Anal fissure for a year and a half ~ My story

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Anal fissure for a year and a half ~ My story

Postby optimisticpessimist » 13 Dec 2016, 12:07

In May 2015 I developed an anal fissure because of constipation and very large stools, the reason i became constipated was because i had to up my anti-depressants. I remember first seeing all the bright red blood in the toilet bowl and being very scared. It was ironic because i had just become happy again and life gave me another thing to worry about, and i've come to find that this is a recurring element in my life; i overcome an obstacle only to have another replace it within months.

After a month of processing it internally i decided i needed to see a doctor, because i obviously assumed it was cancer. Unfortunately i never got the courage to make the appointment, and my biggest regret is not seeing a doctor in the early stages. The stress from the fissure caused me to repress its existence, i simply couldn't handle it at that time. And since i have social anxiety seeing a doctor was terrifying, i couldn't imagine anything more embarrassing.

From June to August the fissure was recurring, I started using Osmolax intended for my little sister (in secret) around August and it helped a lot. But I could only use it when i was at my mums house (i'm 18), so when i was at my dads house i had nothing to soften my stool which resulted in the fissure re-opening. And at times when the osmolax was all used and my mum hadn't gotten more i became very constipated and the fissure became a lot worse. Mind you, during this period i was in denial and repressed the situation until a BM was close, and by that point i began to internally freak out and become scared which in turn caused my sphincter to tighten from fear and made things worse. Something that is important to know is that repressing things has been a coping mechanism for me since i was quite young, and i'm really good at it. In fact i've repressed entire memories for years, just that year i discovered i had been mildly molested at 9 and the trauma caused me to forget the entire ordeal for over 7 years.

In October I decided to take things seriously and try to cure it myself (at this time i didn't know why i was so constipated). I researched heaps and concluded it was a fissure, then decided i needed to add more fiber. So i bought plain psyllium husk (much cheaper than metamucil) and it worked, but the thing was every time i skipped a day or forgot i would be basically back to square one. And since my life was pretty much chaos i wasn't religious about stool softening. And every time i became too comfortable or slipped up the cycle began again.

So from October to around February 2016 i was using psyllium and osmolax. In that time the fissure had healed and come back a few times because i was slacking with the psyllium at my dads house and sometimes i forgot to use it immediately after a meal which pretty much made it useless. I became tired of psyllium and the horrible taste and decided to buy benefiber which is an over the counter stool softener using wheat dextrose or something. Now buying this took a lot of courage because of my social anxiety. And the first time i bought it i used a self checkout but a worker looking over the checkouts saw the container and i saw the judgement in her eyes. That was what i feared, embarrassment.

The benefiber worked well for the 2 months that it lasted. But when I had none left at the start of May 2016 there was also no osmolax, which just left me with the psyllium. May and June were horrible, the fissure came back full force and i had no money to buy new stool softeners of any type (I'm poor). It marked the one year anniversary of my fissure and it was worse than ever, which made me suppress its existence even more! I couldn't handle it, and seeing a doctor at this point was terrifying. I was embarrassed and ashamed i had let it go this far; but little did i know it was nowhere near over.

I got more benefiber, but July and August were alright, the fissure did get a bit better. My life was crumbling around me. Home life was bad since my mum is abusive, and i was failing school from all the stress. I was still in denial, i didn't know what to do so i just block it from my mind. My depression caused me to isolate myself and think about suicide, this fissure and myself had fucked everything. But i'd been through darker days and had to keep going. The stress i was under put my digestive system into turmoil, and my sphincter spasmed at the thought of a BM. One time i literally felt the fissure tear right after thinking "how am i going to survive this". From September to October things were horrible, probably the worst they had ever been. I was very constipated and my stools were massive in size. I felt hopeless, what was the point of going to a doctor now? The damage had been done.

Right at the end of October I finally had time to actually sit down and process what i had to do. Accepting the reality was really hard and i almost had an anxiety attack from it. But i had no choice, BMs where torture, the most pain i had ever felt in my life, passing a stool took 20 minutes of agony. I made an appointment to see a nice looking doctor, and on the day i almost didn't go, but i forced myself to do it. The appointment was light years away from what i expected, the doctor was extremely welcoming and made me feel comfortable. I never thought talking about an anal fissure would seem so normal. And the examination of my anus wasn't even bad, i just wish i went earlier. The doctor prescribed me nitroglycerin ointment and told me to use it 3 times a day as well as use stool softeners. I bought full on laxatives (which i haven't used before) when i got the ointment at the chemist which was an extremely awkward 10 minutes but i got through it.

I began using the laxatives and ointment at the start of November and after a week things were stable. I wasn't constipated and the ointment was relaxing my sphincter; allowing the fissure begin healing. I also became vegetarian around 9 November because meat was a part of the problem. I kept the routine up until the end of November and things were great i felt that the fissure had fully healed and i wasn't in pain. I was using laxatives the whole time to make sure the fissure healed, which i may come to regret idk. Then a week into December i let my guard down and somehow became a bit constipated and hadn't applied the ointment in 2 days. The fissure came back. Not severely but either way its back. I didn't think it would happen, i did everything i could, i went vegetarian for christ’s sake!

Now a week later i feel defeated. My last BM was huge and painful, i shouldn't be dealing with this at 18!!! I've began using the ointment again and using benefiber, i don't want laxative dependence. I have an appointment with the doctor in a week and i know she's going to tell me i need sphincterotomy, but i'm scared. I don't want surgery, especially if there's a chance of incontinence. Knowing my life i'll probably become incontinent and honestly i don't know how ill recover if it happens. I haven't even lived yet.

If anyone even reads this please leave me some support or something i'm so alone in this struggle, i cant even talk to my parents about it.
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Re: Anal fissure for a year and a half ~ My story

Postby patience_and_healing » 13 Mar 2017, 20:11

Hi there, your story sounds really harrowing. Have you gotten another opinion from your doctor yet?
8/16-12/16: Fissure due to antibiotics
5/17: Botox to sphincter, fissure healed
9/19: Trigger point injections and pudendal nerve block
11/19: Botox to pelvic floor
8/20: Botox to pelvic floor in new location.
Currently in pelvic physical therapy
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Re: Anal fissure for a year and a half ~ My story

Postby GilmoreGirl » 13 Mar 2017, 20:51

I'm so sorry you're going through this - You've been so brave, it takes a lot of courage to battle these painful issues.

Seeing the CRS would be a great first step im getting your options. They may indeed suggest LIS - and I totally understand your fears. But you've come to the best place here for reassurance! The LIS is a very minor surgery, you'd be in and out of the hospital and pain from the incision is minimal especially in comparison to fissure pain. And the risk of incontinence is very very low! If it would reassure you, the surgeon could do a manometry test to see if the pressure/tightness of your sphincter is high - if so, it's especially unlikely you'll have any incontinence - the surgery would just bring you to normal levels!!

I have never been depressed in my life, and dealing with a fissure sixth months has me completely depressed - according to my psychologist, severely so. It is SO so difficult, I know. You are so strong to be fighting this!! From experience, if you can, try and consult with a psychologist that has experience in pain management. They will have a good understanding of how to help you get through your incredibly difficult situation.

And take a look at the success stories section on here - it may really lift your spirits.

Feel free to send me a personal message any time if you need to talk things over.

We're all here for you!

-GG
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Re: Anal fissure for a year and a half ~ My story

Postby mrAnonymous » 17 Mar 2017, 12:10

The LIS is a very minor surgery, you'd be in and out of the hospital and pain from the incision is minimal especially in comparison to fissure pain.

Erm, to be fair, I have seen some posts on here that say the pain after LIS can be pretty severe for a few weeks.
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Re: Anal fissure for a year and a half ~ My story

Postby Mypoorbutt » 17 Mar 2017, 12:18

I was one of those who pain/spasms/agony continued after LIS but I think the important thing to remember is that for lots of of us who take longer to recover there is a reason why...some underlying issue either known or unknown.
Most people who have LIS really are pretty much pain free in around a fortnight, my CRS was honest with me and told me my issues would make it hard and it really was but 16 weeks post LIS I'm very glad I had it even if when my crohns flares I still get spasms
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Re: Anal fissure for a year and a half ~ My story

Postby GilmoreGirl » 17 Mar 2017, 12:26

Agreed - it can sometimes cause more pain for some time - but remember that people are more likely to post if they're having trouble - the majority of the time pain is improved rather quickly. I'm getting this info from my CRS and from the scientific literature. In most of the papers about LIS, I would say at least 90% of the subjects have a significant reduction in pain at their follow up appointment, which is normally either two weeks or one month post op!
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