I too love my ileo! I've named my stoma Penelope and I've had her for over half a year and I couldn't imagine life without her. : ) I am so happy to be better...and the feeling of having no UC is the best thing ever!!!!
It really is an adjustment having the disease...then surgery...recovery...and then life UC free. I would especially caution you to the emotional side of things b/c you have had UC for so long...but imagine...after surgery you will no longer have the disease!!!! It's AMAZING!!!!
There are some adjustments with foods and what-not but you'll catch on. I indulged in taco soup yesterday with whole corn kernels (not a good idea) and so I'm a little crampy and sore today b/c my body is struggling to get them out! : ) But I'm pushing the juice and I know I'll be okay...I also know that next time I'm going to chop the crap outta that corn before adding it to my soup! : )
I chose to have a permanent ileostomy too. I could have gone the j-pouch route, but I was tired of doctor's, hospitals, and living in fear of more issues that are completely out of my control. However, I know there are many many people with their j-pouch and are very happy! : ) To each their own!
Please feel free to email me or anyone else who has email available...that's what we're here for!