Many years ago, when I didn’t need six Aleve just to get out of bed in the morning and my skin still retained some semblance of elasticity, I harbored a completely misinformed perception of the noble hemorrhoid.
Back then, I considered hemorrhoids to be the grossest, most disgusting phenomenon ever known to mankind, and I knew that I would just DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT if I ever had the misfortune to suffer from one. (Not that I was really worried about it. I was pretty sure hemorrhoids were reserved for old people. And people with weight problems. And people who bought dollar-store toilet paper. And gross weirdos with bad hygiene and a wiping philosophy of “Meh.”)
Then I got knocked up.
Pregnant ladies everywhere will tell you that hemorrhoids are part and parcel of the whole growin’-a-human gig. Come on, it only makes sense. Carrying an extra forty to sixty pounds of weight? That’s a hemorrhoid. Pressure on your rectum from an enlarging uterus? That’s a hemorrhoid. Bearing down for an hour only to produce a hard, constipated little poo the size of a pebble? Ooh, you better believe that’s a hemorrhoid.
(You can also develop hemorrhoids post-partum as a result of the strain of labor. HAPPY BABY TO YOU!)
Anyway, never mind that. The point is that, like many women, pregnancy was my sexy little introduction to hemorrhoids, and I’ve been Getting. Them. Ever. Since. There are two different kinds, too. Did you know that? The “external” ones are the ones people are most familiar with – the ugly, bulging, sometimes itchy, sometimes painful, always revolting little piles that send you sprinting for your hemorrhoid cushion.
But there are “internal” ones as well. They don’t look as gross – in fact, you can’t really even see them – but fear not! They do have the lovely side effect of making you BLEED THE BRIGHTEST REDDEST BLOOD EVER OUT OF YOUR ASSHOLE, leading you to go through the following thought process EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU GET ONE:
1. Did I just get my period?
2. Out of my ass?
4. It’s not my period.
5. It’s definitely coming from my anus.
6. OH MY GOD I’M BLEEDING OUT OF MY ASSHOLE.
7. This could only mean…
8. There’s only one possible explanation
9. It has to be…
10. BUTTHOLE CANCER.
Then, just as you’re about to inform the family of your impending doom at the hands of butthole cancer (again) you decide instead to look up your symptoms on WebMD (again) and after typing in your symptoms (again) the diagnosis comes up “hemorrhoids” (again). And that’s the end of it.
Until next time.
Because there’s always a next time. At my age, when it comes to hemorrhoids, there’s just… always a next time. It may not be for a while. It may not be as bad as the last flare-up. But there will be a next time. And that’s the reason I no longer think of hemorrhoids as an affliction reserved for the elderly, the sedentary, the obese, or the hygienically challenged.
Now I think of them more along the lines of:
2. Not again.
3. Why did I eat that Indian food?
4. I’m pretty sure that chicken makhani wasn’t “mild.”
5. It was definitely more of a spicy “medium.”
7. Is this toilet paper or did someone just sandblast my bunghole?
8. Where’s that thing of Tucks?
9. …just out of reach…
10. …nearly have it…
12. HONEY? WHERE’S THE CUSHION?
13. THE… WHAT DO YOU MEAN “WHAT CUSHION?”
14. THE HEMORRHOID CUSHION!
15. Is he a moron?
I guess what I’m saying is this: hemorrhoids are part of my life now. An itchy, flappy, uncomfortable part of my life? Yes. But part of my life nonetheless. Welcome, hemorrhoids. Take a load off, and enjoy your toasty warm new home. In my butthole.
Related post: 10 Things That Suck About Pregnancy