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Continued support for SPHINCTER INJURIES, FISTULAE and other CHILDBIRTH INJURIES - the Ragged Bits Thread

(953 Posts)
Jacksmama Mon 22-Jun-09 20:12:52

Hi all,
old thread here.

Cyee started this thread in May 2008 after her op, and it's been a haven of support for so many of us who have injuries to our bits from childbirth. Especially with respect to sphincter injuries, fistulae and incontinence after childbirth, there seems to be such a lack of support for women, and the entire subject seems to be taboo. It's as if most MD's think that "a certain amount of damage is to be expected after birth and you just have to live with it". Well, that is simply not the case - and this attitude is unacceptable.

There are all kinds of Ragged Bits stories on this thread. Be aware that THERE IS NO "TMI" HERE grin - this is the one place where you can spill it all. If you read through the old thread, which is nearly full, you'll see that someone, somewhere, has probably experienced it - whatever it is! So don't be embarrassed or ashamed... we'll tell our poo stories if you'll tell yours.

And also - there are success stories here. Several of us who have been through the medical mill have been successfully "repaired" and are "fully functional", so to speak wink or even expecting again. In those cases, please join us for Pervwatch - the "after action" report for anyone who is once again venturing into marital relations! grin

Welcome everyone. We're sorry you had to find us, but we're glad you're here.

Sawyer64 Sat 27-Jun-09 12:55:09

kentmumtj I am a Practice Nurse,and when we do a Smear (a little similar to Colposcopy,but without the Culposcope like a microscope).......
We have the option to use a different size instrument to "open you up" its called a Cuscoes,and they make them in Small/Med and large.They also make an extra long one,and a Virgin one.

Obviously the Virgin one is about the width of a finger,so if you request this and explain about your op,I'm sure they will do their best to do the Colpocopy with the least amount of discomfort to you as they can.

Obviously its important for you to attend so don't let the fear put you off,I'm sure they'll take into account your problems.

RuinedandUpset Sun 28-Jun-09 09:25:59

Hi Kentmumtj, they have smaller than normal speculum etc that they can use and you probably will be well sedated as well so you will be ok. I think that cystocles can be tricky to fix, sometimes bladder incontinence can arise so they prefer to leave them alone for as long as possible. I hope its not true as I have a cystocle, rectocle and every pelvic organ is desending. The thought of surgery scares me but to be left like this is terrible. I spoke to one women who had both rectocle and cystocle as well as bowel prolapse fixed and she is back to normal. I hope it works out for you.

kentmumtj Sun 28-Jun-09 14:42:00

hi guys thanks for advice i did wonder whether they did different sizes.......ive had colposcopy's in the past and a biopsy before am dreading it but will go because i know hoe important it is just hope its not too painful i think i will ring them up next week and speak to someone so they are aware of everything before i come in

oh and i got my urgent refferal to see my consultant and guess when this 'urgent appointment' is 3rd Sep, guess if i do have to have another smaller op my dh nr i will be having any bedroom activites til xmas time sad so frustrating and annoying

im sure in time i will look back and be glad i had it all done just want to fast forward there.

hope everyones' having a nice weekend, ive got so much ironing to do and the weather is just too warm to do it mind you im not complaining about the weather just the ironing grin

Sawyer64 Sun 28-Jun-09 16:29:59

get yourself an extension lead and take your Ironing Board outside!!smile

Cyee Tue 30-Jun-09 08:50:11

What divine weather! But looking a bit more grim here today. Did you take your ironing outside Kentmumtj?!

Pants news about your appt, urgent indeed. I had similar experience and actually wept I was so upset it would take so long. I know what you mean about wanting to fast forward to a happy post-op state. I wonder (anti-male comment alert) if you'd/we'd have to wait as long if our penis was causing such problems? Somehow I doubt it.

I had no idea there was such a range of speculum(s?i?). You learn something new every day.

Hi RuinedandUpset - it's awful that it's costing you so much money to get sorted. I always forget the Irish system isn't free. Considering how many appointments most people on this thread had to go to in order to get sorted you must be out a fortune. Really feel for you. Where are you now in the treatment situation, are you waiting for another appointment or surgery?
On a more random note, how do you find the CBT? My dad is training as a counsellor and says is can be amazing and that everyone should have it. Have you found it helpful?

Take care everyone.

Hulla Tue 30-Jun-09 11:07:06

Morning all, I have finally caught up with this thread.RuinedandUpset, it sounds like you are having a really tough time. I hope the cbt is helping. I had some hypnosis based on cbt to overcome an extreme phobia of injections/having blood taken. It worked.

Has anyone tried a "pelvic floor toning system"? I am considering getting one as I can get back to my womens health physio and I assume it will be more effective than doing the exercises myself.

mikeyem Tue 30-Jun-09 11:21:51

hi there everyone

i've just about read most of this thread now and thank you for all your useful info and sharing experiences.

my story in brief....had 2nd baby 5 months ago...forceps and therefore needed episiostomy. stitched just in delivery and doc said 2nd degree. sent home next day...although in a lot of pain. stitches all went next day athome. not re-stitched when reviewed at hospital. midwife sent me back in. had a 6 week check at hospital and referred to colo rectal team due to urgency and mega wind probs!!!

have had tests and damage to sphincter. so actually was 3rd degree tear?!
have a date for surgery...27th july.

this is turning out to be not that brief!!!!

was just wondering if cyee (and anyone else) would like to just share again with me their experience of recovery following surgery. i too am under mr kiff(same as cyee). i have a big family wedding 12 days after surgery and am wondering how realistic it is to say i'll be there even if do have lots of support with the kids. after delivery i didn't drive for 2 weeks cause basically couldn't sit down!
my surgery far as i understand..... involves anterior overlap repair and basically giving me a perineum back. said id be in hospital 4/5 days

many thanks for reading

DUSTIN Tue 30-Jun-09 11:52:36

Hello everyone, I had a baby 8 weeks ago. I had to have a forceps delivery due to baby being in wrong position. Unfortunately surgeon turned baby transverse and I tore badly (4th degree tear). This affected my bladder and bowel. Had to have an indwelling urinary catheter for 3 weeks. I am in the early stages of healing but I am absolutely terrified of what the future holds especially after reading some of the stories on here. I have a post- natal consultant appt in a week. Are there any pointers anyone can give me on what questions I should be asking?

Hulla Tue 30-Jun-09 12:14:27

HI mikeyem & DUSTIN, it sounds like you have both had a terrible time. I had a third degree tear following forceps delivery (dd was posterior). I completely understand not being able to sit down for weeks (not to mention the urgency & wind probs!).

mikeyem someone else will come along and tell you about recovery times. I am waiting for my op...

DUSTIN my tear was a severe 3rd degree (5 months ago) and it took me a few months to feel like I had healed. I have ongoing problems but pain isn't one of them.

Do you have any problems now? I think they're likely to ask you about urgency/continence of faeces/flatus/urine. If you have any of these issues then let them know. If it is like my appointment they will probably also insert a finger to check the tone in your rectum. If it is poor you may be referred for further tests.

I didn't ask many questions at my first appointment but did at my follow up when it was clear that I wasn't just going to heal. I asked about long term probles, future deliveries (I think C-section is often recommended by colorectal surgeons but not necessarily by obstetricians/midwives following this kind of injury).

FWIW a colleague had a 4th degree tear and absolutely no long term problems so it is possible.

Sending you both <<<hugs>>> because I know how awful it is to feel like you do. x

Jacksmama Tue 30-Jun-09 14:26:31

Hi everyone and newbies - just read your posts, will pop back later as I must get ready for work but (((((((((((HUS))))))))) to mikeyem and dustin - really feel for you!!!!

Jacksmama Tue 30-Jun-09 14:27:31

Erm, yes, that was supposed to be (((((((huGs))))) - not sure how effectove they'd be with the G left out...

Cyee Tue 30-Jun-09 20:40:54

Hey everyone,

Welcome Dustin and Mikeyem! Sorry to hear about your experiences. It just sucks doesn't it?

I don't have long right now as I'm about to eat my own arm off I'm so hungry but wanted to come back to you on the recovery point Mikeyem. Firstly, I hope Kiff does as great a job for you as he did for me. I totally love the man. Which is saying something - though I guess he's seen parts of my my DH hasn't!

In terms of recovery, I was up and down. So, for example, I went to a job interview about 10 days after my op (!) but wasn't back at work for 4 weeks (and that really was when I was consistently better rather than up and down days). So I was fine to drive for an hour that day (each way) and sit for an hour in interview. I did take my full-on painkillers that day as well whereas I just took the paracetamol and brufen most of the rest of the time.

The key thing that I think related to my good days and bad days was keeping my stools under control. I know it seems obvious but I just didn't religiously take my lactulose and drink water, eat fibre and it was the heaviness of constipation that really did me in. I was practically crying - not really at a sharp pain but at the general discomfort and ache. I was constantly on the loo willing myself to go. Now... I should say that I've only been through this op once so maybe that's just the way it is. So in terms of the wedding I'd play it by ear. If you're feeling ok, have good drugs, support with the children and are 'going' regularly then it may well be possible, at least for part of the day.

How did you find Kiff? Was he helpful?

Right, I will be back soonish. But must eat

mikeyem Wed 01-Jul-09 09:29:18

thanks for reply cyee

yeh i've found kiff brilliant and so lovely. in fact now i have a date i feel i have so many more questions. might try and see him again

did you just eat normally after op?

the wedding is actually a 4 hour drive away and would be staying with relatives poss one night and night of the wedding in a hotel. my little ones are 3 years and 5 months. i'm thinking about the drive etc as well.

so don't want my stitches to burst!

and i'm such a control freak its going to be hard to rest at home. i'm starting the lists of instructions and children!!!!!!!!

DUSTIN Wed 01-Jul-09 10:20:27

Thanks for the welcome everyone.

Hula Thanks for the info. I am still having pain. I think this is mainly the scar as some of my wound broke down and got infected. I had to let it heal by secondary intention so only really completely heal about 3 weeks ago. Bladder and bowels still feels strange. Nothing feels like it used to. I feel like I have stepped into some-one elses body. I wish I had had a c-section this time. My first baby was born by emergency c-section and everyone kept telling me it would be better to have a natural delivery this time as recovery would be so much quicker- who were they kidding!!!! Now I just keep crying and feel abnormal. I am not going out much as I can't be too far from a toilet. I hope this will improve.

Sorry for everyone else having a bad time as well.

mumsiebumsie Wed 01-Jul-09 12:11:49

Hello all,

I'm new to this thread and have nothing to add really (although I've been reading and finding your experiences and attitudes truly incredible).

Anyway - reason I'm posting is that "Embarassing Illnesses" is on a 8pm tonight I believe and the blurb in my magazine says that one of the cases is of a woman who has been left with injuries post childbirth. It may be totally unrelated to what you're going through but thought it was worth a watch just in case it proves to be relevant.

Sorry for butting in!

mumsiebumsie Wed 01-Jul-09 12:34:48

On Channel 4.

Cyee Wed 01-Jul-09 13:31:53

Hi everyone,

Mikeym - glad you also share the Kiff love He is so so lovely. My SIL (a hosp doc) couldn't get over how non-consultanty he was. I think you're just better to wait and see about the wedding. You may well feel fine. I wouldn't worry too much about the stitches - bearing in mind the pressure that's put on them they tend to sew you up nice and securely. I certainly never had the feeling they were about to split. However I wasn't contemplating throwing some shapes on the wedding dancefloor! I did eat normally after the op - quickly realised I needed to keep my fibre levels up.

Dustin - really feel for you in terms of your body not feeling like your own. It was almost like a bit of body dysmorphia (sp?) for me. I barely recognised the body I was in and just didn't want to accept that it was mine.

I also didn't respond about your question about questions to ask (if you know what I mean!). I'd ask about who they're considering referring you to (gynae or colorectal) and ask whether the person has expertise in these sorts of injuries. Who will you be meeting? I guess this person might be quite general and not know too much? If so, don't be put off by their total ignorance about stuff like this. As you may have seen from this thread, medical people can be a bit clueless about injuries like this and actually make things worse or more stressful.

Also - please don't be put off by the more horrific anecdotes on this site. Yes sometimes there have been set backs but a lot of people on here have had successful repairs - more that have than haven't? And my consultant was confident that I was not going to have any other related issues in the future as long as I kept my pelvic floor in shape (clench).

Mumsiebumsie - thanks for popping in, and thanks for the tip off. I will be tuning in!

Take care all

ThingOne Wed 01-Jul-09 20:36:25

Hi everyone. I see my surgeon in a fortnight. Please keep your finger crossed that he can actually help me, and that he can do it in early October so a. my mum can come and help and b. swine flu and other winter illnesses haven't taken over the hospital!

Dustin, I'm having terrible problems with my body image. It's just so much part of being a woman. I feel old and broken and so completely unsexy it's not true. I asked my GP for some more counselling recently, as I am just not coping with all my shit and the referral was very quick indeed. It's worth asking, so you can have someone to talk these issues through with. I mean, you can hardly dump on your husband how shit you feel sexually, and that you don't feel sexy, and you can't remember what a shag is when the poor man has the patience of a saint. Bleurgh. Mind you, I've found another ill friend who has no sex either so we occasionally whinge to each other.

Jacksmama Thu 02-Jul-09 15:59:41

How's everyone today?
ThingOne, will definitely keep the fingers crossed for you!!

MadameCastafiore Thu 02-Jul-09 16:02:18

Hi Guys

I was just looking through your posts as I had a TOT tape put in, my tear restitched and a few other bits and bobs down there and I have to say that it took about 8 weeks of recovery not 3 months and it wasn't as bad as having your tonsils out.

I had a fab surgeon at Blackheath Hospital but he also works out of Woolwich on the NHS and he was really FAB - listened to me, came and saw me again and again when I was worrying and has seen a couple of my friends for free when I have explained to him what is wrong with them.

If any body wants his no - even if it is just for a consultation so you have another point of view please CAT me - my op was 3.5 years after having DS though - but I feel like a new woman now.

Jacksmama Thu 02-Jul-09 16:04:50

Hi all - a post on our old thread from a new member of the Raggy Dolls sad. I've directed her here.

hi, not read all the thread but would like some support, i gave birth 7 wks ago it took 2 hours, was encouraged 2 push due 2 baby in distress resulting in a 3rd degree tear, was taken 2 theatre for2.5hrs, suprisingly i had no feeling but was urine and faeces incontinent, a week later my husband saw my "wound" and noticed it had burst open, the mw sent me straight back 2 hospital, they decided 2 let the wound heal naturally due 2 the depth of it,and gave me an appointment for 3 months time. The physio says i have no pelvic floor muscle control and can not start helping 2 correct this till my wound is either stitched up or healed. i also have an appointment with a colcrectal specialist coming soon i still have no feeling in this area, even when they are inserting things in my anus,i dont know what 2 expect or what questions would be good 2 ask please help x

kentmumtj Thu 02-Jul-09 19:27:22

hi all

having been reading up on everyone who is new to this post and my thoughts are with all of you

childbirth can do the most awful things to our bodies cant it

and i didnt do my ironing in the garden i did it beside the door with a large fan on me

anyways im celebrating my 10th wedding anni tomorrow, apart from a medal im looking forward to my day being just me ive arranged for my children to be collected from school and looked after etc an dh are off to Brighton for the day/ kids, relaxing and strolling, nice meal and alcohol.......sounds good

all have a drink on me grin

oh everyone at my work suggested i buy some sexy undies for a night of passion if only they knew wink

Gillyan Sun 05-Jul-09 01:21:08


Thanks for all the advice I got on this thread,

DD2 was born by elective c/section on 23/06/09 8lbs Summer Jennifer

I ended up in and out of hospital from 34 wks with premature labour that was stopped, kept having to go back in with contractions. Then at 36 wks baby was breech but kept turning every other day as I had excess fluid.

finally decided I wanted the lective section and every time they thought I was inestablished labour - dependning on what doc was on call - they tried to talk me out of the section.

Ended up back in on the 23rd, having biggest contractions yet - cervix wasn't dilating and although it was 6 days to go before my planned c/s I saw the head consultant man who happened to be on call and he was mazing and said if I wanted hee would do the section that day! I had a show in the morning and then lost more blood so I think I would of been established before long. He explained the risk to the babies lungs as I was 37 + 5 but he said it was just a small risk.

We took an hr to think and decided to go for it - I was in theatre within 30 mins and she was born within 10 mins from then, she came out screaming with an apgar of 9 and 9 so no worried about the lungs and 8lbs at 37 + 5!!

out of hospital in 2 days and am making a good recovery

I would chose section over possible 3rd degree tear anyday. The recovery is a million times better than from the tear and the whole experience was amazing and enjoyable.

Cyee Sun 05-Jul-09 14:26:50

Gillyan - CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is such fantastic news. What a beautiful name for your baby girl. I am smiling from ear to ear for you

I'm so pleased (and comforted!) that you sound so positive about the c-section option - as that's what I'm going to have. Brilliant that you feel the recovery is going so well.

Hope Summer Jennifer is bringing you lots of happiness (and not too much sleep deprivation!)

Cyee Mon 06-Jul-09 21:20:22

How rude of me... HAPPY ANNIVERSARY KENTMUMTJ!! I hope you had a lovely time.

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