My story is similar. I had my j pouch formed in 1991 and I am now nearly 65 years old. I do recall it was tough at first getting everything to work properly and I still have several BM's a day and sometimes at night but you do adapt to this. I take meds regularly to absorb water and thicken bowel contents but these have been fine. Hydration is important so I make sure I drink at least 2 litres of water a day but this does impact the bladder. Also when my pouch is full it impacts pressure on my bladder but this is manageable. I am pleased with my pouch as an alternative to a permanent ileostomy.
I did have 2 fistula's form, some 10 years post surgery, one minor to the vagina and a year later another more complex one which presented with an abscess in my buttock. I was given 2 options to fix this, pouch removal and ileostomy formation which was simpler surgery or removal and complete revamp of my pouch and another 2 stage procedure to fix which was big surgery again. I was attached to my pouch and chose the latter and have never looked back. I will not pretend all is easy living with my pouch and some adjustments have to be made (mainly around noise on going to the bathroom and a more distinctive odour and an even increased frequency of BM's if eating certain food stuffs) but these can be descretely managed (using public facilities when someone is using the hand dryer and carrying a perfume spray and managing diet when necessary). Oh by the way sudacreme is great at limiting soreness when required. I do feel I have a good quality of life. Good luck and keep positive.
Barbara from UK