I'm in my early 30s and female, fairly active. I've had internal hemorrhoids for about six years and the last year, they started really bothering me. I finally saw a specialist and he treated me with some injections. These made me very bloated to the point it was painful, but the hemorrhoids did shrink and were tolerable again. I had this done once more and experienced less bloating. My doctor said surgery would take care of it, but explained it's a painful surgery with long recovery etc so I decided against it. About four months later, the internal hemorrhoids were growing too much and BMs became painful so I started thinking of getting the injections again or at least seeing what else my doctor said.
Before I could make an appointment, I developed a thrombose hemorroide, which was extremely painful and brought me to tears. I couldn't sleep, sit, stand, focus at work or anything. It was just pain. I couldn't see the specialist until four days after the problem started. Once he saw me, right away he said I would need surgery because the swelling was so bad. He prescribed me hydrocodone and scheduled the surgery for the next day. I used recticare to dull the pain and took a couple of pain pills the day before the surgery. By the following morning, it had swollen to the size of a golf ball and everything was swollen, it was no longer on just the left side.
By the time I was in pre-op, the pain was so unbearable, I was crying. Side note - I have a high tolerance for pain! I hadn't taken any pain meds that day since it was surgery day. The surgeon was pretty surprised to see how swollen everything was and warned me there might be "cosmetic issues" (aka skin tags) due to the swelling. Through tears, I said I didn't care and to just cut it out.
Surgery took longer than what was originally estimated. Once I woke up, the nurse gave me oxycodone and told me to take another oxycodone in four hours. After that, to take the hydrocodone and new hydrocodone prescription would be available in two days.
I was a little groggy, but I felt great. I had a hard time peeing and had to walk carefully, but other than that.. No pain! About four or five AM the next morning, the pain kicked in. The anesthesiologist had warned me to take the pain meds on the exact time intervals to stay on top of the pain. I should have set an alarm!
I started with just one hydrocodone but by the afternoon of day 1, I learned that I needed to take two at a time. The pill bottle said "every six hours" and I could barely make it to hour five. So first day post op, I took two hydrocodones every five hours to deal with the pain. This worked. I also used ice packs and sitz bath over bathtub.
For diet, I tried to eat veggies and fruits, but also ate my regular foods - salmon, potatoes, eggs etc. I just tried to stay away from red meat and cheese for the first few days. I took fiber supplements, stool softeners, and miralax, but could not have a BM. Lastly, I resorted to milk of magnesia, which I took twice and still nothing. By day three, the pressure was painful and I was starting to worry a BM would be extremely painful. I sat on the toilet and every attempt was painful. I was taking deep breaths and screaming. Finally, I had the idea to just try to have a BM on the sitz bath. It worked and I didn't feel anything. After it happened, the pain started and it was bad. It was time for pain meds, I took two! After the BM, I hopped in the shower to run warm water over my bum and then placed an ice pack. Pain subsided about 30min later.
Going in the sitz bath was gross, but it took away a lot of the pressure and pain. I resorted to this method for a couple of more times until I was able to go normally in the toilet without a lot of pain. But I still did warm shower and ice pack after every BM. I didn't have much bleeding from BMs either. I did notice some blood in my underwear around day six.
Time off Work - I was able to work three full days the week after my surgery. I think if I had been able to have a BM on day two, I might have been able to go back to work sooner. I kept an ice pack at work and used that throughout the day. I was also afraid of having a BM at work since I couldn't do a sitz bath or shower. I carried baby whipes with me in case of a BM away from home. Thankfully never happened.
I took less hydrocodone when I went back to work, just one pill in the morning at least two hrs before I left the house. None during work and took them again when I got home from work and before bed. After a week, I take one pill in the morning and another before bed just to deal with the BM pain. I still take a stool softener and fiber supplement.
For exercise - I was pretty much on the couch all of day one. Day two, I took a trip to the grocery store. Day three, a short walk and pharmacy trip. I was walking like a penguin for almost a week. And pretty much just walked. Day four, I tried to do some yoga, but couldn't do some of the poses or I was scared of pulling on my stitches. Nevertheless, movement felt good even if it was just a few poses. By day seven, I went on a longer walk and tried to normal walking pace, which resulted in my bum feeling chafed from the stitches rubbing against each other. Ice pack helped ease the pain.
Not sure when I'll be able to be active again - I thought I could be running soon after this surgery, but if I can't walk much, running is probably out. Maybe once the stitches dissolve I can run again. I'm an avid cyclist so I'm concerned when I'll be able to ride again. For now, yoga might be my only exercise. I was able to ski on day eight - but I just did a few laps on some groomers. It didn't hurt, but I figured it was crucial not to fall so I skied super slowly and didn't do any expert terrain.
I don't regret having the surgery at all. The recovery has gone a lot smoother than what my doctors said it would. Worst part of this whole thing is the first couple of BMs, if I had thought of the sitz bath sooner, maybe I would have been less scared about it. I am concerned about biking, hopefully I won't need to be away from my bike for more than a month. I'm sure I'll have skin tags that will need removal, but I'll worry about those later. I'm just so happy I can go to the bathroom without these bulging things popping out and having to pop them in! Or worry about them popping out randomly... It just makes me very happy!