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My 6-month story started with prostate exam

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Happy to find this Forum

Postby Arspain » 04 Jun 2017, 18:22

My "journey" started during the holidays of 2016. I lost 20 lbs over the course of a month or so because of a condition that has yet to be diagnosed. This condition causes rashes, joint pain, asthma and gut pain when I eat - it only lasted about two weeks but it caused the weight loss. I saw my GP and he decided to perform a prostate exam. I have had a prostate exam before but this was very painful and bleeding was immediate. So at that point, I had two problems 1) mystery systemic-inflammatory problem 2) terrible butt pain which I assumed was hemorrhoids, exacerbated by the digital rectal exam (DRE). I saw an immunology doctor for the mystery inflammation and she put me on vitamins/supplements and strict diet (no processed foods, no wheat based food, no dairy). She thinks it was leaky gut syndrome. I was also a vegetarian and I don't eat anything with sugar added so my diet was very strict and my BM's are very regular. The inflammation thing went away and the hemorrhoids went away be the end of 2016 (lasted 2 months). In March 2017 I started seeing blood in my stool and went back to the doctor. I think she thought I had cancer after looking at my weight loss and the blood in the stool. She sent me to the colonoscopist. I wish I would have listened more closely to what my body was saying and I wish I had known a little more about the types of specialists out there. The colonoscopist insisted that I needed a colonoscopy because I am 49 - about the time when it should be done anyway. His job is to do colonoscopies so that's all he knows but the problem was not in colon it was in my rectum/anus. Fortunately, it was negative but he confirmed that I had a problem with my rectum/anus and referred me to the colon & rectal surgery doctor (CRS). I already knew the exact location of my problem 8 weeks earlier! Why didn't I go to the right specialist in the first place? It was because I was fearful that maybe I had cancer and I wanted to get that out of the way. I wasted 2 months in severe pain to have a colonoscopy which only made things worse. And the referral to the CRS was another 6-week delay! I finally just saw the CRS in late May 2017 (I got lucky as there was a cancellation). Still, at that point, I had been in bad pain for about 10 weeks. The CRS examined me and performed another DRE. I think the people in lobby wondered who the man-baby was because I cried out. He said I have an anal fissure. He explained about rectal spasms and I thought "now we are getting somewhere!" He was describing my problem and it made me feel like now I am on the right track. He prescribed stool softener and nitroglycerin (0.2%) ointment. It has been about a week and I can feel a slight improvement (knock on wood). BM's still hurt but not quite as severe. I have painful spasms but they have not lasted as long. I am allergic to NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen etc.) so I have been taking Tramadol, Hydrocodone, and Lorazepam. For the last few days, I have been drinking a lot of alcohol. It helps with the pain and relaxes me a little. Yesterday I was Google searching "eating nuts" and "anal fissures" and that's how I found this site - ha-ha. I was in a theater with my family and I had to take a pain break on a bench in the hallway. The fact that I was in a theater at all is a huge improvement, but I digress... the articles I found said nuts and popcorn are not good for anal fissures. As a vegetarian on a very strict diet, I had been eating a LOT of nuts. Also it seems from people’s experience, alcohol isn’t that good for you either. I will lay off the nuts. I will try not to drink any alcohol but it seems like it helps with the pain. I am going to eat meat for a while too to make sure my body has the right protein while I heal. I am glad to have found this website - thanks to everyone who have contributed and shared their advice. I was worried that what I am experiencing was out of the ordinary and the mystery of it gave me a lot of fear. Now I know that this pain is fairly normal for an anal fissure. I can suck up the pain and focus on getting through it with the help and support of this forum.
Arspain
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Re: Happy to find this Forum

Postby ESun » 03 Mar 2018, 19:29

Arspain! Hi!
How long did your spasms last?
What helped the most?
Thanks!
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Re: Happy to find this Forum

Postby Arspain » 03 Mar 2018, 20:17

Dear ESun, When I was having this problem last year, the spasms would last between 15 minutes and maybe 2+ hours. Now it' hard to imagine the pain. If you are having this problem see a colorectal surgeon right away. The thing that helped the most was the nitroglycerin (0.2%) ointment that my doctor prescribed. He told me that it allows the healing to occur because it stops the spasms and solves the problem in 80% of cases. Unfortunately in my case it didn't heal and I had to have surgery (fissurectomy). In my case the surgery was not to bad (compared to the fissure) and I healed and now I am doing a LOT better. I would consider the problem solved now but I still maintain a high-fiber diet. Soft (but not loose) stool means happy bum.
Arspain
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Re: Happy to find this Forum

Postby ESun » 03 Mar 2018, 20:20

Thanks!
How many weeks did the spasming go on?
What else did you do besides the ointment?
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Re: Happy to find this Forum

Postby Arspain » 03 Mar 2018, 21:48

I think it went on for two months and progressively got worse. It didn't really stop until I saw the doctor. I also did a lot of warm sitz baths. That seemed to help a little. The spasms weren't all day - they would come and go and it would be bad maybe twice a day. The doctor explained that the spams actually prevent the fissure from healing because blood cannot flow to the area - that why the nitroglycerin works. Oh almost forgot, use coconut oil on the affected area before and after bowl movements and use it regularly. By the way when I was using coconut oil, I had to wear dark colored pants because the oil would migrate through and create slightly darker patch on my bum :-)
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Re: Happy to find this Forum

Postby ESun » 03 Mar 2018, 21:52

yes i know the oil well ;-)
mmmm
do you think if my fissure is well into healing (no pain during BM), then with advil for a few weeks and my physical therapy and positive thinking, i may not need the nitro?
the pain an hr after the BM is ANNOYING, to say the least....it's not a short lived feeling!!!!!!!!
need the advil to prevent it...
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Re: Happy to find this Forum

Postby Arspain » 03 Mar 2018, 23:17

If you know you have a fissure and you know it’s healing then you probably have seen a doctor. If you haven’t seen a doctor maybe you should. The doctor should tell you if you use the nitroglycerin; I’m not a doctor. My doctor informed me that I also had sentinel piles which isn’t something I would have known about. It sounds like your pain isn’t quite as severe as what I had - you can wait and see if it gets better on its own but my advice is to see a doctor just to be sure.
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Re: Happy to find this Forum

Postby ESun » 04 Mar 2018, 06:39

Yes I saw a proctologist.
He barely looked and said fissure and prescribed diltiazem.
I found it to be useless.
I’ve been working with the above alternative therapies
Thanks for your time!
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