I made a short pro/con list for myself recently as well... Here's mine if you're interested in knowing my reasons for considering! I can't remember if I ever posted it here or not.
REASONS TO HAVE SURGERY
1) No more worrying about where every bathroom is when I go out and being able to enjoy outings without them being ruined by multiple bathroom trips
2) Being able to enjoy social gatherings instead of staying at home because I don’t want to use their bathroom
3) Not having to worry about whether everything I eat is going to make me sick
4) Can’t have colon cancer without a colon! Even if it’s a small risk now, it’s still there
5) Finally be able to feel healthy and young again
6) No more taking handfuls of questionable medications with questionable long term effects
7) Seems like pregnancy would be easier without colitis, assuming the surgery doesn’t effect my fertility. I’d rather have surgery, get healthy, and then try for kids, instead of trying to carry a fetus and then raise the newborn in a UC flare
8) No point in wasting what life I do have left feeling sick and waiting for a cure that may never come. Life is too short and these are supposed to be my best years!
9) Tired of wondering when the next flare will be, when this one will end, what this food will do, etc.
10) Even if I don’t get colon cancer, I could end up with cancer or other illness from any of the various treatments, especially ones like prednisone!
11) If the J-Pouch doesn’t work out for me, I could always revert to the BCIR, which is performed very close by and seems like it would be a great alternative.
12) Most of the things on the after-surgery diet restriction list I don’t eat anyway!
13) I want to have surgery on my own time when I’m young and in a slightly healthier state than I would be if I waited until it was an emergency.
14) I could finally start exercising again and going to yoga classes instead of worrying about having to jump out of a pose and run to the bathroom, which is very embarrassing.
15) Even though it’s a little scary, I believe it would be a large change for the better in my quality of life, even though it’s not as bad at the moment as it used to be but it could and probably would be again.
16) The biggest reason- NO MORE ULCERATIVE COLITIS!
REASONS TO BE HESITANT about (OR NOT HAVE) SURGERY
1) Surgery scars and stoma/ostomy… I already have some self-esteem issues- how will this effect me mentally? Although, laparoscopic scars are much smaller and less noticeable than open scars.
2) After J-pouch surgery it says most people go to the bathroom 6-10 times a day for awhile, which is how I am with a bad UC flare! But with UC it’s painful and urgent, hopefully with the J-pouch at least that would be alleviated.
3) Curious about the cost of ostomy supplies and how much is covered by insurance… I haven’t found much info on it online but I’m assuming it’s probably cheaper than half the UC meds.
4) I have fears that my boyfriend will find me unattractive after surgery, even though he says he wouldn’t. But then again, he finds me attractive with a “pooping disease” so what’s a few scars compared to that?
5) What if I have the surgery and feel worse than before and regret it? There’s no going back once it’s done.
6) I understand there is a risk of infertility which does really scare me, but at the same time with UC I don’t feel I would be able to be pregnant and raise a child. I have spoken with many women also that have had successful pregnancies after surgery and I feel with a good surgeon who takes care not to thrash up my insides and create excessive scar tissue that I should be okay.
I don't plan on waiting 20 years for a cure/better medication either. By that point I'll be 43 and will have wasted most of my life waiting!!! I'm in a bit of a flare now and I can feel it getting worse in that I am soooo exhausted, I just sit around and yawn all day and I can't get up the energy to do anything. And people at work are always talking about how they can't stay up late or party and they're like "Wait till you're older, you'll really feel it then, I can't even stay up past 10pm" and I'm thinking 'Are you kidding me?? It's 2pm now and I'm falling asleep at my desk. I think I'm feeling it now.'
I know there's the fertility risk but when I think about it... I'd rather have surgery first and risk it being harder to get pregnant, than get pregnant with UC and worry the whole time what the medications are doing, whether I'm going to flare, whether the flare will cause me to miscarry. At least with surgery I would be med-free and healthy which is the ideal state to be in before trying to carry a child.
Sorry to hear you had to be hospitalized :( What do you think of Remicade so far? Did you notice any instant improvements?