Last year was so intense for everyone for so many different reasons. Whether you were directly affected by the pandemic or just emotionally exhausted by what people were experiencing all over the world, it wore us all down. Although I was incredibly lucky to have not been directly affected by COVID, last year was the worst year of my life health-wise.
You know (or may not know) that I miscarried at 8 weeks pregnant last November (you can read my blog about it here). That was extremely sad and hard on my physical body. With that said, it didn’t hold a candle to what happened to my health last year.
It started slowly as all illnesses do (the body will always whisper before it screams). I remember my very first “butt cut”. I pooped and when it came out I said out loud, “what the fuck was that?!” It felt like my a$$hole had a paper cut. There was a little bright red blood, I wiped and didn’t think much of it after that.
Within a few days, it happened again, only a little more painful. The second time I experienced this I could feel the anxiety taking over my entire body. “What was happening? Why is this happening? Why does this hurt so much? What can I do to stop this? What if this gets worse? Why me if I’m so healthy?! Who can help me fix this?”
To my knowledge, this is somewhat rare, but since we know the anus is not everyone’s favorite topic of conversation I’m going to assume that it happens to more people than we think. If you’re reading this and have experienced this type of pain, then you are shivering at the thought of shitting razorblades or what I could only describe as pooping shards of glass.
Over the next few months, I tried every single thing I could and with each attempt, the cuts only got worse.
I tried over-the-counter natural salves and ointments, homeopathic tinctures, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, supplements, diet changes, energy healers, sitz baths, and yes, at one point, I rubbed pure THC on my butthole hoping it would bring down inflammation. In full desperation, I even went to a colon and rectal doctor and tried a neon yellow petroleum-based prescription ointment. He mentioned surgery if it didn’t improve and I laughed at the idea. “I’ve never had surgery and I will never have surgery for this”, I told him. There had to be an answer and I was going to find it and heal naturally.
The more diagnostic term for my “butt cuts” is anal fissures. Anal fissures are small tears in the thin, moist tissue (mucosa) that lines the anus. They cause bleeding and extreme pain.
After six months of trying everything I could get my hands on and reading every article ever written, I had gotten to the point that I could no longer walk (I was coaching people from bed), and Jordan had to hold my hand every time I had a bowel movement as I would have an anxiety attack knowing the pain and ripping that was about to happen. He would helplessly watch me cry and bang my fists on the ground as I was in so much pain afterward. Twice a day every day this happened. Ripping, bleeding, crying, pain, fear, and exhaustion. It started to change my mental state. I felt crazy, unhealthy, exhausted, and in the middle of all of this, I got pregnant and miscarried.
In hindsight, I’m so grateful that the Universe did something for me that I couldn’t do myself. If I was pregnant I wouldn’t have been able to have surgery, which ultimately gave me my life back. So even though the miscarriage was so painful, I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
If you’ve ever been in extreme pain then you know this one truth, and that is that pain makes your world very small. Four walls in a small room type-of-small. FOMO to the highest degree type of small. I wondered how long I would be able to live like this. Now looking back, the amount of gratitude I have for my health has deepened tremendously and a painless poop is something I will try to never take for granted again.
Once I was no longer able to walk, I knew the surgery was my only option. I had surgery on December 28th, 2020, and was told the healing time was 6-8 weeks. Healing from this surgery was and still is indescribable. 6 months later, two complications in which the wound didn’t fully close and needed to be “burned” shut without anesthetic, and I’m still healing. I still have discomfort and in true Carly transparency, a leaking poop situation that I hope resolves itself with time. Even with all of these complications, I’m in awe of the body’s ability to heal.
More important than the details of this traumatic experience are the things I learned:
- I still believe that everything happens for us and not to us. I believe we have the experiences that we need to grow and they will stick around until we learn whatever they were here to teach us. I’ve learned through this to let go, surrender more deeply, stop controlling, and prioritize my spiritual growth.
- Healthy people can become unwell. Health goes much deeper than physical wellness and there are so many things that we can’t see or consciously know that are happening in the body. (In my search for answers, I’ve discovered that I had a very tight pelvic floor from being a controlling, tight ass my whole life and that I have generations of holocaust trauma and a lack of feeling safe/anxiety which has everything to do with the “root chakra” aka your sex organ area. Ironically enough my sister had to have this surgery as well so there is a genetic link).
- Health is a moving target and we need to be down-on-our-knees grateful for when we feel healthy. If you have the ability to move your body, then shift your perspective from “ugh, I have to exercise today” to “I get to exercise today! What a gift!”
- Western medicine is a lifesaver for situations in which we are too far gone or in acute emergencies. This type of medical system is horrible for prevention or chronic treatment. My sphincter muscle had become so tight over time and even more so once there were wounds present. There was no atrophying that muscle. I had to have surgery.
- Emotional and spiritual health is just as important as physical health and is not to be overlooked. Your personality traits and overall emotional state (rushed, constant to-do list, perfectionism) are a great predictor of physical health issues down the line.
- We have to shift from a mindset of “why me?” to “what can I learn from this?”. Every human, every species in existence has challenges. Those challenges are what invite us to grow.
- Lastly and most importantly, whatever you are going through right now, it’s temporary. There will be better days. You have to picture what those better days will feel like and not get stuck in how you feel right now. I know it’s hard, but spend a few minutes each day picturing yourself happy, healthy, vital, and thriving.
It’s taken me six months to sit down and write this. I’ve wanted to share my experience but had to get to a place where I felt strong enough to go back and rehash the worst experience of my entire life. I take care of myself not to look great in a bikini (although I’ll take that welcomed side effect) but to ensure that I’m doing everything in my power to experience health and the freedom that comes with it. If you’ve never been on the dark side of this, please do not wait until you have the pain to make a change. Living a healthy lifestyle is not about restriction, true health is the opposite: it dictates your freedom.
What does my experience mean to you? What have you been through that taught you the same lessons? If you feel compelled, respond to this email. I read every single reply.
Yours in mind-body-spirit health always,