Fifteen years ago I had my first cherub. She was beautiful; I had never seen such a perfect little being. Four years later, I had popped out the third and while I sat through my one-millionth episode of Barney or the Wiggles with the oldest, propped a bottle with my foot for the newborn, and ignored the middle, it occurred to me that these “blessings” had effectively ended my life as I knew it.
In that process, they had also left me with a few things about which I had had no warning such as floppy, stretchy skin, saggy boobs, stretch marks, and an inability to retain thoughts for longer than nine seconds.
Over the last decade and a half, I’ve lost the weight, hit up a plastic surgeon, and covered some of the stretch marks with tattoos. I do what I can with what I’ve got and normally it comes out all right.
Until recently I had considered myself pretty lucky and out of the woods. It’s been over eleven years since I’ve had a kid so I don’t think this was irrational thinking. Then one morning I wake up and something is amiss. I’m not quite sure what it is yet so I go about my morning routine. Once I hit the shower, I make the horrifying discovery. What the actual fuck. Is coming out of my ass? Seriously, what is this? Panicked, I jump out of the shower and run to the mirror. Yep. There is it. A hemorrhoid.
OmigahdNO. Ok I am not going to say this is the worst thing that has happened to me in my life but in that moment, this was the worst thing that had happened to me in my life.
I did what any rational person would do. I immediately jumped in the car and hightailed it to CVS while frantically dialing my sister to tell her my plight. She was calm. How are you so damn calm about grapes coming out of my butt? Seriously, did you not hear what I just said? As I ransacked what I now refer to as the “ass aisle” at the pharmacy, it occurred to me that while I thought I had shed all semblance of modesty years ago when I gave birth in a room of a teaching hospital that apparently doubled as a stadium for the viewing entertainment of practically everyone I knew, I had not. I tried to discretely slide into the ass aisle and quickly grabbed one of everything.
On my way to the register, discretely carrying (dropping) my ninety-seven products, I thought of what I would tell the girl at the register. I would make up an excuse, I’ll tell her it was for my dad, he’s old. We would share a knowing glance and she would definitely not stare me down in disgust. Shockingly, I did not have to use my cover story as the nineteen-year-old check out girl apparently did not care what I was buying or why. Neither did any other patrons, weird.
I raced home and put things in places they definitely don’t belong. I did this for days, the smell of Tucks becoming as normal as my hand soap. To no avail. Three days later my friend was still hanging around and I was convinced that Bob (we’d been together for a while now, he deserved a name) would be with me for good. It was time to bring in the big guns. I called the doctor. Of course Jeremiah answered.
Jeremiah is the cute guy at the doctors office who schedules the appointments. I told Jeremiah I needed to make an appointment. He asked why I wanted to come in. “Oh my god, it’s none of your damn business, stay out of my life” I screamed at him. In my head. Out loud I mumbled something about my butt. He scheduled me in a bored, monotone voice but I know he was probably laughing and texting his friends.
My appointment isn’t for three days, holy shit, that’s a lot of uncomfortable sitting and driving. And do I even have enough granny panties to get through this ordeal?
Fast forward. I somehow make it through to the day of my appointment. Why are all of these people so nosy???? Is it not bad enough that they want to know my weight as soon as I walk in; they also need to know what’s going on with my butt? Surely this is some violation of privacy, where the hell is that HIPPA paper? My doctor comes into the room. She’s a very nice lady and I feel the need to apologize to her for only coming to see her when something smells or is otherwise not right, below the belt. After she makes me lay on my side and violates me, I feel as though she should be the one apologizing to me. Good God. She confirms that Bob is indeed a hemorrhoid. In fact, Bob is a hemorrhoid and a half, she says smiling. Did I call her a nice lady? She’s actually the devil, in what realm is this something to smile about? She informs me that she will give me a prescription and apologizes that I’ll have to stick it in my butt, do I mind that she asks? Lady, I will stick heroin filled balloons in my butt and parade them across the border if you tell me it will shrink this shit up, just make it go away.
She feels confident that her plan of care will address my issue. However, she warns, this will likely reoccur. I have had kids and women who have been pregnant and given birth are more susceptible to reoccurring hemorrhoids. Never have I felt so sexy as the moment my doctor told me that my destiny was to walk this planet with inflamed veins hanging out of my butt, seriously, all I can think of is detective Einhorn from Pet Detective.
I again mentally thank the three people who live in my home for ruining my life in seven thousand different ways and rush to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription, feeling relieved that my nightmare has a light at the end of the tunnel, however temporary.
As I sit waiting for relief to be handed to me in the form of a paper bag full of ass bullets, fate throws me another curveball. The pharmacist regretfully informs me that my ass medication is not covered by insurance. My heart sinks as she tells me my total is close to a hundred dollars. I weigh this out in my head for a moment. I really don’t like this butt grape (and a half) but I really don’t like being broke either. Angrily, I tell the pharmacist to shove it and push her capitalist propaganda somewhere else. Really it sounds more like a half sobbed “No thanks” as I flee from the counter. Can this nightmare get any worse? I grab some Metamucil and go home to drown my sorrows in some hot orange chalk water.
Unfortunately my doctor’s office is now closed for the weekend so I can’t get a prescription covered by insurance (if one exists) until Monday. It’s a good thing I have very little semblance of a life, my calendar is clear to spend two days sitting on a donut watching reruns of Will and Grace. I count the minutes until Sunday night, diligently going through my tube of over the counter ointment, shoving my over the counter, subpar bullets where nothing belongs, and chasing all of that with my over the counter, subpar Tucks pads. My life now revolves around my bathroom, much like when I was pregnant, reminding me again that the root cause of this trauma is those three people I birthed who now spend their days asking for my money and slamming doors. I feel I got jipped in the tradeoff.
Monday morning finally comes and I spring out of bed, staring at the clock, willing it to become nine o’clock. To kill time, I take a shower as I remember that I do obligations outside of my seemingly futile hemorrhoid curing efforts. It is then, in the shower, that I realize Bob is gone. Bob. Is. Gone. Ok I’m not saying this is the best thing to ever happen to me but in that moment, this is the best thing to ever happen to me.
Now, weeks later, I reflect back and think about Bob. Not fondly. I don’t miss Bob. Bob did not enrich my life or teach me any important life lessons. Bob was, however, entertaining for those close to me so for that I suppose I should be thankful, as I certainly love to see people laugh even if it’s at my expense. So thanks, Bob, for that. But seriously. Screw the pharmaceutical industry. What a bunch of opportunist punks.