Patient 18

Patient 18

Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 21:04:40

Dear Jack:

Like so many others, I found your page when I was in really bad shape. It was a great comfort to share in the accounts of others with the same problem. I learned so much that my doctor didn't tell me. My account is very similar to others. Horrible diet. Extremely irregular. Suffered for a long time without knowing what it was or that my behavior was causing it. When I finally approached my doc he diagnosed me immediately which gave me a great advantage over so many that I've read about. However, he didn't impart to me how serious it was. He just told me to take Metamucil. I decided to eat less(not better) and exercise vigorously every day. Major mistake. The pain became unbelievable. It was ruining my life. Then I found your page.

Seven months later, I'm now about 98% healed. I'd say 100%, but I refuse to get over confident. Having heard about all the people who've had it recur after thinking they were healed, I'm determined not to be one of them. I'll never revert back to my previous life style. You may not wish to add my comments to the page since their so similar to others, but your welcome to if you like.

During the intense stage of the condition, long warm/hot baths seemed to really help. I really wasn't making much progress until I found the info on the Nitroglycerin Ointment and decided to try it. I went to a proctologist who hadn't heard of it, but was willing to prescribe it after I showed him the info from Dr. Gorfine that I got from your page. I began using the Nitro several times a day and applying all the advice I'd read about. I don't know if it was the Nitro or the diet that really started the healing but I know the Nitro helped alleviate the symptoms. It's only the passing of time that allows me to refer to that awful pain as "the symptoms". The Nitro made a big difference and I stayed with it throughout my recovery.

The dietary changes that really helped me were: lots and lots of water, Metamucil, high fiber cereal, melons(cantaloupe and honey dew), turkey, no red meat, no caffinated soft drinks, very little bread and then only whole wheat.

One surprise. For months before and a couple of months after the worst of my condition I was eating a lot of large whole apples. I thought they were the perfect food. Fruit. Vitamins. Soluble and insoluble fiber. "1 a day keeps the doctor away". I then read somewhere that apples could be constipating and it occurred to me that they might be causing my problems. There was no greater impact on my regularity that when I cut out apples. I'm sure it was the skin that I was having trouble digesting. I had forgotten how gentle and automatic a BM could be. I made better progress after that.

One other misconception I had. Especially at first, I figured that the longer time between BMs, the more time that healing could progress. So I ate very light. Skipped a lot of meals. Had BM every day and half to two days or a little longer. My stool was often hard to start. I learned that the bowels extract moisture from the stool as it passes through as a part of the digestive process. Maybe that explains why too frequent movements are often associated with diarrhea. Too long between movements and things get hard (often associated with constipation). Maybe that is common knowledge to some, but it was a new understanding for me. I began eating 3 meals a day. Roughly the same thing every day at the same time. I began having a nice easy BM at the same time every evening. This routine really seemed help a lot.

I didn't want to write until I was healed. As time goes on though, it becomes more abstract. You kind of forget how bad it was. You get caught back up in your normal life. I recently heard of an acquaintance who has been going through the same thing and it kind of brought everything back fresh in my mind. I needed to take the time to write you and thank you for setting up this page. You went to a lot of effort to help me and the many others who've come across it. I'll bet a lot of others have also held off writing until they just forgot about it. Thank you so very much!

This is the visit to this page since 25 August 98.
Last modified: 25 August 98, back to home page.