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Another newbie!

Postby mountainfreelancer » 25 Jul 2013, 18:16

Hi everyone. I've been reading this forum off/on for a year, but finally decided to join. My AF started with what I would call a minor fissure with some stinging pain which would recur every now and then over the last 10+ years. I would maybe have a day or two with some mild pain and then I would be fine. Two years ago I started on a new medication which causes severe constipation and that is when I started to have more trouble. However, I upped my fiber and water and finally got into a good BM pattern and was fine. Then after the holidays everything went downhill. I think the change in diet set it off and I ended up with a bad bout of AF. It started with pain and enough blood to make the toilet water red which freaked me out. The bleeding stopped within a few days, but the pain continued. It was pretty bad, but tolerable. I developed a skin tag and was still having issues so I visited the CRS. She has the bedside manner of a porcupine, but I wanted to make sure everything was ok. Twenty years ago I had CIN3 of the cervix and until last year didn't know of the risk of anal cancer because nobody had ever said anything about it. Anyway, the CRS only did a visual exam because I was in too much pain. She confirmed a posterior fissure and skin tag and gave me an rx for Nifedipine(sp?) which was largely useless. Over the next few weeks I healed and all was great. Back into a good BM pattern, no pain etc. Then I went back to work full time which seriously aggravated my IBS (had since high school..I'm 40) and I started to have some pain again. It was not too bad really and over time I started getting a bit more regular. Then the holidays hit and once again I had trouble. I thought I had it under control and then I had a med change for one month (pharmacy ran out of my brand) and I was severely constipated. This episode started like the last one, bleeding enough to make the toilet water red and severe pain. The pain was worse than any other time I've ever had. Totally debilitating. Severe spasms and nearly passing out from pain when I had a BM. I was in too much pain to go to the doctor and the experience last year with the CRS was something it took me a long time to get over which was more about my history than anything she did. I've tried every cream, potion and lotion out there and finally decided to try acupuncture. The acupuncture was amazingly helpful for the pain and after a few weeks I finally felt the sphincter relax and the spasms stopped. It is still relaxed and over the past few months I've gradually healed. Having said that, at the same time the fissure acted up I had a hemmorhoid which I've never really dealt with. It was thrombosed looking and I'm not sure internal or external, but it would be external at least part of the time. Now that it is gone (the acupuncture helped with that too) the main issue is this darn skin tag and something that feels like it prolapses when I have a BM. It's like I can feel it pop out and then back in and it's uncomfortable. I've also started noticing a groove along the side of my stool, but I don't remember seeing that before this latest episode.
So I've scheduled with the CRS next week which I'm totally and completely freaking out about. I'm anxious and upset just thinking about having another exam. She has one of those tables where you are head down with your butt in the air which I thik makes the entire process even more humiliating than it already is. I'm terrified that I have anal cancer which I know is very unlikely, but still I'm worried so at this point I'm thinking the anxiety over worrying that something is seriously wrong is worse than just going. In order for her to really see she's probably going to need to use the scope and also do a DRE which she did not do last time. I feel like I can feel something straight above my skin tag and fissure which from research I'm guessing is most likely a hypertrophied anal papillae, but I'm paranoid it's a tumor.
Anyway, that's my story! Any advice about the upcoming CRS apt is welcome. Looking forward to reading about you all and helping in any way I can.
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Re: Another newbie!

Postby marg6043 » 26 Jul 2013, 12:18

mountainfreelancer, hi there and welcome, I read your post and girl you come a long way, but you have been doing great so far.
One thing I have learn with my fissure is that you can not stay to far away from the routine that works for you or things can get ugly again.
I also have a small hem but is not giving me problems for now.
Also one thing about the tag, I have a large tag as the result of my fissure and is so big that can stretch across my entire anal opening like some piece of old skin.
Some CRS will remove the tag by itself or when doing LIS, but my CRS that is a wonderful caring and understanding doctor with over 30 years of experience told me that he would not touch the skin tag as is only skin, he said that they can cause more trouble than good if removed.
Thankfully my fissure healed naturally my doctor worked with me for a year very nicely because I wanted to see if I could avoid LIS, but even when officially healed the tag can be very sensitive if I treated bad like wiping to hard.
BTW I read about that type of examination when the butt is in the air, but thankfully my gentle CRS used to do the examinations while I lie on my side and its a lot better.
Just in case take a pain killer before the visit. is ok to worry and anxiety and panic comes with the territory, I used to think too much of what ifs and not's, but if you feel any discomfort let the CRS know that you are hurting.
Now about the grove you are noticing, I used to have one too when my fissure was active and I believe other members have the same experience too.
I hope things go well with your next visit and let us know what the doctor find.
I wish you the best.Image 
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Re: Another newbie!

Postby Guest » 27 Jul 2013, 10:04

Hi mountainfreelancer   U  ?'d & !'d
Any advice about the upcoming CRS apt is welcome...I'm totally and completely freaking out

Please try to calm your nerves a little as that day approaches. Although this is all normal and is expected, letting any undue stress linger for more than it should may be detrimental in the long run and can indeed affect healing and tightness down there, let alone digestion issues.
HTH GL
P.S. Just saw in your heading you are worried about cancer. I'm hearing and seeing that many experts will tell you that AF's will not turn into cancer, as cancer is a whole different process to get than merely stretching the skin too much.
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Re: Another newbie!

Postby mountainfreelancer » 27 Jul 2013, 11:42

Marg6043: Thank you for your kind response. It helps to know that others have had similar experiences and symptoms. I'm glad that you were able to avoid surgery. I will have to be desperate and permanently miserable before I will consider it and I know that sounds extreme, but I'm determined to heal naturally. I also don't want to have the tag removed unless I was already having surgery as I think it would cause more pain than help. The butt in the air exam has to be the most humiliating and anxiety producing exam that I've ever been through. I feel very out of control in that position, but that is how this CRS does it. Our insurance has only two practices on it. This CRS and another group of doctors who are foreign and have quite thick accents which makes it pretty hard to understand them. Anyway, thanks for the input, support and advice!
buttastic: Love that username by the way!! The cancer fear isn't that a fissure leads to cancer. I don't think they do and I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about anal cancer because of my history with cervical cin3/stage 0 cancer 20 years ago as there is a connection. Still, I realize it is remote and I'm trying not to worry about it since I really have no control over it at all. I'm also trying to relax about the upcoming exam, but I'm still worried. I'm afraid it will cause harm and end up setting me back and then there is the emotional side of it. I just find it really upsetting. Anyway, thanks so much for the reply and support.
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Re: Another newbie!

Postby marg6043 » 27 Jul 2013, 12:36

mountainfreelancer, hon when we have problems in that area I think I can speak for many with fissure that we all worry about cancer, but my doctor reassured me that is not way you get cancer from a fissure, but like you said you are worry because other issues.
I am sure is just a bad fissure what you got down there, a skin tag is one of the main results of chronic fissures.
I used to be horrified from getting the exams because of the pain and discomfort but once you get over the initial one things are better after that, perhaps sore but inside you feel better and relief.
I am sure things will be ok.
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Re: Another newbie!

Postby mountainfreelancer » 30 Jul 2013, 17:31

Thanks marg6043. I had my apt today with the CRS.
My apt went much better than I thought it would. I seriously felt like I was going to throw up before. I took a Xanax and some Advil 30 minutes before. I think the Xanax helped because I could tell when it kicked in. Anyway, the nurse was nice which was different than last time so that helped too. When the doctor came in she seemed much nicer than the last time. She asked me to get up on the table and I asked if it was possible to do the exam on my side, but she said that the special table really helps her see better. I find the special table really upsetting, but I wanted her to be able to see so I went with it. Anyway, when I was on the table she laid her hand on my back and said she didn't want to hurt me and she wanted me to tell her immediately if she was. She was super quick, used a small scope and used numbing gel. The fissure is healed and I have two hypertrophied anal papillae which is what is prolapsing with BM's. She said they are on a large base instead of a really thin one so if they were excised it would have to be under general anesthesia. She also said they did not need to come out and they don't turn into anything bad. It's a matter of comfort and preference. I'm leaving them alone for right now because though it's annoying it isn't worth going through surgery. It was a shock how nice she was after the last time, but maybe they had just come in from a hard case or something last time.
She said to let her know if the pain returns, but otherwise just keep an eye on my diet and be careful not to get constipated and/or diarrhea.
Thanks again for your help and support. I'm so glad that is over and also glad I had a positive experience because if I need to go back again I think I won't be nearly so nervous.
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Re: Another newbie!

Postby marg6043 » 30 Jul 2013, 17:52

mountainfreelancer, that is fantastic, taking the Xanax help you a lot. I am so happy for you that your fissure is healed now you need to keep doing what you are doing so it doesn't come back again.
I am glad that your experience was nice and that your doctor was more gentle.
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