WARNING: This post is a unfiltered and at times graphic representation of hemorrhoids and the surgical process to get them removed. If you at all uncomfortable with frank language and bodily descriptions just look at the pretty picture and move on.
What I am about to share is personal and probably an embarrassing topic for most people. I went back and forth on creating this post but if my own experience helps one person I don’t care about being the “butt” of other’s jokes.
I have suffered from hemorrhoids for years. Personally I blame my father. Well yes it is genetic but also as a kid we used to take trips to historical places. Walking so long I would run ahead and find a statue base or wall to sit on to give my aching feet a rest. Dad told me that sitting on all that marble would give me hemorrhoids. So I did it more to spite his obvious joke. Well jokes on me. (Before you go off, no I really don’t believe sitting on marble creates hemorrhoids but it is a good story)
When I first got them I had other medical complications that forced me to strain more than I should when going to the bathroom. Over the years I have learned to manage it with diet changes and dealing with the other medical problems. No longer did I fear going to bathroom. Periodically though I still get the pain or blood when pooping, irritation when sitting too long, or itching. But for the past 10 years I have managed it without much issue. That was until about 8 months ago when one of my rhoid friends decided to pop his head out of my ass crack. It didn’t hurt more than normal and I expected it to pop back into his warm home. But he didn’t. So for the first time I actually decided to make an appointment with a specialist to make sure I didn’t have an ass cancer tumor or something that wasn’t hemorrhoid related.
So he said it was just an external hemorrhoid. He gave me three options. Do nothing, an in office local anesthesia procedure where he ties it off and removes it (high likelihood it would grow back) or general anesthesia surgery and remove it all. Based on his suggestion, and the worry that if I waited 20 years until I was older and in not as good of shape to recover, I went with surgery (something 4 weeks later I am still questioning my decision but I’ll save that for later)
If you aren’t familiar at all with hemorrhoids, I decided I would draw a cartoon of what it is like to poop at the worst when you have them.
Things to Buy/Prep Before Surgery
- First and foremost do you have a bathtub in your house or is there one somewhere you can stay for the two weeks that has one? Every poop after surgery is painful and sometimes the only relief is sitting in a warm tub for 10-20 minutes.
- Do you have a spare bathroom (with a tub) that you can declare as your own. Poops will come fast and often. You want to have that tub running before sitting down so you need a clear path. Beyond that I don’t care how sexy your partner may think you are. The sounds and smells coming from your body will turn anyone off (including yourself ).
- Buy a Squatty Potty You will have to contort your body in all kinds of ways to poop after surgery. Having this to either prop your feet on or lean over and press down with your hands will be key.
- Poise Pads or similar. They will probably give you something similar after surgery but by no means will they be enough. Your underwear will thank you.
- Underwear to hold the poise pad. So if you are a boxer wearer, maybe get some boxer briefs that aren’t loose. Alternatively what you walk out of surgery wearing are what to my horror I realized are Post Partem Underwear
I won’t go too deep into the surgery as it is similar to most surgeries. Day of surgery I woke up at 4AM because they said I had to do an enema before surgery and never having done one I didn’t want to wake up too late and be holding in the poops on the drive to surgery. Due to Covid 19 restrictions my wife had to drop me off at the surgical center at 6AM and leave. This was a little distressing as I don’t recall ever having general anesthesia so she wouldn’t be there when I woke up.
After prepping me the last thing I remember is being wheeled into surgery and them asking if I could move over to the surgical table. The next thing I remember I am sitting fully clothed eating crackers and holding a plastic bag wondering why my underwear was in it. (Remember I didn’t know I would be leaving with Post Partem underwear).
They say the first two days after surgery are the worst. THEY LIED!! I was so numb back there I could have pooped my spleen and not realized it. With one exception; in the release notes they gave my wife:
If Patient doesn’t urinate with 8 hours you must bring him back to the hospital to be Catheterized.
Wait WHAT? I never had a problem peeing (well expect having shy bladder in public urinals when there is a line of people waiting right behind me). But I did that day. It was like they took my wiener and kinked it like a garden hose. It felt like you get a tiny bit out but it burned so bad because there was more waiting in the hose.
And let’s be real, the fear of catheterization will make you do anything to pee. Drink lots of water, put your hand under warm water, pour warm water on your junk, or even sit in the tub and return to your 3 year old self and just let loose in the warm tub water. That was just the start of hell week and it was only day one. The trouble urinating a full normal pee lasted at least a week. Anytime your anus throbbed it was like there was a direct line to the penis and it wanted to share in the pain.
Day 2: Woke up 4 plus pounds heavier than I did the morning of surgery. All those gasses and meds they pumped in me I guess. I tried to stay ahead of the pain with Motrin every six hours. Days 1 and 2 seemed to work and I felt like I could kick this thing without using the prescription drugs. And then….
Day 3: Whatever drugs were in me from the surgery had finally worn off and the pain level shot up. I called my doctor to see if I was allowed to use preparation H to ease some of the throbbing which thankfully he said yes. Even farting hurt because it was like they emptied out more area inside my butt for gas to fill up the space and there was a lot of pressure that I hadn’t felt before. So you have to fart to release the painful pressure but again, you just had ass surgery, NEVER TRUST A FART. That’s what the tight underwear and poise pads are for…though I pretty much just went to the bathroom.
Day 4-5: These were the worst. Pain all day. Broke down and took the opioids I was prescribed. Sadly two days of taking those regularly and I felt no better and just seemed off.
Days 6-10: Thought I would be back at work full time but had to let my boss know I could only work half days. Either you were sleeping, pooping, or bathing because you just pooped and trying to relax the pain. My lovely wife who was so caring the first several days started to be disgusted every time the bath started running. And did it run. Even though I wasn’t eating much, I was going to the bathroom constantly. Might be because of taking 2 stool softeners and a dose of Metamucil daily. Not diarrhea!! Just lots of painful poops (upwards of 6-7 times a day). So lots of baths. One the plus side I lost the 4 surgery lbs and was down 4 more.
Days 11-14: The pain throughout the day finally subsides but three things hurt: Sneezing, farting, and pooping. And of course I was doing all three way more than normal.
Day 15: They said it was a two week recovery. Again they lied!! Day 15 was the first day I didn’t have to get in the tub after pooping and I felt like I could leave the house without fear of having to run to the bathroom.
However, now I have the opposite problem. Haven’t taken a pain pill in the two weeks since but now this 2-3 times a day pooper is only going once in the morning and it is harder to get out of me. Going to the doctor for a follow up next week so we will see but here is the…
“Bottom” Line (hehe get it?)
If you don’t fear the pain of going to the bathroom, I DO NOT recommend you get the surgery.
Because damn if you won’t fear it for the first weeks of recovery. Maybe I will change my mind in another month but that is my thought right now. The good news I can proudly tell my wife I am a little less of an asshole than I was a month ago and as my brother-in-law reminds me, it is all “behind”