A total colectomy is when the entire colon is removed. If the rectum is also removed, then it is a proctocolectomy. In that surgery, the doctor can either sew the wound shut or leave it
open. If the wound is left
open, like it was in my case, you pack the hole with saline-filled gauze twice a day until it heals. That wound heals slower than the incision in the abdomen.
It is uncomfortable to sit in the beginning, but they do give you pain meds to take away the pain. I was able to sit and drive two weeks after surgery. The only reason why I drove so soon was because my father was very sick in the hospital, and I wanted to see him.
In regards to when you have your surgery, I'm very glad to hear that you're leaning towards sooner rather than later. I can honestly say that the day after my surgery, even though I was sore, I could tell that the Crohn's was not there sapping my energy and wreaking havoc on my system.
My surgery was one year ago. Since I've healed from it, I have not had one moment of pain. It has been wonderful to be pain-free, medicine-free, and actually healthy again. I feel like a new person, and since there is no pain, I honestly forget about
the ostomy. It is completely hidden under my clothes, and I only deal with it when I go to the restroom to urinate. That's when I empty the pouch. It only takes seconds, and I'm on my way. My hubby is jealous and wishes he had one!!
I'm glad you're asking questions and are getting answers from people who have been through it. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.