Posted by @ 5:34 pm on Thursday 12th September, 2013.
Categories: Illness and injury

Yup, I'm back on topic...

That piles op back in Jan 2012 - remember that, and the aftermath of it? Well, it's still giving me hassle. I've not been able to exercise properly since the op because it makes the rear-end swollen and dysfunctional. Yes, I've had the odd good day in the hills but I've always paid for it during the following week.

Eventually they sent me to a bum-physio who taught me how to retrain the damaged/wasted muscles down there. They needed to be sorted before the NHS would even consider any further corrective surgery. I won't list the number of times my appointments were bumped, suffice to say that I ain't happy about it and that my next consultation (to arrange the removal of the large skin-tags and the repair of the muscle-damage, both of which resulted from the original op) was to be on September 25th but they've already bumped that to October 30th.

So... consequences...

My inability to maintain a proper exercise regime for well over a year has left me seriously unfit. I didn't read much into the aching torso thing when I went up Moel Siabod in July, I thought I was just lacking in the oomph department, and an occasional minute or two of rest combined with a slackening of the pack-straps allowed me to keep going.

Fast(?)-forward to three weeks ago and I was struggling on the flat. We were at a wood-craft fair, it was a very hot day and again I didn't pay much attention to myself. After a beer and a sit down in the shade I felt better, I put the whole affair down to the unseasonal hot weather, my unfitness and the need for the hydrating effects of real ale.

A week later and it was clear that something was wrong. Cutting the hedges became a task punctuated by rests and cups of tea. I thought that the aching in the arms and chest was due to the efforts of wielding the not-so-lightweight electric trimmers, but I followed the advice of all and sundry and took it easy for a few days.

Aldi had some Blood Pressure Monitors on sale so we bought one, just so that I could keep an eye on how my ticker was coping. The first few days of readings were fine (112/65, 80bpm for example) but a few days later I took a reading after tightening-up while doing a bit of leisurely gardening and the pressure result was a bit of a shocker - 212/125!

I went to see my doctor ASAP. The prognosis wasn't good. The doc put me on aspirin and nitroglycerine spray, and put me down for treadmill and ECG tests at the local specialist cardiac unit.

And that's where I was yesterday. They didn't need to do the treadmill test, the effect of the walk from the car to the reception was enough to make the static ECG results conclusive: Stable Angina. Against all expectations the tests indicated that apart from the effects of Angina I'm in really good nick for a 51-year-old smoker, with no respiratory or weight/fat problems at all. After a chest X-ray and blood-tests I was sent home with a big bag full of meds and the promise of a coronary angioplasty with stent implantation(s) within a month.

Of course, cardiac problems always trump colorectal problems, so I doubt that my bum-doctor will do anything more until the ticker's sorted, which puts me in a Catch-22 situation where exertion is good for one end but not the other.

Of course, this might all have been avoided if they'd properly managed my recovery from the piles op nearly two years ago. I'd have been back in the hills keeping in shape instead of getting progressively unfit to the point where I've started to fall apart.

I tell you, getting up those last five Wainwrights is proving to be more of a challenge than the previous 209 ever were 😥

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10 Responses to “Consequences”

  1. AlanR says:

    So sorry to hear that. Its bad enough just having the piles op without all the hassle you had. I am almost 100% now. I just have occasional stinging, but i have no complaints. Lucky i suppose. I wasn’t aware that Angina could be brought on just by a lack of exercise. Now where did i put them boots.

  2. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By Alan
    I wasn't aware that Angina could be brought on just by a lack of exercise.

    The Major Risk Factors are generally accepted to be:

    Age (? 55 years for men, ? 65 for women)
    Cigarette smoking
    Diabetes mellitus
    Family history of premature cardiovascular disease (men <55 years, female <65 years old)
    Kidney disease (microalbuminuria or GFR<60 mL/min)
    Obesity (BMI ? 30 kg/m2)
    Physical inactivity
    prolonged psychosocial stress

    Only the two items that I've underlined apply to me. There's a great irony - if I try to reduce/stop smoking with the help of nicotine patches then circulation issues would hamper their effectiveness. With nicotine mints/lozenges it's different - they provide a concentrated dose which "triggers" Angina attacks in a more severe way than just having a relaxing smoke.

    Originally Posted By Alan
    Now where did i put them boots.

    LOL - I've been following your post-op adventures, I've been more than a little jealous of what you've achieved. Well done!

  3. AlanR says:

    @BG! - @BG! - Thanks. I admit i did wonder if it would ever be right 100%. I don't think it ever will. But, i am happy with my current status and would settle to remain as i am today. As you know though the symptom can re-occur. I did wonder if high blood pressure was a factor but my quack says not. Diet is also not a major factor even though they recommend high fibre, it doesn't stop them forming in the first place. Keeping clear of both ends of the spectrum, ie constipation and diarrhoea, is far more important to keeping piles at bay.

    I have to go back in doc to have a possible hernia looked at. Scheduled for 2nd week in October. I am seeing the same specialist so i hope to get it sorted soon. Getting older is no fun.

  4. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By AlanR
    Diet is also not a major factor even though they recommend high fibre, it doesn't stop them forming in the first place. Keeping clear of both ends of the spectrum, ie constipation and diarrhoea, is far more important to keeping piles at bay.

    FWIW, the 4th Bum-Consultant that I've seen recommended Holland & Barrett Psyllium Husks and I must say that they're absolutely brilliant for avoiding "end of spectrum" disasters. They're saving me a small fortune in bog-roll and baby-wipes :mrgreen:

    Originally Posted By AlanR
    I have to go back in doc to have a possible hernia looked at. Scheduled for 2nd week in October. I am seeing the same specialist so i hope to get it sorted soon.

    I hope that it goes well for you, I trust that you'll keep us posted.

  5. AlanR says:

    Mmm They look good. I never got told about these. I did try a few of the others for a while but i will look into these. Thanks for "Passing" them on.

  6. BG! says:


    Top tips:

    Wait for the "Penny Sale", get a second bottle for 1p, and spend the ~£12 saving on beer 🙂
    These husks are water-soluble and indigestible, unlike most other sorts of fibre. They work a bit like that expanding-foam drain-cleaning stuff 😉
    You must drink the recommended quantity of water with them

  7. BG! says:

    Breaking News:

    The appointment letter has just been delivered. The big day is next Friday.

  8. Scott says:

    @BG! -

    Well, good luck with all that on Friday then! I'm no expert, but my favourite bit of the hospital stay a couple of years ago was the angiogram. Mainly because that was when they were finally able to tell me (after about 4 days) that I hadn't had a heart attack, but also because it was all terribly space age. Lots of whirring machines on telescopic arms, and screens, and impressive quasi-military terminology and efficiency.

    I was impressed with how they explained that they were "just going in for a look", but that if it turned oot that I had a blocked artery they'd put a stent in "while they were there". Oddly reassuring.

    HTH. You're on your own re the bum problems though. That's the one bit of me that seems to work.


  9. BG! says:

    @Scott - Cheers for that. FWIW, when I was told that I'll be watching the whole thing live on-screen while they do their tricks with their hi-tech pipe-cleaners and balloons, I asked for a copy on DVD. I figure it'll go some way to padding out my meagre tally of videos on YouTube and Vimeo 🙂

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