Skip to main content

How many weeks of medical leave from work did you get after the final reversal? Was it enough?

I have a desk job, but we have long meetings with around 10 people once a week, and some last 2 hours. I am worried that I may have to leave the meeting multiple times. Also, I have a 20 minutes commute with no stops. What do you think?

Original Post

Hi Elif for me it took about about 6 weeks only because I stayed in the hospital a little longer. I also have a desk job with weekly meetings but only 30 mins. At your company do the offer work place accommodations?? If so you may want to get one in place as it will excuse you for the time you may have to leave the meeting. Can you work from home at all?

Depends on where you work. 

How much you need. 

And even if it's allowed where you work. 

My initial leave was 9 months. 6 was paid. 3 were not. But my time off was unlimited disability leave.  But only 6 are paid. After that my job was secure when I was ready. But the no pay really hurt. Still had insurance as long as it was associated to the issue. Nothin else. Financially. That hurt. 

And mine went wrong. So the nine months off. 

When I had it removed two years later I was able to go back after 6 weeks. Ya... I know. Fast. But I took 8 weeks. 

Most of it depends on where you work. 

And whether your job is protected. Mine was. My last worry was work. 

But in the end I think 8 weeks ought to get you on the right track.  

(I had a half hour commute) 

Good luck. 


I was back in the office in 3 weeks, but was working from home in under two weeks from surgery date.   Theoretically I could have taken longer, but am quite conscious of the need to keep up appearances...I could have definitely used another week or two working from home, as I suffered from fatigue.  I did sneak into the "wellness room" two or three times for a  midday nap.  

I explained to my manager and group that I might run out of or be late to a meeting unexpectedly You need to make your own judgement about revealing medical issues.  

I have a 30 minute commute, and have had no problems.  I do not eat before I leave, but I do have a cup of hot tea.  You can bring breakfast with you.  The only time I had trouble with my commute was before surgery when the UC was out of control.  

Thanks a lot for your responses!

Working from home will be an option. What concerns me is the 2 hour weekly meetings. These meetings are usually 11AM, so if I do not eat breakfast at home for a safe commute, then I would have to eat at work. But then I would have to go to a long meeting right after that. So it seems it is better to eat an early breakfast at home, and be done with it until after the meeting.


So the question is,  how many hours after breakfast should I leave for work in order not to risk the commute (20 minutes), and also the long meeting soon after I arrive at work?

Last edited by Elif

My experience with immodium is not very good even with an ileostomy. It makes me feel as if I am having a blockage. I will take it if I have to in order to survive at work, of course. I should eat very minimally in order not to feel gross.

For long meetings/events, would I need these meds only during the initial months/years, and be able to survive with slow digesting foods after? Is it very likely that I will depend on these meds for long events for the rest of my life?

What are your top slow digesting foods?


I only take Lomotil when I'm having a lot of watery output.  That happened with the ileo as well.  Usually not more than once or twice a week.  

Not drinking liquids with meals helps.  Protein + Fat foods are slowest.  Simple carbs are fastest.  Chocolate = watery output every time.   If I'm needing to eat and not go for a while , peanut butter is perfect.  I also can eat cheese as I have no lactose problem.   Plain cooked turkey or chicken  

Too much soluble fiber makes the volume of my output huge and uncomfortable.   So applesauce, sweet potato, oatmeal can really bulk me up.  But YMMV, some people swear by soluble  fiber foods and supplements. 

I tend to eat very light early in the day, and my largest meal the minute I get home from work.   Not averse to fasting so I can manage a car trip, a round of golf, or a movie.  

Try to  keep a log of what and when you eat and when you go.  So you can figure out the best timing for meals in your daily schedule.  

As your pouch stretches and you get better at holding this will all get easier. 




Hi all,

I have interesting news. Yesterday, I got a job offer to change to a different group at my company to a better position effective next month, but I had to reject it. Because my take down is in three weeks, I was not sure how I could handle the initial stress of changing to a new team right after the medical leave...  At my current team, I know the schedule of our weekly meetings, which are very regular. My manager knows my situation.


The opportunity will be again on the table hopefully by the end of summer, or October. Do you think I would be able to handle a busy schedule, I mean 5-6 one hour meetings a week, some morning, some afternoon, 6 or 9 months after takedown surgery? Will I have to fast during days to survive? Alternatively, will I have to live on immodium during days to survive? Or, should I reject this career opportunity because of my j-pouch? Maybe try a couple years later when I know how the pouch functions?

Thanks a lot for your responses. Nobody in this world other than you can help me make these important decisions...

Elif, most J-pouchers can easily handle the schedule you describe. Most do no fasting and eat a normal diet. They have no urgency and can delay a bathroom visit for quite a while when necessary. They generally poop 4-6 times per day. Most go back to work about 6 weeks after their final surgery, particularly if their job doesn’t involve heavy lifting. Most J-pouchers aren’t on this forum to answer your questions, because they are busy living their rather normal lives, going to school or perhaps working in challenging jobs.

Some folks have a harder time, for one reason or another, and (quite appropriately) come here for advice and support. This is great, except that this forum provides an extremely distorted perspective on the life of a J-poucher. If a complication happens in one out of a thousand surgeries that story gets told here in excruciating detail.

So: you’re very likely to do fine sooner than you seem to expect. You should choose your surgeon carefully, since an unskilled surgeon gets poorer outcomes. Good luck!


Thanks a lot for such an encouraging response.. My reversal surgery is in three weeks, I don't know what to expect afterwards. It seems everyone has a different experience...  It is very assuring to hear that I will be able to advance in my career with a j-pouch, assuming that I have the expected outcome.

I believe this forum is more that just asking medical questions. Rejecting a job offer that I otherwise would willingly accept was very disappointing. Your message filled me with hope. Again, thanks!


Add Reply

Copyright © 2019 The J-Pouch Group. All rights reserved.
Link copied to your clipboard.