I've been using VSL#3 capsules for about
2 months now, and it has helped me quite a bit. Of course, I can't get my insurance to pay for it, and I'm taking 6 caps a day, which turns into one mighty expensive habit really quick! I did find out that if I get a doctor's note saying I need to take the VSL#3, I can use my payflex account to cover the cost, but again, I'm still paying full price out of pocket. You can always try talking to your insurance company though.
Having said that VSL#3 is helping me, I will now tell you to try other, less expensive probiotics. It is possible that you will find one that helps that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Check people's signatures for what they are using and try a couple of different ones. Right now I'm just getting a flare under control, but once I'm stable again, I plan to ween myself off the VSL#3 and try something else. Quite frankly, I don't see how most people can afford to use it regularly.
Tapering the enemas is for the same reason you taper off prednisone. If you suddenly stop, there is a chance of a flare. Mesalamine and prednisone are not like antibiotics, where you take them, they do their thing, and you're all better, end of story. They are maintenance meds, and once your body adapts to their presence, it needs time to readjust. Slowly lowering dosages helps your body get used to not having them around anymore. I hope that made sense.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort enema, Prednisone (trying to taper down)