I had the J-pouch 3 months after the ileostomy, which was 6 yrs ago. I've never ever had a problem since. In fact I was supposed to be on two prescription daily one to thicken my stools and another for spasms. I took them for the 1st week and haven't taken them since. It took me about a year to find the right food but now I eat ANYTHING I want, whenever I want. I had spasms off and on for about a yr, but usually happened only a week before menstration. So if that isn't an issue, you might avoid that all together.
I must say that I believe it is very normal to become attached to your stoma, the whole idea of going through such trauma (only you really experince) it is similar to when people become attached to their abductors. I had a hard time letting go off the whole procedure of changing my bag, etc. My stoma became a friend to me. I however had someone share with me the joys of life without a bag with very little or no compliactions. I went with the J-pouch with "fear and trembling". In my experince the recovery was more difficult than the ilesotomy, but I believe that was because of the anesthesia and pain meds prescribed then.
The 1st 3 months were an adjustment in learning how often to go to the bathroom and learning what food to avoid and which ones were best, but after I had learned that, my body had adjusted, and as I mentioned earlier I now eat whatever I want with no problems. I go to the bathroom between 5-10x a day depending on food consumption and activity, but this all becomes very normal and I don't think (view this as abnormal)anything about it.
We humans have an amazing capacity to adjust! We can get used to about anything. I imagine if I never had the J-pouch I'd adjust to life with a bag, but I can tell you that I'm glad I did it and to prove life is normal I just completed my 1st marathon and then a 32 mile ultra race.
I must say I don't miss my stoma anymore or changing the bag, the smell, the gas, etc. I'm free. I have a nice long and ugly scar, but I hear now they do the surgery laproscopically. You are in better hands today!!
I am facing surgery for UC also. I am having this debate J-pouch vs. end ileostomy. After hearing about life after the J-pouch, I am now leaning towards getting the end ileostomy. I appreciate hearing that life after ileostomy is good. If you don't mind me asking, what are your major issues with the ileostomy?