Patient 17

Patient 17

Date: 20 Aug 1998

Dear Jack,

I just wanted to let you know what a tremendous help your page was to me.  It was comforting to know that I was not alone in my pain.

Ten months ago, I delivered a healthy, beautiful baby boy.  My labor was long and difficult, and (very, very unfortunately) I developed a fissure.  My actual pregnancy had been uncomplicated, and I never experienced constipation or hemorrhoids like some pregnant women do.  My fissure came from the simple act of giving birth.

Upon my return home, I noticed the fissure.  I had been expecting a little pain, but nothing compared to what I had!  I made frantic calls to my doctor, my mother, my grandmother...anyone I could think of that might know why I was in so much pain.  I was told that I had hemorrhoids and to use witch hazel pads.  Hundreds of pads and months later, I convinced my doctor that what I was experiencing was not normal, and had him look at me.  He, in turn, sent me to a very unsympathetic surgeon.  Months after that, I underwent a colonoscopy and was finally diagnosed.  I was prescribed lidocaine to put on topically, and told to take a fiber therapy three times a day.

My fissure was so painful, I was practically unable to function--especially with a newborn infant.  (My husband spent a lot of time holding a hungry baby because Mommy was crying too hard to nurse him.)  I couldn't sleep, I was afraid to eat--I knew it would have to come out sooner or later, I couldn't nurse my baby, I couldn't drive.  I think having to suffer with it so long before it was diagnosed was the worst part.  I came to dread the pain so much, I would deliberately hold back bowel movements so that I could have at least one normal, pain free day.

Luckily, my husband came up with what we affectionately came to call the "Butt Cocktail".  Basically, it was a mixture of the lidocaine and an enema.  (However, I don't think that the Lidocaine was all that important.)  From the very first, I experienced immediate relief.  I was able to function, did not have to withhold movements, and learned to not be afraid of the bathroom anymore.  Now, five months later, I am fully healed and living a normal life, or as close as you can come with a pre-toddler.

I hope that this helps other women who get a fissure this way.  The only lingering concern I have is becoming pregnant again.  I know that fissures are apt to return, and I am afraid that I will get another either while I am pregnant, or during childbirth.  This is definitely an experience I don't wish to have again.  I would appreciate any advice that either you or your readers might have.

If you decide to post this, you have my permission to use my name, if you like.


From: Amanda Adams <>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998


Please do add a mail to. I'd appreciate it.


Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998


I just wanted to send you a brief update on my situation...

Shortly after posting my story with you, I had a recurrence of the fissure. I got stuck in a cycle of heal for a little bit, break open again, heal for a little bit, break open again...

After exhausting all non surgical methods, I have finally given up. I'll be going under the knife next month for a spchinterotomy.

I've also been told by my surgeon to ABSOLUTELY stop using enemas as a means of recovery. He said that it would only aggravate the fissure in addition to setting me up for some very serious gastro-intestinal problems in the future.

Would you please add this update to my record? Maybe my experiences will help someone else.

Thanks again for your invaluable resource. This page is a life-saver.


Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999



I just wanted to let you know that my email address has changed so that you can update the mail to.

I've gotten so many emails from women who have had the same thing happen from childbirth, I'd like to keep my email link current. OB's just don't really seem to have too much of a clue about this.

I'm doing fine since my surgery. The recovery period for me was just amazing! I think I only took three of the vicadin that the surgeon prescribed, and was able to handle almost all of the post-surgical pain with ibuprofen--quite a shock to the surgeon. From the moment I had the surgery, I have been absolutely and totally pain-free! It's still hard for me to believe.

Once again, I'd like to thank you for making this page. It's invaluable.


Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001
Subject: It's Patient #17 again

Hello! Patient 17 strikes again. Could you please update my email address to my new one at

Thanks! I get so many emails from women I really do want to keep my contact current.


This is the visit to this page since 21 August 98.
Last modified: 9 Jan 04, Changed mail link.
Modified: 20 Aug 01, Changed mail address.
Created: 21 August 98.
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