Anal Fistula and Anal Abscess
I have a fistula
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About ten years ago a doctor told me that I had a fistula. I know now that I had no idea back then of what a fistula actually was. I was young and didn't ask a lot of questions and didn't really concern myself with it. I didn't really notice the fistula was all that different from the rest of my terrible bowels. When I moved to Texas, I told my doctor that I had a fistula (I still didn't really understand what that meant) and she never denied it the entire time that I lived there. So, I am not really certain if she ever really saw a fistula or just took my word for it. Now that I have returned to Texas, I have decided to see a different specialist because I am not sure if my previous doctor ever really knew if I had a fistula or just took my word about it. I remember there were times that I thought my fistula was having problems and instead of checking it out, she would medicate me. Now I know better than to let that happen.
After I moved to Holland I had a huge flare-up of my Crohn's four months after arriving. I had a high fever of 104 F and was admitted into the hospital. I had a lot of pain in my private area (and of course lots of diarrhea) but they never really said what was wrong with me. After I spent eleven days in the hospital I got well enough for them to discharge me but I would still have a lot of pain down there. Then one day it was like the pressure gave away and a little hole formed. The hole was my fistula. This really was one of my fears in life, and it came true, and it really is terrible, but life goes on and we have to deal with what we are given. No point in moping about. A few years later I had an abscess which was cured with antibiotics, but it showed up another year later in the same place, so they cut the abscess out. That was a lot of fun too - let me tell you.
I had a really great proctologist in France and he was great in answering my questions. I have a seton in my fistula to keep it open until maybe one day they can put some glue in it. Sometimes if the fistula doesn't close by itself, they can insert a glue-like substance to close it up. But the surrounding cells have to be really healthy to perform this procedure because otherwise the glue will not stick. It is also important to be low on steroids. So, until the cells around my fistula get healthy, I have no hope of them fixing it.
When my Crohn's is flared-up and my fistula is giving me problems, I get a bit cranky and all tasks and daily routine become an absolute nightmare. I start to stress every time we try to plan something because I am never sure how I will be feeling. But I try to go forward with my plan making and just keep in mind that I can always cancel if I'm feeling really bad; it's part of my 'grab happiness wherever you can policy.'
Life with Crohn's disease really makes a person humble. There is no modesty and lots of humiliation. But I really do think that it is character building. We have no control of what our bodies do. I guess if we did, there would be no disease. When I see someone acting strange, I don't immediately think they are weird. I wonder why they are acting that way and wonder if they too have a problem, what burden are they carrying and hiding. We all have a burden, but how you view your burden defines how heavy or light it is.
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