You will always feel tremendously better than the day before. I myself, like you, was SHOCKED! My total colectomy was elective, July 2010. Severe diverticulosis throughout and from mid2009 til surgery, 8 infections. Had ileorectal anastamosis, was OK. 5 days later, had my 1st bowel movement and the rest was a nightmare. The anastamosis came apart, and it lead to abdominal sepsis. I was moved to ICU and was told I had a blood clot. I was rushed into surgery and an ileostomy was performed. Due to the blood thinners, the wound
opened. And more infections but 5 weeks and almost 40lbs lighter, I came home against the wound care nurse and social workers recommendations, they wanted to place me in a nursing home for a month because I live alone with 2 small children. I was in shock, depressed and wasn't prepared for this.
I'm upset with myself on prior ostomy knowledge. I had no idea prior to surgery what a stoma looked like, what the appliances where, not a thing. The appliance never stayed on more than 4 hours until over a week later I purchased a moldable wafer and that took care of that, 7-10 days wear. 5 months later, the presurgery weight I gained back, so the abdominal insicion creases were deeper and I had to stop using the paste and switch to Eakin seals,10 days wear. Also use the AL sure seals to keep it down as, near the wound, it lifts. Now use a belt too.
The wound was packed with a calcium/alginate liner that when the drainage absorbs, turns into a gel like material. No drainage issues and it took 7 weeks to close...not too long. Just with the ileostomy always leaking and it going in the wound, I was scared but thankfully nothing happened as I was cleaning my wound right away. No wound vac, I'm a single mother and active and didn't want the cumbersomeness of it, despite the fact I had it in the hospital. I healed like a 'top slice of bread' too. My 7year old daughter calls it a 'butt' when she catches a glimps of me. What can I do but chuckle at that..it does!
As for strength, I couldn't stand more than 2 minutes. Couldn't walk out of the house until day 3. Layed down until day 5 for the ostomy/wound care. People brought me food, I didn't even want to look at it. But I forced myself to have chicken soup, maybe 5 spoonfulls, every couple hours. Drank water like a FISH ALL day!!! After I ate, had half or hopefully all of the Ensure bottle, with each meal. At day 3, got an aid to give me a shower & walked half a block. Later that day, little longer. Next day more. Everyday I kept thinking of just 2 days back as I couldn't 'do that or this'. On day 8, got my kids back, drove, took them to school, able to baby step walk them, went grocery shopping but asked for assistance. But I did it. I was determined to get my life back, I missed my kids as they were with my exmotherinlaw for all that time. But after 3 weeks, had a mental setback. Had to mourn what had happened. 2 months prior to surgery, my father died and I was his caregiver, it was a slow death, so I was full of emotions. I have my days, but I'm much better without my colon. Now I have to mentally prepare for my takedown.
I wish you nothing but the best and you will get there. Happy for this site, wish I would have found it sooner.