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To think that somebody - the consultant, the surgeon, my doctor, whoever - should have warned be about the after affects of this operation

(71 Posts)
Puffykins Sat 22-Nov-14 18:00:24

I've recently - as in nearly a month ago - had a haemeroidectomy. (Or however it's spelt.) My situation was bad, my doctor said that I had the worst she has ever seen, but I could live with it - and indeed have been living with it ever since I pushed out 9lb 5 of DD, and what felt like most of my insides, two years ago.

I was sent to a consultant. "The best thing if we do this under general anaesthetic," he said. "You won't feel a thing, it's an outpatient procedure - I just think that banding them will be too uncomfortable for you." Great, I thought, and agreed to it.

Cue the operation.

I have never felt pain like it. I would have given birth again every day rather than experience the first four days, which felt like somebody rotating razor blades in my bottom. I had been sent home with over the counter painkillers, which didn't even touch the sides. I didn't sleep for three days I was in such agony. I ended up back in hospital (A&E) because it was the weekend, and then the doctor said to me "You know, I sometimes don't think we prepare people very well for this." And gave me codeine and local anaesthetic gel, which helped.

But, thinking that I was going to be better in a matter of a couple of days, I'd done nothing to prepare. I couldn't walk or sit up for two weeks - and I had to arrange emergency child care while hallucinating from lack of sleep/ too much codeine. I've had to cancel numerous events, including work (I'm self employed). And then I started googling it, and discovered legions of people who have had to take 8/ 12 weeks of work for this procedure, and who also describe it as the most painful experience they have ever had.

I'm not at nearly a month, and I'm still far from better. I'm still having to employ a full time nanny to look after my children, and the guilt that I feel from not being able to be with them/ take them to parties (DH is working on a huge project at the moment, so working weekends too). Going to the loo is AGONY. I still can't drive. I can stagger a short distance, but it's pathetic, and it exhausts me (and physically, I was very fit before this - I could run a half marathon quite easily.) Even going anywhere in a car is incredibly painful (I tried. I went to a meeting which I HAD to go to on Thursday, and I feel like I'm still paying the price.) I still haven't slept through the night without having to have had a pain relieving 2am bath and then wait around for the pain killers to kick in again.

Why, WHY did no one at any stage prepare me for this? I wouldn't actually have had it done now, at this point in my life - or, if I had had to have had it done, I at least would have been able to properly arrange childcare rather than having had 3 different nannies since this started. Should they have told me? Or is it my responsibility to have fully researched the operation that I was having before I had it? (I believe that it is partly my responsibility, incidentally, and I am furious with myself.)

Finally, if anyone else has had it, when will I be okay again?

CromerSutra Sat 22-Nov-14 18:03:56

God, you poor thing, that sounds horrendous!!!! I only know one other person who's had this done and her recovery was reasonably swift. Not easy but not as bad as you describe, not even close. Are you going back to the Dr?

CromerSutra Sat 22-Nov-14 18:05:39

I don't think you should berate yourself. Surely the DR who is the expert and s/he should have explained what to expect including some element of "worst case scenario".

Sidge Sat 22-Nov-14 18:06:57

When you signed the consent form didn't they go through the procedure with you and explain the risks and potential outcomes, eg pain, infection? If not then that is poor practice.

It can be a very painful operation by it's very nature, but to be unable to walk, poo or drive after a month isn't normal. Have you been to your GP?

I hope you feel better soon flowers

SophiaPetrillo Sat 22-Nov-14 18:08:10

Both my DSis and DBro had this operation and found the recovery period long and very very grim but once they HAD fully recovered, were so much happier and in far less pain than before the op.

Hope you feel better soon OP, get well.

Puffykins Sat 22-Nov-14 18:15:52

I can walk now, short distances. I haven't been to my GP as I haven't yet managed to get an appointment - I've emailed her and she said that "severe pain is a common complication" - re the consent form, no, I wasn't talked through it. It was rushed through when I was already prepped for surgery - risks I was told about were anal incontinence and the fact that they potentially wouldn't get them all (they didn't) - and I was informed that I might be in 'some discomfort' for up to a week. I saw a surgeon when I was in A&E who told me that all was healing correctly and that the pain I was experiencing was normal. So why didn't they tell me? I'm meant to be taking DS to The Snowman next weekend, and DD to the Olympia horse show and both of them to Winter Wonderland, and I'm suddenly fearful that I won't be able to, and feeling very depressed about it. I will go and see my GP.

jazzsyncopation Sat 22-Nov-14 19:07:07

YANBU!!! hope you continue to improve steadily (if slowly):dont do stuff before your ready to tho

hellohelloididntseeyouthere Sat 22-Nov-14 19:19:23

Isn't some discomfort NHS code for agonising? I seem to remember an internal examination and having my waters broken as "a little bit uncomfortable"

hellohelloididntseeyouthere Sat 22-Nov-14 19:19:39

Think my eyes might have rolled back into my head

cheesecakemom Sat 22-Nov-14 19:30:14

I'm sorry but I find it hard to believe that during your consultation (where you were presented with the opportunity to have the surgery) none of this was discussed.

Didn't you ask what the surgery was and how it could change things for you (+ves and -ves)? Usually when you consent they tell you there are risks - you should have probed for more details before you signed the form!

You also have to take responsibility of your own life. I personally would have googled the procedure before going ahead. It is your responsibility - it's your life. If you then felt you were not being given enough information then you could have changed Drs - not all are great.

Hoggle246 Sat 22-Nov-14 19:32:45

That sounds awful, I'm so sorry OP. I'm not sure of the technicalities but if a few docs you've since seen haven't seemed surprised at your level of pain, that would indicate to me that you should have been better warned that severe and prolonged was a possible side effect.

I really hope you feel better soon and start getting some sleep flowers

Littlefish Sat 22-Nov-14 19:35:30

I'm sorry you're in so much pain.

I have to say that when I was having an operation I did some very thorough research beforehand to see what people's experiences were really like, compared with what I'd been told by the surgeon.

As it happens, I ended up having a completely different operation after I was put under General Anaesthetic (but that's a whoooooole other thread!) so I had to do all of my research again once I got home.

When I've been to see my GP about something, she has often recommended that I go away and do some independent research, or given me print outs from a medical website to read.

charlie0123 Sat 22-Nov-14 19:38:02

I had this opperation too and I totally agree about the agony. I remember having to crawl back to bed after going to the loo - razor blades sums it up well! I am glad I had it done now though- hope you start to feel better soon

redexpat Sat 22-Nov-14 19:41:30

YA absolutely NBU. Can I recommend that you put this in writing to the health trust, not as a complaint, but as a this is something you could do much better with very little effort and money.

Pimmsbear Sat 22-Nov-14 19:42:34

I had the same op done in May last year, on top of 5 blood transfusions because of the severe bleeding linked to the haemmaroids. Mine was also caused by giving birth to my dd & pushing for over 3 hours.

Put up with the haemmaroids for 2 years as was so traumatised after the birth didn't want anyone to go near that area ever again! But when started bleeding severely had to do something about it.

It was agony for several months after the op, was signed off work for a month, and had to take painkillers pretty much non stop. Going to the loo made me scream & cry in pain for weeks (just like it did after I'd had my daughter) & was pretty traumatic at the time. All got better within a few months & is fine now. Though am pregnant with my 2nd dc now & am dreading it happening again.

Crucially I had googled & read up extensively before having the op & didn't believe my consultant when he said it would cause 'some discomfort'. Yeah, just like the birth of my dd caused 'some discomfort' ie it was total bloody agony for months.

It should get better soon, unless there has been a mistake made, but I can relate to your pain & misery completely. Hope it gets better soon!

FrancisdeSales Sat 22-Nov-14 19:43:06

Considering all you're suffering OP maybe the best thing would be cancel everything until Christmas, or even the end of January; just assume you can't do anything and fully focus on recovery. Hopefully you will be healing and able to get around better very soon but take the pressure off as much as possible for as long as possible.

Puffykins Sat 22-Nov-14 19:43:44

Cheesecakemom that's exactly it - I did ask, and I was told nothing, except what I wrote in my post. I agree with you though, I should have researched it, but I also don't understand why I wasn't told.

lougle Sat 22-Nov-14 19:44:29

You poor woman! yes, you should have been told.

I think people trust their doctor and most people believe themselves to have a 'high pain threshold'. also, most normal pain we experience is intermittent. So to have a pain that is severe and hurts whichever way you turn is awful.

tilbatilba Sat 22-Nov-14 19:45:06

You poor thing - I'm a nurse and I'm amazed you were given over the counter pain relief. Endone is normal here ( in Oz) and a 10 day to 2 week supply plus anaesthetising suppositories etc Have you phoned the surgeon & let him/her know? I would do that. Really hope you feel better and become pain free soon.

GretnaGreen Sat 22-Nov-14 19:45:29

Wow, cheesecake. Neither kind nor helpful. The doctor is under a professional obligation to tell you what the risks of an elective procedure are before you consent. The idea that the op is to blame for not googling is ludicrous. Most doctors will tell you not to google because there is so much misleading info on the net.

I don't find it hard to believe that the risks talk didn't cover what the OP is going through. I had a serious operation recently and was given no useful information. The talk through risks at consent stage was very brief and they initially did a consent form for the wrong leg. I also had to have a second op under general to rectify a negligent mistake made during the first. OP I hope you get better soon. thanks

Groovee Sat 22-Nov-14 19:48:24

I was told numerous times it would be painful. Even prior to my op with the surgeon. But I thought nothing could be as bad as my gall bladder op. I seriously was in agony. I went back to work 2 weeks later, was terrified I'd shit myself at work with the laxatives they put me on and had to sit on a soft pillow.

I did go back to my GP as I was in so much pain. They said it was healing well and that it was normal! But no one ever said it would last so long. Even now 4 years on, I still get the odd twinge down there which brings it all back.

I'd definitely seek a medical opinion to check how things are healing.

tilbatilba Sat 22-Nov-14 19:49:28

Pimmsbear - go for a C-section this time - that sounds horrendous - so sorry you went through all that - and with a baby to look after.

Johnogroats Sat 22-Nov-14 19:53:41

Sorry OP your situation sounds terrible.

I had a slightly different experience with a hip replacement. I was told it would be v painful getting out of bed and doing stairs...and it wasn't that bad for me. On the other hand, the codeine gave me constipation which was agony. I imagine that different people gave different reactions.

DaftStudentNurse Sat 22-Nov-14 19:59:04

I had an operation this year (very different to yours) and was told I would be off work for 4 weeks. As a lone parent with no family around I put off the op due to the dc. Eventually I couldn't live with the condition any longer and friends rallied round to support me in the month after the op.

However, I only returned to work after 6 months. I did not recover as they predicted at all. I had to rely on friends much more than anticipated and am amazed at how much they have done for us.
Each time i queried the slow recovery they told me all people recover differently and due to having the condition for so long prior to the op, it could take up to a year. At no point prior to the op did anyone mention a year long recovery or i would not have had the op done. I am now at the point of coping with life but I am not living a normal life by any means.

I have since heard that 2 other people who have had the same op (in different trusts) have also taken as long to recover. I felt it was just me, I wondered if I would ever recover, or just live a life of pain forever more. But I am improving, albeit slowly.

The point of my long ramble is to say, that I am not surprised by your story at all. Yes they may have done the whole worse case scenario of things that could go wrong but not necessarily indicate how long recovery may truly take.
Sympathies op. I hope you recover soon. Try to keep the faith that it will have all been worth it in the long run.

Puffykins Sat 22-Nov-14 20:13:00

Tilbatilba they actually put the wrong phone number and contact department on my post-op notes - I.e. the number I was given to ring in case of emergency led to a doctor who said they couldn't advise as I wasn't their patient, and they couldn't put me through to whoever it was - to be honest, I was in so much pain at that point I didn't insist - I hadn't slept and was very tearful etc.

There were several issues with post-operative recovery which I hadn't mentioned as they aren't relevant to my post, but I was brought round sitting up (beyond cruel, surely?) then the nurse forgot to give me anti-sickness with the morphine so I spent 4 hours, until the shift changed, being violently sick. I queried it but was told it was normal. The next nurse spotted what had happened and gave me the right medication, and put me on a drip as by then I was quite dehydrated.

And yes lougle, I totally trusted both my doctor, who is brilliant, and the hospital where I have had both my children, both times in very positive and happy circumstances.

Pimmsbear, I empathise, and yes, C-section. I'm never having another vaginal birth after this.

I really hope it gets better. Immediately after the surgery the surgeon came and told me that they hadn't got it all, so would do the op again in 8 months. No way. NO WAY.

And thank you all for your sympathy.

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