Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Two Months Preceding the Diagnosis

On July 5, the P.A. (Professional Assistant) at my primary care physician confirmed I had a hemorrhoid and prescribed ointment. The ointment gave me quite a bit of relief. The massive blood in the bowl disappeared with this treatment, and I believed I was on my way to finally healing this pain in my behind;-)

As a safety precaution, I scheduled my annual physical with my primary care physician. This occurred later that month. And as always, everything comes back great. No issues what so ever except the typical, which was that my vitamin D was low. I simply needed to make sure to get out in the sun for about 15 minutes a day. This really shouldn't be that difficult because I walk my dog, Rusty, three times daily, and one of them is when the sun is shining. So rest assured, I'm healthy as always was my thought.

But....early August, the hemorrhoid returns as painful as before, and the bleeding is back. I decided to make an appointment with a Gastroenterologist, which is what the P.A. at my primary care physician recommended if the hemorrhoid continued to give me problems. So I called multiple locations looking for anyone that could give me an appointment within a reasonable period of time. The only place that could accommodate me within the same week, was the Pineville Medical Center in South Charlotte, but only the P.A. was available to see me that soon. Based upon the amount of pain the hemorrhoid was giving me at that point, I took the appointment.

I arrived for the appointment, and Tanya Williams, the P.A., again, confirmed I had a hemorrhoid and prescribed something a bit stronger than what I had prior received. She also suggested an over the counter stool softener to ensure that I kept my stool soft which would aid in the healing of the inflamed hemorrhoid. All of this instantly gave relief, both with the swelling and with pain. Ana Mantle, the ointment she prescribed, seemed to be my cure! Or so I thought.

But then again, after about two weeks of relief, I ran out of medication. I began again to use over the counter remedies, but not only did the pain return, it returned with a vengeance. Now it seemed that every time I had a movement, what I was eliminating was scraping or tearing my anal canal. I know this sounds gross, but I cannot describe it any other way. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced other than child birth. I almost passed out at times. It was too painful to even clean myself properly so I'd end up in the shower for 10 to 15 minutes afterwards so that the warm water could cleanse the area, and once it was clean, the feeling of the tear would subside. I actually started drinking my meals because I thought if I didn't eat any solid foods, I wouldn't have a bowel movement and the fewer movements I could have the less pain I would have.

This level of pain every time I had to go to the bathroom made it very difficult to work, so I started having to leave work mid day so that I could have a bowel movement in the comfort of my own home. How sad:(

I also got extremely fatigued each day. I had assumed it was associated with my body trying to heal this stupid hemorrhoid. Little did I know it was something much bigger.

Of course, I returned to Tanya for all of this. She confirmed that I had developed a fissure. A fissure is a small tear in the anal canal. Although it was a small tear, it created an unbearable pain! She prescribed a compounded ointment to cure the fissure, as well and another ointment to help with the hemorrhoid. She discussed the need in the future for a colonoscopy in order to assess what was causing all of these issues. She suggested that we cure the fissure, then schedule the colonoscopy. All of this sounded fine to me because I was now dealing with this chronic hemorrhoid for a few months, and the amount of blood loss as well as the fatigue was very tiring and was affecting my work. I'm normally the healthy one, yet I found myself going to sleep at 8:00 p.m. so I would have enough energy to go to work on time the next day. That was not typical of me at all. I simply needed everything to be cured so I could go back to a normal life.

Immediately upon beginning to use the compounded ointment for the fissure and alternating it with the hemorrhoid ointment, I got some relief. At least I didn't pass out any longer while having a bowel movement, but I still had to use the shower to get enough immediate soothing of the pain and I still had a significant amount of fatigue.

However, very quickly, things went from bad to worse...

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