At 25, after ten years of dealing with Ulcerated Colitis I had a conventional ileostomy. At the time I remember thinking, "Why did I wait so long?" Not being tied to the bathroom, and for that matter not having to know where every public bathroom was in the county, improved my quality of life. But over the next 26 years I dealt with an increasing number of problematic issues: revisions, skin irritations, leakages due to the clamps coming off or lack of adherence and the ever-interesting phenomena of the pouch blowing or filling up at the most inconvenient time.
When I was facing yet another revision, I went into research mode and found out about the BCIR. In Feb 2007, I went for the procedure. Now I really know what it is to have my quality of life increased ten fold. For the first time, at the age of 50, I became an active adult. No longer am I a cheerleader on the sidelines. I dance, swim, bike, blade, hike, and roll around on the ground rough-housing with my grandson without fear of an accident. And as shallow as it may seem, I admit I love shopping for myself now - I can look at clothes and not have to worry whether or not there is a strategically-placed pleat or room for the pouch to expand!
I am grateful I was able to succeed with this surgery. And I am even more grateful to Dr. Rehnke, Susan Kay, and the great group of caregivers at Palms of Pasadena for the kindness and generosity of spirit they share with each one of us.