Today, I’m going to talk about Hemorrhoids.
That’s right. Hemorrhoids.
Luckily, I haven’t had hemorrhoid issues for a couple years (knocking on wood right now). But I have had some terrible trouble with them in the past, let me tell you. It all started about 9 years ago . . .
Funny True Story:
One summer, my cousin was working for us, helping scrape the paint off an old farm house down in Corvallis, Montana. It belonged to an 89-year-old lady who had been born in the house and lived there ever since. She had a dog named Dish Rags (he looked like a little pile of dish rags).
So we were scraping away, and my cousin started talking about his hemorrhoid issues. He had been moving sort of gingerly all morning, like something was wrong, but I hadn’t thought too much about it. He’s 5 years younger than me (in his early twenties then), and I was pretty surprised to hear him admit something like that (I was even more surprised that he had hemorrhoids in the first place since I knew nothing about them and thought they only affected unlucky old people).
Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We talked about his hemorrhoids for a little while (he’s very candid), and I remember basically thinking “Jesus, that’s terrible–glad I’ll never have that problem!”
Literally, a few minutes later, I went into the house, used the toilet, and whamo! Youch. What the hell was that? Why is my anus suddenly burning like crazy? Did I rupture something? I probed down there and could feel some kind of swollen worm-like thing that terrified the hell out of me. Holy %$#@!
I never in a million years considered that I had just spontaneously developed a nasty little hemorrhoid.
I pulled myself together and went back outside, wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Since we were working about 40 miles out of town, I couldn’t very well go home and lie down, and I had to get back to scraping paint. And of course in those days I couldn’t just whip out a smartphone and Google “I just pooped and now my butt is burning,” (which is exactly what I would do now).
As the day went on, the burning got worse, the little bastard got bigger, and it started to itch. In my very lucky life, I’ve never had a broken bone, never really been especially sick at all. I wasn’t used to having something wrong with me–this whole burning, itchy butt thing sucked.
I took this as a lesson in the mysterious ways of Karma–don’t be smug about someone else’s misfortune, cause you’re next, numbskull.
It was also a lesson about proper pooping techniques: it’s not a good idea to just let her rip and push like hell. Sometimes you end up with hemorrhoids. Even in your twenties.
But above everything, do you know what absolutely blew me away? LOTS of people have hemorrhoids.
That’s right. Lots of people have them, but NOBODY talks about it.
I learned this because, as I do with everything in my life, I went around discussing my hemorrhoid dilemma with pretty much everybody I knew.
I bitched and whined and complained about it. I wasn’t shy about heading off to the bathroom to apply Preparation H to my nether region. I described it to everybody (in more detail than I have here, if you can believe that).
I read all about hemorrhoids online and learned that many women get them after giving birth–sometimes they last for decades. Seriously. Decades. Since I was so open about it, other people started piping up about their secret hemorrhoid issues. I was shocked to learn that almost every adult I knew admitted to having them at some point. Almost everybody.
I mentioned this to some of my older relatives and found out that one still suffers from hemorrhoids from having kids in the early 1950s. Yes, the Fifties.
Usually hemorrhoids show up for a week or so, then fade away. Maybe they pay you a visit off and on throughout your life, then for the most part they go away. But 50 years?
Oh my god.
Really? I mean, come on, really? It put it into perspective for me.
Hemorrhoids are not for old people or weaklings or invalids. They’re a human thing that almost everybody gets at some point, especially when you least expect it. So if your butt starts burning one day(if it hasn’t already), don’t be embarrassed. You’re not the only one and welcome to the friggin’ club.
I’m curious to see if any of you respond with your own hemorrhoid misadventures . . . come on, I dare you!