Searching for healing

A breakdown of my three years struggling with fissures

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Searching for healing

Postby jn91 » 29 May 2018, 10:48

Hey all! Long time watcher, first time poster. This is the first time of posting the timeline in one place so hopefully it flows in a relatively understandable manner.

A quick bio: I'm currently 26 years old living in northern Wisconsin. I try to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle and because of my gut problems eat primarily paleo or diets similar in nature.

This story begins quite a number of years ago when I discovered that I was dealing with SIBO/IBS like symptoms. My stools were anywhere between firm and complete mush and I felt unwell a good chunk of the time. Because of the sticky/messy nature of my stools, I started to wipe more, which in turn caused further irritation, and eventually switched to flushable wipes. This helped for a time but was more of a maintenance than a healing solution. Along with a natural salve that my naturopath recommended, I thought I was maintaining it ok, although a growing itching feeling (especially at night) started haunting me.

Because of the persistent itching, I decided to head to a gastroenterologist just to make sure there wasn't something serious going on down there. He did a rectal exam, determined that things looked relatively normal, and recommended discontinuing the flushable wipes, doing a final swipe with witch hazel, and applying butt paste after a bm.

I didn't fully listen and continued to use the wipes, since tp was too painful and the area was too sensitive. But, once I bought my own place, I installed a bidet and use that now exclusively (unless travelling).

Over time, I moved from the light sensitivity and itching to progressively more sensitivity, although that came and went. I would have a week where it would feel pretty great followed by a week of more pain. During this time, I tried just about everything, both for maintenance, hopeful healing, and itch management: hot epsom baths, burt's bees diaper rash ointment, butt paste, calmoseptine (super helpful with the itch but hard to clean off), DoctorX Butler's max strength hemorrhoid ointment, aquafor baby healing ointment, etc. They all seemed to help in the moment but I felt wholly reliant on them.

Then, about two months ago, things got worse again. I was in Texas visiting my fiance and towards the end of my trip I could tell the sensitivity was getting worse. It almost felt like I had a rash at the front of my anus. I thought maybe it was hemorrhoids and bought Preparation H cream but discontinued after one use that burned like nobody's business. It was around this time that everything started to burn: the butt paste, the calmoseptine, etc. The things I'd relied on before now caused more pain than they helped.

Ironically, I thought I was close to heading in the right direction. I'd started with a new naturopath and had gotten to a place where my movements are actually halfway decent. They're a little messy but I'm typically going once a day so I would think that my body would have time to heal. I don't know if this pain is something new or just a worsening of old symptoms. It feels like I'm dealing with two things, the rash/array of paper cuts towards the front of the anus and a larger cut on the side. I still do feel the itching as well, although it still waits until night most of the time to cause me trouble.
Because of the worsening symptoms, I went back to the gastro. I think I have decent hygiene habits, I'm trying really hard to be sensative to the area (bidet followed by a little press/cleanup with witch hazel on a pad) but clearly I'm heading in the wrong direction with this thing. He did a rectal exam but didn't see anything outside of the ordinary, other than that it was more moist than it should've been. He recommended switching to boxers to help air things out, nitro-bid for a couple weeks to aid in healing, followed by lidocaine jelly. I will also be going in July to have a colonoscopy/endoscopy. He doesn't thing my symptoms are consistent with colitis/chron's but wants to confirm and then he can also get a better view in the anus and see if there's an hemorrhoid, etc.

I will say the nitro-bid really seemed to help. Outside of the initial burning caused by the nitro itself, the days were far easier to manage and overall it felt like it was healing. But, apparently I only feel that way when I'm on the nitro. As soon as I stopped its usage and switched to the lidocaine, I'm back exactly where I started. The front of the anus feels like there's a pissed off bulge (unless I actually feel down there and it feels normal, I mostly feel it when I'm sitting down). It's a weird way of saying it but in my head it feels inflamed with a handful of really tiny papercuts. And then the cut on the side seems to be back. I can never see it if I take a picture down there but I can certainly feel it.

Honestly, I don't know for sure what I'm dealing with. My best guess is that the pain I experience towards the front of the anus is related to a hemerroid and the pain on the side is a fissure. But, I can't see anything and the gastro didn't see anything out of the ordinary last time. I'm really hoping that the endoscopy/colonoscopy will come back clear of chron's/colitis/cancer but will give me some insight and action items for the pain. Because, I might not be able to see the cuts but I can definitely feel em :D

I don't know what I expect here, I feel like I've tried a number of the solutions here that have worked for others but maybe I've missed one or am doing something that is making this worse. If nothing else, maybe it'll help someone else out there like me who isn't alone. These problems suck but there are others out there who are suffering along with you and trying to figure it out :)
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Re: Searching for healing

Postby Myitzu » 29 May 2018, 21:11

You are not alone, we are in same boat, suffering for 2.5 years, pain(re-tear) came back in twice a year. And I am scaring to do LIS surgery. I am depending or Miralax and coconut oil.
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Re: Searching for healing

Postby patience_and_healing » 29 May 2018, 23:02

I suggest seeing a colorectal specialist, not a gastroenterologist for this problem. Gastros don't really know how to treat fissures (if that's what the problem is) and may lead you down the wrong road. A dermatologist may be of assistance too, if you think it's more of a rash problem.
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Re: Searching for healing

Postby Magnesium Lover » 30 May 2018, 03:03

Have you tried taking magnesium citrate supplement? I suffered with fissures on and off for 10 years or more and had various creams from the GP. I was referred to a consultant, but in the meantime read on this forum that magnesium supplements could help relax the muscles and ease the spasms I was getting. As soon as I started taking the magnesium citrate the spasms eased and the healing process began. Fortunately it meant that I didn't have to go through with any surgery. I have continued to take these supplements ever since and if I run out and don't take them for a while, I start to get 'twinges' and take that as a warning sign and start taking them again. They may not work for everyone, but they are certainly worth a try if there's a chance they'll help. I think magnesium citrate is the better supplement of the magnesiums to be effective in this case. Wishing you well!
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Re: Searching for healing

Postby jn91 » 30 May 2018, 09:37

Thanks for the support and responses guys!

@Myitzu - The support is always appreciated. Today is the first day I opted for coconut oil instead of the lidocaine the gastro gave me. A few hours in and it seems to be doing as well as the lidocaine so I'm hopeful this'll help keep things in check down there and not dried out and painful.

@patience_and_healing - Thanks for the recommendation! I did some quick research and called a colorectal surgeon this morning and have an appointment scheduled with her for the 25th of June. My currently scheduled colonoscopy is on July 18th so that gives me plenty of time to get her opinion and see if she agrees with the assessment of the gastro. If I remember correctly (I really need to start writing things down), the gastro pretty much told me that he can't further diagnose until I do the colonoscopy so he can get a view in there and see what's going on. On the surface, things seemed normal. He doesn't think it's Chron's or Colitis but wants to make sure that's not the case before we get into it further. Outside of cost, my biggest concern with the colonscopy is that it'll make the fissure worse. Knowing what's going on, especially ruling out Chron's, colitis, cancer, etc. seems potentially worth it, though, if only for the peace of mind

@Magnesium Lover - I haven't, although I've seen it mentioned here a few times. I'm actually meeting with my naturopath later today so maybe I'll bring it up and see what she has to say and if it'll work well with the other supplements she has me on.
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Re: Searching for healing

Postby jn91 » 31 May 2018, 09:27

Update from the naturopath - She recommended I take magnesium before I even brought it up. The doctors always ask me what my movements look like and it finally dawned on me to just take pictures. She looked at em and recommended the magnesium citrate pretty quickly as she thinks I've been constipated for some time and that's probably why any healing I experience with the fissure seems to regress after a few days. Now the fun begins of starting slowly with the magnesium and trying not to overdo it, I'm going on vacation in a week and don't want to be running to the bathroom every five minutes ;)
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