Rectocele Repair/Hemorrhoidectomy Update

I am overdue for an update and this one is a hard one to write. Let me say at the outset, everything is fine – just not what I expected.

The surgeries went just as they were supposed to. I’ve never had a surgery that long before – three hours – and I highly recommend it! Usually they wake me up from anesthesia and I feel like I just went to sleep. This time I felt nice and rested! It helped too that I was inpatient, as I was allowed to relax and doze while they found me a room.

Time in hospital wasn’t great. Nothing to do with the hospital – the nurses were phenomenal, I had a private room, and it was surprisingly quiet. But I had a catheter taped to my left thigh and an IV in my right hand so getting comfortable wasn’t possible. The pain initially was primarily cramping and pressure, as well as an overwhelming urge to pee, but that was caused by the packing and catheter. Those came out on the second day and I immediately started feeling better. Unfortunately, around the same time, the long-lasting anesthetic the doctor injected for the hemorrhoidectomy began wearing off. By the time I made it home, I was pretty uncomfortable around the rear, with feelings of pressure and burning (there was also packing back there that had not come out).

My doctor told me key was not to become constipated, which is easier said than done when you have IBS. I faithfully chugged Miralax and Metamucil… and chugged… and chugged… nothing. By Sunday afternoon I was quite concerned as he’d told me not to go longer than 2 days without moving my bowels, and the last time I went was Thursday afternoon.

Managed to talk to my GP as well as the on-call doc (and eventually my own surgeon) and the recommendations were keep taking Miralax, try Dulcolax, try mag citrate. I tried all of the above and finally Sunday night began having diarrhea. At the same time the anesthetic had worn completely off so my butthole felt like it was on fire 100% of the time. I was sent home with 10 Dilaudid pills but they’re an every 4 hour medicine so they didn’t last long. It’s a point of pride for me that I never finish painkillers but there’s an exception to every rule and I’m down to one Dilaudid at this point and have emailed my doctor about more. I find it embarrassing to ask – I don’t know if it’s because I don’t want him to think I’m an addict or because I’m ashamed that I’m not stronger.

Anyhow sorry this is a little disorganized. So the rectocele really isn’t bothering me much at all. I periodically (no pun intended) have some light cramping akin to menstrual cramping and I’m bleeding but nothing I can’t manage. I have an external stitch (or two? No clue) similar to an episiotomy stitch so obviously need to be very gentle with the area but it’s not a constant pain. Just a dull ache.

The hemorrhoidectomy on the other hand – hoo boy. I had always heard that hemorrhoidectomies were absolutely brutal but having been through many brutal things that are supposed to be “the worst pain you can experience” I was not any more concerned than normal. Friends – it’s brutal. BRU. TAL. My butthole feels literally as though someone is holding an open flame to it. At the same time, it also feels as though something is pressing it – hard – from the inside, although I can ASSURE you that after over 24 straight hours of diarrhea, nothing is. Sitz baths help but only so much and for so long. No position is comfortable. If I try to do anything, even walking around my house or showering, for longer than a few minutes, I begin shaking from pain and exertion.

Friends keep checking in on me to ask how I’m doing and I keep telling them, “Horrible.” I am an optimist with a high pain threshold so this is the first time in my life I have been recovering from something and not had a chipper, upbeat attitude and good news to share. The mornings always feel slightly better than the day before but by the time early evening rolls around I am in agony and having a hard time coping.

So that’s basically the update. I am truly sorry, and for some reason embarrassed, that this isn’t a cheerful, comedic, positive post about my recovery. I hope those are coming soon. Thank you to eternity for your love, patience, and kindness. It will not be forgottten.

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