Ugly truth

June 7, 2011

It’s Tuesday and my surgery was five days ago. What surgery? I hear you asking. I had a hemorrhoidectomy and while I wasn’t about to shout it from the rooftops I decided to blog about it because I’ve had some interesting thoughts since then. Well, they’re interesting to me and this blog is all about me and the things I think about so, hence; a post.

I warn you dear reader (is anyone reading this?) that this may trigger intense feelings of cringe. Continue at your peril.

So most people know what hemmorrhoids are but for those who don’t you can wikipedia it. I’ve had a bad case of them since my first pregnancy when they became so inflamed I sought help from my GP. When he came face to face with my tear-streaked face and er, cheeks he promptly sent me to the emergency room stating that this was beyond his skill level.

I drove myself to the hospital delicately perched on one ass-cheek where I experienced a couple of embarrassing examinations and a highly technical intervention which consisted mostly of ‘push em back up’ (Too much information? I warned you!). The nurse and I  desperately tried to make conversation about anything else we could think of other than the task at hand.

Since then it’s been a reoccurring problem, but one that I’ve mostly learned to live with and manage. Some days it was worse than others but it was always present. Finally this January I decided to get an expert opinion and see if surgery might be an option. Two unpleasant examinations later the surgeon declared in a matter-of-fact way that yes, indeed I was a candidate for surgery.

Six months later I got the call which gave me a date. But that whole time I kept wondering if I was just being vain and selfish and that actually surgery wasn’t necessary. Surely if I just drank more water the problem would recede? I mean, surgery, that’s so indulgent and cosmetic.

So I took a photo.

Holy shit. All I will say is ‘disaster area’. I was struck by how different my mental image was versus the physical reality. How could I have doubted that I surgery was a good idea? That I was entitled to surgical intervention to ease my physical discomfort. I finally saw, close up, that I had good cause to feel sorry for myself that surgery was not only justified, it was smart.

Having said that, I still approached the day with trepidation. Sure I was worried about surgery and being fully under for the first time. I endured the kind, well-meaning conversations with the nurse, the anesthesiologist and the other nurse. No, I don’t have any allergies.  Yes, I am aware of the risks. I nervously chatted about mining in the South Pacific to distract myself as I waited for the anesthesia to kick in.

But what I really feared was the recovery. I knew it would be painful but I wasn’t quite prepared for the combo sensations of razor-blade dipped in fire. The last couple of days have been quite hazy, largely due to the Tramadol/Paracetamol/Voltaren cocktails I’m living on.  Hopefully I’ll turn a corner soon but for now, I’ll enjoy the loopiness.

So why the hell am I blogging about this? I can hear my mother tut-tutting that I would be so brazen. But my reasons are this.

a) It’s a common problem and talking about it will help those of us who have butt issues feel ‘normal’.

b) We need to be reminded that pain can be avoided and there is no sense or purpose in being a martyr and suffering in silence. There is no prize for those of us who bore the greatest discomforts in the longest silences (women, in particular need to heed those words)

c) Our mental image is often very different from the objective reality*. In other words, sometimes, we shouldn’t trust our judgement because apparently, our own judgement doesn’t always have our best interests at heart.



* Note to self: One day, write about the body subjectivity research I almost did.


One Response to “Ugly truth”

  1. Wendy said

    A. No such thing as TMI (at least with me).
    B. I hope you are feeling better.

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