Last week I wrote about my recent diagnosis of autoimmune-associated pouchitis. For those unfamiliar with this diagnosis, I suggest reading that blog first before this one. Basically, I’ve had chronic pouchitis (an infection of my J-pouch that causes symptoms similar to inflammatory bowel disease) for months, and am now treating it with IBD medicine.
People with Crohn’s disease often continue taking IBD meds after their colectomy: even if their disease was primarily in their colon, it can appear elsewhere in the digestive tract. IBD meds are necessary to keep the disease in remission.
However, people with ulcerative colitis often don’t need to take IBD meds after their colectomy. Ulcerative colitis only happens in the colon, and if the colon is removed, the disease is removed along with it. Thus, IBD meds are not necessary.
And yet, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis—not Crohn’s disease—and I am back on IBD meds, even though my colon is missing.
Several people have asked me how I feel about this. In this entry I hope to provide some perspective on coping with such an unexpected diagnosis.