I am just wanted to share my story. I am 2 weeks post-op, and I feel pretty darn good. So, originally, I went to the doc for a vicious anal fissure. I suffered with that thing for ages, and finally couldn’t take it anymore, so we opted for surgery, a lateral internal sphincterotomy (LIS). I went in for surgery 3 days later. While the doc was “in there” she found four grade three hemis’s, and decided that y fissure would not heal unless they were removed, and that they were just too bad to leave anyways, so I also had a hemorrhoidotectomy. : / (They were cut, not stapled.)
The day of surgery, I went in that morning, and was home by 2. I rode on laying across the back seat completely asleep. When I got home, I guess ( I’ve been told) I just went to bed and slept the rest of the day. (Later in the week, I couldn’t figure out why I was so mixed up on what day it was. I guess this is why, lol.)
The next day was spent in pretty comfortably on the couch. I had Percocets, and I was not afraid to use them! Thank Heavens my MIL had picked up a sitz bath, because without it, I am positive my recovery would have been much, much more painful! Which leads me to my first bm, the WORST, MOST PAINFUL EXCRUTIATING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE! I felt like I was being ripped open. It was so bad, I would break out in cold sweats, and have to REALLY concentrate onn my breathing and my surroundings so I didn’t pass out. Burning, searing, tearing pain, all for a marble-sized piece-o-poop.. Because of This bm, I was terrified of all the rest. I used lidocaine like it was chapstick, only for my butt! Personally, I’m not sure that stuff really works all that well, but I was doing anything I could to ease the pain.
(I just want to take a second and talk about the sitz bath. That little bowl is a marvelous invention. I know, sitting in a bowl of water and poop is not cool or fun, but it eased the pain of having a bm by sooo much!)
The first few bm’s were terrible. I turned on the fans in the bathroom in hopes that no one would be able to hear me sob and moan. Unfortunately that was not the case. I just about traumatized my 15 year old daughter, and I brought my MIL to tears. After that, though, I sort of got the hang of how to “do it”. I stayed up with my pain meds,600 mig Ibuprofen 2x day, 2 oz of Milk of Magnesia (MoM)once a day, and 2 tbs of Benefiber in apple juice once a day. I have never been very tolerant of any kind of stool softener or laxative. They ALL have hurt my tummy so bad and given me severe cramps, even the non-stimulant ones. I’m guess it may have something to do with my Crohn’s, but I’m not sure.
Anyhow, MoM has been a God sent! I began my routine on the second post-op after my first horrific bm. It didn’t take long for my bms to go from soft to almost purely liquid with very, very little substance. It was like this for almost a week. I actually began to worry I might get anal stenosis (narrowing of the anal canal), but as I’ve healed, my poo has gotten a little firmer, like soft serve. :D (Don’t ya just love all this describing our poop for the world to read about?!)
I have a bit of what I assume is a left over skin tag. It’s sort of weird. I never had anything down there before, and now I do. O.o I had some drainage, not a lot, but enough to wear a pad the first 9 days, then I switched to a liner. I was able to prop/lean/sit up on pillows around the beginning of week 2, and sit pretty normally around day 9. My first trip out of the house was on day 10, to Wal-Mart. I was just fine walking around and doing the grocery shopping, and then all of a sudden my dear friend Mom kicked in. Luckily I made it to the family bathroom in time, lol.
My first shower was a fail. I had the greasiest hair, been in and out of poop water for a few days, and just plain felt like $hit. I got in there, began my normal routine, but about five minutes in, I started feeling faint. I still had conditioner inn my hair, and I was rinsing as fast as I could. When the white walls of my shower began to turn red, I said screw thee conditioner! I tried holding one to the door rails, but I am a little heavy, and they ar a little flimsy. I ended up literally bursting out of the shower, and crumpling onto the rug just outside the shower. On my hands and knees, with my head on the floor and butt in the air, I began to feel the blood coming back into my brain. I’ve nerve passed out before, and this was the closest I ever came, and let me tell you, it was scary! I was home alone at the time, and I would have just been left laying there naked, with a head full of conditioner on the bathroom rug! Not cool!
The first time I farted was priceless! LMBO! Up until about 4 days ago, I didn’t dare try to pass gas! Then, one morning, I was getting out of bed, and there it went. Now let me tell you, after all the trouble and pain of this recovery, that first pass of the gas was quite liberating! It was like a marker saying I had turned a corner…and it felt good! LOL!
Today marks 24 hours without my beloved sitz. J So far, so good. My newest complaint though, is “The Itch”. O.M.G! I have NEVER had an itch like this in my life! It’s funny (not really) that this recovery has been my most painful, and this itch has been my most itchy. This is not an itch you can scratch. The area is simply too tender. I have come to really enjoy cleaning with my off brand Tucks, clothes, though! I told my MIL if she hears “happy noises” coming from my bathroom, it is not what she thinks, really. LOL. I find myself walking with the “wedgie walk” now. I don’t know how long this is supposed to go on, but hopefully not too much more.
So, that’s pretty much it. The surgery sucks. I had done no research for it before hand, so I was clueless about the recovery process. Thank goodness for forums like this one, and others willing to share their stories!
A few things:
1.) If you have to have the surgery, do your research, read forums, prepare with stool softeners, fiber supplements, sitz bath, and the like.
2.) I feel very lucky to be able to go back to class after only 2 weeks. This is apparently not the norm, so make sure to take adequate time off.
3.) Yes, pain meds cause constipation, but if you take fiber, eat fiber, and keep up with the stool softeners, you should not have any issues with that. Also, your first bm will be the worst, so take your pain meds religiously the first several days to get past that part.
4.) I’ve seen many people say to begin a stool softener before surgery, which seems very reasonable.
5.) Don’t waste your money on a donut pillow. Just a couple of nice fluffy ones work great, and are WAY more comfortable. It just seems like the donut pillow allows for a lot of extra pressure to your surgery site.
I guess that’s it. BTW, I am a 30 year old mother of four, three were born VBAC with the epidural only working on one of them. I have had two ovarian cysts removed, and an appendectomy, and I would have all of that done over before I had this surgery done again. I am currently one week away from finals for the last pre-req classes before hopefully being accepted for the fall term into nursing school. Needless to say, this recovery could not have come a worse time.
Hours of lying in bed and reading these forums has played a major part in my healing process. This surgery is painful, both physically and mentally. It takes a toll on your mind and body, as well as on those around you. I wish you all the best!