Ongoing abscess/fistula problems and hospital visit

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*Phoebe*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 12/10/2008 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Everyone,

 

Sorry I haven’t been on for so long – I don’t have the internet on at home at the moment!

 

Just an update on me and a couple of questions…

 

Since I last posted, I unfortunately spent a week in hospital – I have been struggling with a peri-anal abscess. It started more than six weeks ago, became inflamed, and intensely sore. I saw a GP about it one day after work and he prescribed antibiotics to bring down the inflammation because he said it was too inflamed to try and drain.

 

about five days later it was not AS sore, I went back to the dr and he gave me a repeat of the antibiotics.

 

Shortly after this round ended, the infection came back, and I was prescribed another round.

 

I eventually had my appointment with the gastro, and he prescribed me ANOTHER round of antibiotics, this time flaygl.

 

The flagyl made me so sick, I felt as if I was going to throw up and spent a whole day in bed, feeling nauseas and dizzy, before heading to the ER (by this stage I could barely walk from the pain!)

 

I was admitted and told I would have surgery, but after the surgeon took an initial look at the abscess he decided to treat it conventionally with antibiotics, for fear of making it worse with surgery. So I was admitted on an IV drip of antibiotics (both Ibilex and flagyl) – this continued for around 5 days (five days of feeling like I was on the verge of vomiting all the time and being unable to stand up or walk!), with the doctors checking up on me every day and continuing the IV antibiotics, waiting for the inflammation to come down. After 5 days they could see they ‘weren’t winning with the antibiotics’ so they scheduled a surgery to drain it. I went under general anaesthetic and they took a look, only to find that that very day it had drained it’s self, they found lots of fissures, and a fistula (which was behind the abscess which had eventually drained after over a month of painful hell!). I think it must have ‘burst’ the night before the surgery, because I woke up in such intense pain, and had to have morphine because nothing else would do.

 

I was discharged with rectogesic, a cream for fissures, and painkillers.

 

Now, only 2 weeks later, it’s hurting again – and I can tell it’s blocked.

 

Has anyone else had a similar experience with fistulas/abscesses? Do they constantly block up, get infected, drain and re-heal? I am not looking forward to a life of constant abscess infections. My gastro says surgery will only be used as a very last option, because it can lead to a spreading of inflammation and infection, and in hospital I was told it could even lead to incontinence!

 

The pain of the abscess becomes unbearable, it makes it near impossible to walk, and getting up from a  chair or sitting down, and going to the toilet is so excruciatingly painful, not to mention the nausea when it spreads into my blood.

 

Since it started hurting again a few days ago I’ve started taking another round of antibiotics – and I see my specialist again on the 17th.

 

Would love to hear your experiences with infections of fistulas – any advice? I hope you’re all well!

 

P


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/10/2008 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Phoebe, did they put in a seton or drain to keep the abscess / fistula open?

*huge hug* I'm glad they're starting to pay attention and sort it out (they should have, weeks ago), but I'm so sorry you've had such a rotten time.

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/10/2008 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
ps. How are your job dramas going, or have you been too sick to start searching? Can you get on Centrelink payments to tide you over?
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


patientspiders
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 12/10/2008 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
My question is the same as Ivy's.... have they mentioned anything about a drain? I went through multiple abscess/fistula surgeries, and the only things that helped were drains/setons and remicade... I've since been able to leave behind the Remicade without having a resurgence of fistulas, etc. I'm sure abscess and fistula issues could be cleared up some other way - but setons are almost always necessary, unfortunately.

Flagyl is the worst med that I've ever been on - MAN I hate the way that stuff makes ya feel...

My e-mail is my screen name at yahoo.com. As I said, I've been to this rodeo a few times. Don't hesitate to drop me a line if you need to! I know that what you're going through is miserable... but it does get better! It sounds to me like you need to find a doc who knows more than just the word "antibiotic"!
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
(miscarried at 13 weeks, now waiting to heal before trying again)
Stopped Humira August 22nd, 2008.
Went Gluten-Free, noticing some definite improvement.
Started LDN October 27th, and already LOVING IT.

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure."


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/10/2008 11:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


mj8dokken
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 12/11/2008 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Are you soaking in the tub? That should help keep it draining.

Bad flare May '06 resulted in CD diagnosis
 
Asacol: 4800 mg/day; Entocort: 9mg/day; Metronidazol
Started seeing a Naturopath-Castor Oil Packs, Liquid B Complex, Floragen, Ribes Nigrum, Herbal GI, Chlorella
 
"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain"


chroniemomx2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 12/11/2008 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Did it brake on its own to the outside of your body or the inside? I certainly hope the outside...you can get sepsis and being gravely ill if an abscess breaks open on the inside. Antibiotics do not do anything for abscesses because an abscess is a sealed off area of infection and cannot be penetrated.

Your surgeon (make sure it is a good colorectal) needs to go in and clean out the abscess cavity and leave it open to heal from the inside out, so that it won't come back. Also a seton will kept the fistula tract open so it wont abscess.

Soaking in the tub is great for abscesses and fistulas!

*Phoebe*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 12/11/2008 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys, thank you so much for the replies! They didn’t mention anything about a seton, though I had heard of them and asked my gastro, and he said it was something the surgeon would be involved with (he seems to palm off every procedure he doesn’t directly perform onto other doctors) – so when I see him on the 17th I will ask to be referred to a surgeon I think, because I don’t want this thing constantly re-flaring and getting blocked. It broke through the skin onto the outside, and left a hole, which then leaked every time I went to the bathroom, but has since stopped leaking after it became re-blocked again…

Are the setons uncomfortable/painful? How long do they usually leave them in for? Is it difficult to go to go to the toilet when they are in place? Do you go under a general anesthetic to get them put in place? Sorry for all the questions, but you are just all so helpful during this time, I honestly don’t know what I’d do without this place, it can be very isolating having to deal with this ‘thing’ that you don’t want to speak to just anyone about – “hey sorry I’m walking funny but I have an abscess in my bottom!!”

I have made a home-made sitz bath and use it as much as possible, with hot salty water, but it’s pretty uncomfortable sitting on the floor, I might ask for one at the chemist (does anyone know where I could buy a sitz bath?)

It seems like the GI and the doctors I’ve seen see only antibiotics as the answer, which is annoying, because its not really a long term solution if it keeps getting blocked again and again, I guess they wait and see how many times it gets infected before they refer me to a surgeon??

The job dramas are still ongoing; I was too sick while in hospital and the weeks before, to seek out work. I’ve been doing some temping work in the city (Brisbane) the last week, which is great because it’s boring but sedentary, I can just sit/stand the whole time and don’t have to move about too much. I just really want this to all clear away before seeking out another fulltime job because if it’s still causing me problems it will make adjusting to a new job so much harder!

patientspiders
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 12/11/2008 10:32 PM (GMT -7)   
setons are usually painful for the first few days/weeks.... but they do get better with time. I've had several different kinds, and the rest really depends on which type they decide is best for you. When you speak to the surgeon, ask him to draw a picture of the seton and to explain how it is supposed to work... it sounds silly, but almost all of us have been sent home with these mysterious things in our bum not understanding what was supposed to happen. Don't let that happen to you!

Setons stay in for anywhere from a couple months to a couple years... it all depends on how aggressive they are in fighting the inflamation that is causing the ulceration on the INSIDE. That's why they need to be doing more than round after round of antibiotics... you need a long term solution to heal the fistulas that are tunneling through, then the abscesses will go away.

I went under for all of my setons, usually with a saddle-block spinal and general anesthetic... not sure if that's "normal" or not... mine were all excrutiatingly painful, so I asked them to knock me out as much as possible!

Good luck with your upcoming appointments!
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
(miscarried at 13 weeks, now waiting to heal before trying again)
Stopped Humira August 22nd, 2008.
Went Gluten-Free, noticing some definite improvement.
Started LDN October 27th, and already LOVING IT.

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure."


chroniemomx2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 12/12/2008 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, you definitely need to see a surgeon...my gi doesn't take care of these things either. Don't wait to see...insist on seeing a surgeon. A good colorectal surgeon is the only one who can take care of it.

Mine was only uncomrftable the first couple of days...but a week later, I was back to exercising, and I don't even know I have it unless I feel it when I'm in the shower.

No, it doesn't hurt when you go the bathroom.

I didn't use general anesthetic for mine...I had numerous abscesses drained before this, and used general, but I hate the thought of having a breathing tube down me, so I asked if they could do a conscious sedation....it worked, I never felt a thing, and I never woke up during the operation.

I've had my seton in for 2 years, and have been abscess free sinc then...my surgeon has offered to take it out, but the thought of going back to abscess world scares me so I have decided to keep mine for now since it causes no inconviences.

gachrons
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 12/13/2008 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I don't know where a person buys a sitz bath probably at the drugstore. Lrt us know where to find one if you do ,hope you are doing better. lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still alive.lol gail

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