WARNING: This entire blog entry will go into horrible details about my groin-related medical problems. If you enjoy laughing at my life, and I know you all do, please continue reading. However, the content of this particular entry may shock and educate you with its frank depiction of the human body at its absolute worst.
Upon my return from Seattle in September, I discovered I had somehow gotten hemorrhoids. I’ve discovered in the meantime, it’s a rather common disorder to develop in airplanes for two primary reasons: you’re crammed into a tiny seat for four hours, and the bathroom isn’t exactly Funtown USA. Also, I’m a fat-ass, so that never helps. I’m basically crushing my ass veins every time I sit down, so this was kind of an inevitability. And there was something about altitude doing something to provoke hemorrhoids.
Anyway, I discovered this one night when I took the most excruciatingly painful shit in my life. And believe me, it only went downhill from there. Two weeks of pain during every single point of my bathroom experience, including washing my hands, and every time I sat down. I couldn’t even jerk off, which I do a lot since I’m a huge loser, because it’d cause all my ass muscles to clench. In fact, that was more painful than shitting itself.
This became a somewhat bigger problem as I started schools. I’ve always had an aversion to using public facilities, because they’re both disgusting and filled with people who can hear and sometimes smell you doing your business. This is particularly unnerving when, say, you’re in a public restroom frequented by tons of people you actually know, so every time you go, your arch-nemesis Owen is standing at the urinal, listening to you struggle to take a shit.
Typically, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, at roughly the same time I discovered the hemorrhoids, I also broke my camel-like streak of water-holding. In a given day, I found myself urinating at least five times, up from my usual zero times. Now, you’re saying, “No biggie, you can piss without bothering your hemorrhoids, right?” You, sir, are an idiot.
See, for some reason I couldn’t actually explain, when it rained, it poured, if you’ll excuse the disgusting imagery: I generally couldn’t piss without shitting, and I had to piss a lot. Couple this with the unbranded, one-ply sandpaper they expect us to wipe with, and my hemorrhoids never stopped flaring up.
“You should see a doctor,” I thought to myself. Then I thought, “Hmm, he’s gonna want to look at my ass…I’ll call him next week…” Next week, I’d think the same thing.
At first, I didn’t think the excessive urinating was a huge problem. I drink a disgusting amount of coffee each day, so it’s surprising I had to pee as infrequently as I did in the past. However, I did start to think it was strange that I could stand on my feet for six hours, drinking free coffee the entire time, and never have to use the bathroom once, but suddenly I had to go every hour, in the span of about three weeks.
“I’m sure it’s just all that caffeine finally catching up with you,” I thought to myself. “Just grin and bear it.”
I did try various things to cut down on my urination: cutting down on diuretics and liquids in general during the day. It helped briefly, but not enough to deprive myself of that holy elixir called Dunkin’ Donuts original blend. I figured I’d just deal with it, since the hemorrhoids had pretty much healed up and I was shitting less when I had to pee.
Now, over the last couple of weeks, things started to get significantly worse. Suddenly, not only did I have to pee often, I couldn’t ignore the urge. Within a minute of feeling the need to urinate, my bladder would basically be pounding the rest of me so I’d get my lazy ass up and do it. This made things a little difficult during class, when I’d get up four or five times in a three-hour session.
Then, the dribbling started. Then, I started peeing very small amounts and still needed to pee but couldn’t. Then, I was leaping off the train in the middle of Bucktown, racing to find a McDonald’s at 11 o’clock at night so I could piss.
Things were not going well. The excess urination was making my life a tad debilitating and annoying, and possibly life-threatening (depending on how many times I’d have to make random stops in unfamiliar, largely unsafe neighborhoods).
Finally, I decided to suck it up and go see a doctor. I had an appointment two Fridays ago, and when The Doctor entered the room, he shook my hand, and I told him exactly what the problem was: “I’ve been having this strange shortness of breath thing ever since I had bronchitis last year, and it’s getting worse.”
This appointment happened to coincide with the worst night of my urine-soaked life. Laurie, the love of my life, was to have dinner with me, see a movie with me, and then see the greatest concert in the history of Chicago: Elizabeth Elmore opening for Juliana Hatfield, followed by Freda Love’s new band (who could hopefully only be better than her old band, which sucked all the donkeys in ancient Egypt). She ended up canceling, in part because I never told her about the exciting plans for the evening so she didn’t realize it was a big deal.
So I said, “Fine. I’ll go alone.” And I had plans to do just that, until I had to pee twice in the six-block walk from school to the train.
“If I have to do this all night,” I realized, recalling the unhealthy bathroom line at the Double Door, “I’ll almost certainly die,” by which I meant that I’d miss 95% of the show, doubled over in pain waiting to get into the pisser, and that would kill me. I figured I’d rather die in peace in my own bed than on the dirty floor of a trendy bar, so I trudged home.
The next day, I started looking up symptoms of what I could possibly have, which made me panic and rush out to an urgent care center.
“You fool,” the urgent care physician said, laughing, “there’s nothing wrong with you!” Then, taking a graver tone: “However, you do probably have diabetes. Your regular physician should give you a blood test.”
So I made another appointment with The Doctor, immediately following the lab tests I was doing to sort out my breathing problem. Both of those appointments were Wednesday of last week.
I rattled off my symptoms to the nurse, and she made me go take a urine sample (easy enough). The doctor came in and looked at the sheet with my symptoms written on it. “Okay,” he said, “I’m gonna ask you to go ahead and drop your pants.”
“What?!” I thought. “Don’t you wanna talk first?”
The Doctor looked at me sternly, so I complied. He felt my glands, looked up at me curiously, and said, “I’m gonna have to ask you to turn around and bend over.”
During the ensuing minutes, I only had enough brain wattage left to wonder how and why gay men can express love in such an alarming and painful way.
“Yeah, it feels like a prostate infection,” The Doctor said unsympathetically. He prescribed some pills and told me I didn’t have asthma, so I should shut the fuck up, crybaby.
The Doctor further noted that it’s not communicable sexually, so there’s no chance that I picked it up from somebody or could give it to somebody.
Wait a minute—sexually?!
“Wait a minute,” I said, “don’t only guys have prostates?”
The Doctor arched an eyebrow. I had my answer. Shuddering at the thought that the doctor I’ve been seeing since grade school thinks I’m a big, flaming homo (seriously, though—if I was gay, would I have so much unwaxed hair?), I went to pay my bill, careful to not shake The Doctor’s hand.
He says it takes a really long time for these infections to clear up, so I imagine I can look forward to another month of fun-filled urination adventures. I can’t wait to relate them all in intimate detail, especially the inevitable pissing-my-pants that I’m sure will happen sometime soon.
Until then, happy holidays!
(P.S.: Isn’t it great to have me back? I’ll say I have about 12 stories queued up in my brain; I just haven’t written them. Hopefully, all will be revealed over the holiday break. And none of them have to do with my prostate infections or hemorrhoids.)