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13 Jan 2006

Frightened
Hi Doc

I know you don't specialise in this field but I will appreciate your advice.

I had rectal polyps removed 3 weeks ago.
I'm 28 and suffer from depression and anxiety. This whole thing about the polyps gave me a big fright and now I'm a nervous wreck. I'm going for my colonoscopy on 24 Jan. All these terrible thoughts about cancer and death are spinning in my thoughts and I'm becoming depressed again. The doc had to cut out one of the polyps and the other one he burnt off. He had them tested and it was caused by inflammation. It was not cancerous. (though quite big...largest one was 115x112x100mm). I went to 2 GP's afterwards for the pain. The first one said not to worry and gave me anti-inflammatories. The second one had a look on Monday and said he saw another on growing, although it looks very small...probably about 2mm.

How long will I still be sore? It's been three weeks now, and I'm still experiencing pain (very mild) when I sit (mostly in my right buttock) and my leg feels funny. (not numb or painful, but a dull sensasion). After I read everything about polyps and colon problems (cancer) on the web and in books, it's as if all the symptoms fit me and I'm very frightened.

my surgeon. He's a good doctor, but lacking in communication skills i think. I had a panic attack the other day and in the whole thing, I called the doc on his cell. Well, he was on holiday and bloody rude to me! I just wanted to tell him about the third polyp and the leg pain. So much for patient sympathy. He said I'm bothering him on holiday and that I must call his surgery office and let the standby doctor know if there is anything wrong. It;s just the way he said it that made me angry...

Anyway...sorry for the venting
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hello Keen,
Vent away. It's remarkable how easily we grow polyps, whether rectal, or in the nose or elsewhere. Fortunately they're mostly benign, but it can be very frightening till one can be sure of this. They will already have checked, and if they say it's due to inflammation, that's surely so. The reason they take so much care is in order to be able to be sure it's not cancerous. And now they sound sure about it.
That specific area ( yes, the very other end of the body to where I usually work !) can take a little while longer to heal than elsewhere, because by it's nature it can't keep entirely clean, and it continues to function. Shouldn't bother you too much longer. The odd sensation in the leg might be a temporary left-over from perhaps having had to lie or sit in a more awkward position than usual, soon after the op. And your worries about cancer could be inflaming the pain.
Now surgeons are nice people, generally, but they're like the Dobermans of the medical world. Communication and especially emotions alarm them, and they're good with their hands, like a carpenter. Far too many doctors these days go on leave without making provision for a locum or other cover at their office, which is dreadful. Apparently this guy was good enough to do that. Sorry it offended you, but, well, whatever your job is, I suppose you too would have been annoyed to get a phonecall while on holiday, about something where you had at your own expense arranged for someone else to cover your office and deal with such matters.

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