Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Really Do Love Dr. B

And Annie. I haven't talked about something here because, well, it's kind of embarrassing. I've talked about it (what seems) endlessly on OH's RNY forum because I know from people's posts and replies that they too have endured what I've been experiencing for the past 7+ years. I have a chronic anal fissure (a tear in my rectum). There, I said it. And suffice it to say, it just bites. It was diagnosed shortly after my son was born (and probably came into being because of my efforts to push him out during childbirth). We've tried all kinds of non-surgical treatments, and it would heal, and then re-open, and heal and re-open.

When I was about 6 weeks post-op, I had a really bad bout with constipation. I saw Dr. Buckley and that is when I got started on Enulose syrup (in addition to daily Colace, 100 oz. or more of water daily, regular exercise, a very high fiber diet, and yogurt and probiotics daily). We agreed that the fissure couldn't be dealt with until the constipation was resolved. I'd like to say that I've been pretty "stable" with regards to pooping since that time. However, even with regular bathroom habits, the darn thing has re-opened after trying to heal at least 3 more times. About 8 weeks ago, it re-opened badly and has bled rather profusely after every BM every single day since. It has gotten to the point where I am in pain for 8 or 9 hours after a BM. If you can imagine what it feels like to pass shards of glass through your rectum, well, that's how this feels to me, or how I imagine it would feel since I've never actually passed shards of glass. So, I bit the bullet and went back to my GI guy. He wanted to re-evaluate the fissure just to make sure it wasn't really colitis or Crohn's. I had my third flexible sigmoidoscopy last Friday. My colon is very healthy...pristine, he declared. But, there is the problem of the fissure and the scarring that has developed as a result of healing and re-opening so many times. He referred me for a rectal surgery consult. The rectal surgeon he recommended is in the same practice as Dr. B. However, his schedule made it impossible for me to get in to see him in less than 2 months.

I realize that people may be thinking "well, you've had the thing for 7 years, what's 2 more months?" Understand a little about who I am...I will go as long as I possibly can before I seek help for a physical ailment. I'm a single mom without a lot of family support locally. The idea of having to deal with this and likely schedule another surgery, even a quick day procedure, is somewhat daunting. For me to have gotten to this point, well, I am already at the point where I just can't take anymore and waiting even 2 more months is inconceivable to me. That's 2 more months of passing shards of glass out my bum. No thank you.

Gratefully, Dr. B. was able to see me much sooner, and so I saw him tonight (thank you Annie!). He has such an easy manner; he explained what would need to be done, what I could expect for recovery, and of course he asked about how I was doing with my RNY and such. He talked with my son, and helped him look for what was "wrong" in the picture of the Highlights Magazine my son was looking at. You know, it's not just that Dr. B. is a doctor in this area who performs bariatric surgery. He's a great doctor. I was just reminded of all the reasons why I felt so confident putting my life and future in his hands with my RNY. He hasn't let me down. Ever. He's the best.

Can I just say how excited I am about the prospect of pain-free pooping? :)

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