Hi Mary, glad you found HealingWell! This forum is so so so helpful.
I'm not very familiar with colonic inertia but it sounds just awful. I had ulcerative colitis, which is way different, but it's the same surgery (removal of the colon).
1. Was your open or a laparoscopy? - I had laparoscopic surgery. Most doctors will do it laparoscopically, but most will also open you up if part way through the surgery they find that the circumstances require it or it would be safer to do so.
2. Do you have to have a colostomy bag the rest of your life? - You don't have it, depending on what surgery you have. You can get a permanent ostomy (one surgery) or you can get a j-pouch (no more bag, but two or three surgeries). The decision is yours, obviously going through more surgeries means being away from your little ones a bit more, but at your young age I wouldn't want to have an ostomy for the rest of my life (I'm 18 and I'm getting a j-pouch). Not being too familiar with CI I can't vouch for the success rate of the j-pouch for that disease, but from the sounds of Hodaya's post above it sounds like you have a good shot at a great outcome!
3. How long were you in the hospital? - I'm having a three step j-pouch, and I've only had the first step so far. I was in the hospital for just four days!
4. Does your diet have to change? - Well, what's your diet like now? Have you had to make alterations to deal with your CI? For UC I had given up a lot of foods, and now I can actually eat more things and be less strict about my diet than I was before! I think the biggest rules are to just chew your food very thoroughly, being especially careful with fresh veggies and fruits, and to eat a lot of carbs. Generally you can eat whatever you want.
5. Also, did you gain or lose weight from the surgery? - I lost about 7 pounds immediately after surgery because it took a while for my appetite to come back at all. But since then I've been slowly putting it back on. I'm about 3 pounds up from where I was in the hospital (I'm very skinny so I can't really afford to be down on my weight).
Good luck! I really think the surgery would give you some relief. Try not to worry, everything's going to be okay!
Thank you for your help!