Long-time listener, first-time caller.
I've been reading about the benefits of surgery and lately I've been thinking about it myself. At my last doctor's appointment, he briefly mentioned colectomy, and I have another follow-up visit next week. I think I'd like to discuss it with him some more. I have some questions, though.
I've had UC for about six years and it was always kept in check by smoking. I had periodic flares when I took antibiotics. Worst case scenario, bleeding for about two months. I quit smoking last January and last April took antibiotics, entered a flare, and here I am more than a year later still bleeding. Colonsocopy last May showed chronic ulcerative colitis across the colon. I have about 4-5 bowel movements a day, mostly formed. Having to go to the bathroom is not a big deal to me.
The big deal is that I'm totally exhausted. I've gone from being a high-functioning person to feeling like an invalid. The joint pain and muscle soreness and all the other symptoms just keep getting worse, too.
I'm taking Asacol (2x3/day) and I won't take steroids or other drugs. I have a hard time complying with rectal meds. The Asacol doesn't seem to be working that well.
As I contemplate surgery my major goal is to eliminate the fatigue and other extra-intestinal symptoms. (Not bleeding would be nice too.) I'm not particularly concerned about extra trips to the bathroom.
I'm trying to balance the idea of surgery with 40-50 more years of ulcerative colitis. For those of you who have had surgery: Does the fatigue go away? Am I nuts to contemplate major surgery for these reasons? Is it reasonable to think that I could make it through the two-step process in three months?
Any advice or suggestions appreciated! Thanks.