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Bowel Disorders Message Board


Bowel Disorders Board Index


I want to point out that I make myself get out of bed an walk around some. I think that may be helping my recovery go better than some of the other posts I've read - and I'm not alone in believing this.

I've read multiple times and my Dr told me not to use the sitz contraption that sits on the toilet. He said that anything that causes your butt cheeks to be pulled apart is a no-no during recovery since it will pull on your stitches and put you at risk for fissures. The only exception is sitting on the toilet-and he said not to be on the toilet over 5 minutes. And when I sit on the toilet, I put my weight on one cheek or the other... if I put my weight evenly on both, it hurts more...not sure why, but don't really care why at this point - just trying to get through this.

Honestly, I didn't even try to poop on the toilet the first time due to all that I have read on here. From my research, having a BM in the tub is a lot easier on the body so I did my first BM that way so I could decide if I wanted to try to used the pot next time or not. I started practicing relaxing my rectum even before surgery since I've read much of the pain comes from trying to pass stool through the rectum which is so tight after being cut on. Just as everyone else, I was very concerned about the first BM and all I've read about it. Actually I was still debating on relieving myself in the toilet or in the tub for my first BM, but late in the evening the day after surgery I was sitting in my sitz bath reading a book and I had to pass gas (passing gas is much easier in the tub too.) Shortly after passing gas, I could tell something of more substance was coming down the pipe as well. At that point it was too late, I couldn't get myself out of the tub in time. And after it was all over, I'm glad I was in the tub because I think I might had fallen in the floor otherwise. If you've read the stuff I've read, then you've seen where someone described it as passing a watermelon wrapped with barbed wire dipped in acid or some other non sense. The part that kills me is that others are agreeing that it's an accurate description - hell they had me scared to death. I'm a little irritated that people are exaggerating to that extreme when they should have compassion to try to help each other through this. Don't let me fool you, it hurts, but I'd go through this pain any day over trying to poop barbed wire. I'm not sure how much cutting they did down there, but I have stitches on both sides of my rectum and it was the traditional scapel technique to give you a reference. I was only scheduled to remove one hem, but I'm assuming they removed 1 from each side. I feel compelled to give a more accurate description about the pain. The first BM hurt the most, but it was also harder than the rest. I think I had Pre-surgery stool in me still that hardened up a bit from being in my digestive tract so long. So there I am sitting in my tub of water thinking that I'm just passing gas & then I realize there is something more... And my butt is puckered up. I'm trying to relax my rectum and trying to concentrate on not pushing at all - never push or risk other complications. I sat there trying to relax for maybe a minute or 2 and I could feel my rectum starting to give way slowly then an uncontrollable (and unexpected) convulsion hit and it pushed everything out. It did hurt quite a bit, but it was quick too. It did feel larger than it was, but more like tennisball, not watermelon wrapped in barbed wire. I do think that because I was in a tub of warm water helped my rectum relax enough to pass the stool more easily, but that's a decision each person has to make. I could feel where the stool pushed against the incisions but it didnt feel like glass against the incisions. If you've ever scraped yourself badly and run water across it, well imagine that sort of pain but a bit worse-maybe rubbing a washcloth across it. Yes, it hurts but keep breathing and try to keep from pushing and it will pass. I think it helps with the pain if you are concentrating really hard not to push....and breath and breath and breath. The incisions were most likely bleeding some because they were burning and they continued to burn for a bit. And you might cry but you are tired too so you might just be glad it's over while you endure. Every time I've had a BM I still feel the urge to poop afterward. I try to just relax and I think this is a false sensation. The burning of the incisions reminds me of alcohol based ointment on a cut...where it's burning and you are blowing on it to make it feel better, but you just have to wait it out. That probably lasts 2 or 3 minutes then you get the part that I think is the worst - it's replaced by your rectum going into a spasm of sorts. I've heard it compared to what contractions feel like, but I'm a guy so I have no frame of reference. But the first one lasted for 2 hours for me (luckily they seem to get shorter each time I have a BM.) The remedy I've heard is the sitz bath, but I couldn't tell it helped for me. I tried to walk it off - that actually hurts more because you feel like your insides are falling out. It's not that it's unbearable pain, it's the fact that it last so long that I have trouble with. It's a throbbing that just won't stop and I don't know how to tell you to get through it, except to endure. I'm litereally worn out by the time it's done...I'm constantly moving my legs to a new position over and over again looking for one that offers some relief. I've read that really hot water helps, but I'm scared that hot water might increase bleeding. Anyway, I try to note what time it is & I know that it will be over in 2 hours so I just try to endure for 2 hours. If anyone knows of a way around this, I for own would love to know it. Your rectum will be sore after all this. My doctor recommended neosporin afterward, but I haven't really tried that yet.

Recognize that signals your rely on don't feel the same as before surgery. It is very hard to tell when you have gas versus a BM. I was climbing in the tub to relieve gas and it happened to be diahrrea that ran down my leg before I even got seated.

I've had a couple of other BMs since then. One in the tub and one on the toilet. They both hurt, but they werent as firm as the first and they didnt hurt as badly, but the one on the tub did bleed more, but nothing too badly. If you do have a BM in the tub, you cannot let poop run down the drain or it'll clog your pipes. I have multiple pails sitting next to my tub with my essentials for recovery. One contains magazines, a mp3 player, my cell phone, etc - things to do while I'm in the tub. Another is my vomit pail. Luckily I've only used it when I tried mineral oil, but I have felt nauseous a couple of times so I keep it handy. The third holds a strainer, paper plates, etc. to get poop out of the tub and over to the toilet. And I have another container that I keep towels in. My tub and toilet are next to each other so I keep a cup and epsom salts on the back of the tub so I can easily have my tub of water set up for my next BM. Cleaning poop out of the tub in this condition is no picnic, but trying to climb into the tub in a spasm wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done either.

I think I'm having a normal recovery so far, so this is probabably not accurate if you are having any complications. This is tough, don't get me wrong... but the descriptions I've read make this sound 5 times worse than what I think it actually is. Plus I've had a hernia repair at the same time. I do reserve the right to change my opinion at any time, but so far I think this is pretty accurate of what I'm going through.
Hi Beachgal! I've missed you! I hope you are doing well.

I completely understand about getting nervous that last week. I did okay til the night before surgery and just couldn't sleep; and in hospital prep my blood pressure went high - but nothing compared to what it did when the nurse made me stand up to go pi$$. I really did give her a look of "you are a crazy woman." And I know everyone is different, but my tush didn't hurt - just my abdomen from the hernia surgery...again I wouldn't do both at the same time. If I had it to do over again, I'd ask my surgeon if it'd be ok to take a laxative the day before to get as much poop out of me before surgery as possible. I really think the stuff that was in my upper digestive tract was the part that was constipated during my first BM because it started hard and ended soft.

Also, talk to your surgeon about what he is going to do while he is in there and be clear what you will allow him to do and what you won't allow him to do. My surgeon was originally supposed to only remove the large hem, but after he was in there he cut on both sides - I'm assuming he saw a smaller hem after he was in there and wanted to prevent me from having to go through this again. But these are rectal surgeons, and you hear of people going in for this surgery and coming out with completely different surgeries performed. I don't care if the guy saw cancer that was going to kill me in a week...I want the guy to stop and discuss recovery with me before they do anything more invasive than what I agreed to. I was okay with him removing an extra hem - I don't think 2 incisions were probably any worse than 1, but had he done 4 or 5 incisions...that'd probably be a different story. I have not talked to my surgeon since surgery. If I call, he makes his staff talk to me and they do not give me the confidence in their answers - so I think it's easier to ask any last questions BEFORE surgery. Just my opinion from my experience...yours could be different.

In the past I pasted a "recovery sheet" I created for my surgery - well it's about 4 pages long really - that I think you should talk to your surgeon about before hand as well. In another post I've listed the type of diet I had while I recovered and it worked really well for me too. I think the recovery sheet works well because it's organized in the order that you need the information - right after surgery; the next 2 or 3 days; the first week; etc. I only added guy stuff and thinigs that I was going to try; but it's a good template and I highly suggest you print off a copy and update for your particular beliefs. I'm not a type to put a flower petal on it and see if it gets better when there is a narcotic available to make it stop hurting. I'm not knocking it, because I know quite a bit of that stuff does work, but I knew I wasn't going to be doing it so I didn't gather any of the info. I've also updated my 5 types of pain (that someone else posted) to 7 types of pain (that I personally experienced) somewhere else on the board. I'll try to repost in a new thread tomorrow with all updated information with the knowledge I've gained "after my surgery." Note there is nothing in there that has to do with complications - it all assumes you are doing well and I am really amazed how accurate the timelines came out for my recovery - but it gives you something to gauge your progress with. The one thing I would ask about (when you talk to your surgeon) is the ointment - specifically the diaper rash ointments containing lanoline vs. rash ointments containing zinc oxide vs. vaseline, orajel, neosporin (with and without numbing agents), witch hazel, etc. It may be coincidence but after I started using ointment the burning after BMs ended. However I didn't using ointment til around day 6 or so. It may have been coincidence. My research shows vaseline - or any grease type product - increases healing time. I don't think I would have started using ointments earlier than when I did in either case. It seems to be widely accepted that keeping the wound drier and allowing it to seep heals quicker than covering it with something oily. I personally have never used witch hazel and was scared it would burn so I stuck to baby wipes with aloe. I believe that freaky frog girl can give you her thoughts on witch hazel *wink*. Again, I've read that long term use of some ointments will thin your anal lining and can cause problems later - I didn't copy down which ones they were - the zinc oxide ointments (butt paste and A&D) are the 2 that I've seen most highly recommended. I don't think I'd recommend using them up front - your tush is gong to be so sore that applying them will be difficult at first and honestly you are in the tub so much I don't know that there is a point. Anyway, my 2 cents.

A friend of mine lives in Tulsa and was going to fly down to take care of me during surgery and she had to have emergency gallbladder surgery the day before my surgery so I ended up having to take care of myself. We finally talked in detail earlier today and it was agreed that my surgery was tougher than hers, but we both did well afterward. She did ask, "if I knew what I knew right now, would I still go through it?" I have always said yes but I really gave that some thought today. In all honesty, I don't know. From where I stand right now, I'm 100% glad that I did the surgery. I'm 100% happy with the results so far. I'm 100% happy with myself after surgery - it feels like I went through some sort of test to see what I could go through and survive, and I feel like I survived very well. The thing is that I didn't have flareups too often, just maybe once every 6 weeks. But I always had this extra skin hanging back there that I personally thought was kind of gross. If I was having more issues with pain - if it was flaring up more often or more painful when I had flareups, the answer would be a definite yes. But I must admit, it's alot to go through for no more issues than I was having because of the hem being back there. But my hem was really large, it just didn't really hurt much. The reason I did it now is because insurance was changing next year where I work and it would have cost about $1000 more for me to do it later...and due to the size of the hem, I was concerned about it getting worse later. So most likely yes, but I would have contemplated more.

And that silly frog girl; always comparing this to labor - how's a guy supposed to respond? I guess tomorrow at work when they ask why I'm walking so slowly, I'll tell them I went through labor over the holidays just to see the reaction. - you know I'm just being difficult; I really appreciate that our surgeries were so close together so we could share ideas and a feeling of "going through it with someone else" that is comforting for some odd reason. Although I think you should pay particular attention to over-chewing your corn next time. At lunch today at work, my coworkers asked me why it was taking me so long to eat & I told them this stuff has to exit at some point and I'm chewing it to a pulp - you will just have to wait. I had a grilled chicken breast sandwich which is more meat than I've been eating so I took 2 collace just in case where I have been doing only 1 with meals.

I have no idea about the sex question. I've not seen much posted on it either - and again that's different for girls then for boys. I can say that the same muscles that a guy uses to get that last bit of pi$$ out when he's done at the urinal is attached to the sphincter because they both flex together. And it still hurts if I flex my sphincter at all. My surgeon told me that guys have tighter sphincter muscles than women so the surgery is more painful usually for a guy. I don't know if I believe that because I think Ilovefrogs is having more pain than I did...but she isn't as far along as I am also (day 12 on Monday) - and my recovery was really slow and it's like overnight the healing process speeds up and bam, you feel well. I also think I'm eating more than Ilovefrogs has been so my body has more nutrients, proteins, etc to use to heal with. But I'm just making a guess because she said she eats one meal a day. I have been eating 3 meals a day and usually a couple of snacks of fruit or similar so there is always fuel for the body to heal. I know guys are less concerned about dieting than women, but during healing I would not be concerned with weight gain or loss at all. I would be more concerned with keeping fuel to heal with, BMs and that they are soft yet have some girth to them. I pulled all junk food from my diet; but I ate very healthily. But on day 10 I was able to go clubbing and dancing and on day 12 I'm back at work pretty much eating whatever I want. Back to the question, I think I could have sex now, but I don't think it'd be anything enduring. It's more an energy thing with me at this point - I think I would take care not to do anything that would put the body in an awkward position though. I think at my current rate of healing 3 weeks is a good estimate. I'd say when you feel like you have enough energy where you could do all the work while your partner just lays there, you would probably be fine. I think 3 weeks sounds reasonable...but again I'm a guy so there would be less pressure near the surgical site. But I would think if you have your partner lay there where you do all the movement since you'll know what is tender and if you are uncomfortable - 3 weeks sounds like a good estimate for a woman too. But again, we all heal at different rates; and this is coming from a guy.

My first day at work...my only issue at work (besides missing those naps) was my stool was almost diarrhea-like. I drank coffee for the first time since surgery and coffee tends to do that to me anyway, so I'll have some adjusting of my softeners with my cup of coffee in the morning. Otherwise my tush did fine. My hernia site was very sore by day's end and when I got home I was REALLY sleepy and went to bed which is why I'm up so late now. Froggirl, I hope you are doing alright...I see you were up late too. I imagine it's because of the weird sleep patterns you get into while recovering. But I don't feel too much sympathy...now I want a BF I think. Except the "waiting til I feel better" part...he can just come cook and clean and do laundry. Limo service doesn't sound half bad either :) I am sorry to hear about your son & hope he is doing well at this point. Best of luck on his upcoming surgery.

In all honesty, you can go through this surgery without help if you have to - and have no complications. If you are used to living alone, you are used to providing for yourself and you probably have a pretty good idea how to plan for someone not being there already. I relied on canned soups mostly, but there are plenty of prepackaged food you can get to get you through 2 weeks. I'd just consider what goes in must come out. And I am a firm believer in you must get up and about as soon as you can; and not having someone there to do stuff for you will force you to get out of bed sooner rather than later...although nothing is going to make you want to do that...you just have be like Nike and "do it." I would have a "just in case" plan though. I kept my cell phone next to me almost the entire time - I was extremely careful not getting it wet when in the tub, but I kept it in arm's reach. But without complications a person can do this alone - I did. However I'm in pretty good health. If you are doing this alone, be sure to have those friction dots in your tub so you won't slip any. You'll be getting in and out of the tub alot.

I found it funny that Ilovefrogs apologized for being overly wordy. I write novels everytime I post I think :) But I'm not apologizing...it makes me feel better & you can all just suffer through it *wink* Note: you can tell who owns laptops by how much they type. I have gotten into the habit of bringing my laptop to bed after this surgery because you just cant type long sitting upright after surgery.

Again, try not to worry too much as you prep for surgery. When you are in the midst of everything, you won't believe how many things you'll stop worrying about. You won't care about bills, if the lawn gets mowed, if your sister got that job, etc. You'll only care about that next breath without clinching your ***** muscles. And most things with the recovery that you will be dreading are like your next birthday. It's gonig to happen...you may cry a bit...but rather than worry about it, take a valium or 2 and just get through the next 5 minutes...and the next 5 minutes...and the next 5 minutes. With any luck you'll pass out and miss the next 15 minutes. *innocent smile*

Ilovefrogs, in reference to your pain comments: I still take ibuprofen to help keep swelling down. If I go too long without taking any, I can tell I swell more back there and it starts getting uncomfortable. The more I walk, the more ibuprofen I need to keep swelling down. You might be experiencing that. But also I've read that taking different pain meds each 4 to 6 hrs has worked best for some. Just be careful not to mix prescription pain meds together and that some narcartics have acetimetiphin in them already and you can't take tylenol with them. At this point I'm pretty much off any pain meds. I take half a pain pill at most if I think I've done something - like walked way too much. But I'm doing ibuprofen for swelling more than anything else and I tend to grab that and maybe 2 tylenol at this point. I do keep all my meds with me still though - just in case.

I need to get in bed to get a few more hours sleep before work... Take care everyone.





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