Newbie to AF and to this forum

What do I tell my co-workers???

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Newbie to AF and to this forum

Postby pitaX1000 » 02 Oct 2013, 12:56

I feel so blessed and fortunate to have come upon this forum. Finally, I don't feel so alone. I am a very private and modest person. I believe I gave myself internal hemmies and now an AF due to my extreme bathroom phobias throughout my life. The only time I would "go" would be in the comfort of my own home. I would strain and push and will myself to have a BM just so that I could go on with my day with the comfort of knowing I would not have to go in public. I had no idea the damage I was doing to myself.

I'm a 46 year old female. About 4 or 5 years ago, I believe I had my first AF. I had no idea at the time what it was. I recall an initial discomfort during a BM, followed by 4-5 hours of pain that would eventually go away. This went on for a couple of months and was "manageable". Since then, I have had what I believe to be an internal hemorrhoid that protrudes after each BM and needs to be popped back in. I've done this reluctantly now for years, but once back inside, it hasn't bothered me.

About 3 months ago, I must have strained too hard during a BM and really injured myself. I never thought of myself as being constipated. I go every morning around the same time, with little effort, although I do need to push. I've never been one to have it just drop out of me. My stool is very soft, but almost always mushy. I'm usually anywhere from a 4-6, never have diarrhea. I have a healthy diet and I exercise 3-4 times a week. This hasn't always been the case. I've recently over the last 8 months, lost nearly 50 pounds. The irony is that this has happened to me after switching to a much healthier lifestyle. I'm finally comfortable and feeling good in my new body, but I can't go out and enjoy it due to this debilitating pain.

Finally, I new that whatever was going on down there wasn't getting better so I finally made an appointment to see my GP. I had put it off out of embarrassment. That's how ridiculous I am about these very private matters. I didn't even want my own doctor to know. I had finally told my mom and she pretty much forced me to make the appointment. The reason for putting it off was the fear of what the exam would entail. Fortunately, she only looked at the outside of it and made the diagnosis based on my symptoms. She also consulted with the GI surgeon prior to providing any kind of treatment. I've been on 0.2% nitro for two weeks now. She told me I most likely wouldn't feel better for at least 2 weeks, possibly 6. She said we'd meet again after 6 weeks to see where things stand. If I'm not better, the next plan would be the Botox injection. Everything else I was already doing....baths, fiber, stool softeners, heating pad, Advil was right and that I should continue with that. I have to say, I was better after only a couple of days on the Nitro, however, I have had a setback that has kept me home from work now for 3 days and in a world of hurt. This is how I found you.

The most important thing I've learned from being here is to NOT PUSH. This morning I sat on the toilet, with my feet on a stool and my back resting against the back of the toilet tank. I closed my eyes, breathed gently and just let it slide out. For the first time I think in my entire life, I did not push. And, I did not have that protruding hemmie to push back up and further aggravate the fissure. I still hurt afterwards, but I feel like this was somewhat of a breakthrough for me. The problem is that I don't see how I can do this on a daily basis since I have to wait until that urge hits. I have a job to get to every day. How does one deal with this with work? I work in an office at a desk all day. I've been calling in sick this week, but I can't keep this up. My life doesn't work if it has to be dictated by when my BM comes each day. What do I tell my co-workers? This issue is giving me as much anxiety as my morning poop.

I have more, but this post has already gotten too long. Thank you in advance. You all have already been more helpful than any doctor could be.
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Re: Newbie to AF and to this forum

Postby owmybum » 02 Oct 2013, 14:06

Welcome to the forum pita... Glad you found this place.... It's a fantastic source of information and support.

Yes, it's very important not to push... I'm glad you have found a technique to help you with that. Maybe if you can keep it up you will see really good improvements.

As for your co workers.... Why don't you just say you have ladies problems, and usually that just stops them in their tracks, especially if they are male!! Lol

Keep on with your routine, and the nitro.... You will get back on track in a couple of days.

OMB x

By the way...... Good for you on the fantastic weight loss!!!
fissure after hem banding and tag removal feb 11
Pelvic floor therapy
Diltiazem
Botox June 13
Nitro
Internal flap July 14
EUA and polyps removed Nov 14
Diagnosed with neuropathy Jan 15
Diagnosed with HS EDS type 3 (causes poor wound healing )
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Re: Newbie to AF and to this forum

Postby Ever the Optimist » 02 Oct 2013, 14:07

Hi Pita, :wel:
Welcome to the forum and sorry to read of your issues - it's not easy to deal with, we all understand that.
In my opinion, you have already learned so much and the biggest lesson of all, which was exactly the same for me too, is never to excessively strain or push. Now you have that in place, and with all the other great stuff you are doing, you will recover from this well over time, although it doesn't happen overnight unfortunately. It's great to read that your prolapsed pile is already "recovering" through this discovery! and in time, your fissure will do the same, although they are a little more challenging!!
You also have a fantastic GP! How refreshing to read about a doctor, who obviously has a lot of knowledge and understanding of this condition - Normally, I'd be urging people to go and get a referral to a Colon & Rectal Surgeon immediately because they come away with so little help and no explanation, but you obviously have a down-to-earth and realistic GP, who is giving you everything you need to know at this stage and treating you properly.
It's extremely challenging for people that have a fear of publically pooping and trust me, you are not the only person on this site & I hope they will jump in to offer you their advice too.
I don't have a phobia, but pooping anywhere away from the comfort of my own home was also incredibly challenging for me too when my fissure was particularly difficult (as I believe for most of us)
For me personally, sticking to a regular routine of meals at set times per day gives me now a good indication of when I am likely to have a BM. If I know roughly when this will be, I can then work around it and feel more confident about it. I always eat a larger meal in the evening, which produces a good soft BM first thing in the morning (and which I can deal with easily at home) and I have had to work on my second BM, which generally appears in the afternoon! I found that it's important to eat certain foods at certain times and then I know when I get the urge, I can go pretty quickly, do what I need to do and it's over. I always keep Vaseline & soft wipes in my work drawer (I also work all day in an office) so I am prepared.
The most important thing is to keep yourself generally calm and unstressed about it all - If your urge is telling you to go & you are relaxed and you normally have no issues in pooping, then it will all come out a long quicker & easier than if you suddenly "freeze" up through the fear of someone being near you when you are trying to go.
To deal with the anxiety aspect, have you considered relaxation, meditation & positive thinking CD's?? These can work on your sub-conscious mind to allow you to become naturally more relaxed overtime. Hypnotherapy could also be extremely helpful for you?? I would definitely think about working on your phobia because if you can get to grips with this, it will be so much easier for you when you have to go. Perhaps, this is something that you could also discuss with your GP?
If I need to poop at work, I always sneak off quietly or tell others I'm off to do something else and fixate that in my brain (not that anyone really takes any notice!! and to be honest I wouldn't notice if anyone else went off for a BM either)......You could just explain you need to go out to take a personal call and if you need to do this a lot, just advise your colleagues you have a few family issues or something that needs sorting out...
The best thing you could do (but I understand you are a private person) is confide in your boss because here in the UK, we have to take an employee's medical conditions extremely seriously. This way, if anyone were to complain about the length of time you have been gone or if you have to take time out or off work, you are covered completely. You don't even need to give the full reasons - just explain that you have a medical condition you are dealing with and as long as you can provide medical evidence from your GP, this should be good enough for your work to take you seriously and make the allowances for you that you need. If you are taking so much time off at the moment, it might be good to do that anyway.
Are you in a position to be able to do any of your work from home??
Also, do you live far from your workplace?? I did have the luxury at times, of being able to pop home if I had to deal with a BM when I was really suffering, but I did confide in my boss, who was extremely understanding & accommodating.
It is really challenging, particularly in the early days when you only feel (and want to be) at home but you will devise your own little tactics & strategies for getting through it all.....it won't always be this difficult.
I really do wish you all the best & urge others to pop in and also give you some help here. Take Care x x
Chronic Fissure diagnosed December 2011
Healed by Diltiazem around Feb 2013
Anal Fistula followed burst abscess in June 2012
2 internal troublesome piles remain & suspected, but undiagnosed, ongoing Levator Ani type symptoms & flare-ups
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Re: Newbie to AF and to this forum

Postby Now66 » 02 Oct 2013, 16:54

I always preferred to "go" at the office and get paid for it, but the AF changed all that. How to carry the wipes? Will anyone see me swilling Metamucil? However, I've come to believe that nobody cares what I'm doing in the 3rd stall or really wants to know. So now I stuff a wipe in my pocket on the way to the restroom and measure out the fiber on my desk. If anyone questions me, I ask if they'd like to read my colonoscopy journal. That sends them running!

Take charge of your own health, Pita. No one else can do it better.
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Re: Newbie to AF and to this forum

Postby pitaX1000 » 02 Oct 2013, 21:58

Thank you for the replies to my post. My issues with work are more about the time I've been taking off being "sick". The pain I had this week has been the worst yet. I have sort of implied that I'm dealing with a female medical issue and that really did send my boss running in the other direction. I am going to attempt to go back tomorrow. I only have one BM a day and 90% of the time it comes first thing in the morning, but then it takes me hours to calm down after which means being late to work.

Ever the Optimist, I do have a great GP. I only wish I had gone to see her sooner. Yesterday I sent her a pleading email regarding the pain I was in and she called in a prescription for Hydrocodone. Has anyone reading this taken prescription mess for their pain from an AF? I know it's tricky because of the constipation side effect. I do not currently suffer from constipation so I'm hoping with all the extra fiber and stool softener that I won't have an issue. I'm going to try to only take it in the morning after my BM.
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Re: Newbie to AF and to this forum

Postby vdb324 » 07 Oct 2013, 21:00

I am a little late to this post, but I had a similar situation. I just mentioned I had a doctor's appointment and have had some health issues recently, and left it at that. I am going in for surgery this week, and I just indicated that I was having an outpatient surgery. So far, no one has asked for more details.

I usually swig my fiber at home, and I add some Miralax to my coffee at work, and no one is usually paying any attention.
Feb. 2013 - Developed AF
July 2013 - Diagnosed AF;nifidepine lidocaine treatment
Oct. 2013 - 1st round of Botox & skin tag removal
Dec. 2013 - 2nd Botox
March 2014 - Spinchterotomy
June 2015 - Diagnosed with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction/Vulvodynia
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