Polite way of telling people we are in pain

How do you tell people (other than close family and friends)

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Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby PainInTheBehind » 28 Feb 2016, 06:42

So as I am sure a lot of you can relate, having a fissure, especially a chronic one, is debilitating and a cause of much distress not so much due to the physical pain but the fact that one is limited in the level of involvement in professional and social activities. When taking a sick leave for example and returning to the office, colleagues are naturally concerned and ask what the illness was. Similarly when saying "no" to friends if you find it impossible to attend a social event or help them with something that involves heavy lifting, what can one say? Stating that there is tear in the anus that is not going away and no definite cure from contemporary medical science is less that ideal :) I've come to say that I have an ulcer and then make a vague hand gesture towards my abdominal area. People usually stop asking questions after that :)

Anyone else experience the same embarrassment and invent semi-truths, or do you boldly just say it right out that "I have an anal fissure, google it for details!" :groan:

BTW at work my boss and HR know the exact condition I have, but I've requested that they no reveal it to anyone else. Still so embarrassing to have people know about it!
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby Manitourose » 28 Feb 2016, 13:52

Great question. Looking forward to hearing the answers. This is so hard to explain without the embarrassment, head turns, and so on no matter how brave and confident one is.
I have said the following:
"I have a medical condition that requires being able to take baths" -- to our apartment complex landlords over reoccurring water issues. Love leaving them guessing.
"I have been seeing a colorectal doctor for a medical condition" -- I like being specific and vague all at once I suppose.

Then of course because I had a fistula that developed a few years after severe food poisoning, I have said: "I had severe food poisoning awhile back, they aren't sure but bacteria ate a hole in my body" --- Again, you can see I was embarrassed and avoided mentioning my bum.

I've also been in and out with CRS about my fissure as well as a new celiac diagnosis and now they want to rule in or out Crohn's..... I've gotten bold and honest about my rear end with many people. I'm just so frustrated and exhausted that it is such a difficult topic. It shouldn't be honestly. Once people found out certain things, particularly the fistula surgery I had several friends tell me about their issues with fissures they were too scared to ask doctors about and hemorrhoids. Yet we have gigantic sections in the pharmacy and major stores dedicated to digestion and rear end care.

And yes, I've had to avoid many social events and decline trips to visit our friends b/c I wouldn't be in my own home to handle things and due to discomfort. It's definitely taken an emotional toll.

Glad again you asked this, I really look forward to other's honest responses. It really impacts our lives as a whole.
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby Fissurefrustration » 28 Feb 2016, 14:09

Such a great question!!! I have the same dilemma. I've suffered with this for 3 to 4 years now and of course people worry and ask what's wrong and why I can't come and see people. I usually say I have gastro problems or an ulcer. Usually they stop asking then.....
Suffering since June 2013

Methods tried:
GTN cream - migraines!
Manuka Honey / Coconut oil / Aloe
tag excision X 2, botox x 3
Dilatiazem
dilatation 2 X daily + Retin-C Vitamin Scar Treatment Oil 2 X daily - best thing ever.
Now pain free 2/7/21
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby PainInTheBehind » 28 Feb 2016, 15:41

Fissurefrustration wrote:Such a great question!!! I have the same dilemma. I've suffered with this for 3 to 4 years now and of course people worry and ask what's wrong and why I can't come and see people. I usually say I have gastro problems or an ulcer. Usually they stop asking then.....


Yeah, ulcer's the safest best - somewhat accurate but higher up the digestive tract than our true ailment.

Of course I am always grateful that the fissure is a not life-threatening ailment, its just a gigantic pain the behind 8) Not only has my social, professional, and love life suffered, the worst of it has been that I haven't been able to work out with heavy weights. I am a typical skinny-to-strong gym rat, and this fissure thing has made me lose 12 kg and become weak over the last three years. Can't wait for the day all problems are resolved so I can get back to doing everything I love.
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby brokenbottom » 28 Feb 2016, 17:50

Great topic! As it's only fairly recently that this has started having an impact on my work and social life I haven't worked out what to say yet. Generally I've just said it's something I don't want to talk about, leaving people to think what they want. At the moment I think they probably can't imagine anything worse than this, so I don't really care what they come up with!
The other awkward thing is that the pain is dreadful in the early part of the day; in the evenings I sometimes feel relatively normal. That means I'm able to go out sometimes, but then how can you explain not going in to work the next day? Looks really fishy!
Suffered acute AFs since about 2010
2015 Chronic AF diagnosed
18/2/16 Botox (unsuccessful)
12/4/16 Lateral anal sphincterotomy and removal of polyp and two tags
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby PainInTheBehind » 28 Feb 2016, 18:15

I hear ya Brokenbottom about the work thing. I really tried to avoid taking days off for more than two years, but it wasn't getting better. Luckily I have an understanding and supportive manager and can work from home when the pain's really bad.
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby suzyljank » 28 Feb 2016, 19:48

My family and people I am close with knew what was causing my pain, but for others I just said I had PFD. That kind of covers the the entire area without going into to much detail. Anyone who's ever suffered with pelvic floor pain understands. The pelvic floor muscle do include the rectal muscles too.
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby Luka » 29 Feb 2016, 11:39

Really interesting question! I like the answers so far. My family and friends know of my fissure issue since I've told them, but when I'm having problems, I'll usually just tell them I'm having pain to avoid specifics. They pretty much know what's wrong then.

For other people, I will just say I'm having pain issues (really vague) or digestion problems. I have acid reflux/GERD, so saying it's pain from an ulcer isn't far off from the truth.

This really shouldn't be an embarassing issue because so many people have anal fissures, as well as other butt issues like hemorroids, but nobody wants to talk about it outside a doctor's office (if even that) in our society. : ( It really sucks. In a way, it's kind of like anxiety and depression and other mental health issues. Nobody wants to discuss that, either, and there's such a stigma against it in our culture. Having all those issues myself is incredibly stressful since it makes you feel so alone. : (
January 2013 - Diagnosed with fissure. Eventually turned chronic.
History of IBS and anxiety disorder, along with fear of using bathrooms other than my own caused it.
Tried Diltiazem, but eventually developed a rash.
LIS surgery scheduled August 26th.
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby Skiponzo » 29 Feb 2016, 11:53

Good subject. I've "only" had this for 2 months but I'm a very social persona and do a TON of community involvement things with my kids (little league, scouts, etc) as a volunteer so I'm kinda a go to guy for help. I've decide to be pretty straight forward so I tell them "I have a cut in my ass that won't heal for quite some time."
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Re: Polite way of telling people we are in pain

Postby brokenbottom » 29 Feb 2016, 16:06

I wish I could be more like you Skiponzo! If more people were direct there wouldn't be the embarrassment but I just can't do it!
Suffered acute AFs since about 2010
2015 Chronic AF diagnosed
18/2/16 Botox (unsuccessful)
12/4/16 Lateral anal sphincterotomy and removal of polyp and two tags
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