A sharp jagged pain shot up within my right thigh. It sliced straight through my groin right up through my ass like a sword. I collected myself, took a deep breath and went on doing my laundry. I’d had that strange pain for years and thought nothing of it. Sometimes, people just have pains.
As I was putting my laundry away, I started considering all the people Ray and I knew who have died too young over the past few years. Our friend Steven died at 38 from colon cancer. He was so young, vibrant and in great shape. Did he have random pains that he may have ignored? My friend Brooke died suddenly of an apparent aneurysm at 47. Was she having strange little headaches that she just sloughed off? I thought about my occasional pain and realized I should have my doctor look at it so I made an appointment which is a scream, really. I used to avoid any trip to the doc. Now I’m all; poke me, prod me, rip it out of there before it even has the chance to think about becoming deadly. I also eat a lot of fiber and quit smoking cigarettes.
I see my doctor frequently and am very friendly with her to the point where we can talk about anything. I did, however, find it a little difficult this time instructing her to stick her finger up my butt with specific orders to feel right up around the inside of my anus.
“Oh, yes, I feel something. ” she said, “Oh but they’re hemorrhoids.”
I forgot about the rhoids. Some people carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. I carry mine up in my ass. I’m a clincher therefore, lack of fiber in my diet or any kind of stress in my life and I’m in hell for at least a month–and nothing makes them go away. Nothing.
“Wait, there’s something else. Right around four o’ clock.” she said, “A small bump.”
I asked her if she could refer someone up in Tucson because this being a small conservative town, I didn’t want to deal with the assumption (Ha ha! I said ass-umption) that because I was gay, I was into shoving coke bottles, hand-held appliances or tiny little critters up my ass. The last thing I needed was some prudish country doc treating me like hell because, in his mind, this was my wrath.
One Christmas when I was nineteen, it hurt to pee. I tried to wait until the next day to say anything about it to my mother but it hurt so much. I told her anyway and she took me to urgent care.
I informed the physician on staff that it hurt to pee. He immediately asked me my sexual preference and I reluctantly said I was gay. Without testing me for anything or asking anymore questions, he rolled his eyes, let out a sigh of annoyance and jabbed me in the ass with two shots of penicillin. He figured because I was gay, and it hurt to pee, I must have contracted an STD. I was just coming out to very few people back then and hadn’t had sex with anyone in a long time.
At that time, I was ashamed and believed the asshole physician who never mentioned the possibility of a UTI. I was a dirty fag with a disease. I shamefully told my mother I had VD. Must have picked it up from some girl. Merry Christmas!
Anyway, my doc sent me up to a specialist in Tucson. He performed a standard digital examination, and then one with a small scope. Two hemorrhoids and a tiny bump, maybe two. He set me up for surgery on June 2nd.
I was really freaked out about the surgery. Actually, it wasn’t the surgery as much as the anesthesia. Cut me. Slice me. I don’t care. Stuck tubes up my throat and in my arms filling me with a chemical concoction that could turn deadly by the slightest misjudgement and a cold shiver runs up my spine.
The day after I scheduled the surgery, I had an idea. I called the doc and said, “Hey, while you’re down there, can you remove the hemorrhoids?” Why didn’t I think of this before?
Sadly, he said he could not because he’d already scheduled the surgery for a certain amount of time and that he would have had to do more preliminary examinations back in his office. Oh well…
Surgery day comes. I’m laying there waiting. This place was set up like a JiffyLube. Wheel ’em into pre-op, get ’em ready and then whisk ’em away to surgery. One right after the other. I swear I heard an air gun in the next room. Was someone having their tires rotated? The pre-op nurse was pleasant and did a nice job of administering the IV. Then my surgeon comes in dressed in his scrubs.
Fuck, he was hot! Like…HOT hot.
How could I not have noticed His Hotness back in his office? Perhaps it was because I was facing the other way while he was sticking things up my rear. (Contrary to popular belief–and I’ve said this before–that precious little spot of real estate located right between my butt cheeks is No Man’s Land. One way. No trespassing. Keep off the grass. I do not like any sort of activity going on there.)
After chatting with the surgeon, the anesthesiologist came in. Holy shit! Talk about the Doublemint Twins! He was smokin’ hot too! He did get a little huffy when I asked him how long he had been practicing. Hey, sorry bud, you’re the mix-master here. Surgeon makes a mistake and it messes up my ass. You make a mistake and it messes up my being alive.
I told hottie anesthesiologist that I was really nervous and he “gave me something”. Then they wheeled me into the OR. In the corner a radio was blasting out the local classic rock station. “Oh fuck!” I thought, “I am in a JiffyLube!”
The nurse asked me if I minded doing some task like getting on another table–I don’t remember because the “something” to settle my nerves was kicking in. All I do remember was the two fantasy surgery hunks busting out laughing when I said, “At this point, I’ll do whatever you guys want me to. ”
When I came to, it felt like a lot of something had gone on in my ass and down my throat. Kind of like the aftermath of a hot three-way medical porn fantasy except I was unconscious for the best part. Damn!
I woke up saying, “Ouch ouch ouch.” so the nurse gave me a shot of morphine and, “Ouch ouch ouch.” quickly turned into, “I’m going to barf.” She lowered my head to relieve the nausea leaving me with a sudden fundamental understanding of why people get addicted to heroin. I was in Happy Land.
The nurse proceeded to explain details from the surgery and I motioned for her to talk to Ray who was there at my side. He was sober and he’s good with details. She basically said that they “got everything” and that there was some “blah blah blah done on a hemorrhoid blah blah”. I had been told that this was a simple outpatient surgery and that I’d be back on my feet in a day so there was an element of surprise when she suggested that I stay home and rest until my follow up in two weeks.
I was informed that there was gauze stuck up in my rear for now and that it would fall out the first time I had to eliminate. They brought my clothes and after getting dressed, Ray drove me home. When I got there, I laid down and took the best nap I’ve ever had in my entire life. Later that afternoon, Ray returned from the pharmacy with my meds. I was a little surprised they gave me Percocet and Valium–but hey, who am I to complain?
I had a lot of pain and was not able to work the next day. The day after that, I still had an unusual amount of pain. Also, I never saw any gauze after my first elimination. I started to worry. One morning, I was trying to reach up there to see if I could extract the gauze myself. I found something that obviously wasn’t part of me and tugged on it. I almost fainted it hurt so bad. What the hell was going on? By this point, I had missed several days of work. All I could do was sleep, wake up, take pain meds and sleep some more. I finally called the surgeon’s office.
The receptionist pulled my chart and examined it. She got back on the phone. “They removed your hemorrhoids. That’s why it hurts. That hurts a lot.” she exclaimed–as if I didn’t already know that.
WTF? Why did he remove the rhoids? Why didn’t he tell me? I told the receptionist I didn’t see the gauze come out either and that I had tried to pull it out of my rear. She informed me that the gauze was really small and most people don’t see it. She said I was probably yanking on my stitches. I had two sets of stitches in my ass.
A few more days went by. I was in tremendous pain. The kind of pain that doesn’t go away with two Percocets and a Valium. At least I was able to take Advil again which reduced the inflammation. One can only imagine what kind of inflammation comes along with having two blobs of nerves mixed with blood vessels sliced out of their anus with the leftover stuff sewn back together…but I digress.
The surgeon’s office called and informed me that my doc decided to go on vacation. If I wanted to have my follow up, I’d have to do it the next day otherwise, I’d have to wait until June 30th. I was in a lot of pain so I agreed to see him the next day. Ray drove me up there because I was still too doped up on meds to do anything that involved cognitive tasks–like drive 90 miles. I told the receptionist that my partner was going to be joining me. I needed him in the room because I’m terrible with details.
So hottie surgeon comes in and proceeds to tell me that I had four growths up there. One was directly on one of the hemorrhoids and another one was right next to the other hemorrhoid. That’s why he removed them. I had some major stuff done up in there! Thankfully, the biopsies came back negative for cancer. I told him that I was still very uncomfortable so he took a look.
As luck would have it, I had sprouted a new angry little hemorrhoid right where the stitches were poking out. We decided it was best to remove it right then and there so he jabbed it lightly with some Novocaine inducing a full-blown Linda Blair moment. I leaned over and said to Ray, “This will make getting a tattoo feel like a walk in the park!” Hottie surgeon heard me and huffed, “Tattoos? Dude, girls get tattoos!” stabbing the hemorrhoid with his syringe, injecting all the Novocaine into it before he sliced it off. What an excellent day for an exorcism.
Well, now I knew why I was in so much pain. I was told that I was having outpatient surgery to remove one (maybe two) little growths in my ass and in the long run I had four growths and two hemorrhoids removed. Ya think someone could have told me that? I missed two weeks of work and was in agony over the pain. At least everything is starting to get back to normal. The pain has just become a slight nuisance and I have one more follow up this Friday. Unfortunately, like the skin cancer episode, I’m probably going to need regular checkups in my ass and a few more surgeries down the road. This is what happens when we age but it beats the alternative.
After all was said and done, I am thankful I had the wherewithal to have myself checked out. I could have ignored the occasional pain and that growth on the hemorrhoid could have turned cancerous distributing lots of free-floating cancer cells to all my vital organs leading me into months of surgeries, chemo and death.
I am also very thankful for my Ray. He took very good care of me.
I’m ready to put the whole experience behind me now–if you’ll pardon the pun.