There are two sides to everything, including me. I know how to behave in polite company, but sometimes I just have to cross over to the inappropriate side of the street. Sometimes, I need it to keep me laughing. Rereading my last few posts has me realizing that I need a break from the heartwarming, rah-rah, you-can-do-it, sappy stuff. So let’s talk hemorrhoids.
I don’t remember where I learned this, but for years the phrase, “You buy the premise, you buy the gag,” has echoed in my brain. In joke telling, it’s the set-up, in writing, it’s the back story. So before I really begin, here are the two back stories:
- Chemotherapy causes constipation which causes hemorrhoids. During chemo, it is one of the most UN-funny side effects to weather. I think once that particular problem comes into your life, it’s always there, lurking in the background waiting to rear it’s ugly head. Or to head your ugly rear…whatever. Steven has had chemo ergo…you fill in the blanks.
- Alexis has been trying to get a handle on a little health problem, nothing life-threatening, but in need of attention. She goes to our family doctor here on the beachside, but she lives in Orlando. Her job is hectic, and so is the doctor’s office, so she has trouble communicating her weekly updates as they monitor her changing medication.
That is enough premise. Now please join with me for the rest of the ride. I was iChatting with Alexis and she was complaining (she gets that from me) about not getting to speak directly with the doctor, wondering if her messages were being monitored correctly and yada yada yada. I told her that I never have a problem getting through to the doctor, but you the main man. Like with the hemorrhoids…to which she replied, “What hemorrhoids?” I couldn’t believe that I never told her the Tale of Two Hemorrhoids (I’m amusing myself there. You, too?)
Once upon a time Steven and I made a round trip drive to Miami in one day. It was about 7 hours in the car, and he was having ‘bottom’ trouble before we even left. All that sitting put him over the edge. We arrived back home to all kinds of creams, salves, balms and potions for hemorrhoids, but his tolerance is bad because of the chemo flash backs. Naturally, this kind of thing always flairs up over a weekend, and after all our regular treatments were tried with no success, I started getting creative. I knew witch hazel was supposed to be a help, and someone suggested putting it on cotton balls and cooling them in the frig first. Not to be a wuss, I soaked them and stowed them right in the freezer. If cool is good, frozen has got to be better, right?
I knew Steven had to be in MAJOR discomfort when I suggested that he stick a couple of frozen cotton balls up his wazoo…and he agreed. Unfortunately, I think there is such a thing as TOO cold, and the freezer burn on his bum sent a shock to his sphinter that just made it even worse. I went back to WebMD. ‘Herbs R Us’ and hemorrhoid.com, and that’s where the aloe came into play. Not the Walgreens, buy it in a tube aloe. No thank-you. We have fresh, potent, all-natural aloe growing in our yard. So I went outside, sliced off a few leaves, cut them up into butt sized portions and peeled them. (OMG-butt-sized…I’m SO loving this). By this time, Alexis was crying from laughing so hard, because she knew that if I could convince Steven to put frozen cotton balls in his tush, I absolutely would be able to talk him into holding a slice of aloe between his cheeks. (WARNING: CUT OFF THE THORNY EDGES FIRST)
So by the time Monday rolls around, his patience is gone and he’s not having nearly the fun I’m having! I reminded Steven to call the doctor as I was heading out to work. I was about 3 blocks away when he called me on my cell phone. He told the doctor’s office he had a problem with hemorrhoids. They had told him they could see him on Wednesday. Really? I was not waiting for another 2 days of life with burning butt boy.
The lesson for Alexis is that this is where the fun part comes into play. You have to make it fun for THEM. The office staff in a medical practice deals with tons of serious stuff and even more mundane symptoms. They need a good story just like the rest of us. Nobody wants to hear a conversation about chicken pox and the flu. But how great is tonight’s cocktail hour going to be with a funny hemorrhoid story! Especailly when it’s true. So I called and spoke the truth:
“Hi, this is Alexandra. My husband Steven just called and asked to see the doctor. Did he tell you he had a little problem with a hemorrhoid? Did he tell you this part? He was in so much pain over the weekend that I soaked cotton balls in witch hazel, stuck them in the freezer until they were frozen and then made him shove them up his ass. It didn’t work. So since Sunday, he’s been standing around at home, squeezing a slice of fresh aloe between his butt cheeks, hoping it doesn’t slip down the leg of his pants. Does he really have to wedge it in there until Wednesday?…Yes he can be there by 10…and I’ll let him know that I told you about the cotton balls and aloe. Try not to laugh at him when he comes in, but if you do, he’ll be OK. He’s kind of used to it.”
And he was…because that’s how you get a fast appointment to the doctor!