I just want to introduce myself to this forum and see if you have any advice! I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 13, was sick on and off throughout high school and had my colon removed in an emergency surgery at age 18. I had surgery to create a J-Pouch later that summer; and scheduled a takedown surgery for the following spring. When the surgeon went in to do the takedown surgery, she discovered that the pouch was scarred, fibrotic and severely inflamed...so instead of completing the takedown, she removed the J-Pouch. I went to Cleveland clinic about a year later to see if they could attempt a second J-pouch. Due to recurrent rectal abscesses and lack of sufficient blood supply back to my rectum, the surgeon elected to remove my rectum and convert my loop ileostomy to an end ileostomy (we had discussed this as a possible option prior to surgery).
So that brings me to the present day. My last surgery was in 2010. Since my initial surgery at age 18, I've always had an ileostomy and all attempts to convert it have failed. I consulted with Dr. Dietz in Cleveland this summer, who thought I would be a good candidate for a K pouch. I lead a very active lifestyle and have found over the past 10 years or so since my initial surgery, that, while I have found ways to do many things, the ileostomy really does limit me quite a bit. I have a K-Pouch surgery scheduled in Cleveland for mid-February. I am excited but guarded at the same time, given the number of surgeries I have already had.
Any advice re: the surgery or recovery? How can I bounce back quickly and maximize that chances of this actually working? Anything you wish you'd known prior to surgery that you know now? I have a very physical job (work as a therapist in a rehab facility with stroke and brain injury patients) and need to break able to lift up to 80 pounds and work up to 3-4 hours at a time without taking a break. How long do y'all think I'll need to be off work? I'm estimating 8-10 weeks, and also have the option of going back on "light duty" (basically doing secretarial type stuff) for a period of time if needed.