My daughter had her surgery several months ago. She was diagnosed at 15-1/2 years old. Had 3 big flares. Tried most of the medicines which helped a bit but never kept her in remission. She (along with our input) decided to have the surgery in July 2008. She missed so much of her junior year of high school and knew it was only a matter of time before she flared again. She was in the hospital for step 1 for 6 days. She took the summer to recuperate and adjust to her ostomy. She had her reconnect surgery in November and was in the hospital for 4 days. She was back to school after 3 weeks (could have been sooner but Thanksgiving vacation was part of the time). She is having a great senior year! She is happy, healthy and there is a peacefulness on her face. She takes no meds. She is very active and doesn't stop to think about how her body will react to life.
She was in remission when she had her surgery so she didn't immediately feel "so much better" like most people talk about. But she can feel the change now. She is happy with her decision and is looking forward to college without worrying about her next flare or where to find a close bathroom.
The best advice I can give is to educate yourself. Consult with a surgeon (it doesn't mean you have to have the surgery). Once my daughter decided she wanted surgery, she never looked back. She was very scared (as were we) but she knew it was the right decision for her.
--Mom of bratcat (17 years old) and nonamejames (20 years old)--
Daughter bratcat was diagnosed with pancolitis October 2006
Flared Fall 2006, Fall 2007, Spring 2008
Asacol, Rowasa, hydrocortisone enemas, prednisone, 6-mp, Remicade
7/3/08-Step 1 j-pouch surgery and no more meds!
11/10/08-Step 2 reconnect!
Son nonamejames was diagnosed with Crohns in Spring 2008
Asacol, Pentasa, 6-mp