I've spent the past couple days reading through the postings on this thread and feel an odd sense of having found long lost family.
I had my Hectomy on December 5th, 2003. I have ALWAYS had external hemmeroids as long as I could remember even as a child. I'm now 37 years old and simply got sick of having them. I went to my family doc and out of cosmetic purposes only, asked about having them removed. I was told..."Suuuuuuuure...nothing to it. Here's a surgeons name, give 'em a call..he'll just cut em off." So I go home, I call the doc, talk to his (??? still don't know her roll in the office) receptionist. I asked what to expect as far as recovery, and was told: "No gym for two weeks. Recovery is different for everyone, its not a big deal."
Well I'm very fit and spend 6 days a week working out at the gym. I believed myself to be extrememly strong, and thought I had a great tolerance for pain. So I'm thinking to myself, okay, I'll have this done on the 5th, one week to heal, and the second to get all my shopping for the holidays done. My biggest fear was losing the time in the gym as it would derail me from my personal fitness goals.
So I go see this surgeon for a cosultation...turns out we know each other FROM my gym. This isn't uncomfortable at all right? Well he had an absolutley outstanding sense of humor and I liked him immediatly. We joked about the experience I was about to embark. I asked how long I would need my husband home to help care for the kids and myself. They say one week. I say four days cuz I'm still thinking I'm Superwoman. So the Doc takes a look at me and evaluates me. He says I'm a 4 on a scale of 10. Then he hands me a pack of gauze, prescription for Percosette, Vocodine w/a refill, and Demerol. I said to him..."Really..how bad can this be? I will just spend the week in the tub." He at one point tells me that some people even poop in the tub...followed up with...I don't know how they do it, but they do. I replied with, "There will be NO pooping in my tub".
So the day comes, I go the hospital, looking forward to getting this experience over with. I'm thinking its all about the stages, first the surgery, getting home, then the first bowel movement (like after my kids were born).
I spent the first couple of days relatively comfortable not realizing that the novocaine shots in my arse was a long lasting kind. I'm taking my percosetes, enjoying some nap time, bulking up on Citrocil and Ducolax, dealing with what I beleived to be the worst of my discomforts. Sometime on Saturday ( the day after surgery) I had some small diahrea issues. Painful burning that sends me to my little sitz bath. Again thinking....SWEET! That's it! My first bowel movement is over.....smooooth sailing from here. Little did I realize that my little bout of diahrea was the last of any movements until Tuesday.
My doctor is calling me on a regular basis to see how I am doing so I am comforted in knowing that the muscle spasms I'm having, the pressure that I am feeling, the inability to urinate without sitting in a warm tub or sitz batch, and the overall discomfort is normal. He then says that he did a tremendous amount of work on me and that he didn't realize the extent of my issues until I was on the table. I wasn't a 4 as he originally diagnosed me, I was an 8. I'm actually feeling a little better about this as it validated my reasons for the procedure to be beyond cosmetic
Sometime late afternoon on Tuesday I feel the urge for a bowel movement come on. I, like I'm sure all those who have been through this, began the ritual of toilet, bath, bed, toilet, bath, bed, with no luck. Each passing hour, the urge is growing and the pain has moved me into what soon became my familiar chant. Chanting that god hated me, I'm f***** dying, and Just kill me. So there I am in the tub, knees pulled to my chest, and I give birth to the largest bowel movement I have ever had in my life. YES....i pooped in the tub. Sceaming in pain and not knowing that following this horrendous experience, I was going to be paralized with pain.
That night was by far the worst night of my life. I had 9 percossets in a 6 hour period followed by an olympic size pool of water.
Then came Wednesday. Had I known that each bowel movement was going to be an 6 to 8 hour lesson in human suffering followed by enough pain killers to knock out a football team, I would have opted for a little Chinese water torture.
Each time my doctor called me to find out how I was, I would lay out for him in the detail how I had been spending my time. I told him what I ate, what medicines I took, anything I could think in hopes of hearing that I was doing something wrong and that was the reason I was hurting so bad. I wanted to hear that all I had to do was change something and I would get better. I even told him that I had gotten my period 5 days after surgery. He said...."Oooooooo ow man." I said, "WHAT?? What does that mean??" He replied with, "I don't know, probably that your bloated and bitchy"
On my follow up appts. with him, I told him that he let me sit in his office and down play the entire ordeal. I asked why he didn't tell me what I was up for. He replied that had he told me the truth, I wouldn't have had it done. I said okay..then what is the truth? He said that evertime I had to poop, I was going to be in excrutiating pain. He also said that had I not waited so long, it would not have had to be as extencive as it was.
It took me 6 weeks to get to the point of pooping without using painkillers though I still have a vicodine day here and there. I tried going back to the gym after 2.5 weeks and that was a joke. Then again after 3.5 weeks and now I'm finally went back last Thursday. I still bleed on the ocassion after pooping and I still have what the doc says is swollen skin around my anus. He said they would be gone in 2 weeks. I don't really see that happening as that was a week ago and they are still there with no change.
Would I do this again? I have to honestly say at this stage in my recovery...HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELL NO. Perhaps after the swollen "tags" are gone and I actually have a normal functioning tooch, I may come to change my mind.
What have I learned?? Two things.
1. Pain can not be imagined
2. Pain is easily forgotten
Good luck to all you!