I'm so sorry for what you are going through - it it extremely difficult, first living with the disease, then making a decision to go with the J-pouch.
Great news from me about
the surgeries that will be required. I have had my J-pouch for 20 years now (am 51 - had surgery with bag at age 30 - then decided on having another 2-part surgery to form the J-pouch 2 years later).
I will tell you that the first surgery, where they form the pouch and then let it heal before attaching it to rectum was the hardest part. The final take down was a faster recovery for me.
At first, you will need to be by a bathroom often, but as you start to adjust, you learn what to eat and when to help organize your day. (I find that food goes through me within a 1/2 hour of eating), then I'm good for several hours.
The reason they are saying 12 weeks is to be on the cautionary side, I would presume. You may feel strong enough for things before that time.
As you know, major surgery, of any kind, knocks you down for a time and your body needs to rest. I got frustrated with wanting to feel stronger than I actually was in a shorter period of time than it actually took.
At this point, in my life, I am doing wonderfully. No one even knows of my Ulcerative Colitis experiences unless they've known me a long time. I eat what I want, like my wine quite a bit, do any and all physical activities, travel extensively with my husband and just generally am out to have a good time all day, every day. (I'm pretty good at it too)!
I just wanted to give you a brief summary of my experience and wish you all the best.
If you would like to more or hear more in depth ideas, experiences, etc. I would be happy to share them with you.
Thinking of you,