Many UCers live in denial, denial that they are sick and that they need daily medication. I was one of those.
Only you can decide which route to take, continued medical therapy or surgery. What I do know about UC is that it is a chronic life long disease with periods of remission and flares. Research shows that medication is still the best choice for maintaining long periods of remission.
I was very against surgery for many of the reasons you stated. However, let me shatter the myth for you, you will not have chronic diarrhea, urgency, or pain post surgery. My life today is far better than it was when I was living on 22 pills a day to control my UC. With my j-pouch I have been able to hike 200 miles across England, 100 through Scotland and another 100 through Ireland, and so much more. UC took away my ability to commit to vacations and social ocassions. I have never cancelled a commitment since I have had my j-pouch and that has been six years now. I have no idea what my frequency is, do you know how many times you urinate per day? I do know that my frequency does not get in the way of my life.
I recommend that you visit www.j-pouch.org There are over 5,000 members on that site and you can get yourself educated on the surgery before you have to make a decision. You might want to research all your surgical options, permanent ileo, and the BCIR.
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998
1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics
2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic
2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free