Following on from my last pain diary entry I was off to the hospital. Trying not to get my hopes up but I believed that I was going for banding to finally remove my hemorrhoid. Even though that in itself is such a minor thing my anxiety was off the scale. I wasn’t sure if I was more anxious about whether they would finally treat it (and that could go wrong) or that it was going to be another wasted journey.
It isn’t a Big Issue but for me it has been Traumatic
First of all I appreciate two things here – that there’s much bigger problems going on in the world and that the NHS is under a lot of strain. If my problem was so minor that nothing was going to become of it then, to be honest, I wish that no money had been wasted on it in the first place.
Thing is that at times it is so painful I cannot walk. Hygiene can be a bit of an issue too. It is totally embarrassing. The blood in the toilet is a worry but I know (especially following the flexible sigmoidoscopy) it is nothing to worry about. It is only because the doctor referred me and said I could have it removed that I have put myself through all this. And yes I appreciate that I haven’t really put myself through anything but for me it was really traumatic.
My own mother died when her bowel was perforated having a polyp removed. It was minor very low-risk surgery. So it really doesn’t help when I am told that it is nothing. Hers wasn’t even in her back passage – so telling me that they aren’t going there also isn’t helpful.
The Hospital Appointment
My husband booked the day off work. They had said I was fine to go alone as banding doesn’t require anything and I would be okay to drive afterwards. Patients were allowed people with them in the hospital now but actually it was really busy. The chairs were all spaced out so less could fit in there. Only patients were allowed to sit on them. Some people accompanying others were asked to wait elsewhere due to crowding reasons.
It was about an hour after my allocated appointment time that I was seen. Stupidly I thought the whole thing would be done and dusted in around 15 minutes! We were taken to another room and left to wait again. With a sharps bucket I was trying to ignore to my left and a bed in front of us.
Then when the guy came in, I am not exactly sure who he was, he just gave me this long lecture on my needle phobia. This only upset me and wasn’t helpful at all. He basically seemed to just think that all you have to do to get over a needle phobia is to think about it rationally. Not that phobias are irrational fears! Honestly I do get that he has a job but it was all so unnecessary. But we will come to that.
Getting Ready for the Examination
He went through all my notes/history but didn’t mention my mom. So I did. He didn’t seem to think it was important and was so dismissive. He spoke about the types of haemorrhoid and how a stage 2 would be treated with an injection and a stage 3 banding. That in my notes there was a discrepancy.
When I had had the flexible sigmoidoscopy they had said it was a stage 2. This means that it goes back inside by itself. This really isn’t the case! Anyway this meant he wanted to have yet another look. This is when I asked whether it would be treated today and he said that yes they had everything there to do it.
Not on the NHS
Then the end of my journey arrived. After all this trauma, trips to the hospital – wasting my time, winding me up not to mention the money spent by the NHS he told me that I could not be treated! A lot of what he was saying I just couldn’t process and my husband asked questions.
He essentially told me that it wasn’t actually the haemorrhoid itself that I was having problems with (and therefore it was not treated). No what was causing me so much pain I sometimes struggle with walking, bleed into the toilet and just generally roll about in agony cannot be treated on the NHS. That, nothing to do with my needle phobia, it would require a general anaesthetic to treat it. That the NHS consider it to be a cosmetic reason for removal so they will not do it.
It was likened more to a skin tag. Where it was would be just too painful to remove under a local anesthetic. That the operation I had 15 years ago (I kept bleeding from my back passage whenever I encountered stress and they believed it to be a polyp) would not have been performed nowadays either.
The Physio Gave Up on Me
Next I had a physio appointment and she has given up too. She knows I am not doing the exercises daily – it isn’t practical. This means I am not fully recovered and actually when I went to see her I was worse. Honestly though I am not convinced that a weak core is the problem. Sometimes the exercises leave me in such pain I just can’t do them again for days anyway. Generally I am doing classes at the leisure centre that help with this though.
She asked me what I wanted to happen and has since referred me on to the next stage. It is doubtful that they will do anything because I can do too much. As the wait is another 5 months though I said I would like to be put on the list and will keep doing the physios exercises in the meantime in the hopes that they work.
The Popped Calf
Someone had suggested that maybe it was just a psychological pain preventing me from still running. Well that’s how I interpreted it anyway. So I managed to Jeff a 30:30 5 miles. It was too much I think and it was in my Vibrams. Also I walked a further 2 1/2 miles in them afterwards. My body I think wanted some rest as my calf muscles went tight. A few days later my husband and I were going to do a gentle 30:30 Jeff at Parkrun but as soon as we started to move my calf just popped. It was so embarrassing but everyone was so kind. One lady even lent me her top.
This really was the start of my enforced rest. I did still managed an Aqua class and swim though.
My body was having none of it though and this week made sure I was resting by making me ill. I slept most of Monday and Tuesday and napped Wednesday and Thursday. Needless to say I haven’t been in as much pain with my hip, back or leg. Mostly my calves cramp at night and really hurt. We will have to see what happens when I start exercising again.