Finding Freedom from Hemorrhoids

Uncategorized Oct 16, 2021

I spent years in pain, bleeding and filled with anxiety that at any moment I might bleed through my clothes and humiliate myself - or have a flare up and be in too much pain to do anything except lay down. I lived like that for years…and I told no-one because I was embarrassed.

It wasn’t until I felt my health start slipping away that I knew I needed to see a doctor.

  • My vision was blurry and I developed floaters in my eyes out of nowhere.
  • My stamina was garbage.
  • I was out of breath and my heart rate was through the roof at the drop of a hat.
  • I was exhausted 100% of the time and could hardly move without being hit with a dizzy spell.
  • I would lose feeling in my arms frequently.
  • My vitality overall had been ripped away from me
  • My strength was dissipating because I couldn’t show up and perform my workouts the way I used to be able to….as a virtual health and fitness coach 🤦🏻‍♀️

Sure, I LOOKED healthy and fit on the outside, but I wasn’t.

Turns out, I was severely anemic and at risk for heart attack because of the ongoing bleeding. I had lost 30% of the blood in my body.

It hit me like a ton of bricks - I couldn’t keep hiding from the fact that I had hemorrhoids that were stealing my life.

Do you know it’s crazy?

When I would research online, there are no stories. NO praise reports and pictures of people who overcame this kind of medical issue. Nobody is sharing about it. There are mostly anonymous bad reviews from surgical procedures and medical websites telling you facts and risks.

I felt very much alone and completely humiliated about what was going on in my body. I could’ve used someone, anyone to look to for HOPE and guidance in this moment.

I hope to be that girl for you, as I openly share my journey.

 So how did it all start?

Hemorrhoids developed during pregnancy with my daughter and then went away.

Super normal. 

19 months later, I was pregnant with my son. I had my heart set on having a vbac (after having to schedule a c/s with Evangeline because she was breech).

They warned that it was risky since I’d just had the c/s 19 months prior, but I wanted to do it.

 I hit 40 weeks and Lachlan was not ready to come out, although he was huge. We had to induce because it would be too risky to let him get any bigger and allow me to push him out.

 He ended up being 9 pounds and thanks to the epidural I needed in order to dilate - I pushed him out in less than 30 minutes which was GREAT…but…I could’t feel the damage I was doing and basically I pushed around a whole lotta stuff inside and out 😬

They handed me my sweet boy and within minutes, my vision started to white out.

I haded Lachlan over to my husband. I threw up and passed out. I remember hearing all kinds of beeps and alarms before I lost consciousness.

Apparently I started hemorrhaging and they worked fast and fixed me back up.

It was a ROUGH recovery and I had pretty terrible hemorrhoids for a while after his birth, but eventually things became manageable and almost forgettable.

 He was born in September 2015.

Fast forward, it was 2018 and I was at an event with my husband wearing a light blue mini dress in a crowded room chatting.

A woman came up to me and whispered that I needed to go to the bathroom because there was blood running down my legs….

I was terrified and had no clue what was going on. To my humiliation, a doctor was in the house and he came into the ladies room where I was sitting in a stall on a toilet covered in blood to assess what happened. He said it sounded like I just experienced an internal hemorrhoid rupture - which can be completely painless and happen at any time.

I figured that was a 1 and done kinda thing, so I moved on with my life. Then it happened again and I bled through a denim skirt while out for my cousins birthday.

The following year, things started to become painful and inflamed. The bleeding happened more and more. I could only wear black bottoms and always have a pad, just in case. After using the bathroom in the morning, I'd need at least 20 minutes to lay down and pray the inflammation and pain would dissipate. Sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't.

I went in for a colonoscopy in 2019 to make sure there was no cancer or any other issues aside from the hemorrhoids and thank God there wasn’t anything else.

Basically the options were surgery or deal with it. So I chose to deal with it. By this time it was 2020 and the world was locked down anyway - so I didn't go many places and could do what I needed to do to manage all the issues.

However, with the ongoing bleeding - my quality of life began to evaporate more and more.  I was no longer just pain and bleeding - my body, energy...focus...everything just felt bad.

I finally felt so horrible I went in for a full physical and blood panel because I was afraid I had some kind of disease.

That's when I discovered all the blood loss had made me severely anemic. 

I finally agreed to see the surgeon. The examination was excruciating. I laid in the fetal position crying as I was looked at. Fortunately, it was a quick evaluation.

Stage 4 hemorrhoids - inside and out. The kind that never go away, the never heal, they never quit.

Luckily, the surgeon I’d connected with is VERY good at his job and really eased all of my anxiety and concerns moving forward with everything.

I scheduled the hemorrhoidectomy.

 It was basically a trade off between living ever day with poor quality of life but manageable pain and supplementing my blood and iron OR going through a week or 2 of intense pain and recovery with a high chance at being healed.

It’s not an easy thing to sign up for because there are no guarantees - but so far I have no regrets.

There was very little prep for the surgery, Just no food or liquid after midnight the night prior.

We showed up to the hospital at 5:30AM.

My blood count was too low to proceed without a transfusion so we all agreed to do 2 units during the operation because it’s definitely an operation where there is significant blood loss.

Somehow the anesthesiologist changed her mind and said I’m healthy enough to just have the 1 unit.

When I came out of surgery I can’t even tell you how terrible I felt.

PAIN. Really bad pain. Nausea. SO dizzy. Hardly able to talk or move my body.

I kept saying I was in a lot of pain…but I didn’t know they were giving me anything because it wasn’t like I was swallowing a pill - it was injections into my IV

Turns out it was fentanyl and I’d been given it 3 times. So moving or communicating became extremely.

They sat me up brought me back to “phase 2” where I could be with Ian, my husband.

Once they got me out of my bed and put me in an actual chair - things got crazy. 

I was STILL in a ton of pain so they brought me a pain pill this time. I took it and basically began losing consciousness...I remember just melting into the chair even though I wanted to sit up straight and talk.

The nurses started taking about discharge and signing paperwork and my husband was like UM NO - Nicolette is white as a sheet and can’t even sit up straight something is WRONG.

 When the surgeon walked back over to check on me I remember trying to answer his questions while slumped in the chair - unable to see him because my eyes wouldn’t open. That’s when I must have lost consciousness…

The surgeon started giving orders.

Ian said they rushed him out of the room and started hooking me up to monitors to monitor my heart and do the 2nd transfusion which SHOULD have been done during surgery to avoid this kind of disaster.

It felt like 10 minutes to me - but THREE hours later, I woke up. Ian told me later he was in the waiting room and the last thing he saw was his wife, passed out and white as a ghost with people telling him to leave. Talk about scary - I can’t imagine being in his shoes in that moment.

I felt so much better waking up this time. According to the nurses the color in my face was back and I looked 100 times better. I finally got down 2 crackers and a ginger ale.

They wheeled me back to phase 2 and brought Ian back in. 

It was definitely an entirely new “wake up from surgery” experience then the first.

 It was around 3:30 or 4 at this point and the last thing to do before I could be discharged was PEE. Lordy Lordy. I would have rather cut off a thumb and handed it to them.

 So they brought coffee and water. After multiple failed attempts and crying to a nurse while sitting on the toilet…it was the 3rd time where I let out the tiniest tinkle.

 We were FREE! Ian confirmed that the pain meds were waiting to be picked up at our pharmacy because I was dying. At this point it had been probably 5 or 6 hours since any kind of pain management and the important thing to do is to stay AHEAD of the pain.

Ian dropped me off at home - I immediately got into a hot bath, which is legit THE BEST PLACE TO BE after this surgery.

My parents were downstairs with the kids. Turns out, the “system” had messed up on my RX and the pain meds were never called in. It took 3 hours for them to fix the situation.

By around 9PM and wayyy too late to be “ahead of the pain” I finally took my glorified tylenol and it felt like it did nothing to be honest. The pain was inescapable.

I spent the entire first night crying, in and out of the bath tub, praying for moments of relief. Advil and CBD gummies helped take the edge off enough to get a few naps through out the night. I got on a regime where I was taking the rx, advil and CBD every 4 hours and my morning I finally felt human again. I could function without trembling in pain. 

I drank tons of water, had coffee and drank my superfood shake with digestive boost. I KNEW this would mean my first bowel movement was just around the corner and I really wanted to get it over with. I was terrified, but rip off the bandaid right?

Nothing could have prepared me. Fire…glass…all I could do was breathe deeply and let the tears fall as it happened. I crawled over to the bath tub and gently flipped myself inside the hot water that {THANKFULLY} I’d prepared in advance. I stayed in there for about an hour.

Day 3 was OK. I had early morning bathroom visits and baths…5AM and 9AM…after that I had everything under control. I was on the move, hanging out with the kids, walking around, tidying up! I went to bed early and slept pretty well for the first time.

 Day 4 I got a surprise. My period came 6 days early causing all kids of additional pain and bloating. Not to mention, putting my saalt cup in - right up against the wall where I just had some major surgery done - that just feels fantastic. Day 4 was not my favorite. However, I did wash and do my hair and put on makeup for the first time in a while which felt pretty good! The lower half of me wanted to go jump of a bridge though. There is a LOT of pressure and throbbing. The pain meds were gone today and Advil isn’t quite doing the trick for this double whammy but it is what it is!

Something that IS helping is staying away from GASSY foods. I eat a lot of fiber, but some foods just rip right through ya and cause that unnecessary gas pain: cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels, cabbage…steering clear and going toward cucumbers, carrots, Romain lettuce and bell peppers instead. 

Day 5: It’s funny as I read back through this, so much of it seems like a foggy memory. I remember feeling like I would never forget but now it’s like a dream! I’m glad I documented when I did because there’s no way I would’ve been able to remember the pain and severity of being in the moment.

Ladies, it’s kind of like after we give birth - we forget how hard it was and actually want to do it again maybe even multiple times 🤣

Anyway. I started off day five after getting zero sleep thanks to period cramping, leaking and a howling tabby cat. I got night sweats multiple times and woke up soaking wet, sheets and everything. So I repositioned and got rid of the covers only to freeze. It was a disaster.

I was so distracted, I forgot to take Advil which certainly didn’t help. My stomach was so bloated it was painful - but I’m terrified of passing gas.

 So I did my morning routine of drinking a ton of water, having my coffee… with loads of almond milk to keep the acidity low so it doesn’t hurt me in this fragile state, and then have made the superfood shake which has become my bodies morning signal to go have a bowel movement.

I was proactive and filled up a nice hot bath for afterwards but still had forgotten to take any pain meds. Again, using the bathroom was extremely painful. Not as bad as the first time, but still leaves you trembling. There is not much else you can do except sit in the fetal position in a tub of hot water. 

Day SIX post surgery! I did not sleep well last night but somehow this morning I woke up feeling amazing! I no longer felt pain just a little discomfort. I even did my hair and make up and went live on Facebook giving an update! I drink coffee and enjoyed my morning thinking that I’d turned a new leaf!

However when it came time to use the bathroom, because I’m very regular and always go in the morning, it felt like I was sent right back to square one. What an insane roller coaster. Healing a muscle and surrounding tissue that literally experiences trauma every single day is no joke.

 I spent an hour in the bath trembling like an abused Chihuahua. I’m now sitting on an ice pack and I’ve taken Advil. I’m praying with a little time I’ll go back to feeling as great as I did first thing this morning! I knew recovery would be a bumpy road. I have no regrets and I’m very much looking forward to the future. I can’t wait to re-discover who I am when actually at my optimal health....

If we’re being honest I will take a roller coaster of feeling good and feeling crappy versus constantly feeling crappy so we will call this progress 👏🏼

Day 7 has been great so far! I feel more anemic then in pain from the surgery….kinda weak and dizzy. But the actual pain from surgical procedure is once agin more of an annoyance then anything. There is a lot of pressure - kinda in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy you feel like things might fall out…they said pressure Is normal so I’m still hanging tight! Literally! Lol

I’m down to an Advil in the morning and 1 in the evening - only 1 hot bath in the morning although I feel like I didn’t even need it today and could have just gone right to the ice pack! That’s my plan for tomorrow :)

Day 8 - I barely feel like I’ve had surgery!

I’m still gonna take it easy through the weekend but I feel like I’ll be back to my regular workout routine by Monday and can really focus on supplementation to get my blood labs back to where they need to be. Going to the bathroom in the morning was stressful but felt very normal and I didn’t even need to ice myself or do a hot bath. I just kept moving throughout my day and was totally fine 👏🏼👏🏼

Anyway, if you’ve made it all the way to day 8 reading about this journey - I appreciate you. You must be here for a reason and if you’re experiencing issues that you don’t know how to deal with when it comes to your health…or perhaps you’re too scared or embarrassed to speak up…don’t let it steal your life away from you like I did.

 The steps I took were AWARENESS of what was happening in my body - what I could see and what I was feeling.

I was open and honest with my primary care physician and asked for a full physical and blood work.

 She examined me, confirming what I knew could be seen on the outside. The blood work revealed what was happening on the inside.


Next step scheduling a colonoscopy to make sure hemorrhoids were the ONLY issue and no other problems to consider. 

 After that it was time to meet with a surgeon. I went in to see him and he had a lot of questions, guiding me through symptoms which was helpful

Then there was a physical examination which I basically cried through…probably 3 minutes tops though. He went over what he saw, options, risks, etc. I felt confident scheduling the surgery by the end of our consultation.

 And you know the rest!

Now that it’s done, I feel so silly avoiding it and suffering for Y E A R S. The surgery has come a LONG way from majority of the scary stuff you’ll find online when you start googling.

Sure, hemorrhoids aren't sexy - it’s humiliating. But so you know what IS sexy? A woman standing up for herself and her health - not allowing what other people might think to predict her future. A mother taking action in self care and healing the way she would want her children to do so.

I hope MY story is shared so it’s available to other women who are suffering in silence. You’re not alone, it’s OK to talk about it.


Nicolette Anderson

IG: nicolette_anderson

FB: nicoletteandersoncoach