Perianal abscess- some useful links

I wasn’t really given a lot of information about my abscess, either before or after my operation. The registrar actually did tell me about it verbally, but I wasn’t in a lot of state to take in much of what he was saying. And when I happened to catch him a couple of hours after I’d woken up, I managed to ask him a couple of questions that were troubling me (and I’d scribbled down on some paper).

Other than that, I’ve mainly been told to just listen to my body. I’m not sure what it’s going to tell me! I’m used to ignoring it mostly and getting on with stuff. I’ve been given nothing written down. This isn’t to criticise any of the nurses, doctors, registrars and consultants I’ve spoken to! I get the feeling that nobody really knows where these come from or why they reoccur.

Links: perianal abscess (and fisula)

As I said, in my first post, I’m trying not to Google too much!  But on the other hand, I’d like to know a bit more. So I’m trying to be a bit selective in choosing what to read. This is what I’ve found so far…

  • This is a good starting point. It’s from Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Trust. I wasn’t given any written info about perianal abscesses or their after-care. This at least appeared to have a trustworthy source: Recovering after your perianal abscess operation
  • I am still only about halfway through reading all the comments on this post, but this post really spoke to me! And it offered some comfort that I wasn’t the only one that had ignored my lump (and assumed it was a haemmeroid). It’s a humorous post, but you can see just from the number of comments alone how many people it has helped: A pain in my ass
  • This information page comes from The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (ACPGBI)  It is very readable, and has a few ideas about timescale and re-occurence: Anal abscess and fistula
  • This leaflet comes from a Healthcare provider in Michigan. It is incredibly detailed, well-sourced (with references) and straight to the point. It’s not an easy read, and there are pictures! Beware! But it’s wortha look if you want to know a bit more about the proces: Anorectal abscess and fistula

 

Links: General Anaesthesia

This wasn’t the first General Anaesthetic I’d ever had. I had one when I was 8, and I had a complicated wrist fracture that had to be re-set. I don’t remember anything about this, except saying how weird it was that I would just fall asleep… and then waking up with plaster on my wrist!

I was shocked at how much the GA affected me. When I first woke up, I just lay there for hours. I was absolutely zonked. I stared into space, I “lost” a couple of hours, I was happy to just lie there and drift for a while.

Later, I was on a “high”. I messaged my friends, and we discussed what had happened. I laughed at the idea that I’d had this secret “hamster pouch” that I’d been carrying around. I made plans. My friends hinted that I might have to modify them. I said I was feeling fine and had no pain. My friends hinted that I’d probably had some rather strong painkillers, and they might wear off eventually….

My friends were right! I realised that next day that I’d been completely “out of it”. Even the next day, I kept saying I felt like my “brain was in a basket on the ceiling”. I have no idea what I meant by that now. But it seemed to perfectly describe how I was feeling at the time. And they were right that I had to modify my plans. I had so little idea about GA that I had driven to the hospital and expected to drive home again afterwards! And yes- the pain began to resurface eventually…. and my brain is now safely back in my head, rather than floating around somewhere above me.

When I started to think about things more, I felt a bit lost. I seemed to have lost an hour or so somwhere, for a start. Apparently, my operation only took 16 minutes, yet I thought I’d only woken up 2 hours after I went into theatre. With hindsight, I probably woke up before this, but just didn’t remember it.

I was also confused that I didn’t get this “waking up a second later” feeling that everyone else describes. I actually remember that I dreamed. I can even remember that my dreams were about work. Having read the links below, I probably dreamed about work because this is the last thing I talked about before I “went under”. They asked me what I did and where I worked.

Don’t google! territory

Came across this paper, because I was interested in why the lump I had (which turned into a perianal abscess) was always worse before I menstruated. But this is not something I’m going to think about further! Google can be a dangerous thing sometimes… However, I found it interesting, so I’m linking to it anyway… Perianal Endometriosis Mimicking Recurrent Perianal Abscess

 

 

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Perianal abscess- starting point

Last week, I had an operation under general anaesthetic to drain and remove a perianal abscess.

At least, that’s what I think they did. To be honest, I wasn’t in much state to understand what they were telling me last week, and I have struggled to find out too much information about it since then.

I’m really trying not to Google! I understand that this is the route to paranoia and hypocondria, but I’m trying to find out why it happened, what I should do now to stop it reoccurring, and when I can begin to get back “to normal”. The thing is “normal” (until last week) was cycling everywhere, running (I was training for a marathon at the time) and swimming twice a week with a club.

I get that I won’t be able to swim until the wound has cleared up. It’s currently filled with “packing” and has a “dressing” over the top. I don’t really know what the packing is. I understand that it’s there to prevent my wound from healing over at the top. It needs to heal “from the bottom up” to reduce the chances of the abscess reoccuring. I know that the “re-packing” involves literally pushing something in to the top of my wound, because I can feel them doing it! At first, this was really painful, but the last few days, it’s been okay. I’m not sure whether this is something to do with the fact that it’s clearing up, or just because the nurses have been really skilled recently.

But what about running? When I can I cycle again. Actually… when I can I walk again? I mean when I can I “properly” walk? When I can I stride and march and think of a 20 minute walk to the doctors as a stroll around the corner?

At the moment, I’m just too tired to do anything, so I don’t have to worry about all this. But I’m guessing (hoping) that I’ll be able to start doing this stuff again eventually, and when I do, I want to know what I can do and what I can’t do. I want to know what I should be wary of and when I’ll know it’s okay to do a bit more.

I understand that no one can really tell me this! I realise that all wounds heal differently. Some heal more quickly, some take longer. Some heal well, some don’t. Apparently, mine looks good so far. But I’m a planner, and I like to know what’s happening and what will happen. I find it difficult to just sit back, accept things, and play things by ear. I know I have to, but I find this hard.

So this is my attempt to make sense of what is happening (and what has happened). This is my place to collect links, and to write about what happened. And, hopefully, it is a place where other people will be able to find information, if this happens to them. There’s not a lot out there right now, and people don’t really talk about this kind of thing!

So far, I’ve been pretty open about stuff, as far as appropriate. My kids know “mummy has a lump on her bottom and it was removed”. They know I had some “sleepy potion” so they could do this. My closer friends know it was a “perianal abscess”, others know it was an “abscess”.

This is my starting point….

 

 

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