I was off work 3 weeks after each surgery. I had a 2-step. My recovery from surgery was quicker than the norm (about 6 weeks) but the adaption to the new plumbing took about a year. Expect increased frequency, sore perianal skin, spasms, and maybe some incontinence. What really takes time for most of us is adapting to some foods. For me it took about 6 mos to successfully eat fresh fruits and vegetables without them racing through my system and causing discomfort. Just remember, you j-pouch has to learn how to act as a colon. It takes time. Measure your recovery in 6 week increments. It's two steps forward and one step backward in that first year. This does not mean that you can't do anything, as I said I returned to work, went hiking, traveled through Europe, and did a half marathon all in the first six months post surgery. Some of those things were hard to do but I persevered.
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998
1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics
2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic
2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free