Interview Transcribed from Video Above featuring Dr. Schiller
Dr. Schiller: I’m Dr. Don Schiller, talking with you here at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. And with me today is one of my patients, Brenda.
Dr. Schiller: Brenda, always nice to see you.
Brenda: It’s always great to see you, Dr. Schiller.
Dr. Schiller: Thank you and we’re talking about the BCIR Pouch, the Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir. So tell me how you became my patient.
Brenda: I was referred by another doctor. I had the ileostomy pouch and I just needed something different, I had that for ten years.
Dr. Schiller: So you were living with a type of ileostomy where you would wear an external bag.
Brenda: External bag, exactly.
Dr. Schiller: And the original problem you had was?
Brenda: They diagnosed it at first as Crohn’s Disease and then they said it was the…
Dr. Schiller: Ulcerative colitis?
Brenda: Ulcerative colitis, exactly.
Dr. Schiller: And you had your entire colon and rectum removed…
Dr. Schiller:…to cure that disease.
Brenda: Yes, and I wound up with the pouch.
Dr. Schiller: Okay, so when you lived with the bag, you then realized, or came to learn about a different option.
Brenda: Yes, what happened was, I called my doctor back, that did the original surgery and I told him, “I just, I need something else.” I was young, and it’s like I needed more freedom. So he referred me to you for the BCIR and had everything redone on the inside and it was like “Ah”, a lifesaver.
Dr. Schiller: So your surgery was in 1992 I believe.
Brenda: 1992 and it’s just been, I mean I can’t even attest to the freedom that it gave me from going from the pouch to the BCIR.
Dr. Schiller: So when you say pouch you’re really meaning the external bag type of pouch.
Brenda: The external bag, going from the…
Dr. Schiller: Because when we talk about the pouch, like the Barnett pouch, we’re talking about the internal pouch.
Brenda: Right, exactly.
Dr. Schiller: Where you don’t wear a bag.
Dr. Schiller: So how do you empty your waste?
Brenda: I use a…
Dr. Schiller: A tube?
Dr. Schiller: And how many times a day do you have to drain the pouch?
Brenda: About four times a day, I usually do it first thing in the morning, and a few times throughout the day, and probably anywhere from four to five times a day.
Dr. Schiller: So with the original ileostomy that you had with the external bag…
Dr. Schiller:…the Brooke ileostomy…
Dr. Schiller:…compared to what you have now, you have a lot more control.
Brenda: I have a lot more control, a lot more freedom. I mean it’s just a whole different lifestyle. I mean with the external bag you had to worry about it leaking, you had to worry about it smelling, I mean you just had a lot of stuff that was going on with it. You had to worry about how it fit under your clothes and whether or not it was going to puff up and fill up. So with the Barnett, it’s like, when you did that surgery for me, it was like I felt like somebody that just like, “Oh my god, this is life again.” And you know, a new life it was like back to life as I knew it before, and the freedom and control to just wear clothes and do things.
Dr. Schiller: Well, it’s interesting that you say that because many people have, of course, told me that before that they feel like they’ve got their life back all over again. Which is not to say that people with a conventional ileostomy wearing and external bag that they can’t function normally. Many people with an external bag are able to have a very normal life, and do as many activities as they want. But they, as you’ve pointed out, they do not have the control over the discharge of their waste, and they’re not free of that bag ever, it has to always be on.
Brenda: Right, exactly. And with the Barnett it was just, I don’t know, it just freed my life up completely. Like you said, with the external bag, it was just, you had a constant anxiety whether or not you were going to be at the bathroom at the right time, at the right place. You know, it’s going fill up, you’re going to be in a meeting someplace and you need to run off and change it.
Brenda: Where with the Barnett I got more freedom. I have more freedom and more control to go empty the bag, when I’m ready to do it, not so much when it fills up from before.
Dr. Schiller: Understood.
Brenda: Yeah, I mean you can do your exercising, go to the gym, everything that life brings to you, you can do, except for kickboxing or something like that but…you can do everything else that you want to do and not worry that something’s going to happen or you’re going to have to change it. It’s just a freedom, I mean I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Dr. Schiller: Do you change your diet in any way? Do you eat most anything you want, or certain things you avoid?
Brenda: When I left with the surgery, there were certain things that you said I couldn’t eat, like nuts and things like that, but I eat everything, everything. I think the only thing that I find that may affect the emptying process is maybe corn. Other than that, I’m pretty much eating just about everything that I want.
Dr. Schiller: So it seems like you’re very pleased that you did this operation.
Brenda: Yes, I’m very pleased that I did this operation and would recommend it highly to anybody that has the old external bag.
Dr. Schiller: Well thank you Brenda, thank you very much for speaking with us today.
Brenda: You’re welcome, you’re welcome.