Turns out Dr M won't have an opening for me until spring, and there is no way I will wait that long. So I decided to go with Doctor Shore in St Petersburg instead. He is recommended by a couple of patients that had the surgery with him that I am having, and they loved him! It is closer to home as well. The facility is St Anthony's Hospital, a newly renovated hospital with a state of the art new colorectal surgery wing. I felt very much at ease talking to the coordinator, Fran. I have an appointment to see them on Tuesday at 2 PM. I asked when the surgery would be, and most likely in the middle of August! That is only like 3 weeks from now!
I have been reading up on the procedure and the long recovery. It is grueling and can be very tough, first you have to recover from major abdominal surgery, and then you will have a second surgery 12 weeks later where you basically have to learn how to poop again... They say it takes up to a year until everything is smoothed out, but you will of course never be normal again. Some adjust better than others. I think it will be important to watch what I eat so there won't be any blockages in the beginning. I met a great guy online who went through the same surgery, and he has posted some pictures for people to see. Very interesting, if you can handle it: J-pouch surgery pictures.