Firstly I would like to say that it was this discussion board that got me through the most horrendous recovery process of my life! The stories and tips kept me going when I felt like I wasn't going to make it.
I am now 19 days post op, and am finally starting to feel human again.
I had a good surgeon and very good aftercare at the hospital, however nothing and I mean NOTHING prepared me for the pain that was to come in the recovery process!
Now let me just say that I generally have a high pain threshold. I have had several procedures on my shoulder, suffered from a torn achillies tendon and endured a 28 hour labour with no drugs when giving birth to my daughter which resulted in a torn perenium - all of which I would gladly go through again rather than the pain of hemorrhoidectomy surgery. The pain was unbelievable.
For 7 days I was only able to lie down or be in the bathroom. As for BM.... OMG! Again, I would rather go through childbirth! It was the worst pain ever, I was howling in pain, sweat streaming out of my pores like a river and crying like a newborn baby.
I was scared to eat anything as I was so fearful of going to the toilet. The pain was so bad couldn't pee unless I was in the shower or bathtub. After that first nightmare of a BM, I found the only way to relieve the pain was to sit in a bathtub with as hot water as possible. I then found that opening my bowels in the tub was the only way to go that didn't make me feel like I was going to pass out in pain. Yes, it was awful and disgusting , but believe me when I say that my dignity was bottom of my list of priorities! Oh the pain! On day 5, I was in the tub and thought I needed to open my bowels. Only what came out was not stool but masses of blood clots. Honestly, it looked like afterbirth - that's the only way to describe it! The clots were so thick they wouldn't even go down the drain!!! The tub looked like something had been murdered in there!
After this time, it was then that the awful, stinking flatulence started to slow down. I managed to eat a little tuna pasta salad on day 8, and try to wean myself off the prescription painkillers. It was after this point that I feel the healing process finally began.
I finally left my house, but only to walk 2 minutes down the road to my local pharmacy - it was very stressful and tiring but it felt amazing after lying in bed for over 7 days!
19 days on, I am eating small meals, having BM twice a day, but they are now more of a discomfort rather than pure unadulterated pain! I am on over the counter Ibruprofen and today managed to walk 1K!
The advice on these forums is brilliant so I just wanted to add some tips of my own - if they can help just 1 person, then my pain was worth it!
1) The bathtub is your best friend. Fill with water as hot as you can take to waist height and sit in it for as long as you can.
2) If it's too painful to sit on the toilet, do your business in the tub. I kept a spray bottle of eco-friendly bathroom cleaner handy so that when I had finished and threw any solids down the toilet - I could just spray the tub down and rinse it clean ready for the next time.
3) Take stool softners and drink water religiously. These are the most important things you can put in your body to help your BM.
4) Use paper towels folded over a few times to dry your bottom. 19 days later, and it's still too sore to use a towel!
5) When you are too exhausted to sit in the tub and just want to lie down, use a heat pad. I have two tube shaped ones that are microwaveable and can be used in any shape. You cam place these under your bottom or between your legs to provide some relief. If you don't have these, you can easily make 1 using a clean sock (preferably cotton like a sports sock) and fill with uncooked rice or lentils. This can be warmed safely in a microwave for around 1-2 mins.
6) Have a stash of maxi pads available to help you with leakage. I found that I needed them constantly for about 14 days.
7) When you are able, wean yourself off strong painkillers - this makes constipation worse. I found the pain during BM was better once I came off them as I was less constipated.
As bad as it seems, the foul flatulence, leakage and extremely painful BM will get better. You just have to have faith that time is the only healer.
Good luck to anyone out there who has had or is going in for the procedure.
I'll post an update in a few weeks time!