Tips That Helped My Recovery!

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Tips That Helped My Recovery!

Postby bettergru890 » 20 Jan 2018, 11:44

As I’m now a full 3 weeks into my recovery of a chronic AF (that I’d had for c.4 months) I wanted to share some tips and tricks that have made such a massive difference to my healing (and might help you too!)

Like many of you on this forum I was at my wits end with the pain of my AF. It was impacting my daily life, not only with the physical pain but the obsession of wanting to find a magical cure to get better. Until you suffer with an AF (something I didn’t even know existed until I was diagnosed) you really cannot relate or understand the mental trauma, not just the physical discomfort. I’m sure I was developing a phobia of actually going to the toilet - I was SO scared of what my experience would be on a daily basis and the pain that would follow.

Although I didn’t post throughout my worst days, I read many of the survival stories on here which kept me focused on that things WOULD get better. Everyone’s bodies are different and react to different treatments so I wanted to share a few of the things I implemented which I’d recommend you try. I’m 3 weeks in with no blood or pain with a BM (touch wood!!) and long may it continue!


1. Diet is SO important.
- Eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you can. I take lots of fresh fruit to snack on at work, dried apricots, carrot sticks etc throughout the day.
- I’m eating soup for lunch to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in my diet e.g bread.
- I’m only eating wholemeal bread, rice etc.
- I’ve upped my fibre intake by eating Bran Flakes for breakfast too.


2. Drink loads of water. It gets annoying because you constantly need a wee but water intake has helped me so much. I’m drinking between 6-10 glasses a day. I’m actually eating less because I feel full from all the water!


3. If your AF is chronic, use the ointments the GP prescribes. I’d read so many stories on here about chronic headaches using GTN etc etc, but I just got stuck in and used what I was given.
- I was prescribed with 4% GTN.
- I used cotton buds to apply at first (due to the pain) but over time I’m now able to apply it properly and it’s made a huge difference. I only had headaches a couple of times and then they went away.
- I’m now weaning myself down to applying just once before bed (rather than every 12 hours) which will be the next step in my recovery.


4. Toilet habits are really important.
- Squat to go to the toilet - try not to sit down or strain - it puts pressure on your AF and they can retear (something I am still nervous about!)
- Use Vaseline before a BM so everything is well lubricated.
- Use wet toilet wipes / baby wipes to clean yourself NOT toilet paper - it’s dry and hard and can agitate your AF.


5. Use coconut oil whenever you can. I got a 100% organic virgin coconut oil from Amazon for about £6. It will melt as soon as it touches your skin. It’s really soothing and has additional healing and health benefits which I think have really helped my recovery.


6. Salt baths were a godsend. I literally poured lots of table salt into a warm bath one day! It might sting a little at first but I really think this helped. Sometimes I added some coconut oil too.


7. As a last resort I tried Sudocrem - I’m not sure how much this helped as I think the GTN and coconut oil were the key ointments I was using but it was useful to have a little pot in my bag that I could use at work if things felt sore.


My final piece of advice if you are reading this and have only had your AF for a few weeks is to please visit your GP to get some help. I left mine much later than I should have as I was embarrassed and convinced that it would just sort itself out on it’s own and I wish on reflection I’d just been brave enough to book an appointment.

A few months ago I’d have never thought I’d have come this far with my recovery so have faith, be positive, be consistent with your healing methods and things WILL get better for you. I hope some of the above helps.
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Re: Tips That Helped My Recovery!

Postby Elle1007 » 20 Jan 2018, 20:58

Thank you so much. This is fantastic and very kind of you. Did you ever get pelvic pressure?
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Re: Tips That Helped My Recovery!

Postby bettergru890 » 21 Jan 2018, 07:07

Hi Elle1007. No not really sorry. I did find hot water bottles a great comfort with the pain I experienced so maybe try that :)
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Re: Tips That Helped My Recovery!

Postby Elle1007 » 21 Jan 2018, 10:38

Thanks so much. I am addicted to my hot water bottle.
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Re: Tips That Helped My Recovery!

Postby EllCee » 05 Feb 2018, 13:07

Hi!

Its helpful to hear your story. I am the same about feeling bad that I didn't address this sooner. Instead though, I waited 2 years before going to the doctor. I am now 5 years in and having a final solid effort before taking the surgery option.

I'm completely restructuring my life, using your tips and ones seen else where. Unfortunately I have a bad reaction with all ointments, so those aren't an option. But otherwise I am working on it.

About toilet habits though. I always squat at home, but I often have a BM while at work. Do you have this same problem? Do you squat on work toilets? I would like to, but the more I think about it, the nature of my work makes my shoes in a way that I wouldn't want to put them on a place where people put their skin against. (I work in a science lab, chemicals can be on the floor).

Thanks so much for your positive words to help get me through!
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Re: Tips That Helped My Recovery!

Postby bettergru890 » 05 Feb 2018, 13:15

Hi EllCee,

I'm sorry to hear you are having problems with the ointments - that is frustrating. Coconut oil is completely natural - have you tried that?

Yes I often need to go at work - to resolve this I take a little bag into work that I keep some vaseline, sudocrem and wet wipes in that I just take with me if I need to go so I can follow my normal routine at home. I also use the toilets on another level of my office so I can relax better (the floor I'm in is really busy!)

Hope this suggestion helps!
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