I'm in AF hell! Please help!

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I'm in AF hell! Please help!

Postby AnxiousButt2018 » 09 Jun 2018, 22:54

Hi All,

I've been lurking on this forum since the beginning of the year, but I'm at my wits end and need some support. I've had anal fissures off and on for as long as I can remember. Usually nothing more than a tiny dot of blood on the tissue. Then, back in December I had a very large, hard BM that I had to force out. It ripped me a new one and a lot of blood came with it.

Since then, I've been battling this anal fissure that won't go away. When I do have pain during my BMs it's always tolerable. The amount of blood varies with how big my BM is. The irritation is what really gets me because it makes things like going to the gym unbearable (sweat does NOT play well with fissures). I might go a week or two with no symptoms. No pain or blood during a BM. Then I'll have a harder-than-normal BM and I'm back to square one.

What really gets me though is I have really bad health anxiety. I think even the smallest symptoms are signs of terminal cancer. Seriously, this is no joke. So having this AF has made my health anxiety skyrocket, especially when I read that anal cancer can mimick an anal fissure. Whenever I have a BM with blood, I'm literally on the verge of tears. I'm taking my anti-anxiety meds like crazy because it's the only thing that will calm me down.

I feel like I have a few good things going for me:

- Normal stools that are a healthy size and color. No tarry black stools or anything.
- No abdominal pain.
- No nausea or anything, unless I eat something that doesn't agree with my stomach. Lol.
- Very regular. Having a BM on the average of once per day.
- I'm still fairly young. In my late 30s.

The one thing that concerns is me is that I've lost weight since December. I have changed my diet to include more fiber and more water, and I cut out junk food. But again, my health anxiety is telling me that my weight loss is because of cancer, not my dietary changes or crippling anxiety (which can also lead to weight loss). I've loss less than 10lbs.

Anyway, this AF is really affecting my quality of life. I've been more depressed lately. My anxiety is through the roof. The AF is just making everything worse.

Thanks for letting me vent. I did see my family doc back in March, but he didn't do an exam and just gave me a referral to a specialist, who I see this week. That appointment can't come soon enough. I wouldn't be surprised if I break down crying in his office because this has taken such an emotional toll on me.

Thanks again!
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Re: I'm in AF hell! Please help!

Postby Hedgehogbum » 12 Jun 2018, 06:43

Hi AnxiousButt,

I understand how debilitating anxiety can be. I manage to keep mine mostly under control, but I have had days where I think that my AF is due to a serious underlying disease and I become so stressed that my days to go waste and I fall into the depths of debilitating anxiety where I get nothing done and cannot focus on anything else at all.

I went to see my CRS after my last bout of AF-related anxiety and brought up the two worst case scenarios: Chrons and anal cancer. He said that it was neither, because I didn't have the right symptoms for either (even though I think I do).

Rest assured that AFs are very common. It's just that people don't talk about having one because it's a taboo subject and just plain embarrassing. But that doesn't mean that it is serious or life-threatening any more than a common cold is.

If you have had AFs as long as you can remember and are still in good health otherwise, you clearly have nothing to worry about. You are right to look at the positives and concentrate on those.

As for reducing anxiety, I suppose this isn't the right forum, but I'll do my best to help. I'd suggest long meditation sessions to get your heart rate down and your body functioning normally. I'd also suggest getting out and seeing friends, watching comedies, exercise on a regular basis (cardio), and perspective. Just think of your AF like a chapped lip. Now imagine pulling that chapped lip every day just enough for it to re-tear. That's no cancer, but your lip doesn't stand much chance of healing if you keep stretching it until it tears does it? That's all that's going on down there. A simple physiological problem that despite not being serious, is notoriously difficult to heal. Nothing worse than that.

Keep positive :)
Oct 17: anal fissure
Feb 18: 6 weeks rectogesic
Mar 18 LIS
Post-op retears: 8 weeks, 13 weeks
[i]Aug 18:healed!!!!
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