Just joined and need some support

AF after cancer treatment

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Just joined and need some support

Postby berlinbaby » 12 Sep 2017, 10:19

Hi everyone

I have joined today as feeling really low. I have recently been having treatment for thyroid cancer. I have had major surgery and radioactive treatment and months of physio. It has been tough but I have to say I feel really low right now after being diagnosed with an AF yesterday.

I have been in terrible pain for three weeks after terrible constipation. I have suffered with this since the removal of my thyroid and been told it will pass but it hasnt and I got to the point three weeks ago where I was just passing hard pellets and I was drinking litres of water and I am active. I was getting so upset as felt I constantly needed a BM and so was straining a lot and then got a terrible sore pain. The pain has made the muscles round my buttocks go into spasm and I often feel like my whole anus is clenched. It is so painful and I have become more and more depressed and anxious.

I saw my GP who diagnosed me with an AF and also a urinary infection as well. I often feel I need to wee a lot when the pain from the AF is bad. I really feel my pelvic floor muscles are in knots. I am now on antibiotics and I have been given movicol. I have been given ointment but the headache it gave me was so bad I didnt want to use it again so got some germoloids suppositories and ointment.

I have used the movicol but I had another really painful BM today and am feeling down as not sure how to improve that plus need to see if there is other ointments that are good for me.

I welcome any advice as I am really at a loss and feel so depressed and down and am totally grumpy with my partner and really embarrassed as well. This AF seems to have taken over my life and I cannot believe how bad I feel
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby Canadabum » 13 Sep 2017, 22:34

Berlin - first of all welcome to the forum. Glad you found it but soooo sorry to hear of your experience. Fissures suck - everyone here knows how you are feeling in terms of pain, worry, anxiety etc.

The good thing (if there is any good) isnyounare early on in identifying the AF. That means you still have time to treat it before it gets chronic. The key to healing is to try and reduce the resting pressure of your sphincter muscle so that more blood can flow to the area and you can heal. So...how can you help yourself:

1. Go get another fissure cream like nifedipine or diltiazem. Both do the same thing - help reduce the resting pressure of the sphincter - some people including myself over time have reactions to diltiazem for some reason.

2. Keep your stool soft - very glad to hear you are using movicol. This should help.

3. Eat well - get soluble and insoluble fibre to help you pass easy and soft stools.

4. Drink a lot of water, herbal teas, juice...hydration is important for soft stools.

5. Take a magnesium supplement - I found mangnesium citrate the best. Mag also helps relax smooth muscles in the body - and your sphincter is a smooth muscle.

6. Take as many warm/hot baths as you can every day. Warm baths are great because they help deal with the pain, help relax you (you can use Epsom salts in the bath...also made from magnesium...added bonus) and help out you in a frame of mind where you can deal better.

7. Keep the area clean - after bm- take a sitz bath or shower. You can sitz bath in warm water instead of regular bath.

8. Don't wipe hard with toilet paper - use wet paper of some sort, dab, be gentle.

9. If in pain...try sitting on a heating pad. It helps and added bonus it stimulates blood flow to the area (cold can also work)

10. Talk to family and friends about this -- I found the more I was able to share the less stressed I was,..and I do believe stress is a factor in our recovery.

11. Try hard to be positive about your healing. Tell yourself you are getting better each day -- we want the muscles in our body to relax...try coaxing them (sounds weird, I know...but helped me)

I hope some of this helps. First thing though - call your doc and get a new cream (the ones above will not give you the dreaded headache).

Come back and tell us how you are doing.

All best - Canadabum
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby berlinbaby » 14 Sep 2017, 08:05

Thanks so much for your reply. I had a bit of an easier day yesterday but today I feel really sore again and feeling down. I am going to see my GP tomorrow and get a different ointment. At the moment I feel like I did when it first started that I need a BM all the time and its hard to know what my body wants to do and if I try to go and not really ready then I am straining and making it worse. I am really feeling down today but all of your advice is excellent and doing all of it except the ointment change.

Thanks
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby Canadabum » 14 Sep 2017, 08:23

Definitely don't strain -- go when you need to. Sometimes it helps to take a short walk to stimulate your bowels.

Also - hopefully the antibiotics will kick in for your uti...and give you some relief. Not that I am a doc...but I would suggest getting some sort of probiotic to help replace all the good bacteria that you are likely losing as a result of the antibiotic. Sometimes antibiotics can play havoc with our guts and we need to restore the good bacteria that help us digest and help us use the toilet. Go to a health food store and ask them for advice.
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby berlinbaby » 14 Sep 2017, 09:04

I am trying not to strain or do anything but just feels so sore and weird there and have to admit feel like crying as have been uncomfortable for about 3 weeks now and it just doesnt seem to want to improve. When I get my new ointment how much do I use? Do I need to keep the area really coated with something to make it soft?

Thanks, I think the probiotic idea is a good one. I just want to feel better before I go back to work
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby Canadabum » 14 Sep 2017, 09:26

When you get the ointment you should apply a pea sized amount around your anus (opening). The body/sphincter will absorb the active ingredients from there. No need to shove it up at all. I would apply 3x a day and in addition after any bowel movements, baths or sitz baths.

Honestly I think I cried myself to sleep for a few months at least -- I totally get it. The pain is excruciating and it is a tough condition to control. When the pain is horrible - take some Advil, definitely hop in a warm bath or sit on a heating pad (or cold ice gel pack). when my fissure was super active I used to sit on a heating pad about 8hiurs a day, couple baths and some cold to shake it up.

Definitely don't feel embarrassed about this condition - it's like any other. You did nothing wrong to get it and it's just a nasty cut in an odd spot - try letting your close family or friends know -- it may amaze you how many of those people will tell you about their own secret butt stories!
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby berlinbaby » 14 Sep 2017, 12:33

Thanks for the advice about the ointment. I think I just feel like the pain never really goes away. I think my pelvic floor muscles have been irritated as feel uncomfortable and that's adding to the problems. I assume that is a common problem. I have told some people close to me and they have been very understanding. I am going to try and be more optimistic. Many thanks for your kindness and sorry you were in pain for so long. I have a feeling I am in for the long haul too. It really is a horrible condition
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby chachacha » 14 Sep 2017, 14:44

Canadabum has given you great advice, but I'd like to throw in something as well. The ointments are not supposed to be pain relievers, per se, but they encourage blood flow to the area so that the fissure has a chance to heal. Also, the ointments can take 4 - 6 weeks to work, so you'll probably not have pain relief until you get to that stage (some things help though, like many of Canadabum's suggestions). Good luck and I'm sorry that you've been suffering so much.
Fissure since about 2007
Fissure diagnosed in 2011
Diltiazem for two years - didn't work well
LIS January, 2015
Hemorrhoidectomy December, 2017
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby berlinbaby » 14 Sep 2017, 14:55

Thanks for explaining that, I had no idea it was going to be this slow but I am learning that its a condition that requires patience. I am trying to just take it day by day. I am going to get better and I realised last year with cancer that recovery is slow and you need to just persevere. Thanks for taking the time to explain stuff to me and I hope you are doing well
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Re: Just joined and need some support

Postby berlinbaby » 14 Sep 2017, 16:18

hi guys

Can I ask a question, the past few hours the pain has changed from a burning to a kind of tingling buzzing type of pain. I am still getting some throbbing too but definite change in the type of pain. Its sort of a tickling feeling but not exactly nice. Is this a good sign? Maybe I am just focusing too much on the fissure and imagining it ;)
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