I had no family support either, but I knew it was the best decision. They all came around AFTER the surgery and seeing me healthy for the first time in years they knew I made the right decision.
As for others with IBD they are some of the WORST in supporting a surgery decision. I think for them it's their own personal fear about the possibility of them having surgery in the future. I wouldn't let them bother you either. You have to do what's best for you and only you and your GI, if even, know how badly you have suffered.
I agree with Sue wholeheartedly. A lot of it is fear. A lot of it is also because of the narrative that chronic illness sufferers tell themselves. Having UC is a "fight" or a "battle" or a "struggle," and often surgery is characterized as "giving up" or "surrendering." I think people do this because it helps them justify the pain and suffering they are experiencing, as well as giving them an illusion of control over their disease progression (in a "battle" against UC, you can fight harder through sheer force of will... if you are simply suffering from a disease, it happens to you and you are the "victim"). Therefore, there is a kneejerk reaction to seeing a fellow "fighter" getting surgery: it looks like "giving up" in their worldview, and that looks bad.
In case you couldn't tell from all the scare quotes, I am 100% opposed to that viewpoint, but I'm a person who has gone through the whole process and come out the other side happy with my result. It's a lot harder to conceptualize as someone who hasn't had surgery and is most likely praying that it never happens.
Don't waste too much energy justifying your decision, especially to other IBD sufferers who want to turn your decision into their own personal issue. Try to get your close friends and family on your side, but ultimately just convince yourself
to go into this positive and hopeful and you will be fine.
dx'ed UC pancolitis 5/12
past meds: asacol hd, VSL#3, apriso, rowasa, xifaxan, 6mp, cortifoam, pentasa, cimzia, canasa, butyrate, flagyl, cipro, prednisone, remicade, methotrexate, cholestyramine, cortenema
current meds: none!
step one: colectomy, end ileo 1/16/13
step two: j-pouch construction, loop ileo 5/1/13
step three: takedown 7/31/13