I had the surgery 7 years ago. My experiences are as follows:
1) How many times are you going a day? How do you know when you have to go, I would imagine it's a different feeling as opposed to when you had a colon.
I have no idea how often I go but if I had to guess it would be around 8 times in a 24 hour period. With a pouch you feel pressure to empty it but not urgency like with UC. I can hold it for an hour or more comfortably if needed.
2) Can you really eat anything you want?
Yes. I am primarily a vegetarian and live on 3 meals a day of fresh fruits and vegetables. I haven't found a food yet that doesn't agree with me. It took about 6 mos. post surgery for me to eat a full range of foods.
3) Is it harder to put on/keep on weight?
It's not hard to keep weight on. Most of us put weight on after surgery because we are finally healthy.
4) what are your energy levels like post colon?
I had about a year of fatigue post surgery but I attribute that to 2 years of being severely ill. I maintained work and exercise during that year but napped every afternoon. Now I engage in 100-200 mile hikes and have as much energy as a healthy coloned person.
5) Can you tolerate alcohol, if so, how much?
I don't drink but most pouchers tolerate alcohol fine.
6) Are you on any meds?
The only time I take lomotil or imodium is when I am on a 100-200 mile hike. Mulitple all day hikes increase my motility to I take the lomotil to slow things down. I take no other medication but do take a daily vitamin and probiotic.
Surgery has been a blessing. It beats the ups and downs of UC and the drug routine, for me that is.
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