Collicat, you are right, our children's stories are very similar! And it stinks!
You may want to think about changing his diet as kim123 said. We never really tried that completely with Bratcat. Being on a very strict food plan was something that she balked at (more than surgery, go figure).
I would suggest that you at least consult with a surgeon (or two or three). Get as much information from them as you can (their experience, what the surgery would be like, pros, cons, recovery, complications, etc.) and find one that you are comfortable with. This way, if you decide that surgery is the way to go you don't have to first do all the footwork. In Bratcat's case, we met with a few surgeons in mid/late May and surgery was scheduled for a month after. Less waiting for her was the best emotionally. Even back in the fall during her 2nd flare we had planned to look into surgeons in the spring when she was in remission. Unfortunately she had another flare in the spring so it just made the push to find a surgeon a bit more urgent.
I think it is also important that your son be a big part of the decision. All kids are different. When Bratcat was first diagnosed we said she wouldn't even go on 6-mp and surgery was a horrible word! With each flare, she (and we) realized that asacol, enemas, and prednisone weren't going to cut it.
It is very scary thinking about surgery for yourself or for your child. It is a slow recovery process but I can't believe that it has been almost a year since Bratcat's surgery. I'm sure you've read all the pros and cons I gave about why this was the right decision for her. I would suggest, if your son decides on surgery and you can arrange it (as opposed to it being an emergency) to plan it around a long vacation from school (we did it at the beginning of summer). This allowed Bratcat to recover slowly without the pressure of having to be back to "normal" by a certain date.
Good luck. If you need to "talk" more, you can click on my email address (I think it should work). I hope your son feels better soon.
--Mom of bratcat (18 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! Living and loving life as a teenager should!
Son nonamejames was diagnosed with Crohns in Spring 2008
Asacol, Pentasa, 6-mp