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How I Feel About my J-Pouch Surgery Scars

Surgery scars; how do you guys feel about yours? 

As usual I can’t sleep right now. Pretty sure I’m still dealing with left over side-effects of prednisone since I only tapered off of it recently. I thought I would share with you a tattoo that I have and talk about my J-Pouch surgery scars in this post since they were something that I thought I would hate but it didn’t turn out that way. 

The Story of My Semi-Colon Tattoo

One day in the hospital before I had my first surgery I had some of my close friends from college visiting me and I was telling them about the surgery I was about to have. My friend Heather was in the room with me and she was reading through the literature that my surgeon had left for me to look over about my upcoming J-pouch surgeries. Since a J-pouch acts as a reservoir and takes over the job of the colon and rectum to hold feces until you need to have a bowel movement, she nicknamed me semi-colon. She drew me pictures of semi-colons and hung them in my hospital room to try and make light of the situation and help me feel better. It was all very silly, well she’s a silly person… I guess you had to be there! 

The year after my surgeries I had been thinking about getting a tattoo to represent that monumental time in my life and a semi-colon tattoo was the perfect idea to me. 

I’m definitely not a purple ribbon type of girl and ribbons hold no meaning to me because the color purple represents hundreds of health conditions. True story; look it up. Through the internet the color purple has unofficially been made the color that is supposed to represent IBD but it isn’t official and it isn’t recognizable to the general public. For instance most people know that a pink ribbon represents breast cancer. Regardless I’m not a ribbon tattoo fan anyway because I like something more unique and a little less obvious. 

When I was thinking about everything I had gone through a semi-colon seemed like the perfect idea. Here’s why:

  • A semi-colon in punctuation is sort of like a colon but it isn’t, and a J-pouch is sort of like a colon (the organ), but it isn’t. Obviously with both of these comparisons there are differences. The punctuation of the semi-colon and a colon are similar in appearance but they have different purposes. A J-pouch and a colon have similar purposes; both responsible for holding stool and then letting it go out the ol’ poop shoot, but they certainly are not the same. They’re a poop purse. A purse for your poop! I’ll just see myself out…
  • Semi-colons are sort of shaped like the letter J. 😉
  • My J-pouch sort of took over what my colon used to do for me so it’s my semi-colon. Get it?
  • When I think back to my friends calling me “semi-colon” and drawing me pictures and hanging them around my hospital room it’s one of the only happy memories I have from those six months in the hospital. I was happy they were there.

The pictures in this post were taken in 2009 but my scars still look practically the same as they were 2 years ago. The long scar starts at my belly button and goes pretty far down and the small circular scar is where my ileostomy was located. I have had mixed feelings about my surgery scars in the past, especially in the beginning. 

I honestly thought I would hate them but i have been surprised at how quickly I have come to accept them, and even like them. 

Most of the time I am proud of my scars because I have been through so much from having IBD and it is a reminder to me of that. Usually I think they look pretty rad and I don’t mind if they are showing if I am swimming or in any other situation that my tummy might be exposed. There have been rare instances though where I’ve gotten very self-conscious about my scars. It’s usually only when I start a new relationship with someone and I get a little worried that they will find my body “disfigured” or something. It is scary starting new relationships and having to explain them or wondering if the person is going to be attracted to me or not. Then I remember how awesome I am and know that it’s not a big deal! haha 

Do you guys have surgery scars and if so how do you feel about them?

Sara

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