I had UC for 5 years before my op. There is not enough money in the world that you can give me to make me go back to those pre-op days! I had mine done when I was 10 years old so my recovery was a bit quicker than an adult's would be (kids are more resiliant after surgery usually) but I was back in the pool swimming 4 weeks after my op.
I can do anything I like, eat anything I want without pain, no more meds, no more running to the loo and hoping I make it on time. My only regret is that I have no excuse to get any reading done while in the loo - 2 minutes and I've emptied my bag and I'm out of there!
My parents' biggest worry was that one day I would turn around and say to them 'Why did you let them do this to me?' I never have - it was the best decision they ever made for me :)
I have had an ileostomy for 32 years now due to UC.
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I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!