts Tagged ‘ibs’

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The “Ins” and “Outs” of Rectal Suppositories

November 22, 2010

Since moving to New York City, there has been much going on in my life, yet I can also say there’s been much more satisfaction in my life as well. In 2008, I would never have pictured this is where I would be in 2010, and it’s just been amazing. It’s just also been busy and alas, I haven’t been as faithful to this blog as I wish. But I want that to change!

My latest post was about an increase in stress and how I had thought that possibly it affected some of my issues. Thankfully, none of it has really gotten worse, but it also wasn’t getting any better. I had been so distracted with New York City and getting on with my life, that I think I was ignoring what was happening and just “dealing with it”. And that’s something no one should have to do anyways.

So while I was getting my yearly follow-up sigmoidoscopy, my new doctor noticed a bit of inflammation and said that we should get that taken care of. I believe that would explain my slight increase in urgency to use the bathroom and would also be the problem causing some of my night time incontinence. I had expressed to him that the night time incontinence was something I did not want to deal with and wanted taken care of as soon as possible. I was wondering why I wasn’t waking up to the sensation of needing to use the bathroom, and we just thought it had to do with too much inflammation, and also perhaps I’m getting very tired and have just become a heavy sleeper at night. He didn’t really know the exact cause.

I had kept myself single for 2010, so I could focus on myself and getting healthier and going along with my life. I have recently decided that maybe I am interested in dating again, but now I had this recent bout that was holding me back. My concern was that I would meet a nice guy, then if we did a Saturday excursion or something, I would spend the morning making sure I had all my pills, and that maybe I would take an extra fiber supplement, so it didn’t look like I was going to the bathroom alot. I would also never bring up anything about being sick or having the surgery until a much later time, as I didn’t want any awkwardness.

Some guys have noticied my scar and I just tell them I had an ulcer removed. I neglected to mention the “ulcer” in question was my entire large intestine. Another major concern for me, that causes lots of stress is what to do if they want to spend the night. The sexual part doesn’t bother me as much, because I always prepare for that and have gotten more comfortable. But with my new issue of some night time incontinence, I’m paranoid about letting someone spend the night and possibly me having an accident. Also, I get up to use the bathroom about twice a night, so I know that would be something they notice as well. So when it comes to that, I’m always awkward and usually avoid having someone spend the night. This is SURELY something that will avoid allowing me to enter a relationship.

So after the scope (which my doctor found nothing else concerning besides the inflammation, thankfully), he prescribed me rectal suppositories. I had been on these right after having my second surgery to take care of some inflammation. I eventually stopped after a refill, because I was seeing someone at the time and it wasn’t convenient for me to remember to use them at night and I also felt that I didn’t notice much difference. But it was right after my surgery and I was on such a kick about feeling good, I don’t think I paid much attention, or I just attributed any issues to the healing process.

He prescribed me Canasa, which is a non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), similar to aspirin. The suppository I was on before was a hydrocortisone and he said because of my previous history of dysplasia that he wasn’t comfortable prescribing anything with a steroid in it, because he didn’t want that to feed any growth. I had never thought of that, but was glad that he did.

It took about two weeks, but all of a sudden I noticed a definite difference. My first time going to the bathroom all day wouldn’t happen until about 3:00pm! It’s prescribed to take at night, but I was worried with my going to the bathroom at night that it would just come right out and not be very effective. So I use one in the morning, right before I go to to work. That way it can stay in longer and has much better success for me. After a scope one month later, he noticied a significant decrease in inflammation. Excellent news!

Due to the success, he told me it would be okay to start taking them twice a day, one in the morning and now one at night. This is in the hopes of trying to clear up the night time incontinence. My night time issues got better as well, but I’m looking for them to be completely gone, and it was still sometimes unpredictable. I see him again in about another month and hope for further reductions in inflammation and eventually being able to go a whole week without any night time issues!

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Stool Coloration: How Do We Know What’s Normal?

January 6, 2010

I got an e-mail from a viewer of J-pouch.net and she was contacting me on behalf of her boyfriend, who is post-surgery. She was concerned because she said his stools were a reddish color, and he wasn’t thinking this was anything abnormal, but she wanted my opinion on whether this was something to look into.

In my response, I asked her what type of surgery he had, how long ago, and to clarify the reddish color. These can all be important in determining where the color might be coming from, and whether or not it’s normal.

From what I’ve previously looked into, it seems that darker reddish or black stools can indicate a problem in the upper part of the digestive tract, while brighter reddish stools can indicate a problem in the lower part. It could be as simple as something like an anal fissure or hemorrhoids, but it could also be more serious signs of something like colon cancer, or a digestive disease.

Seeing as we all have lived with a digestive disease, how can we differentiate what’s normal to be in a stool? First off, I need to say that you should ALWAYS ask your doctor first and take his/her advice. There is too much information on the internet and some of it might be false, or lead you into thinking the wrong thing, therefore causing some much unwanted stress. I can’t even assure that this information is correct, this is just what I’ve seen many times before from different resources.

I know I’ve seen a vast amount of colors in my own bowel movements, and I can usually always attribute it to something I’ve eaten. Since we are missing our large intestines, our food obviously isn’t totally digested by the time we excrete it. This would mean that any food with certain colors can also come out those similar colors. I know red gatorade, beets, Kool-Aid, or tomato juice can all cause a red color. When I take a multi-vitamin with iron, I notice my stool is is a lot darker than normal, and I know it’s because of the iron.

People like me, who have an ileo-rectal anastomosis, still have their rectum intact. There are chances that one could still get minor colitis in the rectum, and this could be a source of a reddish stool if that’s the case. For those living with the J-pouch, a reddish stool might be a sign of pouchitis, an infection that can be cured by a treatment of antibiotics. For anyone else, you might want to consult your doctor so you can get an answer as to what might cause the coloration.

As for us gay men, if you partake in receptive anal sex, it could be damage from sexual contact. For those living with the J-pouch, anal sex is not recommended at all, and I can imagine it would definitely lead to some bleeding. This is a very tender area and something you would definitely want to take care of.

Does anyone else see similar colors? And if so, what have you heard about the causes of this?

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2 Weeks Without Lomotil… Still Good!

December 28, 2009

So when my Lomotil script ran out, I contacted my doctor’s office in Cleveland, OH to call me in a new one at my pharmacy in Albany, NY. Apparently, a recent NYS law requires that the actual hard copy be there for controlled substances (which I just found out Lomotil was). So they called the office a couple times and it made my feel bad, because I work in a doctor’s office and I know how annoying persistant calls can be. I got an e-mail from the nurse and she said she sent it out in the mail. Unfortunately, they sent it to my parent’s address in Syracuse, and with the holidays, I knew it would have taken forever, so I just decided to wait until I got home for the holidays.

So now I’m back in Albany and I just dropped the script off at the pharmacy this morning. But I’m realizing that I have already gone two weeks without using the Lomotil and don’t seem to have many noticeable differences. It’s not that I go to the bathroom any more frequently, but that I noticed it was a little more liquidy. But I don’t think it requires me to take 6 pills a day. So I’m going to keep it on an as-needed basis, or maybe just take one at dinner, and then have my fiber supplement at lunch. I think this should manage it nicely.

I used to continue the Lomotil religiously, just because I was recently dating someone and I wanted to make sure it was as controlled as it could be. Also, you want to make sure it’s not too liquidy, because we all know that can also create a problem when you want to be intimate.

Does anyone else take Lomotil, and do you notice a difference when taking it? If not, what other supplements do you take?

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UC & Relationships: Obstacle or Challenge?

December 21, 2009

So living with UC or Crohn’s, or living post-surgery, can be very tough if you are single and trying to start a relationship. Belieeeeeve me, haha.

Some of us were in relationships when we first got sick, and I give immense credit to those partners who stuck around with us while the timing was tough. I have the deepest respect for you, because it is very hard to understand what your partner is going through and the type of emotional rollar coasters they go through, as well as the intense physical changes they experience. Those relationships may have been strained by the disease, and either ended or grew from working through it.

But then there are some of us who are single and facing the challenges of how to bring a relationship into our already crazy lives. There’s always the question of whether you should bring something up to them in the beginning or wait awhile. But then again, they are seeing you go to the bathroom all the time, so I think it’s better to bring it out in the open, so they aren’t wondering why you always head to the bathroom. They could be thinking a lot worse things, haha.

For those of us living post-surgery, it’s something you may be able to keep discreet for a lot longer. At least until you get your shirt off. I know most of the time I end up telling someone is because they ask what the scar is on my stomach. I had it done lapyroscopically, so I only have little poke-hole scars, and one bigger scar from the ostomy. That’s usually the only one they notice. Sometimes I joke that I got caught in a knife fight, or that I was “in the wrong place, at the wrong time”. The look you get back is priceless and totally worth any strange thoughts they may have. Then I tell them I’m joking and confess the true story, which coincidentally gives the same face, haha. Most of them can’t actually believe that you can have your whole large intestine out. So I continue to joke and say that you can’t have the whole thing out, and I just did it anyways to be used as a test subject. If anyone can get past my dry sense of humor about this surgery, I know they’re a great person.

I have to say that of the guys I’ve dated since the surgery, every single one of them accepted me for it, and was even a little curious about it. Some would come back the next day with information that surprises me, only to find out they went home and googled it. That always makes me smile, because to have someone research a topic so they could understand it more means a lot to me. Some would want to see the pictures from the surgery, while others were fine without that. One main thing that sits like an elephant in the room, is that we may both be thinking about sexual practices. I wonder if they think whether or not I can have sex, and they might actually be thinking that same thing. So I usually just toss it out there, so we can get that topic out of the way. I tell them, yes, I can have sex.

I have an ileo-rectal anastamosis, which means I still have my rectum. That means I would still be able to have sex. People who live with the j-pouch are not advied to have surgery, because the sutures are right at the end, and very vulnerable to damage. But that is going to require it’s own post at a later time.

One unfortunate thing I have to say is that each relationship is still always bothered by this journey. I can say that 100% of the time it’s my fault. I have insecurity issues and I have yet to get over them. But it’s only been 7 months since my last surgery, so I know I have more time to accept things. I’m confident that once I’m totally comfortable with myself, I will be able to let someone into my life completely and have a successful relationship.

So I now want to open a topic about how relationships work for you? Have you had success? Were you already in a relationship? And did it fizzle or grow from the experience? Do you find it hard to date, and when do you usually bring the topic up? Has anyone had any bad experiences that they would like to share? I would like to hear from as many of you as possible so that others can see the experiences people go through and what the final results are. I think the only way we can accept ourselves is to know that others accept themselves and to learn from example.

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Welcome All!!!

December 20, 2009

Hi everyone!

My name is Michael and I am a 23-year old gay male that was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis in February 2008. I lived with the disease for almost a year, before finally deciding to have surgery in December 2008. I documented my journey on another blog, jpouch.net. You can read my stories on the following links:

http://www.jpouch.net/photos/boots-uc-journey/

http://www.jpouch.net/2009/04/20/boots-uc-journey-part-2/

I started out using that blog and it was a GREAT resource for people living with the disease and contemplating surgery. I got a lot of information, because I was able to talk with people that had lived with it, and also had surgery with a multitude of results. It also let you know what to expect before and after, which can get rid of a lot of confusion. The only thing that still confused me, was that I am gay and was looking to see how it affected gay individuals. I searched the internet up and down, only to find minimal results. I did get through to someone on jpouch.net, and he helped me answer a lot of questions, but there were still so many I had.

Since posting my story on jpouch.net, I’ve had many other gay people (more than I thought) contact me, or comment on my stories saying how it was such a relief to find someone else gay and going through this disease. That inspired me to start my own blog on being gay living with digestive diseases, or living post-surgery. It is a totally different perspective for gay people (gay men mostly), because we don’t just use our intestines for digestive purposes. It can be a dramatic lifestyle change, and I know that was the NUMBER ONE issue for me when I was sick. I had a partner for over two years when I got sick and it put a serious strain our relationship, and lead to the end of it. It was also hard for my family to understand where I was coming from, so I hope this site can be a support for family members as well.

I have done much research on this topic, as to what to do before and after surgery, what kind of sexual practices can you do, how do you psychologically face living with a disease that makes you feel immensely unattractive. So I ask that you use this site to get answers from me or other people who have been through similar situations. I would also like to post polls to see how people are affected by certain issues. This is a totally open topic blog, and you may ask anything you like, we are not discriminate, and there can be no topic too taboo. You may also be anonymous if you like. If you want to speak with me personally and identify yourself to get my perspective, you can e-mail me at Booties4986@aol.com. I will help you out to the best of knowledge, and if I can’t provide an answer, I will find one for you.

This is an issue we need to bring into the light, and I ask for your help! All members of the LGBT, heterosexual, or curious community are welcome to visit and post, I hold no discriminations and believe we are all here to make our lives healthier and happier. Let the fun begin!!!