I'd like to share my ongoing recovery story for anyone who is interested.
Last time I had problems with hemorrhoids was over 10 years ago. 4 weeks ago I got a stomach flu and spent 4 days with diarria and 24 hours throwing up. That triggered the worst thrombosed hemorrhoid ever! It was literally the size of a grape, and almost completely separated from my anus. I saw about 4 doctors, and had it cut open twice to try to remove the clot, but nothing helped. I finally got steered in the right direction and saw a colon/anal surgeon. When he first looked at me he was shocked at how awful it looked. I was diagnosed with internal / external thrombosed hemorrhoid and two anal fissures, one on the back and one on the front. I got these from taking left over percocets and then pooping bowling balls. It was so painful I was a total wreck, and I pooped out the bowling balls with the hemorrhoids and had stopped taking the Percocet also. I spent a day and a half in the bathroom going between the tub and the toilette. Every 20 minutes a new one would present itself and I’d force it out in excruciating pain and then jump back into the tub.
I saw the surgeon on a Friday, about 2 weeks after they stared, and he wanted me to go in the next Tuesday. After reading all these horror stories, I decided to give it another week and saw him the following Friday. I could manage the pain, but it was a major inconvenience. I would poop around 5am every day, and by about 9 or 10 I could survive the short 10 minute drive to work. I would then run into my office, close the windowless door, draw the shades (I’m lucky to have a desk job and my own windowless door office), take off my pants, and crouch into a crawling position for 10 minutes to mitigate the pain. I would have to repeat this until about noon or 1, and which time I was just about fully functional. I did this every day, so when I saw the surgeon the next Friday, I opted for the surgery. He was so casual about it and said it was definitely the way to go for a permanent solution. I asked him about the pain of recovery, and he just said “you are already I a lot of pain”
I was very nervous and have never had a surgery before. You don’t need to be nervous about the surgery. The worst part was when the nurse hit a nerve starting the IV and I had about 2 seconds of intense pain shoot down my arm! I got into the room, and just as I was telling the anesthesiologist that in fact there was no burning sensation (she said there might be when she started the sleep medicine), and the next thing I knew I was waking up. I felt great, no pain, no dizziness, just relaxed and sleepy. The surgery started at 11:30, and I left the place before 1!!! They were surprised I woke up so quickly.
Around 5pm the numbness wore off. I waited until 5:30 at which time the pain was intense and took a vicodin. I’m EXTREMELY nervous about constipation, but certainly can’t survive without the pain medicine. I’ll take a little as possible and interleave the vicodin with 600 or 800mg of IB. My only post op instructions are to take vicodin as needed (1 to 2 every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 8 in a day) and interleave with IB to exceed 2400mg a day. For constipation, I’m just instructed to take one dose of Miralax a day, and if no BM after 24 hours to take Milk of Magnesia at bedtime. Some really good things are: 1. I can pass gas without pain, but it feels like it is going through a pinhole! 2. I can pee!!! Though it’s hard to stop peeing, I can’t squeeze it shut. I feel swollen, and it’s very painful without the vicodin. I haven’t eaten much, but plan on the usual high fiber, I had a bowl of fiber one with canned peaches over it. I just got out of the tub and soaked off the gauze.
So… we will see what the future brings. I’ll try to post daily updates.
Oceanarcher, Hope your recovery is tolerable!!!
OK, I guess I didn’t make daily posts but I’ll update on my experiences. It’s now Friday, and I had my surgery on Tuesday. I think overall things are not as bad as what I’m reading, but not pleasant either. My goal is to take only as many pain killers as I need, to minimize constipation and to know what the ‘real’ pain feels like, so I know if I’m really getting better. However, I don’t want to be in too much pain because I want to be able to eat normally and develop a daily BM schedule, since I believe that will ultimately be best for my body’s ability to heal. They say post surgery the body needs lots of protein and a healthy diet to heal, and that won’t happen if I’m in so much pain all I eat is liquids! So I’m balancing the risk of constipation and too much Vicodin with the risk of too much pain and not eating properly.
With respect to pain management philosophies, check out the posts by texaschic as the very end of "Hemorroid surgery recovery time" She and her friend took the max allowed amount of vicodin (8 / day) along with a bunch of stool softeners. They had almost no pain and also good, soft BMs. Seems like a great way to go, but not the philosophy I went with because of fear of constipation due to my earlier experience.
I won’t do a day by day review, but here’s generally where I am now. I’m taking 600mg of IB every 6 hours. This is the max allowed, and I figure it is unlikely to cause constipation and may help with swelling. I’m taking ~2 vicodin, at 3 hour intervals, after a BM. For the last two mornings I had large, soft BMs at ~6am. The actual BM was not that painful, but it was extremely painful after. I think it was possibly muscle spasms. I would take the vicodin right at the BM, jump in the tub, and after about an hour it was tolerable. That hour, for the last 2 days, is some of the most pain I have ever been in. About 6 hours after the BM, I feel about 90% normal, and a couple hours after that I can even walk around the neighborhood. Seems not too bad for 3 days after surgery, but I just really hope the BM pain subsides. The pain is not helped much by the tub, in contrast to my hemorrhoids when the tub really helped. It also doesn’t depend what position I’m in. With my hemorrhoids I could find positions, usually in a crawling position without tight pants on that would help. This pain so very intense, and nothing alleviates it except about an hour after a BM and taking a Vicodin.
I’ve looked at the area in a mirror, and there appears to have developed about a pea sized ball that looks like an external hemorrhoid. I hope this is normal, not a hemorrhoid, and also hope it doesn’t turn into a skin tag. It was not there when I first got home, but all I can do now is wait.
I’m trying to eat a generally healthy diet of fiber, fruit, and vegetables, taking one Colace at 8pm to help with a morning BM, and taking Miralax in the morning to help counteract the Vicodin I’ve taken with BMs.