Patient 6

Patient 6

This lady healed herself (that is right, no surgery!)

Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 11:22:24

Subject: My Account

I never thought I'd write my own contribution to this page, because I thought I'd never get through my ordeal with this delightful malady.

But since I did--apparently with success that shocks even my proctologist, I will share my experience, in hopes that it can help someone who is going through this little piece of hell right now.

I came down with my anal fissure in early September. It's now late November and I have been declared completely cured by my proctologist. I'm an impossible, type A person who works ridiculous hours, who doesn't have time to be sick, and doesn't have the patience for it either, so I am truly overjoyed at having overcome my ordeal against the odds.

Yet things weren't always so happy. I was told by my proctologist back at the end of September on our first meeting that I had the "anal fissure from hell" (always comforting when a doctor confirms that it's as bad as it feels) and that there was more of a chance than not that I'd need surgery (his look told me that he didn't think I was going to get out of this without surgery). Since he'd been recommended to me by the reputable gastro. who has treated my other half for over 10 years, as the "best butt man in the business" I knew he wasn't looking to do surgery for the fun of it.

I'm busy. I don't have TIME for surgery. And I've never had surgery, so scared to death, I looked up the Anal Fissure Self-Help Page and must say that I believe that the real life accounts of surgery horrified me into spontaneous healing--not really. It was actually informative and helpful and I believe contributed to my current perfect health.

This whole fun little adventure in came on while I was on a business trip (I am head of a company and often travel a week out of a month), and as I couldn't afford to be writhing and moaning during meetings with the owner of my company, I actually stopped eating and went on a liquid diet of fruit juices at the onset.

I was in excruciating throbbing and stabbing pain sitting or standing, which was much worse at night. It was dangerous to drive because I squirmed constantly to get comfortable. I cried a lot. I thought I'd never feel ok again.

I went for several nights a week for several weeks without sleep. I had blood every time I had to have a bowel movement, and the smallest bowel movement felt like childbirth, and seemed to have to travel a mile to get out of my body., Immediately after a bowel movement, my entire lower intestinal tract would go into the most horrific spasms, to the point where I tried desperately not to go to the bathroom unless I really had to--limiting myself to once a day. It hurt when I farted. It even hurt when I peed.

When I got back from the trip, saw first a gastroenterolist who referred me to a proctologist. Then I began a campaign to avoid surgery at any cost. I pretended that I was Susan Sarandon in Lorenzo's Oil and that I would find the perfect cure to heal my butt.

The first visit to the proctologist was interesting. He told me I was in really bad shape with the fissure and some accompanying hemerroids, gave me a few shots, prescribed a topical cortisone cream, told me to take warm baths, psyllium husks, stool softener, and suggested Tylenol or Ibuprofen for the pain (neither made a DENT in the pain, though Ibuprofen took the edge off) and told me to NOT take the Vicoden left over from gum surgery as codeine is constipating. He also took me off the suppositories that the gastroenterologist had given me in the interim before seeing the proctologist--which he said were understandably excruciating to get up my butt. He said that the spasms they were causing probably negated any positive effects of the medicine.

So then I read the Anal Fissure Self Help Page. Imagine my delight that it even existed! And here's the regime I went on that apparently helped cure me. I wish you luck.


    I'd foolishly been putting ice cubes and cold compresses on my butt to numb the pain. I didn't realize that a lot of the pain was caused by spasms that were exacerbated by cold.


    When I switched to warm baths (Three a day on weekends for an hour at a time--I read business journals, and did work in the tub) It helped a lot. I used Epsom Salts in the bath as well as traditional bubble baths, and I stayed in the baths a LONG time.

    Often I would wake up early and bathe for an hour or hour and a half. I confided in a few people at work that I was using baths as a therapy to try to avoid surgery so I didn't feel too decadent.

    IMPORTANT: I would prepare the bath as I had my bowel movement, then immediately after the movement I would get into the tub, which severely cut down on the horribly painful post-bowel movement spasms that I'd been having.


    I also used a hot water bottle (I even sat at it at work!), An electric heating pad, which I also sat on even though the instructions said not to, and hot packs that you put in the microwave. I literally kept this heat "therapy" going 24 hours a day.

    I would sometimes use pure aloe compresses on my anus to soothe the inflammation, when I was home, and even did a couple of aloe sitz baths at home. Pure fresh aloe can be bought in gel or juice form at health food stores and costs about ten dollars for a big bottle. It has healing properties, and it definitely made my butt feel better.

    I also used "Aloe Personal Hygiene Pads" after each bowel movement. I'd use two to three. I bought them at a Thrifty/Payless. They seem to be their generic brands. I also carry Tucks around.

  2. ADVIL as opposed to ANAPROX. I know it's supposed to be the same thing, but for some reason Advil worked better on me than the generic. I kept myself to the upper limit of the recommended doses, and sometimes exceeded it slightly, and it really helped me begin to sleep again. TYLENOL did absolutely nothing for me.

  3. KONDREMUL/STOOL SOFTENER. I tried a few stool softeners in pill form when I was on my business trip, but they didn't work. When I got back the gastroenterologist turned me onto this GREAT mineral-oil based stool softener call KONDREMUL. For me, the Kondremul was the beginning of the end of my problems. It's not available at every pharmacy, and you have to use enough (I undermedicated myself at first), but it combined with the Metamucil, gave me the first pain-free bowel movement I'd had in a while. It actually tastes GREAT--like vanilla. Has all natural ingredients, and it WORKS! Once I figured out the right amount, I was able to have quick and pain free bowel movements with no straining.

  4. PSYLLIUM. I've used psyllium every day since I saw the proctologist, and it helps a lot. I like both smooth and regular orange metamucil. I take about a tablespoon a day, at some point during the day, and it really seems to soften the stool.

  5. CHANGED MY DIET to include a lot of roughage--soft fruits and vegetables, and very little binding carbohydrates like bread, potatoes and pasta--which I reintroduced later. I avoided spicy foods, and anything hard that comes out whole in ones' stool like nuts or popcorn, that might be irritating. I also tried to EAT LESS--since I'm a big eater, so that the total volume coming out of me would be less. And of course, I made sure I DRANK A LOT OF WATER.

Here's other stuff I did that may or may not have contributed to my recovery, that I BELIEVE helped me:


Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 09:32:46

Subject: Re: My account

Thanks for letting me know that I'm on the page. You know, after I'd sent you the account I realized something else that makes my recovery even more surprising: My doctor said that my situation was so bad that he would no longer call it an anal fissure. He said that it was a step beyond, and he called it an anal ulcer. I don't know if this is something that should be noted in my account. If you think so, please feel free to make the change. I hope that it does help others avoid surgery. As far as I go, so far so good. I'm completely off the Kondremul, though the doctor said I could continue--and he said to definitely get back on if I have any problems. And I am now a high fiber diet person and a permanent Metamucil user. I have come to the conclusion that some of us just need more fiber to function properly.


I asked about where Kondremul can be purchased and this is what came back:

Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 03:18:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Kondremul

Gosh, I picked up Kondremul at our local (Santa Monica, California) old fashioned pharmacy that also carries holistic remedies. I also found it in the medical building drugstore where my proctologist has his offices. Kondremul is a brand that can be ordered by regular drugstores on request. My gastroenterologist and proctologist both looked at it as a fairly common stool softener, but I found it a little hard to locate. I would suggest calling around to see if a drugstore will carry it or order it. Longs Drugstore offered to order it for me. It is distributed by Ciba Self-Medication Inc. Woodbridge, New Jersey 07095. It can probably be ordered directly from there, though I found that wasn't necessary. I am still doing great! I am using Metamucil every day, but that's it. If I have even a hint of pain again, I'm going back on baths and Kondremul.


Someone asked about the dosage for Kondremul so I asked and this is what came back:

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 11:09:12
Subject: Re: Kondremul

If she reads the bottle carefully she will see that it does have dosage--at least my bottles did (though it is in small print). You can officially take between 2 to five tablespoons a day. My doctor said you could even go a little more. The problem with taking a lot in the morning is that the oil in it could cause a drip problem during the day just from the mineral oil in it. I didn't have this problem. I took about 3 tablespoons in the morning and 3 in the evening during my worst time and tapered down as things got better. Probably better to start with 3-4 tablespoons and adjust accordingly. Tell her to start RIGHT AWAY. You can't really od on this stuff unless you drink the whole bottle. By the way, I just had my final check in with my doctor yesterday and he said he continued to be amazed and reiterated that he REALLY thought I'd need surgery when I came into see him the first time. He sent me away saying not to come back till I'm 50 (11 years away). Don't you love happy endings. No pun intended.
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