A word on pred., and this is in no way meant as a criticism of your response, Joylu, as you were obviously sympathetic.
Yes, all of us can refuse prednisone. We all need to be aware of the drastic side effects. We all need to be aware of other medications. I personally don't think that pred. should be used as a first resort. That said, other medications don't all work for all persons. For some, pred is the only thing short of surgery that will stop a bad flare or at least control the symptoms enough to do normal things. The choice to use pred is a difficult one to make, but some of us make it for very good reasons. I am currently refusing to take pred, and relying on other meds to manage the disease (touch wood), but I have my pred script filled and ready because I also remember that I made the choice to take it a year ago, and I could be confronted with the choice anytime again. Last March, I was flaring badly and could not control it with other meds, but I refused to abruptly cut short a long-promised trip with my teenaged daughter and cancel a long-distance visit with my elderly parents.
That's what we do, we make these difficult choices. We need to live our lives as normally as we can and for some of us that means putting up with pred., awful though the experience may be.
I join SweetMelody in wishing there were better ways for all us with UC to be able to go to work, go on holiday, spend time with loved ones and so on.