Treatment Phase 3: Pain and Suffering
In the emergency room the doctors got to work staunching the flow of blood. They first had to - you guessed it - numb the area. Out came the needle, and in it went where no needle should ever go. And this one hurt several times as much as the needle in the surgeon's office.
Next they had to suture the vein to get it to stop bleeding, and then "cauterized" the wound. Now "cauterize" means to singe the thing. I could smell burning flesh, and it went on for a good five minutes. I thought they were branding my anus area, but they assured me they were just trying to melt the skin to get the bleeding to stop, since it was a general area that was bleeding at this point and not just a single vein. Lovely.
Recovery, Dating, and What Do You Tell People?
Recall that I had a very full dance card at the time, and was also going through a lot of post-divorce stress as well as a very high visibility project at work. I had to figure out how to handle the dating and work issues.
For work, the issue was if and how to inform my management of my challenging situation. I told them that I had been to the ER the day before and had lost a lot of blood, but I didn't want to say WHY I lost a lot of blood. Awkward. My boss figured it out, telling me to look up what happened to George Brett. I made it through work's trials - I lay down with my butt in the air and laptop in front of me, used a wireless headphone, tried not to take too much Vidocin, and took a few days off. All of this was easy to do since I work from a home office.
But dating? I had dates coming up! One date had promises of a home-cooked meal, a massage (and post-massage sex, one presumes). Another date was going to be a fun night on the town, with who knows what afterwards.
My butt was still bleeding slightly, and I was still on Vicodin for the pain. Sadly I had to cancel/reschedule both of these dates that I had been looking forward to. I had to think of some excuse that wasn't lame - you CANNOT tell your dates that you had hemorrhoid surgery and nearly bled to death. Plus I had to defer the dates for at least a week due to the recovery time. I came up with a very lame excuse, both dates seemed to accept it. I write this as the rescheduled dates have not yet occurred, so I don't know if permanent damage occurred.
Lastly, there were three first-time meetups during that first week which I decided posed small enough risk that I could proceed without having to reschedule. Still I was in some pain and slightly paranoid that my butt would erupt again in the middle of a date.
Before these dates I discovered one benefit of the previous Sitz bath technique. The large amount of Epsom salt in the water seemed to staunch the bleeding for roughly four hours, which was a good amount of time to get dressed, drive to the meetup location, and have a date. So this was my modus operandi for dating the first week while trying to recover.
My Problems Are All Behind Me
A week and a half after the emergency room visit I am finally feeling normal again and ready to pump the volume back up in the dating world. Things are still a bit sore and tender, and I'm a few thousand dollars poorer, but just think of the stories I won't be able to tell my grandchildren.
So dear reader, your action plan is:
1. Drink plenty of fluids, today and every day.
2. Ensure you get enough fiber, from raw veggies, beans, and if you must, Metamucil.
3. Get plenty of exercise.
4. If you do have hemorrhoid surgery, be extremely careful afterwards to ensure you heal without incident.
Use our commenting feature below to share your opinion on this question or answer, or to offer your own answer, or you can always choose to discuss this in the Midlife Forum ...