Happy with Bag?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 7/7/2008 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't want this question to sound offensive (also posted in UC section)...

But I'm curious about those who have permanent ostomies instead of j-pouches.....are you "upset" that you don't have a j-pouch or can't get one?

I mean do you WISH you had a j-pouch instead of a bag? I guess we all could wish for a healthy colon!

I've been reading some posts and it sounds like people with the bags/ostomies (and not j-pouches) are ACTUALLY HAPPY??! That is great. Aren't most people very DEPRESSED with a bag? Long-term depression? Or do they "get over it"?

I know someone who has a bag and said her surgeon did not leave her the option of having a j-pouch....and she is PISSED!

Sorry, I have WEIRD questions :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/7/2008 2:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I am. I've had my ostomy since I was 16 and have never been given the choice for anything else. BUT I don't really think I would want anything else. I'm so used to it. I haven't been sick in soooo long and being healthy and able to live my life like I want to is more important to me than anything else. My brother has Colitis and also has an ostomy. He can't wait to have his reversed and can't stand living with it. I think it's a totally personal thing. To answer your question, yes, I guess I am happy with my bag. It gave me the gift of life.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1251
   Posted 7/7/2008 6:02 AM (GMT -6)   
My rectum was too diseased for a j pouch (waaaaayyyyyy back 32 years ago - these days they probably could have just scraped the rectal lining out) so I was left with my ileostomy.

Do I regret not being able to have a j pouch? Not one bit! My bag doesn't stop me from doing anything I want - except wearing a bikini - and bag or not, this body was NOT meant for a bikini anyway lol In fact, if I were told tomorrow that I could be put back to original plumbing (I can't) I would have to think long and hard about it, it wouldn't be an easy decision for me to make.

The same with if I could have a j pouch, I'm honestly not sure I would. My ileostomy is only a very tiny part of the 'whole' me and doesn't cause me any more problems than say, my arms or my legs, so 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it!'

I have had an ileostomy for 32 years now due to UC.
Moderator of the Ostomy Forum
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 7/7/2008 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Quite frankly, I didn't have a choice and I hate having a bag. But its something I live with. That's all.
Crohn's Disease, Colostomy due to cancer and I make darned good dill pickles.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 7/7/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
i am happy with it, i wouldnt' want a j-pouch. After doing nothing but going to the bathroom for 8 years, i had no desire to ever use the batrhoom the regular way again! and actually, it's a lot easier to have a bag than it was before i had UC when i had a healthy colon, lol.
I have had a few times where i have been sad about it, but i never wished for the j-pouch. I chose the bag, over the j-pouch. But anytime i get sort of sad about it i just think about how i am healthy, andi finally have a TAN again, lol. Seems like a small thing,but it is a big deal to me.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 7/7/2008 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Because I had no choice but to have a bag, I have decided to accept the fact that I will have to live it with it. And I may as well be happy with it. Having UC for so many years was awful,like living in a nightmare 24-7.I still remember the panic that would come over me when I was in a public place and the uncontrollable urge would come over me and I didn't think I would make it to the restroom. To tell the truth, some people with j-pouches seem to be still stuck in the potty all the time--that's what was giving me the nightmare in the first place!!! Concentrate on being healthy, not what might have been is what I keep telling myself.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2004
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 7/7/2008 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
If you lose your hearing in your left ear, you learn to hear with your right. If you break your right hand, you learn to do things with your left hand. If you lose the use of your colon and/or your butt, you learn to poop in a bag. Happy or not, you just learn to deal with it and move on.
Some days i'm annoyed with it, some days i don't really think about it. Either way, the sun will still rise tomorrow, and the only reason i'll see that happen is because of the bag.
Bagged in Aug '06
@ssless since Nov '07
" Love that dirty water...Boston you're my home"

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 7/7/2008 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   


Hi Jen.


I am 27 and had my ileostomy performed about 2 months ago.  I am going to be very honest about my feelings before and after surgery.


I am a female, I like going out and having a few beers with my friends, I love going hiking and to sports bars with my fiancée, and frankly, like most young women, I am vain—I care about how I look!  I like to wear nice clothes and look pretty.  I am also a teacher and am very dedicated to my job—it is a big part of my life.


I am also the kind of person who was TOTALLY against having an ileostomy—frankly, I was appalled at the mere thought of it. I thought it would interfere with all the things I like to do--not to mention, I would feel like I was gross and less of a person (harsh, I know but this is how I felt).   I just could not believe my horrible luck that I had to have one due to severe Crohn’s.  I cried, I thought my fiancée might leave me (sheesh I was going to have a bag of poop hanging from me…!)  even though he said he did not care.  But I had no choice, I was so ill.


Before my ileostomy, I thought that maybe if I tried really hard I would be able to not hate it eventually—maybe.  I NEVER thought I would be even slightly happier with it than having Crohn’s (when my surgeon said he thought I would be happier with an ileostomy , I thought “Are you nuts?? You don’t have a clue.  Maybe if I was 80!” ).


Here it is 2 months later, and I swear to you (I can hardly believe this myself) that I am very happy to live with an ileostomy.  I can still wear cute clothes, and you really cannot tell at all that I have a pouch underneath.  Many of my close friends and relatives do not even know!  I chose to tell only my parents, fiancée (of course!) siblings, and 2 friends. That’s it!!


The bag is just there, and I seriously forget I even have it most of the time!  It does not smell, and I just empty it when I go to pee, so I really don’t make any special bathroom trips with it.  I have had no problems at all with leaks/poorly fitting bags (I hope it stays that way!).  I am also much healthier, I am able to go out and take trips and be spontaneous for once!  Things with my fiancée are also very good—I wear really small pouches when we want to be together, and I usually wear a tight tube top around my middle just for my own piece of mind.  He has been very supportive and understanding—and (if you have been to Shaz’s webpage, what she says there is true-) he has taken on my attitude about the bag—it is SO not a big deal for me!!  And I seriously can’t believe I am writing that and it is true. J

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 7/7/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   

Well, this ileo is actually my THIRD one...if I were to count.  The first one was due to complications from surgery(had it reversed), the second one was my choice and the third and current one is permanent.  I didn't hate the first one, it was the only way I was going to continue living, so I accepted it.  I was happy to have it reversed, but the "temporary" reprive of Crohn's was enough to make me want the second one (life is great when you are not running to the bathroom) more than pooping "normally".  Number three (really just a technicality) came when I decided to have my colon/rectum removed.  Facing reality is knowing what your disease is and what can be done to help ease your pain.  I would be living in lala land if I was mad I had to have an ileo...a j-pouch would never have been an option.

So, to say the least, I am not sad/angry/depressed...I am thankful to have such a wonderful life and be able to travel, visit with friends/family, workout, work and most importantly be able to live another day...what is better than that!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 7/7/2008 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   

My story is almost identical to Little E's. I was so against having a bag, but once I got it, I really liked the freedom it gave me. Freedom from being sick, freedom from having to sprint to the bathroom too many times a day, freedom to eat what I want, and freedom to enjoy life!


Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

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