Hello and my story

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Hello and my story

Postby joshy1234 » 01 Sep 2017, 11:33

Hello everyone,

I've been visiting this forum for a few years but have finally decided to join. I don't want anything in particular at this point other than to know that I am not alone.

My trouble started at around age 15 and I am now 30, so I've been dealing with my problems for about 15 years. When I was a child I would occasionally have rough bowel movements which required a lot of straining; these would usually result in a little bleeding and maybe some momentary pain, but nothing that was too concerning. At 15, though, I started bleeding after BMs enough for it to drip into the toilet and turn the water red. My family doctor wasn't too concerned, told me it was a fissure and that it would heal. The bleeding, however, continued for the following ten or so years, though it was only rarely bad enough to drip into the toilet and instead was only present on the toilet paper. Early in this period I saw a surgeon who immediately recommended LIS, which I turned down because I thought it a better idea to deal with this through non-surgical means first.

The interesting thing about this period is that there was basically never any pain even through there was bleeding after every single bowl movement. This meant I was able to live a more or less normal life. Despite this the problem did bother me psychologically, so I saw doctors now and then to discuss what could be done to prevent the bleeding. At two points (2010 and 2012) I had botox injections which didn't seem to do too much for me. I also had a colonoscopy and a flexible sigmoidoscopy in this decade.

I moved to California after getting out of school and started a 9-5 desk job at that point. Initially things were the same: bleeding after every BM but no pain. I went to see yet another doctor and she actually told me she didn't see any fissure at all, though she saw evidence of healed fissures. This was a revelation to me since it had been my belief that I had a single chronic anal fissure. (about a year later another sigmoidoscopy showed that I had a moderately inflamed internal hemorrhoid). Even more interesting was that she diagnosed me with pelvic floor dysfunction. This is where things got worse.

Partly because of my newly sedentary lifestyle (as a result of the job), partly because of the diagnosis of PFD, and maybe partly due to other factors I am not considering, I started to focus a lot of attention on my bowel habits in order to fix this problem with my bowels. I tried a bunch of different diets but none really helped. Interestingly, the only thing I found to help me stop the daily bleeding was smoking a single cigarette every evening. This helped me have BMs more frequently, which in turn helped each one to be softer and easier to pass. At this point life was roughly normal most of the time but every couple of weeks I would have a hard bowel movement which caused bleeding and, for the first time, serious pain and palpable tightness. I started to obsess over the issue, which lead to tremendous anxiety that I am still dealing with.

Things have stayed like this since then (about 3 or so years). I now take 2 doses of Miralax daily to try to keep the stool soft and easy to pass. I also see a physical therapist for my PFD and smoke an occasional cigarette when things are really bad. Whenever I slip up and eat something bad or ease up on the Miralax or just have bad luck, I have a very difficult BM which opens up a new fissure (I assume), causing substantial bleeding and pain which lasts a few days. I have always been an anxious person, but this issue has caused it to reach new levels and life has become very difficult to live. I get better, I start to believe things are under control, I have a bad episode with pain and bleeding which takes days to heal and puts me into a depression that lasts for a week or two, then just when I start to become a normal person again it all starts right over.

So that's my story. There are details I've glossed over, especially those regarding my understanding of how psychological stress has caused or exacerbated this problem, but I decided to save that for another post.

What I really want to know now is whether I am alone in having struggled with this for so long, or whether there are others out there who have also struggled for over a decade.

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Re: Hello and my story

Postby LemonMan » 01 Sep 2017, 15:12

Hi Joshy,

You are definitely not alone. Medically speaking the problem is not that uncommon, it's just no-one wants to talk about it. I have seen posts here from people who have been suffering for many years, but I have also seen posts from people who have gotten better after many years - so don't give up hope! Interesting what you say about smoking a cigarette. That definitely works and is scientifically proven. I remember when I used to smoke having the sudden urge to go. It's great that you have found something that helps in that regard. This condition we all suffer really does impact us mentally. I really relate to you on that. Especially because it's invisible to other people and they have no idea what you are going through. I've been pretty down myself, but a few days later I soldier on again. For me this group has made a massive difference, and I really feel that sharing a problem helps. So welcome aboard. I'm glad you joined :-)
Best, LM
Aug 14: Anal Abscess diagnosed
Dec 15: Anterior Anal Fissure diagnosed
Jan 16: Anoheal - Thought was healed end of Jan
Apr 16: Anoheal - Thought was healed end of May
Sep 16: Fissure back. Started Anoheal again
May 17: Botox and banding - fingers crossed
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