Hi Dave! I have had the surgery you are planning for and wanted to answer some of your questions.
As best as you can, plan on how the ostomy will be affected by the waistline of your clothing. You do have to consider that in general there is a limited amount of space so to speak for where they can place the ostomy so that it has the best chance for long term viability using areas with strong abdominal wall muscles. I wish mine was a little lower as it tends to always be right where the waistline of my clothing sits, but then again if it was too low then the bag itself would probably sit too low and that might annoy me so who knows. You should have an appointment with a WOC nurse prior to the surgery and they will go over the details, place an X on your skin in sharpie for placement, and hopefully give you a kit with a sample in there to see what it will look like and detail the operation and how to care for it after the surgery, etc. Wear the sample they give you for a day just to get a preview of the placement. I am assuming it is a colostomy so it will sit on the left side of your abdomen. Also—ask if they are going to remove the rectal stump. Some have it in there in the chance that they reverse their colostomy further down the road. From anyone who has had the rectal stump left, there will in all likelihood be mucous that drains from that so if yours is truly to be a permanent colostomy then make sure the rectal stump goes so you don’t have to deal with that.
I don’t recall any specific item that helped with recovery—just time really. I am not sure if you are working, but I would strongly suggest taking a full 8 weeks recovery from work if you are. You do not want to sit directly on your butt for more than 20 minutes at a time for at least those first two months so that you can let the wound heal as best as possible. The recliner as beach sunrise suggested is a definite help—I pretty much lived on mine those first two months, kind of slouched so that my butt never had direct pressure on it. I didn’t use any other cushion so I can’t recommend any, but as beach sunrise also said—do not get the donut shaped ones, they would make it worse as they would make the area pull apart rather than stay stitched together.
As for any pain meds, I just did the extra strength Tylenol for a few days after I got home from the hospital and that was enough for me so everyone is different on how they experience that post-surgery pain. Not sure of your limitations now, but do your best prior to surgery to be in as good physical shape as possible as it makes recovery easier, especially if you can keep your core in shape as that is where the surgery recovery will be most crucial. I am by no means Ms. Athletic, but I would run a few miles at least 3-4 times a week and walked tons from diagnosis to surgery which was about a 4 month window and I think that helped with my recovery as well.
It’s so hard to imagine your life with a permanent ostomy prior to it happening, but after a while (and if I am being honest I mean at least a year out from the surgery) you adapt and you realize how it’s really not the end of the world and occasionally has a perk (like colonoscopy preps! LOL). I cannot think of one single thing I haven’t been able to do post surgery that I enjoyed pre surgery. There is also the UOAA website/forum that is good to checkout and join for specific ostomy questions/support—they are a friendly bunch like this forum is.
Good luck with the surgery and keep us posted on your recovery!