I have nearly healed from the trauma.
Now, to complete the healing, I must write about it and share my experiences with you. It is a way of closing that door and moving on with my life…and my bowels.
“Ow!” I heard my client screaming from the bathroom.
I sprinted to the door, abandoning a sandwich I was making for her, and tossing a piece of ham over my shoulder as I ran. “Are you okay?” I asked her urgently.
“Yes. Yes…” She moaned. “It’s just… the hemorrhoids.”
I know I graduated my nursing assistant program at the top of the class. I know that I have a 4.0 in college. I know that I am currently at the top of the class in Anatomy. And yes, I know that I am going to be studying to be a nurse and hopefully one day a nurse practitioner.
But…admittedly, I’ve never been too clear on exactly what a hemorrhoid really is. Now, this little blog article here is not intended to be a piece on explaining what a hemorrhoid is. Go ask your mother. Or google. Or your proctologist. Now’s the time to do it before you read on.
If you do in fact know what a hemorrhoid is, you might be chuckling. “Everybody knows what a hemorrhoid is, silly naiive ignorant girl.” Yes, everybody except me.
I’ve seen the Big Bang Theory episode where Penny stars in a hemorrhoid commercial, and I know that she can’t quite sit on the horse right until she uses the Preparation H cream. I know that old people tend to get hemorrhoids, and I know that you can get them when you don’t eat enough fiber or exercise enough.
But that’s where my knowledge runs dry.
So when my client cried out from the bathroom, I naturally assumed something was wrong with her butt.
She came out with a scowl and muttered, “I hate hemorrhoids.”
“Getting older sucks,” I muttered back, picking up the piece of ham and tossing it into the trash. “I’ll add some lettuce to your sandwich,” I commented as I washed my hands.
Nailed it. “There is a connection between fiber and butts and hemorrhoids after all!” I thought. Okay, that’s all I need to know until nursing school, and possibly all I ever need to know.
“I think they have a cream,” I added, proving to myself just how much I knew about these butt gremlins called hemorrhoids.
“They do,” she replied. “I have some; I just haven’t really used it in a while.”
When my shift was over and I was walking out the door, I bid my farewells and added, “I hope you feel better soon!” Once I was in the hallway and out of earshot, I muttered, “I hope I don’t get hemorrhoids when I get old.”
Fate, my friends, has a funny way of laughing in your face sometimes.
That evening I sat down on the pot after several days of exercise, very pleasant fibrous meals, and plenty of water. I of course intended to have a bowel movement as one often does when sitting upon the white porcelain throne.
I pulled out my iPod and began checking my email and playing a game. I always think that reading or playing a game is necessary while you poo because that is what they do in movies, but it never works out for me because it literally only takes me five or ten seconds to poo because I have so much fiber in my diet that it just finds its way out rather effortlessly. Like passing a cloud.
This bowel movement was different, though. This was the first bowel movement as the curse of forced empathy was placed upon me. That night, I would know what a hemorrhoid was. And I would sympathize will all other hemorrhoid-havers.
To be honest, to this day, I have no clue why I had hemorrhoids. Though when I googled it, I discovered that people who have “tight anuses” can be more prone to get them. Several self-descriptive terms come to mind when I think of that wording.
It was a normal poo at first. It was beginning to pass when all of a sudden I felt a sudden sharp pain in the ano-rectal region, friends. It is the most delicate way of saying my butt hurt from the inside. Like somebody had just taken a small Swiss army knife and sliced down my rectum to make having a bowel movement more entertaining for their devilish tastes. I reached for the nearest thing to grab hold of. I hovered, holding the poo in place, dangling it above its watery toilet bowl death, while I gripped the counter and the towel holder. Would I survive this poo?
Bright red flecks of blood proved I was still alive.
And a hideous pounding for an hour afterwards.
I lay on my bed that night in despair. How could I eat again? How could I eat after what I just experienced? And who can one tell about butt problems? Mom and dad? The client who seems to be a veteran hemorrhoid-haver? Of course not. Google? That might cause alarm. Well…maybe the boyfriend.
I turned my head on my pillow and glanced at my phone which sat glistening with angelic hope on the bedside table. Should I do it?
I reached for it and began texting madly. “There’s…something…personal…that I need to talk to you about.”
For the next several days, the only texts he got were things like, “Ripping within me.” “I never prayed on the toilet before.” “I took a poo today and cursed saying, ‘shit shit shit’ the whole time.” “I prayed to every deity that could possibly exist today.” “I yelled & shouted from the bathroom.” “I hoped my life would end upon the pot.” “If only stimulation of the vagus nerve could slow my heart just a little more to end this misery.” “Your anus is the center of your being. Mess with your anus, and you will be reduced to a weeping emotional disaster who cannot stand, sit, or walk.” “Remember jumping? Jumping is for people with healthy butts.”
One evening after about a week of this torture (if you do the math, that’s like seven bowel movements of terror), I texted my boyfriend. “What if I don’t have hemorrhoids and it is something worse?”
He texted me back, “I sent you a video that should make you feel better.”
Somewhere in the distance, fate was laughing again.
I turned on my computer and clicked on the link he sent me.
It was a video of Kevin Smith, talking in great, colorful language, about his experience with an anal fissure. FISSURE. Did you get that part? I didn’t even know that existed. I thought back to every instance that I’d felt a ripping within me as I passed my bowels.
Had I torn my rectum???
After about thirty minutes (yes thirty minutes…he managed to fill that time with some butt stories) the video ended and I closed my laptop and sighed.
“Do you feel better?” my phone lit up with a new text message from him.
I imagined my rectum being torn and having to drop out of school for surgery to repair an anal fissure that I never even deserved.
It was time to pull out the big guns and take a big dose of humility: mom and dad.
“Guys?” I asked them. “I….I think I have hemorrhoids.”
Pretty soon, I had wipes, creams, and fiber supplements being thrown my direction. More than I knew what to do with.
To be honest, I’m not sure how the wipes were supposed to work since it was inside of my freakin’ rectum where I felt the swiss army knives cutting me. But the cream seemed doable. My boyfriend bought it for me, and I sat at home one evening on the bathroom floor in despair. Whoever had made this applicator was absolutely retarded and never consulted with the tampon company who was absolutely genius with the pearly smooth applicators they make. This, my friends, was an applicator from hemorrhoid hell:
It was flayed outwards at the end. “Great, so….it can shred more rectum as it goes in. Just what I needed.”
I tried it, though, and the sweet relief it brought (after searing and unimaginable pain that I can only conceive might be topped by the experience of childbirth) was memorable indeed.
Most of us fart on a normal basis. But try taking three doses of Metamucil with your meals and see how much more you fart. Additionally, having cream pumped up your butt presents a problem. The air must exit, and the cream is in the way. This is a written piece, of course, so I cannot describe to you the exact sound it made….but it was akin to the sounds that babies make with their mouths when they first begin to make sounds. Lots of bubbling and phhhhhhh-ing. And…creaming.
I endured this butt hell for over a month until one day, I took a near-painless poo. Forty days and forty nights, practically a year, I had endured painful poops until I finally….finally…with great relief…experienced liberation from the nightmare in my rear.
If you have an enemy, even your worst enemy, do not wish hemorrhoids to fall upon them. If you do, who knows what might come back and happen to your booty and you.
Hemorroid: the friend that never leaves your rectum after it has been welcomed.