Monday, April 30, 2007
Ass Surgery - Just Another Painful Reminder Of the Inevitable End
As I go through life I find it's best to pretend that I am immortal. Otherwise, I become preoccupied with dark thoughts. Thoughts such as "how did I get here?", "what's it all for?" and "shit I'm going to die".
Once in a while, however, something medical comes up that reminds me (sometimes quite painfully) that I am getting older. I am mortal after all, and my body is slowly starting to fail. One such event happened last week.
For the squeamish, fair warning: this post contains some graphic details. On the other hand, the principle of "know your audience" tells me that there are some that might enjoy the read. If nothing else, it will allow you to rejoice in your own good health.
Still with me? Good.
So, about 2 months ago, I noticed a strange lump on my ass. No, not on the fleshy part of the butt. A lump on the anus itself, towards the outside. The lump was soft and squishy most of the time. But sometimes when taking a shit it turned extremely hard, like a frozen pea. Mercifully, it wasn't painful at all. Those of you older than, say, 35, may recognize the symptoms (it's pretty common) of a hemorrhoid. So, no big deal. I have an ass lump, I mention this to my dear family and become known as "lumpy". All well and good. Until, one night last week, I awoke in terrible pain - the ass lump has now become permanently hard, engorged with blood, like it's burning and trying to burst.
Well, I am reluctant to let ANYONE mess with my ass. Not even my wife. I know Cosmo tells you that some guys like having their ass played with during sex. Ladies, this is not always the case. Even going to see a doctor was something I didn't want to consider. I would take the pain like a man. Well, I found out that pain trumps modesty. After just one fun-filled day of going to work and pretending that all was OK, I decided enough was enough.
Off to the emergency room I went. Years ago, the receptionists at the ER used to loudly ask what the problem was, forcing you to confess in front of a room full of people. Mercifully, they had changed that policy in favor of letting you write down the problem on a discreet little piece of paper. Knowing this, I had cunningly pre-determined what I would write: "Pain when going to the bathroom". Brilliant! Some truth, but not the whole (hole) truth. No mention at all of an ass lump. I would divulge that only when in the privacy of the doctor's room. Such intimate details were clearly only to be given on a "need to know" basis.
Well, after a short wait, in I went. After the blood-pressure and temperature rigamarole, I described my unfortunate predicament to the nurse. Then the doctor came in and he was a no-messing-around sort of guy. Pants down please, and bend over the table. Wow, another new experience. After a bit of hemming and hawing and messing around, the diagnosis was pronounced: A thrombosed hemorrhoid. That means a hemorrhoid that has managed to get a lump of congealed blood stuck in it. My body, in its infinite wisdom, had figured out that the blood clot needed to be gotten rid of and had started to attack it. The result was a nice little infection that only served to make things even more painful. The result of the visit was an appointment with a dedicated ass-surgeon for the very next day and a prescription for some powerful pain-killers.
Still with me? OK you are a glutton for punishment. So at this point, I was wishing for a remote control like the one given to Adam Sandler in the movie "click". I needed some serious fast-forwarding of my life. But I wasn't getting away with things that easily. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, my 1pm appointment rolled around and I was finally able to see the ass-surgeon, the person who I now refer to as "my blessed saviour" (doctor MBS). He had a dry sense of humor. Years of digging around in people's butt-holes will do that to you, I suppose. His solution to my problem: local anaesthetic, followed by "lancing" of the offending hemorrhoid. At that point, I would agree to anything (*anything*) that would reduce the pain.
We started immediately. First things first - it was time for more humiliation. Up onto a steel table with some white antiseptic paper coverings, and then my ass cheeks were gently but firmly stretched and taped back into place, 3 pieces of tape on each. They were spread wide open to the world, including the female nurse who was helping out who I had been chatting with a few minutes earlier as she took my blood pressure. The time had arrived for a shot of local anaesthetic. The nurse came over and offered me her hand. Well, isn't that a nice gesture, I thought to myself. But I wasn't going to accept her hand and be a wimp. After all, it was just a local anaesthetic, right? No problemo. Been there, done that.
Wrong. Really, badly, very terribly wrong. Never been wronger, ever in my life.
The pain that I felt when he inserted that needle into the soft, very sensitive, never-touched-by-anything-rougher-than- a-soft-piece-of-bathroom-tissue part of my anus felt like someone had placed a red-hot piece of coal, with shards of glass in it, directly onto and into my anus and held it there for about a minute, every once in a while turning it around and digging it in. I cannot imagine how simply cutting off the hemmorhoid could bring pain even
remotely as bad as that injection. I speak as someone who has also suffered in the past from a kidney stone, which in itself is more painful then childbirth (they tell me) and it was worse, much worse, than that.
The good news...after a couple more minutes, all the pain had gone away. Then doctor MBS was able to cut into the blood-and-puss-engorged lump and remove the clot. After it was out, as a final touch, doctor MBS kindly, thoughtfully, took the time to carry the blood clot over to the head of the table and display it proudly to me. I was at a total loss for words at this point, even though I appreciate good work as much as the next man.
Thankfully, it was all downhill from there. After he was done and I was getting my clothes back on, I glanced back at the table. There was a patch of the white sanitary paper covering that looked like the top of a mcdonalds hamburger - a mixture of mustard and ketchup (just picture the colors). A messy business indeed and as my trips to hospitals and clinics continue I am reminded of my wise decision many years ago to not try to become a doctor or vet of any kind.
So having recovered over the past few days, I feel like I have had a small rebirth. After medical scares all seems new, and then I start to think, shouldn't I do something more productive with my life? Maybe. But for now, I am grateful just to not be in pain.
Time for today's quote:
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Until the next time, gentle reader, I remain,