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So far the worst experience has been not eating or drinking since midnight the previous day. My surgery is scheduled for 1:30PM, so I am feeling faint, light headed, and have a caffeine withdrawal headache coming on. I show up at 11:00AM so I can pick up my phenagran prescription at the employee pharmacy. There is a starbucks in the pharmamacy which drives me batty wanting a cup of coffee ;-) The check-in is at 11:30AM, very quick, courteous, sign the usual HIPAA forms (as other people stand at the same counter next to me, hearing everything that is said), and pay the $50 copay. My wife and Mom are there to partake in the festivities. We wait for approximately 10 minutes before being escorted to the pre-op waiting room. Wi-fi is available along with large screen CNN, Fox News, and Headline News, nice for the family since I brought the macbook pro for their entertainment ;-) A very pleasant, charming nurse comes in the take me back to pre-op, one family member is allowed to accompany me, my wife. My mom looks a bit dejected, and worried as hell ;( I get a nice private room, a gown, and a hospital bed to lay down in. There is a heated blanket thing with something like a hair blow drier keeping it heated, very comfortable. They hook me up to blood pressure, blood oxygen, and pulse rate monitors. My headache is starting to really feel bad so I can feel myself tensing up, so I close my eyes for some meditation, blood pressure drops back down to normal. The very pleasant nurse who wired me up asks if any more family members are out in the waiting room so my wife goes to get my mom. Not too long after that a friend of ours shows up and oddly enough my blood pressure starts going back up because they are all just chatting away while I am trying to fend off a headache and tension. Piece of advice, unless they are very close family and/or friends, not a good idea to let them visit during pre-op.

It gets to be 1:15 and no flushing out, no pre-op sedative, so I start to wonder ;-) We then realize the clock in the room has not been adjusted for daylight savings time ;( Damn, I have to wait another hour. The bed, however, with its heated blanket thing (like a paper pool-raft with holes that heat come out of) is damn comfortable, with the head and feet positioned up. I meditate myself into a doze. After they start the iv bag of fluids I realize the need for the heated blanket thing, the fluids are very cold but the blanket took nice care of that.

Another nurse comes in and runs through the litany of questions about allergies, medications, medical histories, etc... A third nurse comes in and asks the exact same questions. The anesthesiologist comes in and asks the exact same questions plus some of his own, tells me I will be getting a sedative soon. At this point I am most worried about waking up from the anesthesia with an anesthesia headache on top of my existing headache, turning into a migraine. I have suffered migraines since I was a baby and was far more concerned about waking up with a debilitating migraine. So I am anxious to get the sedative to hopefully relieve me of the tension/anxiety that is exacerbating my looming migraine. Finally someone comes in and runs some versed into my IV. About 15 minutes later I feel all tension/anxiety start to drain away. I believe versed is a "twilight" drug, it makes you constantly forget any pain, or anything, for that matter. I remember, at least I think I remember, them then wheeling me into the OR. Down several halls, the OR, unless I was just dreaming all of this, was a blue tile room, several staff where preparing who-knows-what. I remember nothing else after that until I woke up in the recovery room. My mom, after calling her that evening, mentioned that I had woken up in such severe pain in the recovery room I had to be knocked back out. I have absolutely no recollection of that, nor of the pain. When I woke up, I could feel some pain, but it felt distant. Only migraine suffers may relate to this, but I just felt immense relief that I had no headache, no nausea, and my head felt clear. No dizziness, and I did not feel ravenously hungry like I did before going under. What I did feel was thirsty as all get out, the wonderful nurse, or nurse aid, whoever it was, by my side, gave me ice water. I felt what I feared where spasms, and feared they were the dreaded rectal spasms I have read about here, before realizing I was shivering cold. I asked the nurse for some warm water which immediately relieved my shivering.

She told me I needed to pee, and I felt the strongest urge to urinate of my entire 40 year lifetime ;-) She gave me a bed urinal bottle and I proceeded to try to pee. Nothing, nada, zilch. To tell you the truth, I was kind of hoping I couldn't pee, so I could get to spend the night in the hospital, hooked up to morphine, to avoid the excruciating pain I just knew was coming. Come to think of it, I think it was morphine they gave me when I woke up and must have convinced them I needed it at some point ;-) Tried to pee for about 20 minutes, no go. She brought my clothes and told me to get dressed! Hey, what about everything I have read that says if you don't pee you need to spend the night? Nope, if you can't pee after going home for several hours, come to the ER. Bummer!!! Got dressed, still suffering from an overwhelming urge to pee, had better luck standing up in the bathroom. Even after urinating, the desire did not go away. Put on my depends diaper, which by the way, are VERY comfortable ;-) My advice - wear loose warmups to the hospital, you don't want to feel a squeeze when having an overwhelming urge to urinate.

Very little pain, only discomfort was the urge to urinate. She told me I had to get into a wheelchair to leave and I found myself feeling a bit of a panic. The surgeon told me he would load my up with a local after the surgery was complete, but I was definitely feeling a moderate pain down there, I was worried sitting would put pressure on the area and rupture stitches or some such. I managed to sit on one buttock and made it to the car without further issue. Getting into the back seat and laying down was no problem. Another piece of advice, bring a pillow to lay on when driving home ;-) During the drive home every bump and shifting of direction brought about noticeable pangs of pain, nothing severe, but a fear of it getting worse caused some undesired anxiety. Advice - make sure your driver knows how to take curves, stops, and accelerations smoothly and slowly ;-)

I took my first dose of lortab in the car and drank a bottle of ensure. The hospital staff suggested I did not take the valium until after getting home, something to do with the meds I received in the recovery room.

Got home, getting out the car, into the house, and into the bed was no walk in the park, the pain was noticeable but nowhere near as bad as a thrombosed hemorrhoid. The surgeon advised me that the absolute worst pain will be rectal spasms, which is what the valium is for, and that the valium will probably help more than the lortab. Moving even slightly in bed, trying to roll onto my side for example, made my rectum start flexing, and hurting, so I think he was right on. Took my valium. Even though I still was not feeling hungry, surprisingly enough, I had my wife cook me up some ramen noodles. The only way I can eat is lying on my side, another piece of advice - trying to lie on my back with any weight whatsover (laptop, bowl of ramen noodles), is undoable. Use a tray of some sort to hold meals and eat lying on your side. Drank about a half gallon of water, after about the 8th trip to the bathroom, was finally, mercifully, able to urinate. Strong urge still present afterwards. After about the 5th successful urination the strong urge went away and everything seemed normal. Piece of advice, at least for males... Don't try to do those final sprinkles after urination, it caused my rectum to flex, slight stabbing pain ;-) Just let it all drain out and use a diaper to catch any drips ;-)

I am a recovering addict, so with the exception of pain meds for two days after having impacted wisdom teeth taken out, I have had nothing stronger than ibuprofen over the last 25 years. A common mistake people in recovery make is to "self prescribe", meaning they decide to take less than needed for fear of relapse. My physicians are aware of my being in recovery, he told me to take the meds exactly as prescribed, no less, no more. I work in the medical field, previously in addiction treatment, so I am fairly well versed in telling people exactly this, but have never faced it myself. My absolute worst fear was that I would feel the "high" and bam, I would be off and running, like a light switch had been flipped inside my head and my life would instantaneously descend into destruction and despair ;-) I have taken the meds exactly as prescribed - 500 MG of lortab every 4 hours, 10 MG of valium every 6. I have not felt "high" in the least, more sleepy than anything lese, but more importantly, the pain is manageable. I have to roll myself out of bed and walk very closely, but once up I can get around to the bathroom and kitchen with little difficulty. So far the only pain that borders scaring me that it will get worst is when my anus either relaxes or contracts. From what I have read in these forms, sitz baths will help the most with that, along with the valium. I can't take a bath until my dressing comes off, which I was told will be 24 hours after getting home. Hopefully the hot water bidet and sitz baths before/after my first BM will help alleviate that. I have read the horror stories here of people being in such pain during the first few BM's they were screaming and throwing up, hopefully the consistent dosing of the meds will help take the edge off of that. Just in case I have thow-up buckets all over the place ;-)

Curiously I have not heard mentioned in these forums the use of hot/warm water bidets, I would like to hear if anyone else has tried them to help ease the process before/after the BM. I have heard people BM'ing in a warm sitz bath, which is something I hope a bidet will be a suitable substitute for ;-) Sitting around in my own BM does not sound too inviting. If anyone is curious, if I recall correctly, I ordered it online from a company called Sanicare, it comes with a travel free travel bidet also...

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Wow, Congrats on your somewhat good experience. I just made an appointment today and I am nervous! The nurse told me that my doctor did the staple surgery. It looks painful! I apreciate your feedback, as I am also so very embarrased and afraid.

All the Best for your Recovery!
Susie
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Susie, from what I have read, the staple surgery is for internal hemorrhoids, which do not have the nerve endings of the external variety. So you might just be in luck as far as pain goes... On the other hand, if I recall correctly, the stapled internal procedure does not necessarily prevent recurrence of other hemorrhoids. Of course, I am far from being the least bit knowledgeable about these things, beyond my own anecdotal experience.



I didn't bother reading these forums until a day or two before my surgery, and got the wits scared out of me, because there are a lot of horror stories here. I wondered if I would regret the too much information. Quite the opposite has been the result though, I was prepared for such a looming disaster the actual experience has been a pleasant surprise, as batty as that sounds ;)



I can't help but wonder if actions taken before the surgery make a difference, and the severity of the problem. I couldn't wait two months for relief after my last outbreak so I had my family doc lance it for me, which I believe might have helped my recovery (so far) be easier. I also ate very little and only soft foods the three days leading up to the surgery, have no idea if that helped or not, but I find it hard to believe it hurt. Anyhow, good luck ;)
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