Fissure for about six months

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Fissure for about six months

Postby ZeroEscape » 06 Dec 2012, 01:09

Hello, all.
First of all, thank you for having these forums. I spent some time reading them and am finally starting to feel a bit hopeful about this whole situation. There's a lot of information to take in, and it'll take a while to digest Image
I actually had a super long post written up, but my browser crashed and I lost the whole thing :( Here goes attempt #2:
So yeah, where to start? Image
My butt has been in constant pain for about six months. I had occasional hemorrhoid issues before that, and I initially thought that's what this was. It started when I got salmonella six months ago (diarrhea 3-5 times per day for 5-6 days), and I ended up waiting around two months before finally deciding to go to the doctor about the pain in my bottom that came after the salmonella (I just kept wishing the pain would go away, but it didn't). The pain is constant, though sometimes after about 16+ hours since the last time I pooped, it'll start to feel a little better. However, when I end up pooping, it feels terrible again. I occasionally get random sharp pains down there, too (sometimes twice within a minute, and sometimes only once every few hours... seems random to me). There's also a little lump/flap/some kind of growth at the entrance to my anus, which never goes away, and there's usually a bit of leakage or something going on down there, which just really sucks and does nothing good for my already miserable self-esteem.
When I went to see my doctor (GP), he said that it was an anal fissure. He gave me a lidocaine ointment and said to apply it externally twice a day, to intake 20 grams of dietary fiber per day, and to take two sitz baths per day.
I spent the next three months or so lying down about 90% of the time (I'm unemployed... a housespouse, actually), taking baths (I opted for regular baths, which I'll ask about later), and eating a good 20+ grams of dietary fiber per day. I applied the ointment, as well, but it didn't seem to be helping. I stopped walking the dogs due to the pain, stopped sitting at the computer, and stopped wanting to go anywhere (getting more and more depressed, and sitting seemed to make it worse). I decided to go back to the doctor and this time he referred me to a general surgeon. The general surgeon prescribed me a nitroglycerin 0.2% ointment (to be applied externally) and suggested I give that at least four weeks before looking into surgery. I continued with the baths, dietary fiber, and applying nitroglycerin.
Things slowly started to feel like they were getting better,. I was actually able to go out and take the dogs to the park with my spouse, and had fun. I was able to go to the theater, even, and it wasn't bad. Things were looking up, so we decided not to cancel our plane tickets to visit my mom and brother on the other side of the country for Thanksgiving. The plane ride was shockingly not too bad. I slipped on my diet a bit during the visit, and the pain started to come back a bit (even though I still mostly stuck to my diet). Still, it wasn't too bad... yet. We went to a basketball game the day after Thanksgiving, and while it was a ton of fun, my butt started hurting more and more throughout the game. By the time we got home, the pain was basically incapacitating.
Since that time about two weeks ago, things just haven't gotten better. They feel just as bad as they've ever been, and I've been getting more and more depressed. My spouse has been getting pretty stressed out about the situation, too, because I haven't been able to do some of the things I would normally do around the house (though I still manage to make the bed, do the dishes, and make dinner every night). I haven't been walking the dogs, and we haven't been going out much (for the past four months). This includes the fact that we haven't been hanging out with friends lately at all, because I am never feeling well enough to want to sit through a ride in the car and then sit down at whatever friend's house or at a restaurant.
Additionally, I just mentioned last night that I would likely be canceling on going to visit my spouse's family for Christmas because I don't want to experience another excruciating setback to this long recovery process. Knowing how much this whole situation sucks for my spouse is making me feel more and more depressed and worthless, even though we both know that the situation is nobody's fault. I haven't even been able to work on any of my projects on the PC, and just generally feeling the pain all the time is really getting to me lately. Surgery isn't a preferred option due to monetary concerns :(
Thankfully, I found these forums, and I am hoping for some suggestions/tips/advice/anything based on my situation. Some questions:
1. I mentioned earlier that I am specifically taking normal baths, as opposed to sitz baths. Does this matter/is this acceptable? Should I keep doing this, or do I need to be specifically taking sitz baths instead?
2. I am taking docusate sodium for my stool softener, which only seems to work sometimes (taken alongside ibuprofen, which seems to do nothing). My stool is sometimes still hard, but sometimes randomly soft. Either way, it always hurts after I poop (though especially when the stool is firm at all). Should I try another stool softener? If so, what should I try next (over-the-counter)?
3. Should I be taking/using/applying something else other than a stool softener, to help make pooping more bearable?
4. I have been applying the nitroglycerin externally, but after reading some posts here, it looks like applying it internally may help a bit more. Should I try this? If so, how would I go about doing this? I'm guessing a q-tip (which is what I use to apply it externally). I have difficulties with this, as (embarrassing to talk about this...) I have a ton of hair down there. It feels like it's getting in the way, but no clue what to do about that other than to keep trying to apply it to the proper area. Any tips on how to make sure I properly apply it internally, if this is recommended?
5. I realize now that I may have been eating some foods sometimes which aren't really good for my pooping situation (chips, for instance, even ones containing dietary fiber). Should I just cut all those kinds of things out completely and strictly eat fiber-heavy foods (that aren't hard) and soft stuff such as yogurt/smoothies?
6. I have been lying down the vast majority of my time for the last several months. Aside from being depressing, it actually hurts to lay down on my stomach (my chest area starts to hurt a lot after a few minutes). So I mostly lay down on my sides. I've been avoiding exercise, as I mentioned earlier. Despite the pain, should I start to walk my dogs again, even if I have to walk slowly? Would this be likely to cause a setback, or would it maybe even help me heal if I were to exercise lightly?
7. I also avoid sitting down as much as possible. Given that I'm still in a lot of pain, should I continue to avoid sitting, or would that not really make the issue worse?
8. Any other suggestions on what specific things I can do to help with this long recovery process? Ideally and in the relatively short-term, I'd like to be able to spend at least two hours a day sitting, be able to walk the dogs every afternoon, and maybe even go out to see a movie every now and then without feeling like I'm causing a huge setback that'll end up taking weeks to reverse.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for any suggestions/advice that you might have! It is greatly appreciated. Sorry about the super long post :(
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby owmybum » 06 Dec 2012, 05:07

Hi ZeroEscape,
Welcome to the forum..... I will try and answer some of your questions, well, tell you what I do!
Normal relaxing baths are good.. I don't have a sitz so just run a nice warm bath and try and relax with a bit of music.
I use lactulose as a stool softener. 2x15ml a day. This works well for me.... But others on here don't get on with it and use mirilax instead.
Eating too much fibre can often result in big hard stools... So a healthy mix of soluble and in soluble fibre is a good idea.
Walking the dogs would be perfect gentle exercise. Walking can increase blood flow and help promote healing. It will also get you out into the fresh air and help to divert your thoughts away from your butt!
I am sure others will chip in with suggestions for you. X
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby marg6043 » 06 Dec 2012, 08:09

Hi, there, owmybum pretty much summarized everything nicely.
Personally I always been an active person so exercise is part of my life I try to keep my routine even with pain, as I can tell it does helps a lot.
Everybody have a different way to cope and with trial and error you will find what will help you the best, don't let this problem put you down.
Good luck and hang in there.
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby cherylk » 06 Dec 2012, 21:06

Zero,
Firstly, welcome. We are a friendly little group here who all try in various ways to help one another. We understand your situation. I'll reread your post, but firstly, I would try taking Miralax if you have not already tried that. You need to keep your stools soft. I used to have to lie down in the back seat while my husband took me places due to so much discomfort, so I can empathize. I would peruse this board and especially read the sticky thread that Admin Kim has posted about what to know about an AF. In the meantime you can feel assured that you have come to the right place to learn and help yourself heal. Once again, welcome to our little group. Image
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby ZeroEscape » 07 Dec 2012, 01:17

Thanks for the warm welcome ^.^
I read through the sticky thread you suggested, and indeed, lots of good suggestions. Gonna go to the pharmacy later today and get some miralax, coconut oil, and maybe some other stuff. Also, I went on a mini dog walk today for the first time in a while. Planning on doing it daily, working my way back to some kind of normal walking schedule.
Thanks again!
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby cherylk » 07 Dec 2012, 06:08

Zero,
I'm thinking that you do not live in the USA??? Anyway, here are a few other tips for you:
Get that nitro ointment upwards of 1 cm into the rectum. That is what my Mayo CRS told me to do. Use it b/4 each BM or at least twice a day. Also, lube with vaseline prior to having a BM and clean up with cotton makeup remover pads (nonscented) or cotton balls. I personally feel that pads disintegrate less than the cotton balls for wiping. Take at least 2 soaks a day for 10 minutes each in the tub in really warm water. I personally prefer the tub to a sitz bath because there is less pressure on the rectum that way. Visualize healing coming to your butt while soaking. The mind is powerful. Cut out those chips and try to eat soft foods--lots of good veggies and baked apples and such. Try the squatting position. There is a thread I started and others have added to it for squatting. I would definitely read those posts if I were you. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. Again, we're happy to have you here!
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby ZeroEscape » 09 Dec 2012, 01:04

Thanks again for the tips.
cherylk: I live in Massachusetts :c
Have been able to walk the dogs a bit each day lately. Got a lot of supplies/foods on Friday to help change around my routine and eating habits.
Still avoiding sitting, but I've been feeling a little better the last few days, overall (still in pain but it hasn't gotten extremely bad) ^.^
I've managed to figure out a lot of meal solutions, but I find myself getting hungry these last few nights and not knowing what to eat after I've already had 25-30g of fiber for the day. Had a pear, an applesauce cup, a few peas, a popsicle, and couldn't find anything else in the kitchen that won't give me too much more fiber. Gonna have to figure something out for next time I go shopping Image Something easy on the tummy, not too sugary, and somewhat filling without having much or any fiber.
I'll look in the diet tips section here on the forums XD
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby cherylk » 09 Dec 2012, 07:21

Try drinking Ensure for added calories and to help with hunger.
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby ryrylou » 09 Dec 2012, 21:55

I don't know if anyone already said the obvious, but be sure to drink plenty of water. I also agree with the types of fiber you are taking in. It needs to be a mix of soluble and insoluble. Metamucil will bulk the stool and sometime cause it to be larger. I would definitely try the Miralax though. It is very effective for me and easy to add to any liquid without distorting the taste. And just like everyone else has said- you are not alone! This forum has been a huge help for me in that aspect. For some reason knowing there are other people out there that understand the wonderful pain in the a** a fissure is. :)
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Re: Fissure for about six months

Postby marg6043 » 10 Dec 2012, 06:52

You are right ZeroExcape, is hard to find the right foods without falling into the old eating behavior, when we used to be able to eat about everything without worries.
If you have the time and means, try visiting an organic market, they have many good healthy choices for snacks, I live in GA and have to go all the way to Tallahassee FL, to the Earth Fair and Leaf Market to get my organic stuff, but is worth it, because they are the biggest organic supermarkets in the area, with many choices.
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