Hi Christine, and welcome to the forum
You will find info here on anything you need to know by reading through the posts (or by posting a question). It has been a godsend to me and i am more educated now about this disease than i ever have been in the last 10 yrs. And the fact that everybody on this forum is so friendly, helpful and understanding really helps too!
Thanks for your good advice about letting people in. I know it's me that's making it difficult to open up and it's something i need to sort out. I developed the disease at quite a young age - i believe i was about 11 yrs old when symptoms began and from the age of 11 - 19 it went undiagnosed by my doctor. So i know how you felt trying to study whilst being so ill. So my school yrs were extremely difficult - i couldn't take time off because according to my doctor there was nothing wrong with me apart from a touch of IBS. When in fact i was doubled over with pain every single day and was convinced i was dying from stomach cancer (i knew nothing about crohn's back then). It was only whilst having my appendix out at the age of 18 that they noticed the inflammation. Anyhow i had my first resection in 99' as none of the meds i tried were helping and things were getting out of control. My weight also stayed around 100lbs during the years before surgery. I'm at a healthy 123lbs now.
I am so sorry to hear you are facing surgery - i could be too if they find out that the problem is caused by scar tissue and not inflammation. I went into my first surgery without giving it much thought. Mostly because my symptoms were so bad that all i wanted was to feel somewhat normal again. I didn't really consider the complications or how i might feel about the scar. I was very lucky in that the surgery was quite successful and i had relief from the pain & D afterwards. I am not a vain person but i do feel that the scar has knocked my confidence a little. But maybe that's just because i don't tell people about my illness and if somebody sees my scar they are going ask questions.
I am just curious as to how you deal with the whole dating scene etc or are you in a relationship/married. You don't have to answer these questions if they are too personal. I have been in a couple of serious relationships but they have both been destructive because i'd chosen the completely wrong type of guys. But i've also known some really great guys who were interested in getting into a relationship and every time i ran a million miles just because i didn't want to face telling them about this disease. I know if a guy told me about it i would be fine, it''s just when it comes to me, i imagine they will be grossed out and run a mile. I can see how ridiculous it is but at the same time i have great difficulty coming to terms with telling people. I am a little envious as most people in this forum seem to be happily married or in relationships and have the suppport of great partners behind them. Whilst i feel like i will still be alone and living with lots of cats at the age of 80!!
Anyway i'm waffling a little, i think you should start a new post with your question about surgery of the rectum, what it involves, the risks, the after affects etc. My crohn's is in the Terminal Ileum so i can't really answer your question. I hope i haven't scared you with this long reply but i wish you success in making a decision about surgery and i hope you can find some answers on this forum.