This is Judy, I posted a reply to you on Looking for advice for Total Colectomy that I think answers most of your questions. I will briefly answer these questions then if you want you can always email me for more info just clickon the first icon for the address.
1. I had years of severe constipation but didn't really know it wasn't normal until my new husband asked me what was wrong with me bc I didn't go to the br everyday. I said there was something wrong with him bc he did lol (and yes I'm a very educated woman so it wasn't bc I didn't have much going on upstairs lol) anyway- I would go about once evry 2 weeks then it would be a real struggle then I started having gi issues (pancreatitis) so with the testing a gi tried to do a colonoscopy and the prep took 10 days to go through my system & thats when I was diagnosed with severe IBS-C and put on the miralax & lactulose. This helped for a little while, then amitiza was added which helped for awhile then eventually (a period of 2 yrs) my bms were pellet like every 2-3 weeks with a the meds. Thats when the gi said no more meds its time to get rid of the colon!
2. Surgery: 7/17/08
3. Surgery went GREAT!!!! open surgery w/ NO complications at ALLLLLL:)
4. In hospital for 5 days. Out of work for 6 weeks to the day.
5. Recovery went well but I REALLY followed the rules for this surgery. I had all the groceries I needed ahead of time, I hired someone to clean my house for a month, I didn't lift or really do anything but walk and let my body HEAL bc I NEEDED to be to work in 6 weeks.
6. Recovery was easy for me bc I'd had so many abdominal surgeries so the actual cutting part of it wasn't a big deal; I could move around easily. I slept with a pillow tucked around my stomach for a long time which made it feel better at night. Your appetite takes a long time to get back but you will slowly discover what you can eat and what helps you to feel good. In the beginning I basically ate peanut butter & toast, applesauce, turkey sandwich, grilled cheese & soup for quite a while. You basically just rest, walk and go to the bathroom a lot. So it's not too bad.
7. It's the BEST thing I ever did & I wouldn't change a thing!!!!!!
Hope this helps:)