To answer your questions Doc;
1. I empty 4 to 5 times a day. This depends on how much and how often I eat but average 4-5.
2. I am able to sleep through the night. Again I think this would have to do with meal timing and amount.
3. I tried the small belts sold by the manufacturers of the pouches made for the two piece systems but found I didn't need them.
4. My surgeon said six weeks with my first surgery but I was active by the third week. I am currently not employed because of the abnormal situation that led to my surgery but I would have felt confident returning on the 4th week.
As far as allowing the colon to rest, with UC the immune system attacks the colon for unknown reasons. Leaving the colon in with an ileostomy would be of no help since the immune system would continue to attack it. After my first surgery my rectum and a small portion of my colon were left in for a possible j-pouch solution. I countinued to have bleeding and mucous in the small portion that was left and made a few trips to the washroom daily because of it. It was determined that I still had UC in what was left so I was glad to go in recently to have everything removed and make my ileostomy permanent. I spent five years dealing with this disease and tried most all medicines except Remicade. Sometimes the side effects of the medicines were worse than the disease itself. Had I known how things were going to play out I would have opted for surgery when I was first diagnosed. I can finally leave the house, don't have to pack a change of clothes (just incase) and don't have to spend countless time scoping out the location of every toliet in the area.
The decision for surgery is definately a tough one and very personal for each individual's situation. I think that the more prepared a person is the more readily they will accept the new lifestyle. I would encourage you to reserch as much as you can since surgery is a permanent choice that you can not reverse. After my little fiasco at the first of the year it became apparent that surgery was the only relief of my disease. I spent countless hours researching it on the internet so I became more comfortable with what I would face after surgery. I contribute that to my quickness of accepting it all. Just my thoughts on it though.
Total Colectomy with End Ileostomy May 27th, 2008