This is a fairly long post, but maybe some of the content will help someone. It's not meant to frighten anyone away, but it IS a realistic recount of what I went through. Remember,...every person, and every situation is different. My case of 'rhoids was worse than normal, I think. Things I've heard from various doctors varied from "ooh, those are big ones", to "huge", and "really huge". And this was just in reference to the external ones.

It's now been a week to the day since my surgery. In the words of my surgeon, I had three VERY large external hemorrhoids, and MANY large internal hemorrhoids. Traditional removal methods and a spinal anesthesia were employed, as well as a bunch of titanium staples on the inside which will not be removed, ever. He assured me I wouldn't be setting off any airport metal detectors though. XD Please, don't let the following experience scare you off....it was bad, but it gets much better, quickly. And, it's only temporary.

First, a little background: I went into this strictly from an annoyance standpoint....there was no daily pain involved like many people talk about, just a lot of inconvenience after BM's. Using too much toilet paper, itching after sweating, lots of blood-loss, etc. I read all the horror stories posted here and elsewhere, but convinced myself that it wouldn't be as bad as all that. Afterall, I wasn't feeling pain down there up to this point, and I have a pretty high pain threshold to begin with....all these people complaining of problems and pain are just on the whimpy side, right? Heh...yeah, right.

They kept me in the hospital for three days. It would have been four days, but I begged and pushed to be released. Not the smartest thing I've done, but it worked out ok. The day after the surgery brought the most evil and unthinkable pain imaginable....at that point in time, it (the pain level) was incomprehensible to me, and I still can't believe or convey how bad it actually was. The closest I can come to describing it is that someone drove a splintery, rough-cut 2x4 up my rectum with a sledge hammer, and then the said 2x4 was spinning rapidly at about 300 rpm, like a big drill bit. And, it would NOT go away. I actually lay there and cried involuntarily at times. They were injecting the maximum dosages of Dilaudid into my IV around the clock, which was doing nothing for my pain. Needless to say the standard Hydrocodone was worthless to me at that point as well, even when combined with the Dilaudid in my IV.
They FINALLY tried an anti-inflammatory/pain reliever in the IV called Toradol (I think that's right)....this, in combination with the IV Dilaudid is what eventually gave me some relief (as well as a lot of prayers). I believe the strong anti-inflammatory approach should be looked at by the doctors more often....I never hear of it being utilized on these boards, probably due to the fact that they can increase bleeding, but I had no issues with that and the benefits were a God-send in my case. If you're having severe pain that is hard to relieve, talk to your doctor about trying it....it helped me out a lot.

BM's: Surprisingly, this part has not been nearly as bad as I had anticipated. My first one happened on the second day (Saturday) after the surgery, and it was accidental....I was sitting on the Sitz bath, and thought I was passing gas (which was pretty common at that point), but something suddenly felt different: I stood up, and lo-n-behold, the foam plug and a movement were floating in the bath! Sounds gross, I know, but something about the Sitz helps to relax and lubricate, making the movement MUCH easier to deal with in the early stages. It's not that bad to clean up, and the little bit of extra work is well worth the relief from what would otherwise be a painful ordeal. BM's or not, the Sitz is your friend. Remember that. :-)

I was still having issues with pain over the first weekend at home, and found myself taking the Oxycodone way too frequently for my liking. There's only so much Tylenol you can take in a day's time, and I was getting too much of that as a result of needing the 'good' pain reliever. A call to the surgeon got me a prescription for a pill form of Dilaudid, for which Hydromorphone was substituted. Much better! I also got clearance to start taking an anti-inflammatory that was prescribed to me the previous week by my Podiatrist, called Indomethacin (I had a heel spur removed 6 weeks prior to this surgery). Between these two medications, my quality of life is good now. I still have pain, but it is quite tolerable.

One side-effect of all this which is quite bothersome, is the spams. These will hit you without warning and are quite painful, especially in the early days following the hemorrhoidectomy. Sometimes you will have a 'premonition' that it is about to happen, other times you won't have a clue, but either way they happen very suddenly and feel something akin to an icepick being jammed up your rectum. There is no escaping this, it WILL happen, but it subsides a bit daily in both frequency and intensity.

Things to buy and do: Buy Preparation H medicated (flushable) wipes. Drink Metamucil daily. Take stool softeners (NOT with laxative) with meals. Take Sitz baths. Walk and move around. Eat easy to digest foods. Ask for a prescription for Flomax (helps you to pee easier). Don't strain on the toilet. Eat fruit. Take Sitz baths. Take another Sitz bath. It's your friend.

So now, after a week, I'm really glad I went through with this in light of the resulting pain and hassles I've experienced. I'm confident that my quality of life will improve many times over once I have healed up. Already, the blood loss I was experiencing is now non-existent....to me, it's amazing how I can go from having massive loss of blood during BM's, to no loss....even with the surgical wounds I now have. If you're on the fence about doing this, go ahead and get it done, just don't be delusional about the possible side-effects that you may experience early on. But also keep in mind that if you are like me, the investment in time, discomfort, and hassle is all going to be worth it in the long run. And chances are, your experience will not be as bad as mine was. :-)