I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling for so long! In Chron's they take out what they need to and give you a stoma from there if the rectum must also be removed and if it is in the end of the colon, sigmod or possibly the descending, you may have the option to irrigate. If you are being continually told that all needs to go, you probably should just do that from the start. Because you can have some removed and see how you feel, but it may not be enough and then you have to have another surgery. On the UOAA
they have a section devoted to irrigation if that does end up being an option for you. Also its just another forum with people who can help you out as you adjust to the idea of an ostomy. They also list local support groups. You could attend one before surgery; see people living with the bag and how well they are doing.
Me, well, I'm a 26 year old female as well, had my first surgery at 25 in order to save my life and I'm kicking myself for not doing it 3 years ago when I was first told I should. After the initial shock and mourning period, about
2 months i was fine with the bag. I finally felt normal! It was like getting my life back. I finally could go to work, I could go to parties and hang out with my friends, and although I haven't dated anyone since getting the bag, that's more because I haven't found someone I want to date. Lots of people here are married with kids. There are several people outside of this forum that I know of that met there significant others after surgery. Trust me, if the person is worth it, they will not care. Anyone that won't date you or doesn't want to be with you because of a stoma isn't worth your time because they obviously are more concerned with looks that what kind of a person you are. Also they have dating sites for ostomates :) I am having my last surgery next monday to take down my ostomy because I have UC so I went the J-pouch route. I'm excited to be bag free, but i know that if God forbid something happens and my pouch fails, I will not have a problem going back to the bag. Life is that much better with it. Besides the alternative is dying and well, i like being alive.
As far as kids go, lots of ladies here have had kids after getting their ostomy. The surgeries, because of being done on the abdomen, can make it harder to conceive, but not to carry. People don't lose babies or anything they just might have to try hard or do fertility treatments, but even then it's not always necessary.
As far as the active lifestyle, TONS of people on here have active lives. there are professional surfers and other athletes with ostomies too. You will be able to do everything you did without an ostomy with one. Absolutely everything. You just have to wait for a little bit while you heal, and for somethings you'll want to take precautions, but really you can do any and everything you want. Actually on the UOAA.org board, a woman who rides horses once got kicked on her stoma and was fine because she wears a convex wafer which gives added protection. Just a bit bruised! you can swim and ski and even play football! And you'll actually feel well enough to do it!
Surgery is scary and trying to find an option that works best for you as well as a surgeon you are comfortable with can take time, but ultimately you will be happier. I don't really know of anyone that would go back to their life and the pain of their disease over having an ostomy. You are in the right place to get some solace. Good luck to you and I hope this gives you some hope *hugs*
-diagnosed with UC Dec 2006 at 22
-allergic or intolerant to all 5ASAs, sulfa and 6-mp
-emergency transverse colostomy on 9/13/10 from perforated colon
-J-pouch surgery step 1 of 2 3/21/11