I recently went though surgery. It was a personal issue that needed to be taken care of for more than a decade. I finally decided to bite the bullet and make it happen. I found it hard to talk about because of its personal nature. But prior to the day of the surgery I needed to tell certain people that it was going to happen, for example, my work place needed to know for scheduling purposes—the recovery time for this particular operation is a full two weeks.
I just couldn’t do it. I went with the “it’s personal” approach when pressed for details. In hindsight, this approach only leaves people asking more questions. “Is it an outpatient thing or will you be hospitalized?” “Are you going to die?”
So enough already! Here it goes: I have had hemorrhoids for years. And this year was my breaking point. I’m having them removed! Want to see the pictures? Suddenly I have a strange desire for a bowl of grapes.
At the time of this writing, I’m only twenty-four hours into my recovery phase. Let me tell you, this sucks. So I humbly ask that if you want to, please, pray for my ass. Literally.
Although going public with my situation may cause me to be the butt of some jokes (yeah, I went there before you could), I felt that at this point I needed to share the humor that I heard from the voices in my head.
I got a referral to a qualified butt doctor—that is exactly the wording on their diplomas. And as it turns out, the doctor I selected is a female doctor. Immediately I thought, “Oh no! This is going to be so awkward.” However, if the doctor was a male doctor, I would have been thinking, “Oh no! This is going to be so awkward.” So I made the appointment and entered it into my calendar with the title of “Appointment with Dr. Rear.”
My initial appointment rolled around so that Dr. Rear can determine how exactly how the operation will proceed. There is only one way that this exam is done—physically. So Dr. Rear and her much younger female medical student (more awkwardness) begin by explaining how this exam will proceed: dropping my pants, leaning over the table, a rubber glove examination, and finally an “instrument probing” which is sitting on the tray against the wall—the instrument kind of looks like an intercontinental ballistic missile. Oh boy.
And they’re off! The finger part of the exam came and went rather quickly but somehow Dr. Rear managed to say “just relax” about three dozen times in the thirty seconds or so that it took. Relax? I don’t think so.
Next, the rocket that was placed “up there” was far larger than Dr. Rear’s little female fingers. Enough said. It was at this point that Dr. Rear said, “Hmm. I’m going to have to switch instruments and use one that has a light on it.”
In recounting this story for my wife, she said, “Did Dr. Rear not know that it was going to be dark up there? Where exactly did she graduate from?”
So I completed the exam and scheduled both the pre-op doctor appointment and the actual surgery. The pre-op appointment was with my regular doctor. Basically the pre-op appointment is to certify that I am in good health and can survive a surgery. So the doctor’s assistant (another young female—yet more awkwardness) is taking my temperature and reading my blood pressure and filling out forms. The pre-op certification form begins with “What type of surgery?” So she asks me just that and I respond with, “Hemorrhoids”. She quickly looks down and says rather sheepishly, “ok”. I then asked my own question, “You want to talk about the details?” She said no and quickly moved on to the other more generic questions: heart issues, diabetic, allergies to medications, etc. And then for no reason that I could comprehend even now, she threw out this question: “So you are having the hemorrhoids removed?”
I responded with, “No. Surgical augmentation. I want them to be larger and more pronounced.” She turned red and moved on.
The day of the surgery rolls around and I’m being prepped for surgery. Dr. Rear comes in to greet me and my wife and gives us a warm reassurance that everything should go smoothly. She also introduces her up-and-coming medical student that will be “shadowing” her for the “observation experience” with my consent and permission. It’s another young female medical student. Go figure. I shook her hand and said, “Sure. It should be a great show.”
Following the administration of my knock-out drugs I remember absolutely nothing. Which is exactly what I wanted. I crawled up onto the operating table and regained memories starting in the recovery room. Perfect.
In the recovery room I had the oddest bout of uncontrollable sobbing and tears. It was so weird because I even said out loud that I didn’t know why I was crying. The nurse explained that she sees all sorts of different reactions to the drugs used during operations. I asked if someone was telling me sad stories while in the operating room. She said, “No, but I did show you my paycheck and you have been crying ever since.”
Well that’s my story and now I’m on the road to complete recovery. Hemorrhoids aren’t that embarrassing, are they? It’s not like I did something to cause them.
I’m not sure how to wrap this blog entry up. I guess the next time you see me, you can buy me an Angel Food Cake so that I can sit down comfortably. It’s going to be a long couple of weeks.