Wow. Your story could be mine.
Affected colon. Severe left side pain for past 1-2yrs. Unresponsive to all meds (mesalamines, 6MP, Remicade) except high doses of prednisone. I had surgery in early May of this year, expecting to lose my colon and have a colostomy bag and then eventual J-pouch connection. When the surgeon went in ( 8" opening along my belly midline) he found everything looked pretty good except for about 6" of my left side colon, so he removed only that and re-attached the ends for a resection instead of taking the entire colon.
I drug my feet about having surgery.
The final straw was driving to my remicade appt and being stuck in traffic in the parking garage when "the urge" hit me. There was nowhere for me to go. Luckily, I had a garbage bag and towels. I was able to get both under me, pull my clothing down, place a towel over my lap and 'go'...while driving and looking for a parking space. No one but me knew what was going on, but it was embarassing enough to make me want to do something about not being in control of my life. I made my surgery appointment that day (I'd already had the consultation and only needed to pick a date) for 4 weeks later.
I am glad I had the surgery and sorry I waited so long. However, I think I really needed to reach the point where the fear of surgery was finally over-ridden by my disgust at the lack of control over my life. After the surgery, the pain was immediately gone. Symptoms have been decreasing and things have overall been improving nicely.
Best of luck to you,