The Horror That Is Buying Hemorrhoid Cream

by Sarah Hosseini
Originally Published: 

What I didn’t get in stretch marks from pregnancy and childbirth, I got in pregnancy hemorrhoids. The painful, tumor-like bubbles on my butthole.

While everyone’s celebrating their stretch marks as signs of victory and strength, I’m stuck with these asshole pregnancy hemorrhoids. I don’t even wanna claim my rectal condition, right now.

Hashtag #HemorrhoidsAreHot #RealMomsHaveHemorrhoids #ShoutYourHemorrhoids #AnalFissuresForLife

The pain started when I was eight weeks pregnant with my second child. I was really clueless as to what was going on with my anal area initially. I thought old people got hemorrhoids.

One fine day, when the throbbing and aching in my anus was especially difficult to ignore, I was like, lemme check out this situation, for real.

I went to my bathroom where the only big mirror in my house exists. I dropped trou, bent over, spread my cheeks and peeked over the side of my thigh.


Lumps and bumps, in clumps, around my effing asshole.

Hemorrhoids are assholes.

I screamed in panic and horror to my husband, “Google hemorrhoids! What do I do?!”

“I am not Googling hemorrhoids.”

“OMG. Find me my phone.”

I researched. Relief lied in a tube of hemorrhoid cream. But, hemorrhoid cream lives at the grocery store or local Rite Aid or Walgreens. We’re talking public hemorrhoid humiliation.

C’mon dude. I just got over the epic embarrassment that is buying super-absorbency pads and tampons for God’s sake. But with two kids and at least 20 years of periods under my belt, I finally realized how ridiculous that awkwardness was.

However, hands down, buying feminine products ain’t got shit on having to endure the anal aisle of the grocery store. It’s me, enemas, laxatives and other rectal remedies. Suppositories anyone? The only other person in the anal aisle is a 90-year old woman who has two gallons of prune juice in her cart.

Fuggin’ A.

To add to this mountain of mortification, I now have to buy the tube of Preparation H—like, go to the checkout area and face the cashier. I fully conceal the tube of hemorrhoid cream in my hand and place my arms at my side. I scan the checkout area. I look like I’m about to steal the shit. I briefly consider that stealing it would be better, but then I remember getting caught red-handed with hemorrhoid cream would be worse.

A woman, c’mon, give me a woman cashier. Woman. Woman. Woman. Give me a damn woman!

I settle for the only cashier working at 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night: a pimple-faced high school boy.

Great, he’s probably going to go back to his friends and make jokes about the woman who bought the hemorrhoid cream. I should have grabbed eggs, milk and some other shit so the cream wouldn’t stand out. What a stupid whore I am.

I place the tube on the little conveyor belt and try to act aloof. I try to act like the hemorrhoid cream is for someone else. I kinda want to say, “This is for my grandma.” But I don’t, because that will incriminate me more. I’ll look really guilty.

Just as the hemorrhoid cream is crawling down the conveyor belt toward the teenager cashier, the unexpected happens. A hot, firefighter man dressed in full fire-fighting gear (think tight white shirt and red suspenders) walks up to my lane with his soda and a candy bar. I do a slo-mo glance back at him, ’cause hello, how often am I close to a hot firefighter? Like, never. He smiles. I smile. Then I dart my head down at the credit card key pad as the cashier asks me, “Did you find everything OK today ma’am?”

I want to scream. For fuck’s sake! Just put that shit in a bag already! Hide the evidence, you fucking idiot!

I death glare at the cashier.

“Yeeerrrrhhhhsssssss,” I growl.

He hands me the bag, and I bolt for the automatic doors.

I get home and tear the box open. This thing says I need to use wipes first? Oh, bloody hell. Do we have baby wipes here? Will that work?

I decide to use the dried-out wipes in my kid’s bathroom. I wet them with water and clean, you know, the area. I pull out the hemorrhoid cream tube, and there’s a little inserter thingy—an applicator. Oh, hell no. I am not sticking that thing up my ass. I resort to bending down in front of the mirror and using a Q-tip to apply the ointment.

I religiously use the cream for two weeks. Two weeks pass. I still have hemorrhoids. I go to the doctor and get a finger up my ass to confirm. Yes, indeed I have hemorrhoids. Thank you very much. My doctor promptly calls in a prescription for hemorrhoid cream that’s stronger than over-the-counter remedies.

While I’m relieved about the relief I’m about to get in my anal area, I’m kinda pissed. Wait, you’re telling me, all I had to do was come here, have my anal fissures fondled by a doctor and get a prescription called in? No facing off with a teenager and hot firefighter in the checkout line?

I’ll endure a rectal exam any day of the week rather than go through any more public hemorrhoid humiliation. Well, unless the doctor’s hot. Then my ass is like, peace out.

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