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Warning! The following article contains disgusting imagery of disgusting bodily functions. If you cannot read through your eyelids, a Doctor of Euphemisms should be standing nearby to clean things up.

Sufferer:  What are the most painful 30 minutes a human body can endure without dying?

Innocent:  I give up, what?

Sufferer:  Having a bowel movement after hemorrhoid surgery. 

Innocent: You’re kidding!

Sufferer:  I swear.

Innocent:  Worse than childbirth?

Sufferer:  Not even close.

Innocent:  On a scale of 1 to 10?

Sufferer:  35.

Innocent:  Wow! I never knew.

Sufferer:  No one does.  

That’s right, people, no one does, because it’s a medical secret that doctors can’t divulge, because then no one would have the surgery (which of course is advantageous in the long run. Having the surgery, I mean.) 

Doctors will tell you there will be a lot of pain with your first bowel movement, but they don’t tell you that it will send you into convulsions and that it will happen with every BM for at least 10 days.  

The good news is that at Day 12, the pain is significantly less and at Day 15, you’re almost normal. But don’t believe the pamphlets that say you will be able to go back to work in three to four days. 

Those are vicious lies meant to coddle you into the operating room, where they will do unseemly things to your nether end and then put in freezing that will last for two and a half days, which will hoodwink you into thinking that you will indeed be returning to work in a day or two.

But then the freezing evaporates (along with your naivete), and during your first drug-free BM, you finally feel the full fiery force of volcano magma scorching its way down the raw column of all your surgery wounds, and you stop breathing because your brain doesn’t know how to respond to the pain except to kill you outright. 

The flames continue to incinerate you inside and out until the “flow” ebbs – and then you go, incandescent, into Phase 2. 

This is the wiping phase, wherein you must clean yourself without actually touching anything down there, and having to do it quickly to end the pain ASAP, but you can’t do it, because you can’t touch anything down there and besides, you are screaming and convulsing in pain, which tends to hinder smooth and efficient movement. 

Phase 2 is the Death Phase. 

If you survive Phase 2 (doubtful), you may then choose Phase 3 from the menu: Have an immediate warm, soothing sitz bath (suggested in the pamphlets) by resting your blistering booty on the unyielding porcelain of your tub; or simply dab the area with warm or cold water using something excruciatingly soft (my choice).    

Phase 4 constitutes lying on the bed flailing and moaning in anguish until the pain subsides enough for you to actually walk to the medicine cabinet and take four of whatever pain killers the doctor prescribed for you. 

If you are wise, you will stay loaded up on pain killers until day eight or nine.

As attractive as the pain portion of the surgery is, however, it is not the only benefit to be derived therefrom. There are the stool “softener and pusher” pills which you must take in order to facilitate (and survive) the BMs, but which you don’t want to take because you don’t want to have a BM with all the suffering it entails. 

But NOT having a BM when you need to involves a whole other kind of pain, so “keep things moving” is the advice from all medical personnel. The problem with the softeners and pushers is figuring out how many of each pill to take for your particular body, because sometimes following prescription directions can lead to “projectile pooping,” which I don’t believe needs an explanation. 

After a couple of episodes of hosing down your bathroom, you will know how to dose yourself with these helpful little devils.

Now, as pleasant as all this sounds, I don’t want anyone rushing to their proctologist begging for hemorrhoid surgery. 

It will happen all in good time and you will have your turn. 

But, seriously, when all is said and done (Thank the Good Lord!), it is over relatively quickly and it is wonderful to be rid of those hanging stalagtites ruining your “cogitative time” in the biffy. 

Cogitating in the outhouse is a time-honored activity and ought not to be trifled with by some dagburned pile of “piles.”

And so, although I would have died rather than admit it on days four through eight after my surgery (Magma and Projectile days), I’m glad that I “gosh-darned gone and done it” – to quote Shania Twain, who probably knows a thing or two about outhouses.

-Claire Helmers

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