My Hemorrhoids and Hemorrhoidectomy Story
Today is Sunday the 15th of January, 2017. I am scheduled for a hemorrhoidectomy on Monday the 16th of January, 2017 at 0700 in the morning. Intro I found the numerous stories and blogs very helpful before considering surgery. Even though this is not a pleasant subject, I’m going to try to document my experience in the hope that my story will help someone that is dealing with this. Background I’m a 58-year-old male and I’ve had hemorrhoids (hems) since by 20’s. I am 6 feet tall, weigh 162lbs and exercise/weight lift daily. I follow an extremely high protein low fat diet. In the past two years, the hems began to prolapse. I have stage III prolapsed hems.
I have no real pain or bleeding. After my first BM of the day, the hems swell out and generally stay swollen the remainder of the day. The swelling causes discomfort and makes it very difficult to not feel like you must constantly have a BM. After a second or third BM, the swelling gets worse. It has taken control of my life. I installed a bidet in the bathroom and use this after a BM. The swelling is generally so bad that wiping with TP is not an option. Although I might have to have a BM three or four times a day, I can manage when I’m home. Also, the process of having a BM takes 30 to 45 minutes every time I go. I have worked from home and managed this way for a good year now. After eating, I generally have a BM right away. All this makes leaving the house, eating out or doing anything away from my bidet a real problem. In the past year, I’ve been to 3 colorectal surgeons’ and have had 5 rubber band litigation’s done.
The banding did help, taking me from unbearable swelling to bad swelling. The problem is not getting any better, so I am reluctantly choosing to have the surgery. I want my life back and I am hoping this surgery will work. Preparation After reading way too many blogs, most of which are horror stories, I’ve done some preparation work prior to surgery based on recommendations from people that have been through this. Here is the prep work I’ve done: I mentioned the bidet. This is a retro fit that I purchased on amazon. Luxe Bidet Neo 320 - Self Cleaning Dual Nozzle - Hot and Cold Water Non-Electric Mechanical Bidet Toilet Attachment (blue and white). I’m not sure how well this will work post-surgery as the water stream is to strong. Works great now. I will never not have one of these again-they are great. H
Doctor gave me scripts for antibiotic cream and Oxycodone/Acetaminophen 7.8-325MG. Over-the-counter stool softener. On Saturday I started to eat lite and began taking stool softeners. Late Sunday I’m going to do a colon prep to flush everything out. Hopefully this will give me two or three days’ post-surgery before my first BM. I’m on clear liquids all day and will not eat or drink anything after midnight. Daily Log Clearly, everyone’s pain tolerance, severity of the hems, surgeon, etc. are factors. I’m going to try to quantify my pain from 0 to 10 as follows: 0-no pain. 1-pain controlled by one 500mg Tylenol 2-pain controlled by two 500mg Tylenol. 3-pain controlled by one 7.5 Oxycodone. 4-pain controlled by two 7.5 Oxycodone. 5-pain controlled by two 7.5 Oxycodone and one 500mg Tylenol. 6-pain controlled by two 7.5 Oxycodone and two 500mg Tylenol. 7-pain not controlled by #6 above 8-pain to the point of requiring a higher dose of Oxycodone or other pain meds. 9-unbearable pain that can’t be stopped. 10-pain requiring return to hospital. I am hoping to not see 7 or above. Sunday 1/15/2017 Ok, here we go.
Took one stool softener last night and one this morning. Clear liquids all day today. I start my bowel prep at 3pm today. 4 pm took two Dulcolax to begin the prep. Continued prep until 10 pm. Monday 1/16/2017 All the prep went fine. It's 1:30 am on the 16th. Can't sleep, heading to the hospital at 4 am for a 5 am arrival with surgery at 7 am. At the hospital, prep takes place in a small room, IV, talk with the docs. etc. Surgery takes 20 min and I’m in recovery for about 2 hours. Pain is very light, about 1 to 3. Lay down in the back seat of the car and I’m in bed at home by 10:30. They did not make me urinate before leaving the hospital. By 7 pm I’ve taken 2 oxy. and 1 500mg Tylenol. Sleeping most of the time. Pain is at most a 3. I can walk around with no pain and get in and out of bed with no pain. Of course, taking it slow and easy. No dreaded first BM yet.
Eating very lite, banana, grapefruit, yogurt and applesauce. Took one stool softener at 5pm. I peed as soon as I got home and have urinated regularly all day. I just can’t push the pee out as this irritates the rectum. I can’t really sit down yet. Standing to type this. Oxy at 8:30. 9 pm just took my first sitz bath and got a shower. Pain is 3 at the most. The sitz bath did not do a lot for me. I have spasms quite a bit. Takes the pain up to about 6 or 8 for one second. Tuesday 1/17/2017 It is now exactly 24 hours’ post-surgery. Sleeping was tough last night because of the spasms. You get a quick reflex of the rectum and with stitches in, that reflex hurts. Only a second, but it wakes me up and makes your rectum all that much sorer. I had about 40 to 50 of these spasms in the last 24 hours.
Took Oxy throughout the night every 4 hours. My last oxy was at 3:30 am this morning. It’s 9:30 am. I going to see if I can stop or slow the use of the oxy. I’m sitting in a chair on a special cushion typing this. I could not do that yesterday. Very little bleeding or drainage. Stool softener at 9 am. Stairs were a problem the first day. I went up and down a couple of times yesterday and was not happy afterword’s. Passed gas on the toilet this morning, but still no stool. Before surgery, I purchased 4 Hemorr Wedges. These are reusable, washable silicone ice gel packs the fit right between your cheeks.
You can walk around with ice pack in place. For me, these temporarily stop discomfort and reduce the swelling. It’s 11:15 just had sitz and shower. Still eating very light, yogurt, grapefruit and nuts. Trying to chew and pulverize everything before swallowing. It’s been 8 hours since my last oxy and the pain is beginning to creep up to a 3 or 4. 11:30 took one oxy. Within 30 min. pain free. Stool softener at 1:30. 4pm slipped a bit. Was to active and cutting back on meds was too soon.
Pain spiked to about 6. I quickly took an oxy and iced it down. By 4:30 I was back down to 2 or 3. Just like that I was rolling around in the bed total agony-just too soon to cut back on oxy. The spasms continue. This is by far my worst issue. No sleep the first night. If I drifted off, I would get hit with a spasm and wake up. I tried everything, meds, sitz, heating pad—nothing put a dent in them. Called the Dr.’s office about the spasms and they said it was normal and will go away. I feel like I must get off the oxy and get my system back to normal to stop the spasms. As I head into the evening of the second day, the overwhelming issue is spasms! I don’t really understand how this works, but when you get backed up your rectum can start to have spasms. They compare it to a Charlie Horse.
Your rectum spasms and you get a sudden hit of pain. It’s awful. If you lay down or sit down, they hit you harder and faster. If you stand up and walk around you get fewer of them—but you still get them. Spent a good bit of the day trying to produce stool. I had no luck and attempts have left me sore and swollen. Desperate at this point from the spasms, I remembered when my hems got bad, drinking would eliminate the discomfort. So, I’m pouring some drinks. Instant relief—no spasms. Thank goodness, a few drinks and the spasms stop. This is the only way I’m going to get sleep. Wednesday 1/18/2017 Up at 7 am—you guessed it, spasms are back. At 48 hours, post-surgery my discomfort is at its worst today.
Pain, spasms and generally feeling backed up. Passed a good bit of gas on the toilet this morning. Had my first BM this morning, very small, but at least I know it’s starting get through. I had to push hard, but really no pain. I could feel the stool moving pass the stiches and was expecting great pain. I think the stool softener helped. Had the stool been hard, it may have been more painful. Used the bidet and went straight to a sitz bath. Fiber drink and coffee this morning. 1 500mg Tylenol at 12 pm. No oxy so far. Second small BM. Sore from it, another Tylenol, bidet and sitz. Still having spasms. These things are killing. If not for the spasms, this would not be that hard to get through. 2 pieces of high fiber toast and bowl of high fiber soup. If it wasn’t for the spasms, I’d be in good shape. Called the Dr.’s office again. The nurse reiterated that this was normal and they will go away. I got a mirror and tool a look at the surgery. Looks normal. Been so long since things were normal.
I must fight through these spasms. 4 pm, 3rd BM. These 3 BM’s today were not large in volume. Each one was bit larger. As I mentioned, these are not normal and I had to push hard and breath. Work, but nothing to be afraid of. I welcome the next as I know this represents progress. Also, my body was very clear that it was time to go—NOW. I’ve been wearing Depends since surgery. The spotting and fluid has increased now that I am having BM’s. Having said that, I would characterize this as spotting not all out bleeding. Very little blood in the stool so far. A couple of misc. items. I’ve tried to sip on a beverage all day long. Soda, Gator Aid, etc. Also, I have a lot of stairs in my house and found it less painful to walk down the stairs backwards. Thursday 1/19/2017 Tired. The spasms continue. It’s like getting hit with a Taser, but it goes away quickly.
The surgeon cut out two of the hems and did a rubber band litigation on the front hem. That front hem appears to be thrombosed and external. I think I’ve been off pain meds for two days now (including today). Tylenol seems to be enough after a BM. Total of 4 BM’s yesterday and 3 today and it’s only 10:30. The BM’s continue to be tough, but manageable. I just try to tell myself to breath. Make that 4 today at 11:55. 5th BM at 1 pm. 2 Tylenol, 1 stool softener and 2 sitz by 1:15 today. Probably had 30 to 40 spasms by 1:45 today. This is exhausting and sucks the energy out of you. 6th BM at 2:30. 7th BM at 4:30!! Where did all that come from. This has been a very tough day. Sore, tired and worn out. I had to do this, but damn! 1 more to make it 9 BM’s for the day. Friday 1/20/2017 Day 4 post surgery. Started the day right off with a BM and sitz. Finally got some good sleep. I’m down to 158lbs. Spasms continue. Pain is dull, around 2. Still have spotting and small amounts of blood in the stool with BM. Tylenol at 10am. Make take an oxy today as constipation does not seem to be an issue.
Perhaps that will help the spasms. I have been able to use the retro fit bide that I install on the toilet. I just take care to keep the water pressure very low. Makes cleaning so easy. I would highly recommend using one. When I move from BM to the sitz bath, I’m totally clean and never touch the sensitive area. The process of taking a BM leaves me a bit sore, but they are otherwise uneventful. I’m clearly having to many BM’s. We’ll see how that evolves. I have a class on Sat. that I hoped I could attend, but I think I will miss it. Spasms and little control over BM’s would make it tough. 2nd BM at about 11 am and this one hurt for some reason. Burning. About 6 on the pain scale. Had to take an oxy at 12:30. I feel a BM coming on and fear I would not tolerate the pain without it.
I haven’t mentioned food much. I’m not a big eater, so it’s just not a big part of my life. I body build, which I clearly won’t be doing anytime soon, so my normal diet is very high protein and very little fat. For the most part, snuck in two slices of pizza last night, I have attempted to eat very light since last Sat. Nuts, grapefruit, yogurt, high fiber toast, light chicken noodle soup, fast free cheese, celery, etc. 4pm 3rd BM and sitz. Ate some chicken and pork. Will see how I handle that. The oxy worked well but makes me tired and I can’t lay down as the spasms increase when I lay down and sit down. Cross my fingers, the spasms may be decreasing a bit. The pain is about 1 and spikes to about 6 or 7 for a second when I have a spasm. 7:30 pm 4th BM. Still some limited blood and spotting from the incisions. For the most part, BM’s are getting easier and smoother.
Took one stool softener yesterday and will take one tonight at 8pm. Saturday 1/21/2017 Day 5 started at about 11:30am. Passed a great deal of gas and a few min. later a BM followed by a sitz. Took one Tylenol at about 12:00. 2:30 pm BM with just the bidet for a cleaning. In general, the characteristics of BM’s post-surgery are strong urge to go with about 2 min. warning, fast movements (about 30 sec. to 1 min.), with low volume and high frequency (several per day). Pre-surgery was characterized by dull urge with extremely long warning, very slow movements (30 to 40 min) with high volume and low frequency. Spasms continue to drop off. Less of them and each is less painful. But, still no walk in the park. Sunday 1/22/2017 Day 6 began with 4 BM’s by 12 pm.
The pain is very minimal at this point and the spasms have almost completely stopped. I’m down to about 4 or 5 spams per day and they are much less painful. Post BM discomfort is stopped with a sitz and is not required after each BM. With each BM I feel a fullness, followed by a strong urge to go (I have about 1 to 2 min to get into the bathroom), followed by a quick and small movement, followed by a cleaning with the warm water from the bidet, followed by a sitz if necessary. That’s the routine at this point. I’m down to 155lbs this morning. My food intake is light and minimal, but increasing each day in volume with more consistent foods like meat. I say that day 5 and 6 were my turn the corner days. I’m by no means recovered, but the worst seems to be behind me. Tomorrow is Monday. I could not get in a car, commute to work and deal with my BM regiment at this point in an office environment. I have class on Sat. the 28th and my goal is make that class. Tuesday 2/21/2017 Fast forward to week three.
Each day I improved and healed. On Wed. 1/25/2017 I put a pillow in the car and went out for a few hours. Even ate lunch out-came straight home after I ate. If I were working in an office I would have needed to take at least two weeks off. I went to the Dr.’s office on Monday 2/6/2017 for my three week follow up. I asked him why he only removed two of the hems and he said the third was too small and other two were large. He was concerned that post-operative pain and discomfort would have been too much for me. While I may have to deal with the third hem sometime in the future, I agree. Cutting the third one out at the same time might have been unbearable. I started working out again on Sat. 2/4/2017 with light weights and have been working out every day, increasing time and weight. BM’s are about 80% normal and greatly improved from my pre-surgery BM’s.
I really forgot what it was like to have a normal BM. Healing continues to improve. The sutures came out very early and the incisions butterflied open a bit. The Dr. said this was normal. Bleeding has stopped and the incisions are almost closed. I purchased two portable bides on amazon and they are fantastic. You get totally clean and never need to touch the area. I don’t plan to ever stop using them. Bottom Line. This sucked for 6 days. And 90% of that was due to the spasms. If I had not had the spasms, this really would have been very tolerable. I would absolutely do it again and I should have done it years ago. If I must deal with the 3rd one, I’m thinking about doing that in Nov. Dec. time frame. The retro fit bide on the toilet was a life saver. Portable bides are great. Ice did not really work for me. Too hard to get the ice in there and the results were minimal. Sitz baths were a must.
I used Epson salts to help calm things, down there. I lost almost 10lbs at my lowest weight, but watching the diet is critical, before, during and after. For me, a full two and a half weeks’ recovery time was necessary. Mostly because the BM’s are not that predictable and you really need a sitz after each BM. Thursday 3/2/2017 6 weeks and 3 days’ post-surgery. This will be my last entry. I am at least 90% recovered at this point. I have been back in the gym for about a month. There is, and will be for some time, scare tissue that does get a bit irritated when I do an hour or two on my elliptical in one day.
I think that is to be expected. BM’s are like they used to be years ago—As I said, I had forgotten what a normal routine was like. I have a small skin tag that should be removed. The tag does not affect me and Dr. said he can do it in the office. While I can now control an urge to go, I try to go when I feel the need. Full control took about a month—I believe this was a swelling issue. I never had any accidents, but the urge was very demanding and I felt like controlling it would have been an issue. So, if I’m in conference during day and have an urge, I can wait—first month post-surgery that would have been tough to accomplish.
Final thought—I was dumb ass for not doing this years ago. Having said that, planning, preparation and setting the correct expectation for myself was critical. Again, bides (fixed and portable), sitz baths, stool softeners, limited oxy and Tylenol and for me a solid two weeks from work. Good luck—I hope this helped!