I see you're a little over six months out of your final surgery, I think the first six months to a year were the hardest for me. It gets better everyday though, and I'm feeling pretty good now everything considered. A lot of trial and error with diet, and learning to live with more frequent trips to the bathroom. I might not be the most knowledgeable about some stuff but I'd be happy to help if you're still looking to vent or ask questions.
I am also in Wisconsin near Milwaukee. I would agree with DANGAGE, the first 6 months to a year are tough. I am 13 1/2 years post take down and although I am not "Normal" per say but a heck of a lot better then 14 years ago. You will have to experiment with your diet as you progress. Salads are a tough one for me along with anything with red sauce (pasta, pizza...).
Feel free to ask any questions you have.