Ulcerative Colitis Tips


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No Colon, Still Rollin’

Collin hitting the track!

Collin hitting the track!

My name is Collin Jarvis, and I had a full colectomy in March of 2014. I was diagnosed in July of 2013.
@collinoscopee (twitter)- fairly inactive
Collinjarvis on Instagram – far more active

Some more background info:

I am a scholarship track and field athlete at the University of California, Berkeley. I am originally from San Diego, and I really enjoy surfing, rock climbing, and anything that is active and engaging!

Where I’m At with My UC:

full colectomy performed in March 2014.

Collin’s Story:

Hello fellow UCer’s! A while back I posted here right as I scheduled a colectomy! I actually ended up getting the procedure done a couple days after I posted due to some extreme circumstances, but I return to you now a much happier and healthier person. I got a lot of response from that initial post requesting a follow up, so here I am to follow up! (Better late than never, right?)

As I described in my other post-“A Battle Within“, UC hit me fast and it hit me hard. Within 7 months of being diagnosed I was laying in an operating room with a partially perforated colon. Looking back at photos from the time, the best way I can think to describe my appearance was:

a saggy grey skeleton with a look of defeat in the eyes.

It still makes me shudder to remember the final weeks leading to the surgery. But alas! I am reborn and feeling rejuvenated.

After the initial surgery in March, I experienced some complications due to infection and was in and out of the hospital until around August. Since then however, I have been able to start running again and enjoying life like I used to. The Ostomy bag is definitely not my favorite thing, but in comparison to the hell I experienced in 2014, I am happy to have it. I spent the days of fall in San Diego regaining my health while surfing and running the days away. I even went abroad to New Zealand and backpacked the country for the entire month of December!

Last month (January) I re-enrolled at UC Berkeley to finish my final semester, and due to a lot of hard work and support from the athletic staff, I was even granted extra eligibility to compete for the University’s track team again! Needless to say, life has taken a full 180, and I couldn’t be happier.

If there is anyone who is considering a colectomy/ileostomy and has questions about the process, before, during, or after, I will gladly return emails at collinstevenjarvis@yahoo.com. I would try to put up some of the descriptions here, but in my experience, the questions that can’t be found by a simple google search will likely be too specific for me to answer in such a format. I also intend to run professionally after my college career, so if you are interested in following me along my journey as an athlete with an ostomy, you can start by (shameless self-promo) adding me on Instagram (collinjarvis) and/or Twitter (@collinoscopee)! #nocolonstillrollin

Keep on keepin on, UCer’s!!

-Collin

Final Thought:

“The only thing that helped my useless colon, was taking it out of my abdomen. I do not miss it!”

written by Collin

submitted in the colitis venting area




athlete, colectomy, ileostomy

7 Responses to No Colon, Still Rollin’

  1. Adam
    Adam February 9, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    What up Collin!

    I’m following you on twitter! So get some posts of you bustin records on that track!!

    Man, it is so awesome to hear your follow up story, and to hear how everything has done a complete 180 for you!!

    You’re a super inspiration to everyone, Colon or no Colon Collin, keep on living the dream!

    Nothing but the best to you and your teammates, they’ve got to be pretty pumped to have you back, surely another source of inspiration to all of them.

    Side question…do you still get stomach cramps if you pound alot of water before running…you know what I’m talking about right:)

    Cheers,

    Adam

  2. Collin Jarvis
    Collin February 9, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Haha the main difference I experience with the ostomy is dehydration. Your colon is responsible for a lot of your water absorption (among some other important functions), so in order to run as much as I do, I have to be very diligent about staying hydrated. This hasn’t been all bad though, because now there is never a need to chug water to catch up on hydrating!

    I do experience flares in the small section of my rectum they left in from surgery, but they are few and far between, and not very intense. Normally last a day at most with a 2-3 of 10 on a pain scale; a pain easily eclipsed by some hard running! :)

    • Adam
      Adam February 9, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      Alright, well I’m pretty sure you’re never going to have a problem finding some water boys or girls to be there waiting for you on the sidelines passing out quick sippers. Send us the news headlines when you’re breaking records!!!::)))

  3. Paul Willoughby February 9, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    Great to hear you’re doing well. I had my total colectomy with J-pouch in October ’14 and then just had my reversal just 1 month ago – January 9th. I remember after just a few days of being home from the hospital and weaning off the pain meds how much better I felt than before the surgery. UC drags you down and you become so used to it, you don’t even notice the drag until it’s gone. The ostomy bags aren’t that fun but they sure do give you freedom back. I had a few bag mishaps including having a blow-out while teaching karate. Also, there are some cool products out there for active people as I am sure you’re aware. So, I’ve been using the J-pouch for a month now and overall it’s been pretty good but there are some things to get used to. Best wishes!

  4. PeterNZ February 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Good on ya champ

  5. Tom
    Tom February 9, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    Hey Collin

    Great to hear you are cracking on with your life.

    Do you intend to get a Jpouch at some point?

  6. Collin Jarvis
    Collin February 9, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    Yes! I haven’t decided exactly when I will have it done, but likely sometime in the late summer for the first of 2 surgeries.

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