Hi Valerie and Welcome,
I had my subtotal last July and never had any problems at all. The surgery went smoothly; mine was an open surgery, I was in the hospital for 5 days. In the beginning I had 20+ bms a day but by 6 weeks they were down to 8-10 and I was able to return to work full-time - though I was still very weak - it took months to regain my strength. As mommy... said you do get major butt burn from the bms but I only use preparationH wipes (toilet paper is just too rough) and for months always followed each bm with A&D ointment not the paste.
This surgery was a life saver for me; it was the first winter that I never even got so much as a sniffle and I work with 6 yr olds. Everyone tells me how healthy I look even my other physicians.
As for questions for your dr:
1) Will your surgery be open or laparoscopy
2) Will you have an NG tube following surgery
3) Will you get an epidural following the surgery for pain control (this is the best because they numb just your stomach and you don't feel the incisional pain)
4) How long will your surgery last
5) How long will you be in the hospital
6) What will your diet be after the surgery and for how long (most are on a low residue - I still follow this due to if I eat fresh fruits & veggies I have severe diarrhea)
7) How much of your colon will he/she be leaving
8) Is there any chance you will have a temporary colostomy (bag)
There are probably many more questions, if you think of any add them to the list or ask any of us and we might be able to help.
I wish you the very best and hope that your surgery will be as successful as mine.
I will keep you in my prayers,
spleen/appendix/gall bladder-removed/endometriosis/complete hysterectomy at 29/sinus surgery/numerous allergies & asthma/chronic kidney stones/ pancreatitis 3x's/2 knee surgeries-now need replacement/bunion & 2 neuroma surgeries/shoulder surgery w/ pins-which also froze following surgery/severe adhesions & scar tissue-stomach to chest-liver to ribs-colon to pelvis/severe IBS w/ constipation/subtotal colectomy 7/08/ c difficile
Am now down from 17 meds a day to 8 and VERY healthy:)
There's always hope and things will get better :)