Hoping I am recovering

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Hoping I am recovering

Postby hopefull » 12 May 2015, 05:07

Hi All

I developed an AF a few weeks after giving birth to my son who is now 4 1/2 months old. It came as a shock as I am sure I was not constipated so not sure how it all happened. I did however develop some hemmes during pregnancy and now thinking back was often getting an itch down below over the years but didn't think much of it apart from taking a worming pill once.
The last few years I've had a very healthy diet of vege and fruit and grainy bread or oats everyday and never got constipated. I wonder if I did too many kegels so became too tight? Is that a possibility?

So far I've used hydrocortisone ointment and suppositories and now I'm on Rectogesic.
Does anyone know if I can use them at the same time? The hydrocortisone helped to reduce the hemmes but didn't help heal the AF. The Rectogesic relaxed me initially but now I don't think it is working and I've been using it 5 weeks, has anyone else found this? I find myself trying to consciously relax my sphincter all day.

I am nursing and it is very difficult to make my stools soft as most the fluid in me goes to making breast milk. I'm currently drinking 6 L plus a day. I also think all the healing vitamins and minerals are going to the breast milk. Initially I thought of reducing my food intake to try to only do one small BM a day but lost too much weight and realised it was not conducive to healing a wound. I am still loosing weight with the lack of carbs but am already having 2-3 BM's per day and don't want to increase that.
So to make my BM soft I now eat porridge with dates and coconut oil and flaxseed soluble fibre - not the seeds but the liquid after soaking them in water, lots of fruit and veges that are high in soluble fibre e.g. kumara/sweet potato soup for dinner, I'll have one slice of rye bread a day and have just started protein shakes and snippets of meat. I am also having a senna leaf tea for breakfast, kiwifruit drink for lunch, 3x flaxseed oil capsules, magnesium and 15 mL lactulose morning and night and slippery elm three times a day to ensure soft/loose stools. Am thinking of cutting out the kiwifruit drink though as wonder if the acid may be irritating the AF. Also a herbal tonic which I'm not sure what it contains but it is meant to help heal capillaries and a prenatal multivitamin for the breast milk. I know it sounds like I am doing a lot of softening, I started just using Lactulose and flaxseed oil but that wasn't making it soft enough, I am just going to give this regime a couple of months and then start cutting back some of the softening aids.

What foods have people found irritate the BM? If I eat acidic foods like oranges does that make my BM more acidic too?

I was doing sitz but found it stressful as looking after an infant doesn't really offer the time luxury to soak and I was rushing in and out of the bath so now using a wheat bag to sit on while nursing etc. I just feel like I'm clenching all the time. Squatting and rinsing off in the shower straight after instead of using toilet paper has helped but again tricky when trying to care for an infant at the same time.

The pain has subsided a lot and the bleeding is only minor so hoping the bleeding will stop soon and I can start the 3 month countdown to full collagen recovery.

I was on a good road to recovery and then had a set back which I now think was getting stressed about having visitors while trying to take care of myself and my son. I think carrying my son around doesn't help but I need to do all the lifting as my partner has hurt his back.

I had never heard of AF before getting one, I've had some pretty sad days but am trying to remain positive that I can have a full long term recovery. I want to have pizza and beer again one day!

Thanks for reading my story.
AF since Jan '15 postpartum
Taking: Lax-sachets, flaxseed oil, Mg
Topical: Diltiazem, Sudocrem
Circulation: Warm wheat bag, relax, short walks
Tried: Rectogesic, slippery elm, Lactulose
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby felix » 12 May 2015, 12:46

Hi Hopeful,

Poor you having to deal with this and a little person! I hope you recover soon and can get back to normal life. I also got an AF 4 and a half months ago and am similar to you in that I am still breastfeeding (although not exclusively as my LO is 2) but I think that breastfeeding definitely depletes your supply and dehydrates you so def worth keeping up the fluids as much as possible. It sounds like you are doing all the right things and I really think herbs are helpful although I have found that wound grade Manuka honey and sudocrem to be brilliant as well.
Something to consider if GTN is not fully doing the job might be to try and get to a specialist and get some Dilatzem as this is meant to help heal AF and is an alternative to GTN if this is not working as well as it could.
I think less pain is always a good thing and I have found that my pain is getting less and less with occasional issues around my period and if I forget to drink enough water
Good luck and hope you get well soon!
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby hopefull » 12 May 2015, 16:48

Hi felix

Thanks for your reply. I am eating Manuka honey but I saw someone post that they apply it directly, is this how you are using it? I tried sudocrem, betadine - very stingy, athletes foot cream and coconut oil at different times but have decided to limit the number of applications I use on the AF. The Rectogesic has ethanol in it so hoping that is antibacterial enough. Yeah considering Dilatzem, going to the doctor in a couple of days so will ask about it, also I haven't had much of a thorough diagnosis so might see about getting a referral to a surgeon.
I find having a large jug of water sitting in the lounge helps me to keep up my water supply as I can see how much I am drinking, also a glass by the bathroom sink so I have a glass every time I go to the bathroom.
Hope you can recover fully soon, just got to keep at it ah.
AF since Jan '15 postpartum
Taking: Lax-sachets, flaxseed oil, Mg
Topical: Diltiazem, Sudocrem
Circulation: Warm wheat bag, relax, short walks
Tried: Rectogesic, slippery elm, Lactulose
hopefull
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby Scientist2516 » 13 May 2015, 09:36

Hi Hopefull, it does seem that fissures are difficult to heal while breastfeeding for whatever reason. Maybe it's the dehydration, maybe it's hormonal. We all know breast is best, and kudos to you for soldiering on with it. Every day of breast milk gives your baby an advantage. Your baby has already had nearly 5 months, so if you decide you have to quit, he's had the advantage of a great start in life.

But anyway, the nursing time can be a great time to sit on your heat pad and heal a bit that way.

As for acidic foods being irritating - your stomach contains a stronger acid than any fruit. And the acids should be neutralized in the small intestine. Eating a lot of fruit can make your stools very runny, and that can be irritating. I'm not sure but it seems that if the stool runs through the digestive tract too fast, they don't get the acids neutralized, and thus it's irritating.

If your pain has subsided a lot, that is a really good sign. Just know that recovery can take a long time, and there can be many set backs. Don't get discouraged - as long as you are making progress, you are doing well. Come here and ask questions, or just vent, any time you need to. If you need people to cheer you on, this is the place. Good luck!
Nifedipine/lidocaine, no help
Diltiazem, effective, but caused major rash
Nitroglycerine, effective.
Topical estrogen for final healing.
Gentle heat to bottom - pain relief, muscle relaxant
Kondremul mineral oil
Time - lots of time.
Status - Healed!
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby felix » 13 May 2015, 13:32

Yes I directly apply wound grade honey on it and that did seem to help a little bit but I think everyone is different so may be worth trying a few things until you find what works for you...I only recently started Sudocrem and it does seem to help a lot but I have to apply it every few hours so will keep doing that for a bit longer and see if it makes a significant difference! Are you in the UK? If so, it is definitely worth a referral as the GPs seem to be pretty clueless about the whole AF business and you can only get Dilatzem from them.
Most of all, I found trying to not panic to be helpful. I keep telling myself it will go and it is healing every day. Good luck!
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby hopefull » 13 May 2015, 16:38

Thanks for replying Scientist and Felix

I thought that the HCl in the stomach would be far more acidic than the fruit acid but I kept being told otherwise, thanks for confirming Scientist. I don't want to give up breast feeding, I've considered it a few times but I love the bond we have during that time and need to keep having those happy moments. I would prefer to stick to eating sweet potato soup for another month :) Thanks for bracing me for set backs, mentally I need to staunch myself for those. Today is a good day, mustn't get too high too soon though. My goal is to have chicken wings or pizza with a glass of wine on my birthday in 4 months time, might still be having stool softeners and a lot of prunes with the meal but that's the goal anyway.

Felix, I live in NZ but we have a similar system here as over there I think. I am just scared that they will probe around and I will re-tear again but I think that the hemme that the DR's diagnosed is actually a sentinel pile. Today I didn't see any blood, still a bit of pain that lingers. I totally agree about staying relaxed and not panicking, I found some mindfulness healing guided meditation clips on youtube that helped when I was trying to relax the area, will have to come back to that if/when I have a set back. I found the sudocrem was good, it works well on babies bottom anyway, I might go back to using a bit of coconut oil to ease the irritation. You sound like you have a good mindset, every minute is a minute more of healing :) SO NICE!
AF since Jan '15 postpartum
Taking: Lax-sachets, flaxseed oil, Mg
Topical: Diltiazem, Sudocrem
Circulation: Warm wheat bag, relax, short walks
Tried: Rectogesic, slippery elm, Lactulose
hopefull
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby hurtinend » 13 May 2015, 21:32

I just want to give my recent experience re food and acidity

In an effort to lose weight and feel better I changed my diet quite a bit from eating whatever, to eating and blending lots of leafy greens and fruit. That was 5 months ago. I lost 25 pounds, but my irritation is much much worse down there. I have no idea if the diet and anal irritation could be connected. Eating this way is supposed to create alkalinity in the body, I don't know what to think.

I wish you the best.
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby msimon » 14 May 2015, 02:43

This is gross I am sure but I have PH tested my BMS and they are very alkaline and they do burn my incision area. I take a greens supplement. Not sure if they are related. Guess I'll have the burn until this awful thing closes.

Acidity can happen when food rushes through too fast and the bile acids are not neutralized. This definitely happens to me if I have too much fat in my diet as I have IBS and am very sensitive to that.

Any chance it could be related to fat consumption?
Dec '13 Fissure from anoscope
3 X internal sphincter botox
'08-'15 Botox for pelvic floor dysfunction
Nov '14 LIS/sentinel tag removal
Feb '15 Deroofing of recurrent infection from LIS
summer '15-healed but still ongoing muscle dysfunction/pain
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby hopefull » 14 May 2015, 03:08

I'm not eating a lot of fat, only a bit of butter each day. I would say with all the laxatives and fruit I am consuming and the lack of carbs and protein, the food is rushing through quite quickly. Perhaps that is what happened for you hurtinend, good effort in loosing the weight btw. I find it to be a sort of a balancing act between very soft BMs and irritation but since it seems to be getting better I will leave the diet how it is for now.

I don't think anything is gross at this stage, I think anyone that suffers chronic AFs will see their BMs in a new light :p
AF since Jan '15 postpartum
Taking: Lax-sachets, flaxseed oil, Mg
Topical: Diltiazem, Sudocrem
Circulation: Warm wheat bag, relax, short walks
Tried: Rectogesic, slippery elm, Lactulose
hopefull
Proctosphincteranalogist
 
Posts: 100
Topics: 7
Joined: 11 May 2015, 17:53
Location: NZ
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Re: Hoping I am recovering

Postby felix » 14 May 2015, 13:52

Hopeful,
Lucky you being in NZ..gorgeous place to live! With regards to going to the CRS, I was terrified and had all these nightmare ideas about what was going to happen but he literally had a quick look and said it was nearly healed! That was it, so I would say it is well worth doing for your piece of mind. I know how much it mentally gets to you, I am a really anxious person and was getting in a real state over this whole bottom problem but recently I have just tried to be a bit more Zen about it all, getting great advice and support from Scientist has really helped, that woman is AMAZING! I really found seeing a specialist to be useful. I think my GP diagnosed a sentinal pile as a normal one so I wouldn't be surprised if that is what happened to you as well, I am pretty sure GPs are not great with the whole AF issue.
I really think it sounds like you are improving and just keep going, hopefully this will be a horrible memory for us all soon!
Take care x
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