I'm glad you are confident with Kaplan, it's so important, it's bad enough trying to deal with a disease like this yourself and having a jerk-off for a doctor to boot (of which I've booted a couple LOL) double edge sword when they're good looking though eh he he......I hope all goes well with your surgery and it sounds like you're in pretty capeable hands too so that's one less major stressor.
I'm either allergic or non-responsive to oral meds used for IBD and pred included (pred used to work great for me but it stopped all together) so I had no choice but to put my huge skeptisism aside and try the natural route and to my surprise it has definitely helped (not full remission but way better than nothing) I was going a good 30+ times/day with severe lower back pain (had me balling on the toilet every trip) and lots of bleeding, mucus, tons of gas and bloating, lots of urgency and mainly mushy consistancy with the odd formed combined with complete D, needless to say I was all over the place with my stool formation. Panaccione tried me on pred with the bee propolis to see if it might kick me into remission but it didn't work, at that point it was discovered that pred no longer could do it's amazing magic on me (which really sucked cuz I never really got much for side effects from it so of course it had to stop working for me)....the good thing about being allergic to all the other meds is I don't have to deal with nasty side effects and none of the naturals I take have any (never use bee products if you're allergic to bees and avoid chamomile if you're allergic to ragweed).
I started first with bee propolis which did wonders by the next day, my bleeding stopped and same with the lower back pain, I went only about 15 times instead of 30+ and the stools were more consistant looking...then I added fibre supplements (as directed by Panaccione) which cut the BM's down to 10 or less/day, so then I added omegas 3-6-9 and probiotics which took me to where I'm at now, basically an average of 5/day, no bleeding no bloating no excessive gas (hubby farts more than me and he doesn't have any GI issues) and I now have fully formed stools for the most part...
I say for the most part because during my monthly cycle anything can happen and my CD is more aggrivated during a few days before, during and a few days after my cycle so it sucks. The other main issues I still have is urgency (I'd poop my pants if I couldn't get to a toilet quick enough) and frequency, 5, sometimes less/day is great but it's not my normal one/day with total control that I was before getting sick 18 yrs ago now. And of course my other main issue is the perianal crohn's skin tags I breifly mentioned in my first reply, because that idiot surgeon went ahead and banded them as if they were hemmies (when they were not) while they were in a severe flare (large and hard, painful too) they've remained that way ever since.
I also altered my diet, no more junk-food, fast-foods, processed foods/beverages, animal fats, caffeine, refined sugar/artificial sweetners (I use honey or stevia) and I drink only water and chamomile tea (you should google chamomile tea if you're not familiar with it's health benefits same with the bee propolis if you're not allergic to bees).
So, I have gone for many yrs using nothing and my CD would still vary from severe to moderate flares but still always flaring to some degree, luckily though I have not strictures and I'm not a fistulizing crohnie either (breaks my heart whenever someone posts about those)...I'm proof that going yrs without meds doesn't mean a guaranteed death sentence or that the disease still can't sometimes get somewhat under control....which is why I say, it has more of a mind of it's own then what we give it credit for, only makes sense, it's why even those that take their meds and watch their diet can still end up flaring.
Oh yeah, I exercise regularly too which has helped symptoms as well as emotional/mental as well.
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)