In October of 2015 I was at work and started feeling uncomfortable. I went to the bank and by the time I came back and sat at my desk I was in tears. My boss (who is one of my closest friends) was jabbering on about nonsense when he looked over and I was bawling (I never cry, let alone at work!). He sent me home where I made any apt with my doctor. My family doctor diagnosed me with internal hemorrhoids and sent me on my way.. I continued to be in horrific pain for 2 weeks. Doctor then gave me hemorrhoid meds and sent me away again.
Two weeks later I was living in the Epsom tub. Twenty hours a day!! My husband was working from morning to night and my son was in school (he was 14) all of a sudden I noticed I had a lump near my anus. I soaked in the tub and started googling what it could be. The lump grew to the size of a child’s football. My cousin has Crohn’s, and I had been researching the disease so I could be more helpful to her when I came across abscess and fistulas. The light went off and I made another doc appointment. It wasn’t for another week and by this time I couldn’t take it anymore; I was giving up. I called my best friend of 30 years and thanked her and told her I loved her. She rushed over to my house where I was planning my suicide. She then realized I was very sick. I refused ER and continued to wait for doc appt 2 days later. The absess burst that night where I was crying because of the relief!!!
When I went to the doc he sent me to a surgeon. My surgeon is my hero! He sent me for testing where no fistulas were seen. I went for follow up with my family doc where he proceeded to inform me I was fine and there was nothing that could be done. I returned to surgeon crying telling him what doc has said, and the surgeon then sent me for colonoscopy where he found 2 fistulas: 2 absess IN my colon, and 2 absess outside my anus. I ended up with 2 cutting setons being tightened every 3 weeks. Within 3 months the setons worked their way out and I had a fistulotomy.
Then I continued my epsom baths, showering after bms, using wipes instead of toilet paper, and resting when I needed it. It seemed like it took forever to heal, but I want to say as of Aug of 2016 I was officially healed! No gauze up my butt crack, no baths, still tired easily, but I was healed! I am still very paranoid and I still stick to no toilet paper, resting when needed, and shower after bm’s [bowel movements]…but it hasn’t come back. That’s a start!! I’m grateful for my surgeon, my family and friends for stepping in when I needed it most!!
I told anyone that wanted to know, because had I not been researching my cousin’s disease I would probably still be misdiagnosed or dead, and actually I told a friend and she ended up having a recto-vag fistula!! She was being told it was just symptom of anal cancer treatment!! A few months ago I got really sick vomiting blood nonstop, and ended up in hospital where they said it was a virus but they found gallstones. I went back to my surgeon where he sent me to hospital and spent 2 days doing tests. Promising me again he’d figure it out if it was last thing he did. Well, he removed my gallbladder day 3.
I am completely healed again (I had vomited daily for 16 years and nobody could figure it out either!). The important part of healing is a surgeon that will go the extra mile, along with self-preservation and family/friends that are strong when your not. Take care of yourself first and continue to research and push until they figure it out!
Message from Finally Fistula Free: If you or someone you care about is thinking about suicide, you are not alone!