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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 8/20/2009 2:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Everyone,

My names John. I had been a semi active member on the Ulcerative Colitis forum for the past few years. Ive had Ulcerative Colitis from around the age of 21, and am now 31. Last Monday my colon wall had thinned, and ruptured. Overnight I became of member of this new club. I was released from the hospital on Monday. Ive been looking over this forum, and I know I dont need to explain how awful life was having colitis. I can already tell my life is going to be so much better. Leading up to this surgery, I spent 4 months in a nasty flare up. Now post op, I only have pain from the surgery itself, and dont have that chronic I want to die, sickly feeling.

Unfortunatley, since I was very sick, my j-pouch will have to be a 3 parter instead of 2 parter. It sounds like in a 3 part, the second step is almost as involved (if not more so) than the first. Im feeling alot better since surgery, but I'll never forget how unfun the first 5 days were. Even now is very daunting because my body had weakend for four months. So its clearly a few weeks till Im fully recovered. However, Im highly greatful. After 10 years of torture, I know in a few weeks Ill never feel that way again.

So, I have to say that the bag isnt too bad. Yes Im a grown man, and Ive cried a few times since the surgery. It sure is ugly, but my wife assures me she doesnt care-Shes a good liar :). But dealing with the bag seems pretty straight forward. However, after talking to the nurse prior to release, it sounds like there is a million different options. So I guess I have a lot to learn.

Anyways, I just wanted to introduce myself. Please let me know if you have any advice for a newcomer.

Couple question, wear do you place your bag? Aka, between the skin and your underwear, or over your underwear under your pants?
Next, I always wear a belt, but Im affraid to tighten it because the bag wont be able to drain down. How does that all work?

Thanks guys. Hope to hear from you all soon.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 8/20/2009 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
you have a really good attitude!!!

i wear my bag under my underwear pointed slightly to the right, and then tucked back up under itself under my underwear. I know that made no sense, lol.

As for the belt, i dont know, i dont wear a belt, but to keep mine from ballooning over the top of my pants, i tape the top part of the bag to my stomach. That might help with your problem.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 8/20/2009 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome John! This is a great place to be.

I'm with NASCARon on how to wear the bag. Just keep my belt loose if I wear one.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 8/20/2009 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi John!

My j-pouch will be a 3-parter, too. I had my first surgery 3 months ago. They won't even mention the second surgery though until I get back to a normal weight/strength (I lost 30+ lbs prior to surgery while battling a severe UC flare). I've gotten used to the bag in the meantime. Like you, I have had a few low moments that I've mourned my healthy colon from years ago. But hey, to not feel sickly anymore is worth whatever it takes!

As for where you wear your bag and what to do with the belt... I wear mine between my underwear and pants. I'm afraid of it being too constricted if I tuck it in my underwear. As for the belt - I haven't quite figured that one out myself yet, lol. I live in pj pants when I'm home and light weight cargo pants with a drawstring-type top when I'm out casually. None of my jeans fit right because they go across right below where my stoma is - and since they are low-rise, I feel like they constrict the bag too much anyways. The only pair of pants I have tried on with a belt are a pair of work slacks. But since I'm still 25 lbs below my normal weight, I can't get the belt tight enough to do anything but keep the pants from falling beyond my hips, lol.

Anyways, sorry for rambling on so much. I wish you the best as you go through the recovery process! :)
Diagnosed w/IBS: Oct. 2006  Diagnosed w/UC: Jan. 2007 (proctitis), July 2008 (pancolitis)
1st Surgery for J-Pouch: May 22, 2009 - need 2 more surgeries, dates TBD
Medications: Canasa Rowasa enemas; Lialda; Prednisone; Protonix; Remicade; Zyrtec-D; Toprolvarious pain meds post-surgery;
Supplements: Women's One-a-day multi-vitamin; Super B-complex
Current Status: Aug, 2009 - Recovering from the 1st stage of J-Pouch surgery; temp ileostomy; 2 more surgeries to go as there was too much damage to create a J-pouch

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 8/20/2009 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Wecome to the Ostomy Forum :-) Sorry you had such a hard time right before...hang in there, things do improve!!

I wear a belt, tight jeans (prefer to baggie since things are held in better) and usually have my pouch inside my underwear. I like the 'security' that it's not going to get caught in my zipper!! When I do wear belts, I keep it one hole bigger, that way the stoma can function...even though I do not have any problems with tight jeans, I guess it's just in my mind scool

Keep the questions coming and don't be shy about asking the major manufacturers for samples. You can go to and click on the links page...there is a link to all the manufacturers which makes it easy!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 8/20/2009 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the club. smilewinkgrin
Despite the surgery and more to come, you're going to continue to feel better and better!
I can't help you with the belt situation -- I don't own one and mine is a few inches below the waistline anyhow.  As far as underwear it depends what style I'm wearing.  For a full brief I wear it in, with a bikini style I wear just the closure tucked into the top of the elastic waistband and let the rest dangle/hang back on itself.  The underwear I wear depends on my outfit for the day and nothing more complicated that that.
I hope you continue to improve so well!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 8/21/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome, John! I'm sorry you went through such a rough time leading up to surgery, but I'm glad you're doing well now.

You have a really positive attitude, which is great. My ileostomy/proctocolectomy surgery gave me my life back after being sick with Crohn's for 7 years, so I know how good it feels to be healthy again.

Some advice that comes to mind is to use an adhesive remover wipe to remove the wafer, and a little bit of mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide in the pouch makes an inexpensive deodorant. I tuck my pouch inside my underwear and can wear a belt with no problems. Please continue to ask any questions you may have. We're all here to help!

Hope your recovery continues to go well.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 8/22/2009 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all. So far I feel like I am adjusting well. Just can't wait for the pain at the incision to clear up.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 8/22/2009 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
It will clear up soon. Just keep taking pain meds until it does.
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