Jerry Pittman’s Story
A Second Opinion Leads to a Life-Changing Ostomy
In the spring of 2014, I had completed another colonoscopy for my ulcerative colitis. It was my fifteenth colonoscopy in twelve years and many prescriptions of drugs later to curtail the bleeding of the polyps in my intestine.
I had a very productive career and life with a CPA practice for 34 years. In Grapevine, Texas I served on the school board and as a city council member, and was named “Citizen of the Year.” But bleeding and bathrooms were getting on my nerves, so I called the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, unbeknownst to my gastro doctor. I told them that I wanted another opinion.
After four days of extensive tests, discussions, colonoscopy, the doctors at Mayo concluded that the polyps were entirely too large to remove by minor surgery without bigger risks, and that removal of my large intestine was recommended. Cancer was discussed at length including risks and possibilities with large polyps and various medical unknowns involving my circumstances.
My large intestine was removed January 4, 2015. The surgery was in my home town and I had a great ostomy nurse that taught me all of the intricacies of the ostomy pouch and supplies. I returned to retirement life again here in the Mountains of Texas where it is cool in the summer and we return to Grapevine for the winter where we had our careers.
I am 76 today and walk with my dog 3 to 10 miles each day. I play golf anytime I can. I am very active in my small town and I play the organ at our church each Sunday. I am not overweight and enjoy eating most anything. I find it necessary to chew every piece of food very well. I avoid nuts, corn, kale, popcorn, and tough fruit skins.
I love life and I am so happy for the decisions I made.
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