“Logan Bogan Has No Colon"

By: Logan Spaulding
Companion Magazine Contributor
Instagram: @ltspaulding

My name is Logan Spaulding, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2004 at the age of 14.  I was a freshman in high school and suffered 5 years with the disease before electing to have my large intestine removed at age 19, my sophomore year of college.  Along the way I was hospitalized on numerous occasions due to dehydration, kidney stones, abdominal pain, etc, a large part having to do with the 22 pills a day I was taking.  I was prednisone dependent and the steroid was simply ruining my body.  When the pills no longer worked, I tried the infusion drug Remicade, but that did nothing, so I ultimately said I would rather risk living a life with a colostomy bag than suffer anymore. 

At the time of my decision to have surgery, I was a very active person who surrounded my life around sports as well as on the men’s soccer team.  They were everything to me and I didn’t hesitate when the doctor asked if this was what I wanted, knowing the sports I loved playing, would potentially no longer be in my everyday life if something were to go wrong with surgery.  I was at my lowest point in life and I am grateful I made the decision to have surgery, knowing it has allowed me to live my life without pain and pill-free. 

Granted my surgery was a success, things didn’t go as planned while I was recovering in the hospital.  About a week went by, I was finally eating regular foods and feeling great.  It wasn’t until late one night I got up to use the bathroom and I lost all vision and immediately contacted the nurse who proceeded to lay me down and take my vitals, which happened to be very poor and I was rushed the Intensive Care Unit.  My blood pressure was as low as can be and my heart rate was off the charts.  My body soon went into septic shock and I was put on a ventilator to help me breathe.  After 5 days in the ICU, the doctors still had no idea what was causing my body to function the way it was, so they took it upon themselves to take me back into the Operating Room for exploratory surgery to flush out my organs in hope to find what was wrong. 

All of my family was notified and told to get to the hospital to potentially say their goodbyes, due to the condition I was in and after the doctor’s personally told my parents I had a 5% chance of making it out of surgery alive.  A day later, the doctor’s did a culture and found a Strep A bacterial growth that ultimately was causing my body to shut down.  They treated it with an antibiotic and the road to recovery soon began.  I was in the hospital for 44 days, entering at 145 pounds and leaving at 110 pounds.  I had to learn how to walk again, as my muscles were too weak to stand and adjust to a new life with a bag attached to me. 

I had my J-pouch reversal June 10, 2009, 4 months after the initial surgery and was back to school playing soccer by September.  It was a long road to recovery, but I was determined to not let what had happened get the best of me.  To this day, it was the greatest decision of my life to get my colon removed.  It has allowed me to live my life how I want, without the fear of not making it to the bathroom or simply living every constant moment in pain. 

Currently, I work at Copenhagen Central School as a teacher and coach JV Boys’ Soccer, Varsity Boys’ Basketball, and Varsity Baseball.  I previously coached our Varsity Girls Soccer team, who won the State Championship in 2015.  I am still as active as I ever was, and play competitive sports every season and golf in the summer. 

A fun fact about how I stay reminded of my journey, many of my friends and I get together every February 19th to celebrate the day of my surgery.  My nickname is Logan Bogan, so the tagline “Logan Bogan Has No Colon Day” (LBHNCD), is what we use for a fun night out.  It will be 9 years this coming February and it’s a great way for me to spread awareness of Ulcerative Colitis and what I went through. 

I have met a lot of people unaware of the disease who then run into somebody they know with it, whom then turn back to me for advice and guidance and it is truly grateful to know I can help somebody with something so challenging. 

It’s a disease I would wish nobody to encounter, however a disease that has taught me to appreciate life and not let the little things bother you enough to ruin your day.  I say to anybody fighting this sickness, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Try your very best to look past the darkness and keep pushing because remission is possible and a life beyond Ulcerative Colitis is out there. 

Brooke Bogdan