Adding Fistula to the List of Problems!

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Adding Fistula to the List of Problems!

Postby brent1981 » 20 Nov 2020, 02:23

So as of November 11th, I've had a fistula. This is part of a domino effect from an ongoing issue I have with anal fissures. Here's how it went for me.

Back in August or so, I had yet another anal fissure. The bowel movement wasn't even that hard or anything, it was pretty normal to be honest. But it was so painful and it seems to be recurring more frequently as time goes on so I said "enough is enough" and booked an appointment at a specialist clinic. They examined me and said the fissure was almost healed and to come back in a week. The doctor said he viewed a few hemorrhoids in his exam and would do a banding procedure on me. So I go in, get the banding procedure done, and it's not so bad. I go in a week later, and he does one more banding. This time I wait two weeks, and do the banding again. And once more a week later. This whole time I've been using this nitro cream but I realized at the end of it I was probably not applying it very well. I think I was supposed to insert it way up there, but I was only applying it to the barely opening of the rectum. Anyhow, time goes by and I get INTENSE pain.

The pain is so bad, I cannot sleep. The clinic books me for the next morning, since it seems a bit like an emergency. I had never felt spasms of pain before that make my whole body shake, and this constant feeling I cannot explain, like a feeling after you get punched, but emanating throughout the whole body. Plus sharp pains... throbbing pains. Like, I had never in my life felt so much pain before.

So when I get there, the doctor says I've developed an abscess. I didn't really know what this is, but it turns out it's an infection. Perhaps an infected anal gland or an infected hemorrhoid. They put me on antibiotics for a week, cipro and metro. It really died down, and almost went away completely, but I could tell it wasn't quite gone. And within a week, it was back, but only half as bad as the first time.

So again, I go in, get examined, and am told to go on two more weeks of antibiotics. Cipro for two weeks, metro for the first week. I do that, and it really helps. I am almost back to normal, it seems.

But slowly I feel worse and worse, even though I am still on the Cipro. Finally, on Nov. 11, I experience the weirdest thing ever. And I know what it is. It's a fistula. So gross! There was a pink discharge, a mix of blood and puss. But also, maybe, a little bit of feces?

What really felt weird was when I had a bowel movement in the morning, I felt maybe some of the feces go into a cavity somewhere in there. I don't know if it did or not. But it felt different than usual. Oddly enough, the fistula went away. But a few days later, it came back... and my abscess seemed to be coming back too, so I went to the ER. They had a good look at me, but decided I wasn't really in 'emergency status' but definitely saw that I had a fistula. So I got an MRI booked. Can you believe my MRI is actually tonight at 3:45am? Crazy. So they're going to image me, find the fistula, and hopefully I can get surgery.

But like, this is just an addition to my already rather crappy times. It all started like this:
- severe anal itching goes back to 2001 when I was just a young guy
- constipation around 2001 to 2013ish. I started eating more fiber and being generally better, and the constipation has stopped mostly
- I am guessing my first anal fissure was around 2014 or 2015.. not sure.
- My first hemohrroid banding treatment was just in August, Sept
- My anal abscess started in Oct.
- Now I have a fistula as of Nov.

Anyways, I guess I'll be asking for surgery.

It's tough to live like this, having leakage from the fistula, and I hate having gas now. It's like the gas wants to go out of the fistula, making the fistula feel like a bee is stinging me along with this weird pressure sensation.

Any tips on riding this out? I've been finding that sits baths help a ton, doing three of those a day. Do you use Epson salt for it?

I am also taking ibuprofen. Wonderful drug.

I also apply HydroVal (Hydrocortison-17-Valerate Ointment) which soothes the itching and burning a tad.

I try to limit bowel movements to one a day, but for some odd reason in the morning, I have three in a row, separated by about 15 to 30 mins each. Usually the third one makes me feel a lot of pain.

Also, in order to stop the feces from doing that weird thing where it seems to be going into a cavity during a bowel movement, I press my finger against the fistula's opening to create pressure, and that seems to help. It also helps when I have gas. But it's pretty annoying to do this. Especially would be weird if I were in public.

Anyways, any tips on living with this? I am hoping the surgery I can get (hopefully soon) will cure me of it. But in Canada the wait is a minimum of 5 weeks. So I gotta live with it for now... sigh.
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Re: Adding Fistula to the List of Problems!

Postby Savaici » 26 Nov 2020, 08:36

Sorry to hear about it all, Brent. Hope you can get it sorted soon. Make sure that you THOROUGHLY research it all, but you seem to be doing that.
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Re: Adding Fistula to the List of Problems!

Postby brent1981 » 05 Jan 2021, 18:13

So, today I had a consultation with a doctor. He said they looked at the MRI scan and it indeed appears I have a fistula. He said that there is a 5% chance it will heal on its own, and a 50% chance it will heal if I get surgery.

50% so basically a coin toss.

I sure wish it were a higher percentage! He said that it would require a 2-3 day hospitalization and that they won't know exactly what procedure to do on me until I'm actually in the operating room and they can see more details about the fistula.

But it might be a long wait, he said around 6 months. I am in Canada, and for non-emergencies like this you sometimes do have to wait a while, especially now with Covid making everything go slower.

So, what do you think? Should I go for the surgery? I am thinking I should.

But who knows, maybe I get lucky and it heals all by itself. It still hasn't healed, there is still stuff coming out of the fistula every now and again.
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Re: Adding Fistula to the List of Problems!

Postby Make.it.stop » 14 Feb 2021, 02:34

Hi Brent, sorrynto read you going through this awful experience in Covid times no less...I'm in somewhat of a similar spot as you regarding contemplating options for my fissure. Had my second real one appear about a month ago and it hasn't gone away, not after conservative measures or the first topical prescription. Just switching to the second but I always think worst case in that I'll have to make the call on LIS, and I'm also in Canada meaning even if I do want it, god knows how long I'd have to wait (once I've even found someone I felt confident enough in having slice open my arse).

Have you made any progress this last week, either in healing or decision making? As long as nothing gets worse, if you schedule the surgery and it's far off, you could always wait and see whether it heals in the interim right? 5% doesn't sound too inspiring to me tbh, but only 50% with surgery isn't so reassuring either. Sigh...
10/17-31/12/17 – First signs/annihilated by Fissure 1
3/18 – Fissure 1 healed by sitz bath/toilet & GI bugs
1/21 – First signs/annihilated by Fissure 2
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