Monthly Archives: December 2008

Ouch

Warning: This post may be too much information for some of you who are easily embarrassed.

Most people think of hemorrhoids as an old person’s disorder. I can assure you it is not. I have had problems of this nature for many years, even before I was pregnant with my daughter. A few years ago, I developed my first thrombosed hemorrhoid. For those of you who are ignorant in this area, that is an external hemorrhoid that swells and develops a blood clot inside the vein. It makes it painful to sit, stand, walk and otherwise engage in normal activities of daily living.

When this happened to me before, I naively went to my doctor for assistance. He numbed the area in his office and removed some of the clots but could not get them all. He referred me to a colorectal surgeon, who I saw two days later.

I’m not sure what kind of person chooses to become a doctor specializing in colorectal surgery, but I can only assume he’s channeling his need to torture people and there were no openings for a CIA interrogator. They have a table in their office where you kneel on the ledge and lay your body up onto the table. They then use a motorized pedal to position your bum high in the air so they can do what they need to do. A shot directly to the area (more painful than many things I’ve experienced) numbs it in preparation for this minor, in office surgery. You leave the office with gauze taped from your lower back on down, barely able to walk. It is NOT a pretty picture. Then you’re in for sitz baths three times a day for a week or so and more pain than you can imagine.

After this experience, I prayed I would never have another thrombosed hemorrhoid. Yesterday, I awoke from a short nap to discover that my prayers had not been answered. I winced my way through the grocery store last night, carefully concealing a package of Tucks pads and Preparation H ointment beneath my milk and eggs in the cart. Of course there’s no hiding it once you get to the checkout. You just have to hope the cashier has some decorum (and she did, thank goodness).

Then today, I had to call in and switch my work days because there was no way I could sit in an office chair all day long. For the record, this time the problem is WAY worse than it was the time I went to the doctor. It’s always fun to tell your boss about problems such as these. As the day wore on, I decided that in order to go to work tomorrow, I was going to need some sort of cushion. I went to the pharmacy by my house that carries a lot of home health supplies. There I purchased a foam donut cushion and a sitz bath that sits on your toilet. A nice contraption that keeps me from having to get all the way into the tub six times a day. My friendly neighborhood pharmacist saw me standing in the aisle pondering what type of cushion to buy and came out to assist me. Then, as I was checking out at the front with my two items, the cashier said, “Ooh, I’m sorry, I don’t have a bag for you.” Terrific. So I openly carried my items to the car. At this point, I don’t care that much. I get home and announce to my husband, “I am officially 81 years old!”

All this to avoid going to the doctor. I absolutely refuse to do that again, EVER. It basically just traded one pain for a new, more excruciating pain. I would rather stay at home in a sitz bath ALL DAY LONG than go through that again.

Now tomorrow, I get to sit in my very unprivate cubicle at the office on my newly acquired donut cushion and pray that those who don’t know me well are not brave enough to ask me why. How’s that for a good time?

*edited to add

My 4-year-old just looked at me sympathetically and said, “Mommy, do you need me to go downstairs and get your butt pillow?” How’s that for salt in a wound? :)