First of all, good luck with your surgery on the 23rd! Make sure you walk a lot after surgery. This will help wake everything up. The sooner your bowels wake up, the sooner you can eat again, and the sooner you can go home. Also, bring chewable Gas-X with you in your purse. That will save you a lot of pain and aggravation, if you get trapped gas, because they have to call the doctor and send the request to the pharmacy to get you some, which can take hours.
I think you're going to find a variety of answers to your questions, because everyone is different, but here's what has worked for me:
1. I can really wear whatever undies I want. The stoma will not be hurt by a high waisted pair.
2. I tuck the pouch into the undies.
3. I love the Coloplast Assura Extended Wear wafer in a two piece system. The wafer last for 7 days, so I clip on a new pouch halfway through the week.
4. I like the drainable pouch with a velcro closure. It's just so easy.
5. A stoma cap is a hat for your stoma, so to speak.
From what I understand, colostomates can irrigate (give it an enema) and wear a stoma cap, since you know there won't be any output for a certain number of hours. Ileostomates have output more often, so we can't irrigate and cap.
6. With my proctocolectomy (colon and rectum removal), I was out of the hospital in 4 days. You will have a month to recover, so you will be up to celebrating Christmas with the family.
7. The pouch can get heavy when it's really full, but all you have to do is empty it. Having it tucked into your undies will keep it from pulling on your skin.
I'll be praying that your surgery goes perfectly!
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.