I'm posting this because I found this website two days before my surgery and I became PETRIFIED. I wanted to back out on the surgery and I just went completely crazy.
Let me explain my case first. I'm 29 years old, I'm fairly active and I eat pretty healthily too. I don't do 3-hour gym workouts everyday - but I do walk quite a lot, since I live in Barcelona, Spain, and here people aren't very much dependent on cars. My healthy diet consists of having some sweets (I'm crazy for chocolate) and some "unhealthy" food too, like pizza or French fries, but I eat them occasionally (pizza would be like once a month, fries once every 15 days, chocolate every week!). Apart from that, I do eat a lot of grilled meat and fish, salads without creamy sauces, sautéed veggies, the works. I also love to eat muesli with fruit and yoghurt for breakfast. And yet, I had hemorrhoids.
So, the first thing I wanted to address here is: DON'T BE EMBARRASSED. My doctor told me I wasn’t “the usual” case of hemorrhoids, but they do happen to EVERYONE. At ANY age. So don’t be embarrassed and go to the doctor as soon as you feel something – it maybe the difference of going through a lengthy and painful procedure or an easy-peasy procedure that will have you on your feet in no time.
I believed I had a hemorrhoid for some 4 or 5 years, but I didn’t feel a thing. I had no pain at all, just some swelling that I thought was normal because, you know, if you don’t feel any pain, it’s nothing, right? So, in my case, my hemorrhoid never gave me trouble - up until around 2 years ago.
2007 was a very stressful year for me: I was getting married, I was moving out of the UK to Spain and I was starting on a new job. Basically, I was starting a whole new life; it is very motivating, but it can also be very frightening and very stressful sometimes. And, all of a sudden, that “extra skin” that I thought I had on my bum started to grow and bleed. Still no pain when going to the toilet but the bleeding left me pretty scared. That’s when I first went to the doctor. He told me I had a hemorrhoid but, if it wasn’t bothering me, I could choose when and how I’d do surgery.
I used to go to the doctor every two or three months to check up on my hemorrhoid and so the doctor would see if I would have to do surgery or not. He would advise me on how to eat, what medication to have to try to not have surgery and stuff. Then I did the stupid thing of stop going to the doctor to do regular check ups. I didn’t go there for almost a year – and, in that period of time, my hemorrhoid prolapsed (it became necrotic and swollen) and I had to do surgery.
At this time, it was the size of an index finger nail (with the nail completely cut) – I know, not that big, compared to others that have posted here. So, this is the catch: don’t compare your case to others!!! Yours can be smaller or bigger, so the pain will be different and the surgery will be different too!
I scheduled surgery and ended up here through internet search. I was completely terrified. I thought I was going to be tortured and massacred. And then, I had the removal of my prolapsed hemorrhoid with laser surgery, plus the banding of two internal ones that I didn’t even know I had (That’s what happens when you skip the doctor for a year!!!). I had an epidural anesthesia plus something to sleep. When I woke up I became even more terrified – now I had to feel the pain for THREE hemorrhoids!
Suffice to say that once the epidural passed, I started to feel the pain. I cried my eyes out for 10 minutes, until the nurse came and gave me a medication called Voltaren, plus a medication similar to Ibuprofen – all of them intra-muscular and intra-venal. Then, in five minutes, I was in heaven. That happened again 12 hours afterwards, and again I was in heaven.
The first 12 hours were the worst for me: I felt nauseous, dizzy and I seriously wanted my mom (I know, ridiculous for a grown woman – but I felt like a five year old, scared and traumatized). But when the nurse gave me the second batch of medication (the two mentioned above, plus something for the nausea), I felt like a different person. I woke up feeling fine, wanting to go to the toilet and feeling afraid, but wanting to do it. The “let’s get on with it” feeling was all over me.
Guys, I felt NOTHING. NOTHING. Ok, it was weird. I wanted to “do it”, but “it” didn’t come out for like, 10 minutes. And then ‘it” came. And it was so liberating and so good. I felt a bit of pain, sure, but it wasn’t what I read here. It was an instant pain, and then DONE. I felt some burning pain for some five minutes, but nothing too horrifying.
The nurse had given me a stool softener and some psyllium a couple of hours earlier, and I had smuggled into the hospital some topic lidocaine. I know, crazy, but I had read here that lidocaine had helped people to “go for it”, so I wouldn’t take my chances. I even took psyllium and stool softeners – I didn’t know if they were going to give me, so I wouldn’t take any chances. Anyway, I put some lidocaine and waited. And after some 15 minutes I was done with it. Some blood came out – but the doctor told me it would be like that for some 15 days.
I just arrived home and decided to share this with you all because I got very frightened by the stories here and it wasn’t that bad for me.
For all of you who are about to do surgery or have hemorrhoids: it all depends on how big your hemorrhoids are, but don’t be afraid. Look for a very good doctor who is reputable and recommended, ask him tons of questions, tell him to be honest with you and don’t be afraid. The more you keep postponing, the more pain you’ll feel – on your daily life and in your post surgery.
And do change your habits if you’re not a healthy eater – this will ease you out. You have to eat more fibers, less sugar and fried stuff. Once you are going to the toilet once a day normally, without laxatives and no “extra strength” to make “it” come out, then you’re good to go. This will help you out after surgery, since “it” will come out smoother. :)
Also, there is a list of things you can do (I saw it here on a different post, from TexasChic):
- lidocaine paste (to put on yourself before “going”)
- stool softener (well, to make it soft!)
- psyllium fiber (to help you go)
- lots of water – no carbonated drinks, not a lot of milk/dairy products
- healthy, full of fruit and veg diet – with almost no sugar and oil
- go easy on red meat!
- Ask your doctor for an anti-inflammatory and a strong pain killer
Again, don’t be afraid. It is a surgery – so yes, it will be painful. It isn’t a walk in the park. But think of the benefits you’ll have later on… And DO RESEARCH! For a doctor, for a hospital, which procedure will be best for you… All of these will help you feel assured.
I’ll try to keep you guys posted on my recovery. I’m feeling pretty light headed because of the medication, so I’m gonna lie down for a while. :)
Don’t be afraid!!!!
Carol – the brit girl from Spain
I agree that the better you take care of yourself the better the outcome!
are pharmacies/nurses allowed to go to your home and apply some intra-muscular medication for you, if prescribed by your doctor? This is allowed here in Spain - and i think also in the UK. I also lived in Brazil, and there it was also allowed.
If not, I'm really sorry for this. For me, the first 24 hours were very unpleasant and, honestly, I cannot believe they discharge you after a couple of hours - it's just plain cruel.
I do have to say that, if any of you who are reading are in the US, look for as much medication and preparation you can do - this is of uttermost importance! Look for lidocaine, for ibuprofen (which is not only a pain killer, but also a mild anti-inflammatory) and DO have psyllium, stool softners and laxatives at hand. And don't wait to feel pain to take your meds - trust me on this one. Better to be safe than sorry!
Anyway, I'm writing this to say I've been to the doctor yesterday to remove the stitches and he said my recuperation has been SPECTACULAR. So, I guess I can be classified as "not the ordinary" case.
But I do have to mention that I've felt some pain from a couple of days ago until now - I believe because the skin is recovering and every time the stools pass it breaks open.
Also, the discharge that was mentioned in some other posts has now show up, and boy DOES IT SMELL HORRIBLE! I shower twice a day, because I can't stand the smell. I don't know if this has happened to any of you - my doctor reacted normally and said it was "because of the healing process". I quite honestly didn't like his answer - I wished he could be more simpathetic since I'm smelly down there. :-)
Wish we had the lidocaine cream that would have come in very handy 4 months ago!
I had laser surgery with stitches and some sort of staple, really don't know how to explain it. Just knew I had been "stapled" because I saw the doctor taking it out of me today. :-)
Walking does help - the times I've been out going to the supermarket have been the best days regarding bowel movements and overall pain.
And you're making me wish I could just fly to the US with a briefcase full of lidocaine paste for everyone! :-(
I'm scheduled for this the day after tomorrow, and I'm dreading it quite a bit. Unlike what Pattyjack said, my surgeon told me he would be keeping me in the hospital at least overnight. He said the pain would be pretty intense.
I really don't know if there is lidocaine available in pharmacies - but it does exist, since it is the paste that dentists and doctors use to numb an area before giving you local anesthesia. I'd say the safest bet is to ask your doctor or a nurse if they know where and how would you be able to get it. Also you could ask a pharmacist...
Sorry if I couldn't be of any further help! :-(
Hope you're OK and recovering well!!!
I think Britchick is talking about using it on the area after surgery, to help give some relief from what many describe as excruciating pain.
I had surgery 3 hours ago so far so good. My Dr. gave me pain killers, dubocain and recommended sitting in a pack of ice and lots of sitz bath. Big mistake, I just started my stool softener and ate as normal since I was starving. :) Worried about tomorrow and ability to go back to work Monday because that is a MUST pain or no pain. :( Just want to take a moment to thank all of you for sharing your experiences; it helped me made decisions and also prepare.