Well, here goes nothing, my trials and tribulations with a Hemorrhoidectomy. The worst part of the experience so far, by a long shot, has been dealing with our wonderful health care system. Two months ago a I experienced my second thrombosed external hemorrhoid, after seemingly no precipitating event. Been on a high fiber diet along, daily citrucel, no hard stools, no straining on the toilet, and so on. The only thing I can figure was helping to lift a very large television into the back of a car...

Last time I got a thrombosis event my gastro doc told me "dont' want this long next time, come in immediately and I will lance it". So I went to call my doc, but mysteriously, couldn't not locate his office number. To make a long story short, he had passed away since my last visit a couple of years prior ;-) This is where the nightmare began! My primary care physician referred me to the office that took over his patients, they couldn't get me in until October 21st (I called around August 20, what is this, Canada?). This was not acceptable, I was in severe pain. I did get them to prescribe analpram, which seemed to have helped in the past. The analpram was absolutely no help. I could not function, all I could do was camp out in bed. Unfortunately I decided to get a hemorrhoid on a holiday weekend ;( I was able to convince my primary care doc to lance the hemorrhoid, when gave immediate relief. The clot was about the size of a nickel. He prescribed protofoam, which when I could actually get the applicator to work correctly, gave me enough relief to get back to work.

Called the colerectal surgeons office on Oct 20th to confirm my appointment. They had no appointment for me, and had not managed to find my old chart. They resceduled an appointment for Sept 21st. By this time my pain had mostly subsided. As long as I carried my little personal health kit with me everywhere I went it was manageable, so I decided to wait it out.

Made it to the appointment, the surgeon took one look, and given my history, told me surgery was probably the only option at this point. Had an external and internal hemorrhoid. My favorite quote - "Unfortunately, we are still in the dark ages when it comes to this surgery". He pulled no punches when informing me it was going to be very difficult as far as a painful recovery. This scared my out of my wits, he told me to sleep on it and call back if I wanted to schedule a surgery. I slept on it and called back on Monday to schedule my surgery. Now for the second surprise, turns out this surgeon has no privileges at the hospital my insurance covers. This is after being referred to him by my own primary care physician, and looking him up on my HMO's web site and verifying through them. I live in a state with a "any willing provider law", but happen to work for a hospital system whose employees happen to be exempt for said law. Of course, this is after having written plainly in the multitude of paperwork who my employer was, not to mention it was all in the old chart they could not find). So they scheduled me with an appointment with another surgeon in the same practice with another appointment on the following Thursday, who is a general surgeon, not a colerectal surgeon. Had to go through another exam and pay the copay again. Again, he took one look, and told me surgery at this point was the best option, I agreed, he managed to book the OR for Thursday. He left the room and sent in, a nurse?, whose only instruction was not to take any medications before the surgery. Oh, and by the way, they still have not located my old chart.

The colerectal surgeon had mentioned some sort of local anesthetic catheter that could be inserted in my rectum, if my insurance would cover it, that would remain for about four days following the surgery. This sounded like a great idea. The new surgeon had never heard of it and pretty much refused to consider it, which worried me a bit. The new surgeon, however, has been practicing about 10 years more than the colerectal surgeon, so I decided to forgo pushing the issue. Hopefully that will not turn out to be a regret ;-)

To be continued...