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Bowel Disorders Message Board

Bowel Disorders Board Index

MRSE, I was completely disabled by my surgery, meaning that my husband had to do EVERYTHING for me for the first month. From the start, I couldn't go to the bathroom on the toilet. My surgeon had given me a postop sheet instructing to go to the bathroom in a tub full of water. I thought that was gross and balked at the instructions, but it turned out to be the only way. I hope you have an ideal recovery but if not, let me share with you how I coped, so if you run into the same problems, you can do the same.

First of all, my initial surgeon instructed to take ducolax laxative, 2 of them---this was a bigtime mistake for me because it made me go 12-20 times violently each day, and contributed to my butt hole getting deformed, and ruptured my suture inside so I had to get emergency surgery only a week later.

My 2nd surgeon's instructions, who performed the emergency repair, didn't have ducolax, but instead he said to take 2 colace stool softeners with increased fiber, and stay away from nuts and other hard to digest items. Well, that was much better, only it took me 3 weeks to find out that I needed 3 not 2 colace to make my stools soft enough, and also I needed to add bran to move the stool out by itself, because the 3 cups of oatmeal I ate only added bulk, it didn't make the stool move out by itself.

You will find that it is essential to your recovery to get your stools to be soft, to move on their own without your having to strain and to have bulk. The reason you want them to move on their own, is before my surgery I always usually had to push some to go, but after the surgery, pushing even a little made me bleed. It may seem contradictory to have bulky stools, but you see you don't want stools too small, because you don't want your butt hole to constrict during the healing and get smaller and make future going hard. Bulky stools will help your butt hole to not get too small as it heals---think of it like having to wear an ear stud when you just had your ear pierced, you don't want the hole to close up (okay, you're butt hole won't close up, but you get the idea).

Now I found I couldn't even pass gas without climbing into the bathtub. Fortunately, the water acted as a soft buffer to my rectum and allowed me to pass gas while at the same time supported my butt hole and keeping me from having pain. In otherwords, out of instinct my butt hole was spasmed shut from the pain. I found that when I had in the past had hemorrhoids rubberbanded to get rid of them, that my butt hole had reacted the same way, clamping close. I knew that the bandings were healing by the time I could pass gas. Passing gas, though, became for me during this surgery, a worse problem, then it was with my rubberbandings. I resorted to using GasX after meals to cut down on gas, and at bedtime. It did help for the first month, but I eventually cut it out, as passing gas got easier.

For the first 2-1/2 weeks I had to eat meals in the bathtub and stay in the tub until the gas passed. Just the start of gas made my rectal hole balloon out painfully, because my butt hole refused to open. So I would have to hurriedly undress and get in the tub, then the gas would pass with the support of the water. I found relief in a reclining chair later, where I would have my husband wheelchair me after dinner to the recliner and I would get in there and stay until the after meal gas passed, as the soft recliner seat helped to support my rectum during the passage of gas.

I started out just renting the wheelchair, but ended up buying it, because it turned out to be the only seat I could sit in besides the recliner, since it had a soft seat of nylon that yielded. With a cushion on it, I could sort of sit, I say sort of because I had to lean back still and stay off my butt hole. My first 4 weeks were spent squirming often in any seat as I fought to find a position that wasn't painful. The first 3 weeks I ate reclined in the recliner, and this wasn't easy to eat lying back, then I moved to eating at the dinner table in the wheelchair. I still have to eat in the wheel chair, but I recently bought a Director's Chair that has a soft material seat where I will eat dinner in, using the same 4-inch foam cushion I recently got for the wheelchair.

Going in the tub was another horrible experience, but I found ways to cope. Let me share mine:

First, the water had to be so it reached my belly button when I sat down--this was what the doctor said, as this helped the muscles to relax to go. The water also had to be comfortably warm, because cool/cold made me feel bad, and the warm water helped me to go. It couldn't be hot, though, as this can increase swelling and bleeding.

It wasn't any fun doing this, but my husband bought a couple of drain covers, and lysol disenfectant. The challenge and problem was having the tub full to the right level, with the water kept at the right temperature. My husband got into a routine that everytime he went to the bathroom, he would add new hot water while he went, to keep the tub ready. Sometimes that meant draining some water from the tub, to allow enough hot/warm water to bring the temperature to the right feel.

I soon learned that it was best to use a strainer to take out the stool, using a paper plate held under the strainer and dump the stool into the toilet. Otherwise, if some stool went down the drain, soon enough the drain would get clogged. This was an emergency, since I could only pee, pass gas, and pass stool in the tub. It happened once at 2 am, and we had to call a plumber to do an emergency repair right then, even though we were both dead tired. It was a living nightmare.

Plus, since sitting in the tub isn't the right natural position to go, and I would get tired trying to lift my butt off of the tub floor in order to go, instead of the stool passing out in one sitting, it would take me 3 separate times to go. It got to be horrifically tiring cleaning the tub out, draining the water, washing the crap off my body, getting out of the tub, disenfecting the tub, drain cover and shower head with lysol, washing it out, then filling the tub, only to have to go again sometimes before the tub even filled.

I got severe fatigue from all the work, that I finally had to go through the humiliation of calling my husband when I went and having him transport the stool to the toilet, and then he would pull the drain and I would have to sit there until it drained and then wash myself. After 2 weeks of this, I got too tired to do even that and just sat in the yucky tub until the second and third time I went, finally cleaning up.

The other difficulty was that I found, that besides that my sphincter had been cut and resown, and the cut hurt like hell, that the sutures were a source of a lot of pain because they felt just like my butt hole was sewn with packaging cord that didn't yield or stretch. So it made it hard to go just from the pain of the dissovable sutures. Also, I was forced to take the pain pills the first 5 days but the pain pills gave me terrible constipation, making my stools like hard small pebbles, and those hurt to pass. But, going in the tub did help.

Still the pain of going was so great that I coped with it by having a small TV by the tub and would turn it on before getting into the tub. Looking and listening to the TV gave me something to focus on other than my pain and the anticipation of the bowel movement or passage of gas. However, this tv took AA batteries and it cost me $100 on batteries initially, but I was dependent on the TV. After I realized this was going to last much longer than 7-10 days to get better as my surgeon had told me---and because of the costs of the batteries, which only lasted 3 hours, which means I had to turn off the tv whenever I left the tub, and then scramble like a crazy person while fighting the urge to go, to turn on the TV in time, as I undressed and tried to get in the water in the nick of time---I set up a small TV I had that ran on the AC.

I made sure to put this TV on the AC, on a chair 10 feet away from the tub on the opposition wall, and ran an extension cord from it up off the floor, on the wall, over the doorway, to the outlet, held by ducttape. This was a great help, as I could leave the TV on 24/7 and only turn the volume up or down, but keep it on an entertaining channel that had no commercials or shows that mentioned anything about pain or bleeding, as this really stressed me out at the time.

When I had a bowel movement, the normal background noise of the tv and the light-hearted TV shows helped, but I also had to stare up at the ceiling without moving my eyes and pray as I went, in order to relax enough and endure the passing of the stools.

It came to the point of going in the tub, that I had 'forgotten' how to go on the toilet, and I began to worry if I ever would be able to. But, after 2-1/2 weeks I did venture to go on the toilet, as it seemed harder to hold myself up in the tub, and I saw that the unnatural position of sitting with my legs out in front of me on the tub floor, took away from the natural gravity that sitting on a toilet does to start and help your stools out. I did go in just one sitting, but bled a bit. However, I had succeeded to go out of the tub and on the toilet. From that point on I did my bm on the toilet, but I still had to pee for a bit and pass gas in the tub.

After another week, I could pee out of the tub, but standing up. A few days later I could pass gas out of the tub, but still had to sit down to support my rectum or the pain because of the stitches, would be too great.

During all of this time I could only hobble when I walked and not stride out, or I would pull the stitches in my butt hole, and boy, would that hurt. After a month, I called my doctor and asked him when the stitches would dissolve, because they seemed as thick and strong as the first week, and I knew they were the main source of my pain. His nurse told me that I could come in to have the outsides one removed, or I could do it myself. I opted to do it myself, and found that it wasn't too hard.

This ended up being a great relief and a new problem. It seemed that cutting the sutures outside somehow made the ones inside lose their support, and it made me feel, when I lay down and didn't have the support of a seat against my butt hole, that my insides were going to come out my butt hole, especially when I tried to sleep, as I couldn't clamp my butt hole as I could when awake to stop that feeling. I was forced to strap my butt cheeks together with medical tape to support my rectum in order to sleep; within a couple of hours the feeling passed. The nurse said it was okay to do this. For the next 10 days I had to sleep with my butt cheeks strapped, and unstrap them carefully (and as fast as possible!) to go to the bathroom. I then graduated to not strapping, but just putting a cotton t-shirt against my rectum for support.

I am now at the stage where I don't have to do this all of the time. After I had taken the outside stitches off that I could, within 4 days I could walk a lot better, and a lot of the pain had diminish. I still, though, had the same pain inside from the stitches in side, that restricted me and stretched painfully with bowel movements. As I had guessed, once those came out with a stool a week later, within a few days that inside area started to feel a lot better.

Though tons better, I still have to go through certain measures to go the 'right kind of stool' in the morning. My problem I faced when I started going on the toilet, was having a bowel movement before my body was ready so that the bm only came out partially, causing me a lot of grief, since I couldn't push. That meant spending the whole day and night with the remaining stool 'stuck' in my rectum and it felt like a rock scratching me in there, until the next morning when my body would go on its own again.

Eventually, I got it down to a science, that if when I woke up, I went to the bathroom and peed, to take the pressure off my rectum, and then got back in bed, then my husband would bring me a soupy bowl of hot instant oatmeal with a glass of 10 oz of steaming hot water, that having those 2 items would jump start my bowels completely.

I then scramble to the bathroom, raise the volume of the tv, then, very importantly, take the time to smear a glob of vaseline on my butt hole before going, as this acts to protect and lubricate my butt hole (the vaseline bit, I started doing while in the tub; and I always made sure to dab it off, as vaseline should not be left on wounds). I barely get undressed before the stool passes out of its own, and, usually for the rest of the day, I am okay. But I have to use soft wet cotton balls to dab myself clean, and after I go, it is best if I sit or recline (I can't actually sit upright or I will hurt myself), until the feelings in my butt caused by the passing stool, go.

Since I've learned not to even try to sit upright on any hard chair, even with cushions, at this stage I don't have too much discomfort after going. But, I still am not totally healed, and I have to make sure my stools are soft and come out on their own. I didn't ask for this surgery, and I might have done well with banding, but a surgeon told me it would be less painful than banding. I can tell you that was a horrible lie. The first surgeon who deceived me about the severity of this operation, also performed this on me in his office. I was not told how painful the recovery could be, and that there could be complications.

If you have to have this surgery, then you have to. I hope that you will recover easily, yet you could have to deal with a tough recovery as I did, and if you do, you will be desperate to figure out how to cope along the way, and so that is why I took the time to share my methods here, to show you how hard it was for me, and that, yet, I did get through it.

The good news is that, despite the terrible unbearable pains and difficulties, I am here today, now 7 weeks later, and getting each week closer to a full recovery. While I can't still drive, or sit up in hard chairs, I do feel often close to normal, that is after I have my stool, because I still feel there as if I've had a face lift, but in my butt, where the tissue is all taut and not yet healed whenever I have a bowel movement.

I can tell you I sobbed horribly many days, felt suicidal many days, cried out to God, prayed, joined all kinds of prayers lists, had friends and family praying for me, and really, really suffered. Prayers helped me mentally to cope, even though I'm not sure they made a bit of difference in the difficulty of healing, but the mental help and emotional help was super important. And, finally, the information I got here, in this very posting, made a tremendous difference for me, to hear from others who had gotten through a tough recovery, and see that a lot of what I went through, they had also gone through, that it was normal and didn't mean I had something terribly wrong that meant more surgery, and also receive important tips to deal with some problems that my surgeon just didn't have answers for.
mrse, just want to help your first few days to be as easy as possible. As you know by now, it is unavoidable to use the pain pills. But, and this is a big but, the pain pills do constipate, and this can lead to complications, such as painful bowel movements and the risk to break a stitch. When you are able, do yourself a favor and switch to over the counter Tylenol for the pain, as this doesn't constipate.

But, during the time you have to take the prescription pain pills, here's my tip:

For me, I found that taking the colace all at the same time, didn't help to soften my stools enough, even though I took 3 at a time and drank enough water to drown a camel (20 real cups). Then I tried taking 2 100mg colace after dinner, and then one right at bed time. Still didn't work so great. It seemed that the first half of my stool was hard, which would cause me hurt, then the last half was soft.

So I figured that I had to have one at breakfast to soften the first part, and then 2 at dinner. These are all 100 mg doses each, as I tried the 50 mg doses and those were like eating sugar candy pills and didn't work for me.

Also, the colace alone wasn't enough. I had to also have 3 packages of Quaker oats instant regular oatmeal at breakfast, along with 10 ounces of steaming hot water. That wasn't enough, though. While the hot oatment and water, got my bowels moving, they didn't soften them, if there was any part that was hard.

I had to add a cup of bran of any kind with my lunch; I took raisin bran. I learned that having any kind of enriched bread or products, firmed my stool, so I had to compensate with enough bran at the same time.

Still, these things weren't enough. I also learned I had to sprinkle about 1/8th to 1/4 cup of bran flakes on my last evening dinner meal, and add at least 3 slices of apple with the skin on and eat the skin for the insoluble fiber, and a little bit of raw salad with the meal that I had the 2 colace with,using a tablespoon of olive oil for the dressing (this worked to help the stools to pass easy), and drink 4 cups of water.

Yeah, a lot right? But as you may know already, you will become willing to do anything and suffer through any kind of dietary discomfort to get soft, self-propelling bowels.

During the first 3 weeks, gas was a real problem. It helped me to take Gas-X 180 mg after each meal and right at bedtime. As my butt hole became able to tolerate passing gas and stretching from gas, I cut back on the gas-x till I really rarely take any, only sometimes have a half pill after lunch, and none the rest of the time, because I am at the stage where I can pass gas almost normally.

If you have to get into the tub to pass gas, do it. Your main focus now should be to avoid any kind of trauma to your butt hole, including don't push out to let gas pass (I made that mistake a few times and would hurt myself and make myself bleed a bit from the gas), as you don't want for any reason to break a stitch. My nurse told me this can be a problem for the first 3 weeks.

I don't know if you got stitches or staples. The traditional hemorrhoidectomy, which is the tough one to get over, is done with stitches. There is a newer method that is purported to take faster to get over, that is done with staples; however the staples one doesn't have the track record or observation history as the traditional one, and has been reported to bring pain 6 months or more after the procedure.

Hang in there; the time will pass, and you will get your regular pain-free rear end back again.
Suzy, one other thing: let me tell you why you HAVE TO EAT. It is critical that you pass normal sized or bulky bowel movements now, so your butt hole can shrink too small as it heals, which is called anal stricture.

Painpills will give you marble sized hard pellets. That is the terrible drawback. I paid the price on that. I ditched the pain pills and used tylenol instead for the pain. However, if you haven't passed your stools by tomorrow, (and DON'T strain, it's okay if they sit in there a day), take milk of magnesia also per instructions on the bottle.

However, have your caretaker go right now to the store and get you bran, oatmeal, apples, prepackaged salad. And start to eat normally, at regular times, breakfast, lunch, dinner, as this also helps regularity.

It is hell, yes; bowel movements suck. But you are damned if you do them now, and damned if you don't.

I can't tell you how many times in the first 2 weeks, I had to rip off my clothes and get into the tub, in anticipation of a bowel movement, and then NOTHING!! I would then have to climb out, dry off---moments later another urge---strip off clothes, then no go. This was not onlyl exhausting but a terrible mental strain.

I would then walk around the house naked, to get myself to go, pace in the bathroom. But, I found if I stood too much, that would strain the surgical site and increase bleeding. I found that eating food was important to going. The first 2-1/2 weeks was a lose-lose situation. It was all about ENDURING, plain and ugly. Each day was like time in hell, one day marked off at a time. The time DID pass.

I finally figured the right diet for me that worked, as I detailed above. I wish I had known that diet in the beginning, as I would have had a lot easier time; still each bowel movement was an ordeal to pass, that is why my little TV in the bathroom helped me a lot to focus on a slice of something normal.
ilovesunshine, the way to prevent from getting hemorrhoids is to eat enough of both soluble and insoluble fibers, and drink enough water to not only avoid constipation, but to make your stools soft and come out on their own without pushing. Also, you must not sit on donuts as these put too much pressure on your rectum. Also, although this method of having bowel movements has been recently popular, squatting or any position that can cause increased pressure on your rectum, can lead to hemorrhoids (that is how I got one severely bleeding one).

I used to ignore all of the blah blah about eating enough fiber a day---good for cholesterol control, prevent cancer, etc.; I hate fruits, and don't like a gurgly stomach. But, I learned the hard way, that fiber is essential to the prevention of hemorrhoids.

Why? Fiber bulks the stool and helps to keep it soft, soluble fiber like oatmeal. This makes it easy to pass. Then insoluble fiber, like wheat bran as in raisin bran or the skins of fruit, adds weight and water to the stool which speeds up the passage through your intestines, helping it to pass on its own.

Sometimes dietary fibers aren't enough, and one has to add fiber supplements like benefiber and metamucil. Guar gum really irritates my stomach, and that's why I can't use benefiber.

If you dismiss the importance of keeping your stools soft and self-moving, you, too, could be in the same position as your roommate, recovering from a painful hemorrhoidectomy. And, even after going through this painful surgery, if you still refuse to find the right kind of foods to keep your stools soft and self-passing, you could face having another surgery, as new hemorrhoids can form.

Eating the right kinds of fiber, drinking enough water, and adding fiber supplements if needed, avoiding straining at bowel movements, avoiding positions that put too much pressure on your rectum, such as sitting on donuts, squatting, are, together, the way to prevent getting hemorrhoids. You can't just do one, without the other---you can't just eat right, and then sit on a donut, as just the pressure from sitting on the donut will form hemorrhoids.

And you've got to practice these things for life.
Francis, I have to disagree totally that pain done with a harmonic scapel is less in any way. I am the person that started this posting. My surgeon used a harmonic scapel on me to due my second emergency surgery. The pain was on the scale unmentionable and can only be described in expletive deletives, or strong four letter words. I have a copy of my surgeon's chart notes and he specifically stated use of a harmonic scapel. Again, pain is pain. If you have read my posts, I have actually suffered the most pain of any one listed here.

My problem is I have irritable bowel syndrome and frequent urination (7-10 times in an hour after meals). These 2 things made it very hard to heal. Plus, I received very poor post-op guidance on how to keep my stools soft. This procedure is painful, period; whether laser or harmonic scapel, or otherwise.

However, complications can be avoided provided the patient takes aggressive immediate measures to keep stools soft and self-moving from day one, without any excessive or violent diarrhea.

A good trustworthy surgeon is a must. My first surgeon, a colon-rectal surgeon, actually left the hemorrhoid inside and just stitched, and cut an artery as well, all in his office. The second surgeon, also a colon-rectal, used a harmonic scapel to remove the now thrombosed hemorrhoid and then repaired the bleeding artery. Both were colon-rectal surgeons.

I also vehemently disagree with you on your docusate recommendations. That is why I had to go for emergency repair; the first surgeon told me to take 2 docusate daily. This dose of 2 docusate gave me violent, and I mean violent bowel movements, from 12 to 20 PER day, that just burst explosively out in harsh waves! My stitches ruptured from the violence, and my sphincter was deformed from all of the many bowel movements. I would strongly advise AGAINST docusate, but if you must, start with just ONE pill, and see what happens; (but you shouldn't have to use a laxative in the first place, as you should have before surgery figured out how to gently get your stools soft and selfmoving).

The second time around, the next surgeon told me to use 2 colace and eat fiber. This wasn't enough of a dose for me for the colace, and I finally have found success with 3 100 mg colace and 1 50 mg colace, plus 1 metamucil pill, and bran, and oatmeal, and fruit skins. What I mean by success is stools that are soft and self-moving, but not excessive or violent or diarrhea.

One of the main possible complications of a hemorrhoidectomy is rupture of the sutures during the first 2-4 weeks; harsh bowel movements from a laxative that is too strong can rupture sutures. I know because that happened to me.

A laxative is not a long term or even short term advisable course for recovery from a hemorrhoidectomy. Laxatives should only be used with caution and if the patient has not moved his/her stools after using stools softeners and a fiber diet within the 2nd day after surgery, and only to get the first bowel movement going, and not daily.

I haven't used lactulose, but another poster here did with good results. She didn't mention it being harsh. I never heard of the other one you mentioned, called Kondremil. Mineral oil, by itself, however, shouldn't be taken more than 2-3 days, as it interferes with the absorption of nutrients.

After a hemorrhoidectomy, a person needs to keep his/her stools soft for months, not days. But the initial 3 weeks it is crucial that from day one that the patient keep his/her stools soft and self-moving.

The best plan of action is for someone considering this surgery, is to start a week before or two, experimenting with different methods to make your stools soft and self-moving. I have shared my method here in prior posts; and others have shared theirs. The key is not to wait until after your surgery to then try to figure out what works for you, but to do it BEFORE. Because if you fail to find the right softening concoction for you that is not harsh from day one of your surgery, you risk injury and facing emergency repair.

Outside of the fact my first surgeon left the hemorrhoid in me and cut my artery, after the second surgeon repaired me, I would have had a far smoother recovery if I had known how to get my stools soft and selfmoving BEFORE the surgery. Instead, I struggled the first horrifically painful 3 weeks trying to get my stools soft and failing, and reinjuring myself, and delaying my healing, and this through a harmonic scapel repair.
Steve, you sound like your confusing a point here:

You write what is the point of going through the surgery if your hemorrhoids come back if you don't change your habits?

Well this is the point: if you have the surgery your hemorrhoids that were taken out WON'T come back, even if you don't change your habits.

This is what may happen, whether you do or DON'T have the surgery, and you continue your current habit of strenuous weight lifting:

New hemorrhoids will form in DIFFERENT veins than your current ones. But if you don't have the surgery, not only will you continue to be miserable from your CURRENT hemorrhoids, but you may also add more in DIFFERENT veins to boot.

You see what happens with this surgery is the vein with the hemorrhoid is cut out. End of story. It's gone. To heal the surgical excision, you need to abstain from weightlifting and avoid straining and hard stools with bowel movements.

What this surgery doesn't do, is cover the rest of the (now healthy) veins in your rectal vault. You see we are born with many veins in our rectal vault. By the time many people reach age 50, they have developed bulges in some of those veins, and these bulges are called hemorrhoids; these are developed through various stresses and pressure on those veins, and sometimes, just genetically.

I had one hemorrhoid in my left rear area. I had it banded 4 times (I thought actually I had 4 different ones banded, but no, it was the same one). I had poor post-op instructions on how to avoid making them reoccur in the same vein that was left in, and just went back to my old lifestyle. Within 6 months, this same vein would form a new hemorrhoid in the same place.

Now in my hemorrhoidectomy, that vein was cut out. No more hemorrhoids will form there, as the vein doesn't exist (bye, bye vein, you will not be missed). However, I've got other veins in my rectal vault which are now okay and healthy; but if I ignore good bowel habits and also put excessive strain on my butt, well those can also, independent of the one removed, develop their own hemorrhoids.

So, if you have this surgery, your current hemorrhoid WILL NEVER COME BACK. However, you may develop new hemorrhoids in other veins independent of the vein(s) that will be removed in your surgery. The point of the surgery is to remove the ones that are defective.

You aren't a good candidate for rubberbanding, which removes the bulging hemorrhoid but leaves the 'troublesome' vein in, since you would go right back to weightlifting and no doubt that same vein, that was left in, would develop a hemorrhoid again in months.

Now, the hospital nurse assigned to me after my surgery had also had a hemorrhoidectomy 20 years ago. She said that now, 20 years later, she had small hemorrhoids, but they weren't troublesome to her. She looked about 50. Perhaps in another 10-20 they will be very troublesome to her. But these were new ones, independent of the ones she had removed, elsewhere in her rectal vault. She, however, looked to be no weightlifter and didn't seem to get them from that, just from the strain of regular life on her feet many hours, sitting alot, etc.

If you do this surgery, and return to weightlifting, maybe you will be lucky, and go the rest of your life without developing new hemorrhoids in the other remaining healthy veins in your rectal vault. But, I think you will be pushing your luck, since you already have developed hemorrhoids. Maybe if you persist in heavy lifting, even within months you will develop a new hemorrhoid that has nothing to do with the one removed. Maybe you will be lucky and go for 10 years or maybe you will have a heart attack and croak before any would have developed and not have to worry.

Anyone who tells you that you can practice weightlifting and never, ever have to worry about getting hemorrhoids again is either ignorant or lying to you. Pressure and strain is a major cause of hemorrhoids. When I used to work out, I saw some men lift 600-800 pounds. I wonder how their rectal vaults are doing now? Some people are fortunate and never suffer hemorrhoids; my own husband is near 80 and never had a hemorrhoid in his life; yet he never did repetitive weight lifting in his entire life either. I did; I wonder if that is the difference.

I understand your need to relieve stress. It seems to me, however, that sooner or later you will have to undergo removal of the veins that currently have hemorrhoid bulges; I hope it is not as an emergency, because then you will have no choice of your surgeon and will have to live with the results of that surgeon's work.

Once you do this surgery, what you do is up to you. You can resume weightlifting after you are healed and take your chances with new, different ones forming---as I hope you understand by now that the ones that you will have removed won't come back, as those veins will have been cut out. Sometimes, like it or not, if we have a health problem, we are forced to make lifestyle changes. There are many other sports out there that also are great stress relievers: Boxing, racketball, jogging, tennis, basketball, martial arts, and so on, that don't put you at the risk of developing new hemorrhoids.

You've got an acute problem now: a hemorrhoid or hemorrhoids that need to be removed. If you give up weightlifting now, you may get away with a simple banding and practicing good bowel habits, but you would be at increased risk in those troubled veins of redeveloping the same hemorrhoids. You can try that though, as it is a 'conservative' method compared to the hemorrhoidectomy.

If you do nothing, you will probably end up in the emergency room as each time you lift weights the hemorrhoids become engorged---pretty soon with that kind of abandon, you will have a problem you can't ignore.

If you do nothing, and stop lifting weights, those hemorrhoids will still be there; over the counter methods might give relief, but at any time you again exert undo pressure, they will probably flair up.

If you have them banded, and stop lifting weights, again just from bowel straining, those troublesome veins may develop hemorrhoids again.

If you have them banded, and go back to lifting weights, not only will those troublesome veins flare up again, but you also risk getting hemorrhoids in other unaffected veins.

Finally, as I wrote above, if you have the veins cut out through a hemorrhoidectomy (ectomy in medical language means to cut out), and go back to lifting weights, those same hemorrhoids will never come back, but you risk getting hemorrhoids in other currently unaffected veins.

Get the idea?

Look, I myself hate the reality. You think I like the idea that I have to, for the rest of my life, eat foods I don't like and struggle constantly with keeping my stools soft and self-moving? Hell no. I still am struggling to win that battle daily almost 3 months post-op, but the hemorrhoid I had is gone, forever. Now I can disregard eating right and not putting excessive strain on my rear, and see if I'm lucky to go 20 plus years without any new hemorrhoids. But, to be honest, I never want to develop new hemorrhoids, not after having to go through this surgery twice in a row.

These are your options, Steve. In a way, you have to realize that you don't have the kind of options you want. However, nothing is written in stone, and you may go another 40 years without any new hemorrhoids if you have the surgery. But, God forbid, you should live to 100 then! lol If you're scared about having this surgery now at 46, imagine how you'll feel at age 90 to face this surgery? Honestly, I don't think medical science will have any less painful methods by then, either, so don't count on that :)
Suzy, you're taking the chance that your healing will be complicated by backing off ALL metamucil. I think you should take the hint from your bowel troubles today, that if your stools became 'rough' after stopping metamucil and the mineral oil, that you need something to make going not difficult.

If you ignore that, you will bleed unnecessarily, and prolong your healing. Runninggal's doctor told her that, for an entire year, she could experience rebleeding from hard stools, or stools too long. It is only 3 weeks after your surgery and you are abandoning practicing methods to keep your stools soft even before you are completely healed.

As I wrote Steve above, if you don't, from now on, incorporate new stool habits to keep your stools ALWAYS soft and selfmoving, forever, then you are putting yourself at risk, in the future, to develop new hemorrhoids and also fissures, in your other remaining veins, as well as now risk complicating your recovery.

I wrote to Steve about the nurse who attended to me after surgery, how she had had the surgery done 20 years ago, and now had new small hemorrhoids that, presently, didn't bother her. If you are in your 20s or 30s, you could also develop new ones, if you ignore keeping your stools selfmoving, and strain to have bowel movements, and also have stools so hard that they can cause a new fissure.

The point of this surgery, is not only to remove the aggravating hemorrhoids and fissures, but to also have a fresh start at healthy bowel habits, and maintain your butt hemorrhoid free from then on.
Sure, cjf, this is a very active board. If you haven't already, you will do yourself a favor to read all of the postings here. Many people have posted their postoperative experiences that will give you good coping tools to help you through your recovery.

Also, the main way you can best prepared is to experiment before your surgery with fiber rich foods, metamucil, and/or colace stool softener to see what combination gives you not only soft stools, but ones that move on their own totally.

If you do that, you will avoid all of the possible bad complications, and also heal faster. If you practice now getting your stools soft and self-moving, and develop now the attitude to only get on the toilet when the stools starts to come out on its own, and get up right when you're through, you will be doing yourself a huge favor.

Also, buy jars of vaseline to have handing in how ever many bathrooms you have. Get used to practicing patting on a glob of it on your rectum right before you have a bowel movement. This will be a lifesaver to your sore, tender butt during your healing. It will act like grease to your butt and protect the rectum during a bowel movement---this will result in far less pain and burning after your bowel movements.

Also, buy lots of cotton balls, which you will use after a stool to dab, and I mean dab, your butt area after a bowel movement, but with the cotton ball wet with water, so it is soft and cleans you.

The problems you face during recovery is breaking a stitch which would have to be repaired, or opening your closing wound with stress, or constipation, even from pushing to pass gas (pushing out with your rectum is a big no-no during your recovery, even for gas). Much of this is due to pushing with bowel movements, even a little, and having stools that are too hard. That is why it is imperative that you now figure out how much stools softener like colace it takes to make your stools come out soft and selfmoving. With colace, it can take up to 500 mg a day, which is actually 2 pills more than recommended on the over the counter bottle.

You also should avoid any medicines or supplements that can promote bleeding during your first 6 weeks of recovery, and that includes Advil, Ibuprofen, garlic, vitamin e. Tylenol is safe to take. Take care and I'm sure support will be here to help you through.
chr4407, I had this surgery two times in a row. The first time, the s.o.b. surgeon left the hemorrhoid in---yep, left it in and didn't tell me. I called back in a couple of days complaining that I was having very bad throbbing, which was so much like I had with my hemorrhoid prior to what he supposedly removed. Little did I know that the throbbing was throbbing from the same hemorrhoid!

Well, fortunately I guess, I had complications from his botched job which led me to the emergency room where another surgeon, one I had been to before, fixed the whole darned mess and took out the hemorrhoid that had been left in. The throbbing no longer reappeared.

Now following that repair, I had swelling inside that I swear felt like I had hemorrhoids. Now, mind you, I hadn't known at that time that the first surgeon had NOT removed my hemorrhoid after he botched up things, it was only 10 weeks after my repair surgery that I got my medical chart notes and found that out. So I was optimistic when I felt that swelling.

Still, when I called the 2nd surgeon to talk about how to soften my hard stools and reported my bleeding with stools at 4 weeks, his nurse exclaimed, "Good God...don't tell me you have new hemorrhoids!" she was referring to my symptoms of bleeding with bowel movements at week 4 post-operative.

Well, naturally that didn't make me feel very confident, however, I still felt that I didn't have hemorrhoids, but that the area was beaten up. I turned out right. After about 3-4 more weeks that swelling went down, and now it's totally gone.

You are only at day 8. You have to realize that you were cut open, the vein(s) within were taken out, their ends were cauterized, then their open wounds were sutured. Of course those surgical places are swollen now! Have you ever gotten stitches? If so, you know that the sown part is puffed up, tender and swollen, sometimes for 4 weeks or more.

If you are having pulsing throbbing like a vein, as I did the first time, then you might have to fear the hemorrhoid is still in there---I'm talking about pounding throbs of beating blood, hammering unmistakably away inside your butt. If you are only swollen and in pain, then you can have peace of mind that is due to the sutured wounds.

I had this swollen painful feeling until the absorbable stitches inside passed out with my stools about 8 weeks later. God, I hated those absorbable stitches, because they took so long to so-called be absorbed! As long as those stitches were in my wounds, they made the area tender sore and infected. But I just had to wait, and wait and wait for them to go on their own.

8 days really is in the early stage, and lots of time you pass a bit of blood with each stool and even passing gas I would stain my underwear with blood. I learned not to push even to pass gas, just let it stay trapped in their until eventually it came out on its own. The reason you might pass even up to a tablespoon of blood even if you don't push, is the passing stool kind of scratches the wounds a bit.

Hang in there, chr4407, soon it will all be a dim memory. Hard to believe, but it is now almost 3 months for me and the terrible agony of the first few weeks seems like another lifetime to me.
One other thing, Steve. For the first 3 weeks after surgery, I had 3 bowel movements each morning. Yep. But, I found patting on vaseline before going helped to minimize the afterburning. I was very distressed about having to go so much, and often called the nurse seeking help, but she didn't give me any. I got through it, and during the times I was going 3 times a day, it was when I wasn't taking the colace in enough dose, and I also wasn't eating enough fiber and not having a metamucil pill.

Then when I took enough colace, I actually had many days where I just went once---a very long bm, but just once, and that helped a lot. Now I sometimes vary, but I am significantly healed inside, and other than remaining anxiety that I might scratch my hard scars inside, I don't really have discomfort when I go, even if multiple times.
Walt, times like what you are going through are certainly discouraging, but things will get better. While your sister means well, I have to tell you it takes a long time, and subjecting yourself to yet another inside exam will just set you back again, no kidding. Unless someone has been through this, they just don't understand how it can drag on and on. Your greatest nemesis is the daily need to have bowel movements. I have to tell you that, even where I am at, and I am sitting here feeling very comfortable in my butt hole, my longest record without bleeding a bit, has been 4 days, and that is in 3-1/2 months.

Now the bleeding is usually a string or streak on the stool and a tad on the tissue, and I can generally blame it on stools too firm, just firm, not even hard, or that I got inpatient and pushed a bit to go, when I shouldn't have. Each time I started again with the gotu kola. It has now been 2 days since I last used the gotu kola, and I have to say I am greatly improved since one month ago, as I can sit on most surfaces and often feel just like my butt hole used to feel before this procedure.

But just 5 days ago I couldn't stick to my water drinking regimen as I had an appointment in the morning with my endocrinologist; and the night before I tried not to eat things that could cause me to go too much. Well, I did pay for that later in the afternoon with a stool too firm that made me bleed a tad for the first time in 4 days. I was very upset of course, but started again with gotu. I bled again the next day, but not too much. By the next day no more bleeding.

This pattern has been the norm for me, but the difference is now, that unlike when I was like at your point, now if I bleed from a setback a bit, it feels like a small stinging cut, that goes away rapidly, rather than also soreness inside and tenderness. I still feel some pain sometimes when I go, as I am not totally healed.

Walt, you can't command or pay someone to heal you. Nature follows a course in this surgery that is drawn out. I think you need to trust what the surgeon said last week when she looked inside. I told you that you would go downhill after the inside view for 2 weeks then start to see a turnaround. However, if you are having a lot of physical movement, you also have to suffer the consequence of setbacks, as even standing too long for me would cause me to have increased swelling inside and even some increased bleeding even at week 8!

I also have to tell you that I understand you are getting close to reaching your tolerance and saying enough is enough, but personally I reached that point about 7 separate times, and exclaimed aloud, "I quit! No more!" Unfortunately, though, saying that didn't change a damn thing, but I still had the need to say it several times.

It is nobody's fault or negligence that it is taking you this route, it is the way this damn surgery recovery is. I have to tell you that if you want peace of mind, go ahead to another surgeon, but you better write down and put it up on your refridgerator afterwards that "I just had an internal exam, and for 2 weeks after will be sore and might bleed from it, but that is to be expected...I shouldn't get discouraged."

Then you will have the mindset to get through, but after that, leave your butt alone! Stop having people poke and prod inside, because each time you do you set yourself back even more than if you just waiting things out. I know how you feel, it sucks to put it mildly. Only now am I having normal feelings a greater part of the day, but like I told you I still have some pain when I go because I don't feel completely healed there, and I still can bleed from firm stools---that is to be expected from this procedure.

That feeling of tightness will go once those damned Vicryl sutures completely dissolve, but again, it took mine about 7 weeks to go, and add to that another 10 days for the remaining sores where the sutures had been to close, before my major inside troubles lifted.
Anitraw, you still are in the early stages of healing, and it can be normal to bleed when having a stool for up to the first 2 months. I had this surgery twice, from 2 different colon-rectal surgeons, and each one gave me a post-operative instructions sheets. And each one said bleeding with bowel movements can be normal; abnormal bleeding is 1/4 cups of blood per stool movement or more. It can be normal for your stools to be streaked with blood, or for a little to drip out, or for a bit to be on your toilet paper at the end for the first 6-12 weeks.

I have to make clear that the stools soft and self-moving aren't something I came up with, or any idea of my own. Both of my surgeons told me I had to take stools softeners, and that I couldn't, for ANY reason, push to go. Each told me the stools had to flow out on their own, and that I was, for NO reason to sit on the toilet until I the stools were practically coming out on their own. I found this a very hard thing to do, and I tried resisting their instructions and paid for it with reinjuring myself, until I finally took to heart their commands.

Neither of my surgeons passed this along as a suggestion, but as demands that I follow their orders to keep my stools soft and flowing out on their own, which I call self-moving, or I would pay the price.

For the first 3 weeks after my surgery, I had trouble eating right and taking enough colace to do what each doctor commanded. And I can tell you they were right, because having to push, even a little would make me bleed. And not having the right foods and drinking enough, would make hard stools that would then reinjure me.

I kept up in this vicious cycle until I finally figured out how much colace to eat, and fiber and metamucil to take so my stools did flow out on their own, soft. Only then did I start to really heal inside.

So, I kind of believe 2 colon-rectal surgeons separate orders over 1 (yours), especially since I experienced first hand the delays in healing when you still try to push, and your stools are too hard. It wasn't until week 6 that I started to get my diet right; that meant that I spent the first 6 weeks doing all of the wrong things, and I believe that is why it took so long for me to heal.

If you started bleeding today, then I believe that your second bowel movement caused a strain inside to your healing wounds, not a fissure. This happened many times to me over my first 8 weeks. I don't think it had anything to do with your hard stool yesterday, because the bleeding would have happened at that time. Sometimes even the strain of 2 stools in a row can cause you to bleed alittle. This is not anything to be scared of. Only if you start to bleed 1/4 cup or more, from now on with each bowel movement. Also, if you have a fissure, you will know the moment that you got it, because you will feel the tear or cut happening, because it is a painful trauma to feel your butt get a cut.

Having a bleeding sore or some blood during this surgery are usually caused by the surgery wounds themselves, that are not fully closed, and are being irritated by your stools and are bleeding a little. This happens until those wounds close up. Also, your sutured area can bleed at the sutures holes any time the sutures are tugged on. But, a fissure isn't something that just appears, you FEEL it happening, because it is actually a tear or new cut that appears and that HURTS.

I knew exactly when my fissure happened around 2-3 weeks ago. I had a stool so large, as I had never had in my life, and hard, that it felt too large to pass through my butt hole. I felt it stretch and tear me as it passed, and cause me a fissure right then. Unless you feel something new like this happen to you, you can probably feel reassured that a little bit of bleeding during stools is a normal irritation for your stage of recovery.

I think you are less than 4 weeks into this recovery, and I did a lot of daily bleeding with each stools at that time. Read my first post here at the very beginning of this thread on page 1, and you will read how I was distraught that I was bleeding at week 4-1/2.

That bleeding turned out to be normal, and not related to any abnormality. I didn't have any fissure then. I only got my fissure a couple of weeks back, after I was healed, and only because I had eaten too much fiber, metamucil and made a stool too large, and I had also been trying to cut back on my colace, and that had made the stool too hard.

I still want to cut back on my colace, but I am scared to right now while I am healing from my fissure. I am going to see my gastroenterologist in the next few weeks to get advice how to eat longterm and get off of the colace when I heal from my fissure. But I have health problems that cause me to have constipation, that you don't have, so these problems of mine, probably aren't yours. :)
Walt, I am really sorry about your difficulties. I really do feel that your forced return to work has set you back. I count my blessings that I work at home, and I know that has helped me to properly take it easy, and doctor my butt as needed. Even though you have done your best to find the best sitting positions at work, you still were forced to a regimen that was too early for you to go through. I don't doubt the tension and stress has contributed to your getting those setbacks to your scar area.

Runninggal who is a month or so more further than I, told me she still suffers some bleeding from time to time; she also told me her surgeon told her she can expect setbacks for up to a year, with stools too hard recutting the scar area, or foods too coarse. This is a horrible problem of this recovery. Even today I had a tiny bit of blood on the tissue, and I have to deal with bad stinging which I believe is a small cut in my scar area. Here I am at 4-1/2 months and I spend more time in the bathroom then I do anywhere else, or so it feels.

Just today alone I had 5 bowel movements, and not small ones, and the same yesterday, all in a struggle to keep my stools soft through metamucil. Do you think I like this lifestyle? Like you, I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving this year, and probably not Christmas, just mailing presents to relatives, as I can't go more than a short time away from my bathroom, and I am not recovered enough to use other public restrooms or relatives' bathrooms. I still can't trust my bowels, and I have to have on hand my trusty butt treatments whenever I go.

I am hoping in a year or two these things will be things of the past, but as you know by now, this is a long, slow recovery, too slow for the fast pace of today's world. At least you finally found a surgeon who told you the truth, that you have 2 cuts, and what you can expect. Have you ventured to try the elocon for a 4 day treatment, once at bedtime? If you do, I would start it on a Friday night, on through Sunday, when you can follow with 2 days at home, to give your butt the proper rest. I have found when I have cuts inside, it helps greatly to reduce the swelling. I have had to use it 3 separate times, and each time got great relief.
I need help. I had my hemorrhoidectomy 8 days ago. Until the bowel movement, which came three days later, I was actually dealing with it. However, my movements have never been without having to strain. In fact, I always feel like I have stool waiting and wanting to come out, but unless I strain, it won't come out.
I went in to see the surgeon yesterday, and they went in and manually removed some stool. That was horrific. So, today, I have been pushing as hard as I can to move stool.
I started reading this and realize that maybe this wasn't a good idea. How do I get my stool to self-propel? I'm crying over this. It would be tolerable if it wasn't for this. I've been spending every other hour in the bathroom because of feeling like I need to go and then pushing the stool out -- which doesn't seem hard, but it's not soft either. I've even gone in and pulled whatever I could out myself.
I can't go back for that manual extraction. It felt as bad as the first day I had the surgery. I had external and internal hemorrhoids.
Please help somebody.
[QUOTE=rcl]I need help. I had my hemorrhoidectomy 8 days ago. Until the bowel movement, which came three days later, I was actually dealing with it. However, my movements have never been without having to strain. In fact, I always feel like I have stool waiting and wanting to come out, but unless I strain, it won't come out.
I went in to see the surgeon yesterday, and they went in and manually removed some stool. That was horrific. So, today, I have been pushing as hard as I can to move stool.
I started reading this and realize that maybe this wasn't a good idea. How do I get my stool to self-propel? I'm crying over this. It would be tolerable if it wasn't for this. I've been spending every other hour in the bathroom because of feeling like I need to go and then pushing the stool out -- which doesn't seem hard, but it's not soft either. I've even gone in and pulled whatever I could out myself.
I can't go back for that manual extraction. It felt as bad as the first day I had the surgery. I had external and internal hemorrhoids.
Please help somebody.
Rcl- I know how you are feeling this is how I was at the begining and I even went to the ER for it and they gave me a med that made me have bad explosive BM'S! That hurt really bad!!! Don't push whatever you are going to do dont push. If you read back far enough you will see that I was having this same fight and Tammy helped me get on the right track. You need to take colace and Metamucile. And make sure you have enough fiber in your diet. This will help your stool be self moving. You will see that in some of my recent posts I started to push again and set myself back. I am at week 7 and I started to have bleeding again and after talking to Tammy I am sure it is because I started to push again. I added another Colace and seem to be doing better. I also drink about 20-22 glasses of water a day, it is also important to eat three meals because I have learned that if I skip a meal my stool seems like it is not going to move on its own and I have to help. The other thing it is hard to feel that stool sitting in your rectum but you have to try to leave it there until it is ready to come out. I found that if I lay down for about 10min and then walk around for 10 min and keep doing that until it is ready it seems to be a little less painful.

Well soon you will be getting a post from Tammy and she will be very upset when she finds out that you are pushing as hard as you can:) She is great she will help you through this, she is the only doctor we all can trust. I hope things start to get easier for you and keep posting you will find that it helps you through this awful surgery. Take care
Hi Tammy,

Hope you are doing well. It has been a while since I last wrote because a lot has been going on. My doctor released me to full duty Nov 24th (even after I told him I do not feel ready yet and needed a week or two longer). It was very difficult returning to work, not only with the discomfort but I couldn't have all my paraphanalia (Tucks, creams/ointments, rubber gloves, etc.) I resigned from my job, accepted a new position and began training (3 week program) for my new job. After attending training one week, suffering from an acute case of bronchitis, and uncomfortable hemorrhoidectomy, I had to withdraw. Now, I am jobless! It has been 8 1/2 weeks since my surgery. I began having severe problems with the surgery site. Bowel movements became and still are very difficult and I have to push hard and force it out, and they are not soft like they should be. I am taking an asthma inhaler, Augmentin (antiobiotic), a mucous thinner, and cough medicine with codeine occasionally for the bronchitis. Do you think any of these meds or a certain one is causing this difficulty. I take 5 stool softners daily, eat two-three servings of fruit, drink lots of water and a glass of juice, and take psyllium husk twice a day and am still having an extremely difficult time having a bowl movement, and it is soooooo painful! Yesterday early morning, I got up to urinate. I sat, peed, passed gas and started dripping blood into the toilet from the rectum without even having a bowel movement! This has never happened to me before and after 8 weeks it is a little scary. I also purchased A & D ointment (I remembered you recommending it earlier) and have applied it but don't seem to get any relief. Is this the ointment that is also used for diaper rash? I am having to take 500 mg. of Percocett at least once per day for the pain. I know this can be constipating but these past few days have been so painful. Everytime I apply A & D ointment or Anusol HC, the wounds feel hard and lumpy. How long must this pain, swelling, and bleeding go on? How long will it take to start feeling better already? Any furter words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I have no relationship with my doctor. He has been uncaring, unprofessional and plain and simply, a real jerk! I don't even want to return to him, but feel that another surgeon will not want to have anything to do with someone elses's work.
Yes You Are Right In Everything You Say. I Just Had A Hemorrhoidectomy On March 23,2004. I Had A Terrible Time Having My First Bm. The Doctor Had To Give Me Three Types Of Solutions And Finally The Third Worked And It Was Horrible. I Had 3 Hard Stools,followed By Soft Stools And Then All Liquid And Kept Going For Hours And Finally It Stopped. I Take Peri Colace To Keep Me Soft And Its Been Going On 8 Weeks And I Still Have Pain And Some Bleeding With Every Bowel Movement. This Thursday I Am Going Back To The Hospital To Have A Rectal Exam Under Anesthesia To See What Is Causing My Bleeding After Bowel Movements. He Also Is A Good Surgeon But I Guess Like You Said Everyone Reacts Different. Maybe I Am Not Completely Healed But He Wants To Find Out And Will Not Examine Me In The Office Anymore As Its So Painful. At Least I Hope There Will Be An Answer And A Solution. It Is Definitely The Worst Surgery I Have Ever Had. I Would Appreciate Any Thoughts On Why I Still Have Some Bleeding And Pain. Maybe I Need More Time ,i Really Don't Know But It Worries Me On The Problem I Am Still Having. I Did Have A Colonoscopy And It Was Ok And Thats When He Said I Had Very Bad Internal Hemorrhoids And External Ones Too. Thats Why I Had The Surgery. Glad To Hear You Are Doing Ok. Marg
Hi, I thought I should post. I've been reading the board since my surgery was scheduled in July. I finally had my surgery August 30. The information on this board is awesome, but do not let it get to you. Most of the stories here are extreme. That being said all the information related to what to eat and how to relieve pain is very relavent.
I was fortunate not to have any of the complications mentioned here. That doesn't mean that the surgery was at all easy. I had gotten to the point that my hemorrhoids were bleeding so bad I was wearing a pad daily. My life is much better just 16 days after surgery.
So here's my story. . .
I had a spinal so I was ready to go home (in my opinion) right after I got to the recovery room. Then the nurse asked me to move my legs or feet. What a wierd feeling (or lack of feeling). I slowly got my feeling back, but was feeling absolutely no pain. They told me I could go home as soon as I could get up and go to the bathroom.
It took about 2 hours to get enough feeling that I thought I could walk (with help) to the bathroom. I started having horrible cramps that no one could understand. When I got to the bathroom I almost passed out and could not go to the bathroom. About a half an hour later I was able to go to the bathroom. Between that time they tried two different IV medicines to relieve the cramping (they assumed pain) I was feeling. What I eventually understood was that I really had to go to the bathroom, but didn't have the muscle control yet to do so.
After I went to the bathroom I felt great. I got dressed and my husband took me home. I was hungry, feeling no pain, life was great. My husband told me to take two of my pills because he knew the pain was coming -- I didn't believe him, but took the pills anyway. He was being careful what I could eat, but I wanted everything -- I really felt good.

Then the medication they gave me at the hospital started wearing off. Then I started throwing up. Now it's my belief that the two different IV meds and everything else that had been done combined with the pain had a lot to do with my being so nausous, but there I was, unable to take the pain meds because they would just come up.
I had a miserable 24 hours. The doctor changed the oral pain medication the next morning, thinking that could be causing the nausousness. What I realized was my tummy was unhappy. I needed to eat (and keep the food down) with any pain meds. And if I went to sleep I couldn't get sick.
The second 24 hours were just a blur of me telling myself this. By day 3 I could eat and take the pain meds. I started passing gas after I stopped throwing up and that was more painful than my eventual bowel movements. I took a gas relief pill and it seemed to help (might have just tasted good). I was really scared that by not having a bowel movement right away I was building a horrible obstruction that would have to be surgically removed. I had a bm the 3rd day. Not fun, but okay. Things continued to get better day by day. Every couple of days I would have a bad day, but now (16 days) I feel pretty good. Today is my first unmedicated day (so far) but I am down to one or two pain pills (depending on bowel activity) a day.
My advice would be:
Drink lots of water
Try to sleep
Make your bathtub comfortable and use it often (sitz baths and pain pills were my best friends)
Listen to your body. When I tried really hard to sleep after pain meds my tummy didn't hurt as bad. If I could sleep for 40 minutes or so, the pain meds were in my system and everything else worked better.
Be prepared for lots of pain, but remember what got you here in the first place. I am in so much better a place than a month ago. I'm not wearing a pad today for the first time in years!!
As Harry said, read through the thread. There is a wealth of information in there. I'm in my seventh month of recovery. What I can tell you is that you will need to transition off of the heavy pain meds--narcotics-- as soon as possible. They constipate and you DON'T want to be constipated. Your doctor should give you a stool softener to help. You will probably find that you will rely on this stool softener for quite a while, as the thought of a hard stool is beyond scary.

In regard to sitz baths, I was given a plastic device that I could put over the toilet. In it I could mix in the salts with water and have my sitz baths that way. I found this more practical than laying in the tub multiple times per day. However, I have read from some others that they received a lot of comfort from being in the tub, so you will have to find what works best for you.

Try and find someone to assist you. I was not able to leave my house for 1 full month after I had the surgery. I mean not at all. It will be extremely difficult to move around so you will require assistance with meals and such. Beware of bowel anxiety. Everyone has it. This is the fear of having a bowel movement because of the pain. Be sure to eat high fibre diet, take stool softener and drink lots of water. And when you have to go, go. Don't hold back. Your bowel movements will most likely be painful for a while, but holding back and not going can cause serious damage.

I hope all goes well.

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