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What Are The Chances?

Posted by HungryHamster

Last week I returned to taekwondo, a sport I did for over four years prior to being ravaged by colitis for only three weeks, resulting in the loss of my dear colon. It has only been just over twelve weeks since my surgery of 17 March. My instructor was, understandably, very wary of what excercises he gave me and I was very self-conscious about the bag and the possibility of the combination of movement and sweat causing the adhesive to fail. It went great, and I returned again tonight. After class, my instructor had a chat with me and asked what my surgery was for, as on my first night back I had only told him that it was abdominal surgery rather than going into detail about the colitis and ileostomy. Once I told him what had happened, he called one of the black belts over who had taught me since I was a white belt. It turns out that he had gone through the exact same thing a couple of years ago and now has a J-pouch, which I have planned for November this year. He didn't train while he had the bag because he went for the J-pouch as soon as he could, so unfortunately he couldn't give me much advise on training with it.

I find it fascinating that such a rare condition is present in two people from the same taekwondo class. I also find it quite astonishing that such a ravenous disease that basically strips people of a major bodily function is so unknown to so many people, but that's a conversation for another day.

A quick disclaimer: this is my first blog post, so I apologise if this belongs in the forum rather than the blog section. If it does, please let me know and I'll move it. I just find it quite amazing that someone who I've known for years and is probably the most skilled black belt in the class (other than the instructor) has been through the same rare circumstances as I and everyone here has. It is reassuring to see that I can still continue doing a sport that I both enjoy and am alright at.

Thanks for reading,


Hi Hamish, You'd be surprised that so many people have Ostomies of one kind or another. Back in the day ( 50 years ago) people died of colon cancer... Today, so many have been able to have mostly "normal" lives, with either a colostomy, ileostomy , j pouch, or other diversion surgeries. Both my sons have Inflammatory Bowel disease, one Crohn's the other UC, and both have managed their conditions with medications and diet, with no need for surgery. That's a big change also, along with advances that have determined these to be Auto Immune diseases. I know you're young, and have a lot of adjustments to make, but resuming your prior activities, is another way that is going to help you adapt. Best of luck to you. Remember, you have lots of friends on t his ask for help, or vent, whatever you need. Best regards, Marsha
Hello Hamish.
What an inspirational story! It surely doesn't matter whether it's in the forum or on a blog or both - as long as we have the opportunity of reading about it.

Best wishes
Things are looking up for you already Hamish…..good for you.

By pure chance you have come across someone with a similar medical background. This will be good for you. Someone to talk to about your “new” life. Someone who will understand….very important.

You all be alright Hamish. Please continue to post, very interested in your progress.


P.S. I did enjoy your use of the word “knackered”. Might start using it instead of the multi purpose F word. Keep this in mind, dark urine is a sign of anaemia.
Hi: I have worked out hard most of my life. It was difficult for me because I know it takes the body 1 year to fully recover. I did light workout but they weren't as satisfying. I tried different wafers and they either feel of or cut into my stoma. Now, I use Coloplast with a Brava strip and have no problem. I recently went back to the Boxing Gym. The trainer is working with me one on one until he feels that I am OK and we are going very slowl., He feels I will only be able to do drills and work on the Heavy, Speed and Mexican bags. He uses Trainer's Mitts with me but he doesn't want me to spar with anyone else. I think I am the only student he has had with an ostomy, I don't know any boxers with one. I want to do much more but when I attempted at home I cut the top of my stoma. I guess slow and steady does win the race.

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