I apologise in advance if this is too honest/too gross/too cringey for your delicate eyes.
This is the 2nd episode in my LOL stories – I hope it lightens your day.
Read, laugh and try not to judge me too much.
I am 3 days post-op. I am on my period and grumpy. I have the stomach of a heavily pregnant lady; only it’s not a baby, it’s just swelling. I’m feeling grotty and I’m in pain.
On this morning, my husband is up for work. It’s 6am and he’s passed me my hot water bottle and pulled the covers back over me. He’s downstairs somewhere, sleepy and drinking tea.
And suddenly, I’m awake. I’m running to the bathroom with awful stomach cramps. I sit on the toilet and grimace as I get rid of everything (including my spleen and a lung). I’m hurting and a little bit overwhelmed. I’m sitting with my head in my hands, feeling awful and cursed.
As if I need this right now?!
And that’s how I’m sat as I hear my husband climb the stairs and walk down the hallway. He knocks and with concern in his voice, he says: “Are you okay, bab-?”
Only I cut him off and scream at the closed door “DON’T COME IN HERE!!! DON’T COME IN!”
Jesus, I can’t let him in here. After all the other shit he’s had to deal with and all the talk about periods and babies he’s had to listen to and all my crazy mood swings he’s had to accept whilst trying this contraceptive or that hormone injection. I just couldn’t let him in.
Like the loving husband that he is, he opened the door just a crack; just wide enough to see me sat on the loo with my jama’s around my ankles, head in my hands, taking deep breaths as I fought to hold back sobs. He quietly closed the door and waited until I was done before going to work- tucking me back into bad and kissing my forehead before he left.
Don’t worry- this “aww!” moment was not lost on me. No matter how much pain I’m in or how much crap (in this case, literally) I have to deal with, I am still so grateful to have him. I appreciate him and how much he looks after me when I’m poorly.
So I had a horrendous toilet experience, luckily I wasn’t having to travel to the hospital and had the luxury of locking myself away in my own bathroom.
And before you ask- no this is not the end of the story. If you can believe it- it gets worse.
After hiding in bed for a few more hours, I pull myself together and head for a shower. Everything pretty normal so far. Only- I felt something, not quite right, down there. I thought: Well I’ve got Endo on my bowel, it’s probably pretty pissed off after being traumatised this morning. And shrugged it off.
I felt lots better after a shower. I got dressed (at this point, by ‘dressed’ I mean put on clean loungewear/jammies) and decided to make a brew. And still I knew something wasn’t right. Something was new, different. Whilst the kettle boiled I headed to the bathroom to investigate.
I had what seemed like a growth/lump/parasite on my bum. Well this is new.
There was a small voice in the back of mind telling me I knew exactly what it was. I slapped it around the face to shut it up. Can I get a break- PLEASE?! No, I can’t have haemorrhoids; not on top of everything else I have to deal with right now. My body hates me.
But how could I be sure? My curiosity got the better of me.
Girls, don’t do it. Don’t take a mirror down there. There’s things you can’t un-see. I didn’t take a mirror down there; my surgery had left me with restricted flexibility, so I had no choice than to use my camera phone. These photos were deleted immediately, as soon as I’d finished throwing up.
Piles. Fucking brilliant.
I rang my mum, expecting sympathy and reassurance. What I got was: “Yes that’s normal, lots of women get them. It’s because you’ve had diarrhoea. Just get some ointment from the chemist, get the proper stuff though.”
What? No- I didn’t go to the chemist and I refused to make a Dr’s appointment and risk him having to check it. Nope.
Later that night, when my husband came home, I broached the subject lightly. Deep breath, eyes slightly closed, “Um… I have this thing on my bum, I’m not sure what it is – At the opening.”
I don’t know why I was so embarrassed, he has seen me at my grottiest. Cringing, I waited for a response.
“Could be piles- Does it hurt? Is it bleeding? How long has it been there? Do you want me to look?”
And calm. “Anyway, I already looked. I had to take a picture. It’s burned onto the inside of my eyes!”
Fast forward 1 more day. With despair, I’m walking around my local Boots store. Looking for the Digestive Health. There’s some old guy, perusing the laxative shelf. With a silent oath, I hover around the colds/flu section, like a coward, pretending not to wait for him to grab his Senna and move along.
Why is this so embarrassing? It reminded me of how I used to feel at 16, 17, 18- buying pads and tampons and feminine wash from the supermarket. But this is life. Suddenly, I got so angry at myself. With renewed confidence I moved to stand in front of the Anusol products, right next to the gentleman who was reading Senna packaging.
Gritting my teeth, I thought: If anyone dares to comment, or even smirks, or even looks at me the wrong way, they are in for it. It is not my fault I’ve had to have extensive surgery. It is not my fault I have piles. If anyone is mean to me I’m gonna whack them around their head with this Anusol box.
Nobody was mean. If anything, the lady at the till gave me a look of pained understanding: Yes, we’re women and yes, it can be shit to be a woman sometimes. Oddly, I felt like I’d passed some kind of test.
I’d graduated into Womanhood.
I paid and walked home feeling strong and proud of myself for being a grown-up.
- For a definition/more info on Hemorrhoids (AKA piles)
- please visit NHS Choices
- sorted my problem out within hours
- Not expensive
- Available over the counter, from chemists, supermarkets