Need Advice: VERY Worried About My Condition

Discussion in 'Pilonidal Discussions' started by Jeffrey Jones, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Jeffrey Jones

    Jeffrey Jones New Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm new here. Glad I discovered this place, because it already looks very helpful and informative.

    I'm 18 (male), and I discovered my pilonidal cyst last school year. After realizing what it was, I became extremely nervous about the whole surgical aspect of it all, and I was too embarrassed to mention it to anyone. In fact, I only did so today, telling my mom that it hurt when I sat. Why? Well, it seems to have flared up quite a bit, and it hurts as much as ever to sit on it... especially with those plastic chairs at school.

    Looking around, I've read some positive results of drainage and/or complete surgical removal of one's cyst, but I've also seen some horrendous horror stories; the whole thing has had a huge toll on me. First off, I can barely sit straight at school (since the cyst is slightly offset to the right), so my back feels tweaked the entire day. I also can't lean back in my chair, so I have to sit forward. So far, I have had to do this throughout the first half of 11th grade and currently do it in 12th. Not good for my back at all.

    Additionally, the thought of having to go to the hospital for this practically makes me tear up. This would be the first time I ever go to the hospital for medical reasons. I'm otherwise very healthy, and the last time I was a patient in the hospital was... well... when I was born. I'm keeping my text stern so as to not seem distressed - but, really, I'm freaking out over this!

    After seeing how long it takes for one to heal (whether it's an entire surgery or just a draining), I'm getting scared what will happen with school. Unlike working adults out there, I have to sit at school all day, meaning that having to stay at home and heal would just ruin my academic success completely. Summer seems like a nice time to have something done, but I would probably ruin my summer with the grief of having surgery and healing from it, and I also don't think I can physically wait until then.

    Every day, I go to school worrying that the stupid thing might leak and make a stain on my shorts or something. I walk to class every freaking day anxious that something might happen and I'd have people behind me laughing about it. In addition, it has become incredibly annoying to sit in a chair or lay down, so that just ruins my mood and causes extreme discomfort in a class where I should be focussing on the lesson at hand.

    What am I supposed to do about school? I can't go through school with a healing wound! What about biking? There's no physical activity I like more than rigorous bicycling, and the thought that this entire thing could just ruin all that for me (since biking is partially a sitting activity) is saddening and concerning.


    Bottom line: I'm anxious, concerned, embarrassed, and crushed. This is the first time anything like this has happened to me before; I had had ZERO pain issues with my tail bone area until this whole cyst thing came about. Now I'm just wondering how a possible surgery could go. I can't have this thing have to sit and heal throughout the rest of high school, through my summer, and into college! :-/

    I've sort of just bit the bullet every day, making sure to wipe the affected area clean each day, but now it's getting to a breaking point. Not sure if this thing can physically hold any longer (considering that it's becoming puffier and more painful), and I'm not sure I can deal with the discomfort anymore. It's literally a pain in the åss to sit down!

    Son of a gun... what do I do? Is surgery possible with all this high school work and activity going on? I just feel like I can't deal with this, and I envy someone who can simply take leave from work or who works at home or something. There's no choice in school. Guess I'd be missing days from my perfect attendance and slacking on my grades if I were to go through a whole surgery. My stomach and heart have just completely sunken; my spirits are absolutely crushed. Seems like surgery is inevitable, since drainage is usually only a temporary fix. Can't believe I only now mustered up enough courage to tell my mom. I feel weak and pathetic right now, and the fact that it's midnight and I have a test tomorrow that I'm currently doing THIS in place of studying for?? This just seems like the beginning of a nightmare.

    I'm already needing a HUGE break once I graduate, but it seems like this will just bar that from happening. Call this whole rant dramatic and everything, but I think I just need to roll over (since I can't sit on my freaking butt) and cry.

    Please - tips and advice. Is it realistic to go through days and days of school post operation?
     
  2. Baxter4321

    Baxter4321 Very Helpful

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    First of all, don't freak out so much! This all can be helped! If your cyst is getting bigger everyday and isn't draining on its own, your gonna need to get it lanced. You may not wanna go in and do it, it's an awkward situation, but the doctors have seen it all before. And once they get it drained you'll have immediate relief! You should probably go anyways because this is an infection and needs to be treated. Once you get lanced you'll be sitting normal again soon and you won't have to worry about leaking while sitting in class. This really should be your first step.

    Your second step could be at least meet with a colorectal surgeon, tell him all the worries about missing school and such and see what he says. Go over all your options.

    Your gonna see more horror stories than success stories when you google this problem because people go to the Internet for help, most people don't go on to talk about the success. Although there are plenty of people on here, including me, who went through different kinds of surgery and didn't have lots of complications or take months to heal.

    This whole thing sucks, I know, but to start you just need some relief first, which is getting that thing drained. Trust me, you'll be hitting yourself for not getting that done sooner.
     
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  3. Dr Immerman

    Dr Immerman Very Helpful

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    Jeffrey - Baxter is correct. If it is hurting more and more, it probably does need to be drained. You should see a surgeon and have it checked out.

    As for getting this healed so you don't have to deal with it indefinitely - a cleft-lift is a very good option. You should look into it, and find a skilled surgeon who do it for you. Yes - it will require a little time off school or vacation - but it is a solvable problem.

    Dr Immerman
     
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  4. Jeffrey Jones

    Jeffrey Jones New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the advice! Drainage, I suppose, doesn't scare my TOO badly, but it sure sucks that drainage/lancing is usually temporary. I wish drainage could also cause the thing to just heal and be gone. Not sure about how others are, but I myself think that I heal pretty quickly... so I'm wondering if it would just stay away.

    Surgery, though, is incredibly daunting, and I'd hate to have to go through it with school on the side. Do you think draining it for now would leave me well enough to wait until summer time to do an actual surgery (that is, if it reoccurs)? Also, does draining it require post medical attention? I''ve heard of gauze packing and such, which makes me sick to my stomach to think about. I guess that this intimidation is happening on account of the fact that I've never had to go to the hospital before, nor do I like the idea of being cut into. By now, I'm a veteran for needing dental work xD, but I've never needed hospital treatment.

    Anyway, thanks for replying and thanks for your support. I will be updating this thread with any new information. (BTW, how long did it take you to heal after your surgery? How invasive did it feel? Are you put under for the drainage as well? Lastly, how miserable was it? You think it would be more miserable than the two root canals I had at the age of 7?)

    -Thanks
     
  5. Jeffrey Jones

    Jeffrey Jones New Member

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    Thanks for your reply; do you know the average healing rate for full-on surgical removal? I feel like I should have a lancing and then deal with possible surgery during the summer. At this point, I can't even afford to miss a single homework assignment.
     
  6. Dr Immerman

    Dr Immerman Very Helpful

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    Draining it should make you feel better right away, if it is indeed infected. Packing is not always necessary ( I never use it myself).
    If it is not infected, then that is not the right thing to do. That's why somebody needs to look at it. It is possible to drain it, and not have another problem for a long time.

    "Surgical removal" is not the same as a cleft-lift. Surgical removal usually means excision with or without primary closure - and it often does not solve the problem. A cleft lift usually does. You can read more about it on my web site if you want details.

    Dr Immerman
     
  7. Baxter4321

    Baxter4321 Very Helpful

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    It would be amazing if lancing stopped this thing. You never know about reoccurrence until after you've had the lancing. Mine stayed dormant for 6 years between my first and second lancing, but once it was back it made up for lost time and came back about every 2-3ish weeks, so you just never know. You could get it lanced and by a miracle never needs it again or need it again in a month, but it's worth trying for your comfort, plus like I said before this is an infection, there's lots of nasty stuff in there that needs out, you'll be prescribed antibiotics. Mine never required post care, they put some gauze in it which would need changed, you'll likely need someone to do it but it's not a big deal.

    To answer some of your other questions, everyone's surgery is different, I had a closed procedure, I was awake for it, took about 20 minutes and two weeks of stitches and then it was over. Most people on this site will tell you to go with a cleft lift which is totally different so I can't really comment on that healing process. I've never really heard of anyone being put under for a lancing, it's a quick thing. They'll out numbing stuff in you but since it's infected, it doesn't do much, but depending on your pain tolerance, it's doable. Like I said the relief is immediate so it's more then worth it! It's a little miserable at first but if you've handled root canals then you can handle this.

    Just please consider seeing a doctor! I know I keep saying this but if that isn't draining you need to get that stuff out, it's an infection and it's not good for you!
     
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  8. Jeffrey Jones

    Jeffrey Jones New Member

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    Thanks for providing more details! I'm curious about the packing... with all surgery techniques, do you have to re-insert gauze into the wound (strips or ball?) every day or something? Is it possible for one to do it himself? I'm nervous about this packing stuff, but I'm mostly embarrassed about the possibility of having my mom do it or something :-/. EDIT: Dr. Immerman answered part of the gauze question, but I'm still curious in case I DO need packing.

    Also, my mom is asking a friend of hers (who's a doctor) for a referral. Hopefully I can see a doctor by this weekend. We don't have time now to fly anywhere, so hopefully there's a good local doctor.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  9. Jeffrey Jones

    Jeffrey Jones New Member

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    Thanks, I read a bit on the procedure. Is this likely the best way to get rid of it theoretically forever? If so, I might want to try this during the summer and have lancing (or something of the like) for the time being.
     
  10. Jeffrey Jones

    Jeffrey Jones New Member

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    Update: Alright, I went to a doctor today. He did a brief examination and told me exactly what would have to go down. First off, he prescribed me with antibiotics, of which I will be taking two a day for a week. I hate taking pills and I have also never been on antibiotics before, so I pray that this part goes as well as possible.

    He's going to check back with me in a week and see how well the antibiotics do in keeping the infected part down. If they don't help, he said that draining would be necessary.

    As for my concern over missing school, he assured me that waiting until the summer time (with either a drainage or simple antibiotics until then) would be just fine. As for future surgery, he - to my utter relief - said that it would be an incision that would be sewn right back up, and that leaving an open-wound with required 'packing' is (apparently) and old practice that he doesn't do. (Dr. Immerman actually mentioned this to me originally.) SO, that would mean that I'd go in for the 40-or-so min. procedure, go home all sewn up with stitches, and then have them removed about 5 days later. Henceforth, I will simply 'take it easy' and make sure not to do anything (like sitting) that would cause the wound to open up. Seems simple enough.

    Overall, the relief that I could feel after it's over with is enough to make me feel excited about the surgical process, rather than feeling intimated. Sounds odd at first, but I just want to be able to look at a comfortable chair and know that I can actually put all my weight down when I sit on it! The sheer embarrassment is actually one of the worst parts (next to the fact that I fear medical treatment), as I hated telling my mom about the condition and simply hate being fussed over by parents. I also hate that I have to wait for summer for all of this to happen, but at least I will have relief until then. Also, I am EXTREMELY relieved that the wound will apparently be sewn back up, rather than needed to be packed with gauze. If anyone reading this is also going through the same condition and is worried about that part, make sure you know what's going to happen before you go in.

    I'll update this page as events unfold. Thanks for all of your guys' advice so far.
     
  11. john matrix

    john matrix Very Helpful

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    Did the doctor specify what kind of closed wound surgery he would perform? Closed incisions include the classic incision down the midline of the anal cleft, the cleft lift, and the Karydakis flap. I just had a cleft lift performed yesterday and am now at home recovering. There is pain, but I'm optimistic I will be back to normal by the end of the month. I spent a long time researching the different procedures and spoke to three surgeons before settling on the cleft lift. Though it is early in my recovery, I am so far glad that I picked that procedure to rid myself of this awful condition.

    I'm keeping a recovery log here if you're interested: http://www.pilonidal.org/xfforums/index.php?threads/cleft-lift-recovery-log.12446/
     
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  12. Jeffrey Jones

    Jeffrey Jones New Member

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    He didn't specify - just said closed-wound. I'm optimistic about it, though. That's good that yours went well; I wish you a speedy recovery. I'll take a look at the log and see what I might be in for.
     

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