I can completely relate to your situation, because I went through the exact same thing. I had Crohn's in the colon and rectum and had a RV fistula that turned into an abscess. My GI referred me to a colorectal surgeon, who said, upon looking at my rectum, "We need to take your colon out." I was mortified.
Even though I had been sick and taken meds (like Prednisone, Asacol, 6-MP, and Remicade) for 7 years, I was scared to have surgery and a permanent ileostomy (mainly for vanity reasons). She compromised with me and said that she could do a temporary ileostomy and reverse it after 6 months, if my colon and rectum healed. I was not excited about
the idea, but agreed to it.
For me, the surgery was not that bad. The worst part was not being able to eat until my small intestine woke up, which took 10 days (much longer than normal). They kept me on IV fluids and nutrition during that time, so it was okay. I didn't know to walk a lot after surgery to wake the bowels up, so had I done that, the ostomy probably would have started working much sooner.
Once it started working, I was able to eat and was released from the hospital. The first thing I noticed was being able to sleep through the night for the first time in years. I used to have 20+ trips to the bathroom a day, and after having an ostomy, I only went to the bathroom to pee. I loved the freedom that it gave me to shop for groceries or clothes and not have to beeline it to the bathroom several times. I found that I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted without being in pain or "paying the price" for eating something spicy. It was great!
I went back to work full time and exercised several times a week. Even went to a waterpark with my nephews! I felt healthy again, like I did before I ever got sick, and honestly, it didn't take me that long to forget that I even had an ostomy! It was so hidden under my clothes that nobody else noticed that I had one either.
It didn't bother my husband in the least. He was so happy that I was healthy again. I remember him saying, "I don't care if your whole body is in a bag, as long as you're healthy!" You gotta love that!
Our intimacy has improved dramatically, too, because I did not feel like being intimate when I was sick. I've always liked nice lingerie, which is good, because it covers my stomach area, and I wear it for me, not him.
So after 6 months with the temporary ileostomy, I started bleeding from the rectum. My GI did a colonoscopy, and the disease was active and worse than ever, even though I wasn't using my colon or rectum. That was when I made a list of pro's and con's to making the ileo permanent and having a proctocolectomy (colon and rectum removal). When I put down that I was at an increased risk for colon and rectal cancer if I did not have the surgery, I started crying, because I knew that I had to do this to save my life. I called the surgeon the next day and told her that I was ready to have the surgery. It was the best decision I've ever made and have not regretted it for one second.
Once I got the disease out of me, I felt fantastic! I have not taken any medication in 4 years, and the disease has never returned. My GI said that it probably never will, since it was never in my small intestine in the first place.
As with any surgery, you will need 6 weeks or more to recover and get back to your normal activities. If you have the temporary ileostomy surgery fairly soon, you will feel great for your wedding in September. The proctocolectomy surgery was much more involved that the temporary ileo surgery, but even with that big surgery, I was out of the hospital in 4 days and out driving and shopping after 2 weeks.
Sorry this was so long... but I wanted to try to cover some of the things that you might be questioning. I did not know about
this site when I had my surgeries, so I had nobody to talk to, except my doctors, and none of them ever had Crohn's or an ostomy, so they didn't know what it was like to go through this.
I'm wishing you all the best with your decision and please feel free to ask us any other questions you may have.
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.