The whole anxiety of this disease is definitely one of the worst things. I have a 50 minute subway ride into work every morning, and it frequently stops between stations and just sits there, which used to be quite scary. Since I've been in more-or-less remission I realise that things are sometimes quite psychological, both in terms of how you feel about it, and also the physiological effects on your digestive tract of getting stressed.
For what it's worth, I found that Asocol got me into remission. I use canasa as well every evening (can't hurt I guess).
I switched doctors and my new one is definitely of the view that you shouldn't settle for symptoms that mess up your life. If you're still experiencing symptoms to a degree that interferes with your life you could talk to your doctor upping the Asocol to 12 a day (2*6 or 3*4, whichever you prefer) and adding canasa into the equation - that's what got me into remission. Sounds like you tolerate the mesalamine fairly well - unless you're having side-effects you're not mentioning.
All that other stuff you're taking (the vitamins and so on) can't hurt I suppose. Only thing I can share is that I've tried all sorts of different probiotics and supplements and I couldn't put my hand on my heart and tell you confidently that any of them made any difference to anything other than my wallet. And I can also tell you that when I had to do a trip one time and didn't take all my assorted vitamin pills and potions with me my symptoms improved. So I guess there are things that can make thing worse.
I've taken immodium a few times. Good stuff. Certainly helps avoid anxiety on flights (probably my most stressful scenario as I have to fly a lot).
This is a nasty disease. But there are plenty that are a lot worse, and it does have a cure, even if it's an unattractive one. Many of us are able to enjoy most of our lives in remission, and for some of us it's also the case that even our flares aren't that bad for some, the majority, or all of our lives.
If it's any encouragement, I've had this at least two years, and am doing fine. I carry out a pretty serious job with minimal obstruction from my UC, have a wife and two small daughters and am no less active a parent for it, have shaved 5 minutes off my two mile running time (18 minutes now, which I realise isn't great, but the point is the improvement has come while I've had UC), bench 150% my bodyweight compared to about 100% pre UC, managed 100 push ups a couple of months ago compared to 50 pre UC. I feel quite lucky not to have more severe symptoms, and I realise others have far worse situations than mine, but my point is just that it is definitely possible to have UC and let it inspire you to try to overcome it. Whether you succeed or not is not the point - it's the attitude to that challenge that matters, in my humble opinion.
Last thing and then I'm off again - this board is a great thing. IBD is not actually that unusual, but because people don't talk about it, it's easy to feel isolated. So you may find, like I do, that this board is a really valuable resource with some great people on it. Having said that, two words of caution. First, my guess is that the average poster on here is atypical, because most probably you find that those in remission have less interest than those experiencing more severe symptoms in coming on here and reading and posting. Certainly, I came on here much more frequently when flaring than when in remission. So at least don't assume that the sort of symptoms that sound typical on this board necessarily represent the average for UC sufferers. You may well experience much milder symptoms than you hear people reporting on here.
Second, this is, as you've noted, a disempowering disease. When disempowered, it's human nature to try to take control, and one of the ways to do so is to believe that you have knowledge and understanding of the thing that is disempowering you - to understand something is, we assume, the first step in conquering it. Well, as far as I can tell, the defining feature of this disease (other than the huge amount of time spent sitting on a toilet) is that basically it's not very well understood. But I think it's tempting for all of us to convince ourselves that we are experts - usually as a result of our inevitable intensive internet research. So it's tempting to tell ourselves that we've somehow gained some sort of control through our efforts to understand. My personal view, which I'm sure others will disagree with, is that none of us can really speak with authority about anything other than our own personal experience. Even our doctors, who've trained in this and see and speak to many more UC sufferers than we ever will, operate through trial and error combined with guesswork. So when you see people confidently posting on here that the disease is this way or that way, and that this approach or that approach is better, you might want to take it with a pinch of salt. You'll find what works for you, together with, hopefully, a supportive and collaborative doctor as your partner. You're always going to be the expert on you and your UC, however much other people may appear to be or even claim to be more expert than you.
Sorry for the long mail - I was just feeling for you and wanted to share my experience and take on UC in case it helps.
Diagnosed November 2007
Canasa 1000mg 2 per day, Asocol 2x2 per day, Digestive Advantage Crohns and Colitis probiotic, Animal Pak multivitamin, Aloe gel, concentrated fish oil