Wow Cali, I have to say that reading this jarred me. I am so sorry to hear that.I am scheduled for J-pouch removal soon with Dr. Ashburn.
My colectomy+jpouch and my ileo takedown surgeries were at Cleveland Clinic Florida. Surgeon was a top-notch expert, but frankly there are many such at CC. The first op was a complete nightmare and your story sounds very similar to mine. I had a post-op ileus (frozen bowel, kind of like a blockage) that the resident on call ignored. I was being given ineffective pain meds. I was in so much pain the entire floor heard my screams and my heart values were all over the place (my heart is fine, I was a competitive cross country runner a few years ago...). The resident said I was faking it and had anxiety. I blacked out at some point and I don't entirely know what happened over the next hours other than my family wouldn't let them do this to me. Eventually, a different resident (Dr. Chadi) arrived. I felt like he was a guardian angel. He switched me to pain meds that worked, diagnosed my ileus, put in an NG tube himself which began to relieve my GI system, and reassured me.
The nursing staff were actually great and the facilities were excellent. Although I do not think that my surgeon made any surgical mistakes, the followup care with him since does not suit me and I think Dr. Ashburn is a better choice for me. I have had some outpatient care and interaction with nurses at Cleveland. They seemed to be on top of things, and I can only pray that that is the case for me.
I can only think that since you ultimately were diagnosed with a blockage, it must have been ignored initially. Perhaps they missed that and thus you had such a similar experience to my first time.
My thought is that things can go wrong anywhere. My experience with the resident that almost killed me and the one that saved me illustrated that for me. Ultimately, I choose the surgeon I think is the best fit at a center that I think has a good chance of providing me quality care, and I come prepared with family to back me up and try to be about as knowledgeable as the doctors who will treat me (I am probably going to med school after this anyways). Things can go well, or not anywhere, unfortunately.