a delicate matter

STOP READING NOW if you think talk of personal medical issues is TMI for a blog post (I won’t be offended and pretty much agree with you, but that won’t stop me from writing about it).

I haven’t shared much about the pain/discomfort that’s been plaguing me the last few months, because well, um, embarrassing. I did have to chuckle, though, when not one, but TWO different friends offered me the same remedy when I told them about my ills today. They’d been to Christmas parties (in different states) and had white elephant gift exchanges where one of the gifts was a tube of Preparation H and a donut.

Just what I needed.

Except that Prep H is dead to me. As is every other “cure” for h—–hoids in the geriatrics aisle of the pharmacy. Believe me, I’ve tried them all.

I might as well just tell you the whole saga. Guys (girls, too), feel free (please) to stop reading rightaboutnow. I’ll be honest. My hesitancy to share this “dilemma” previously wasn’t really for my own sake (I wrote a book on sex. What’s a h—–hoid or two?) but yours. No one wants to be sitting at their computer on a Friday morning with a nice hot cup of coffee and all the sudden see the word HEMORRHOIDS. And then get a full-on description of them.

Consider yourself warned.

I first noticed the little boogers after I had Nina, but there was absolutely no pain or itching involved, so who cares, right? Fast forward to 2010 sometime. Some itching, some pain, but always manageable, not that frequent. No big deal. Fast forward to the summer. Getting worse. Fast forward to 2ish months ago. Worse. Fast forward another month. AWFUL. I haven’t slept through the night in weeks. The itching and pain are sometimes what I would call unbearable (like worse than natural childbirth).

Here’s the trouble. I haven’t been to our family doctor in over 3 years. So I’m no longer on the patient list. And they’re not accepting new patients until the third week of January. I finally called yesterday in desperation, and they caved and schedule me for Monday (our 13th wedding anniversary–nice).

But today? Baaaaaaad. And tonight? At 6:30, in tears, I kissed my family good-bye and drove to Urgent Care. And PRAISE THE LORD, a female nurse practitioner named Debra took my case. She was wonderful and gentle and fabulous and a complete angel from the Lord.

The bad news? I don’t have the kind of hemorrhoids that you can “fix.” She actually wasn’t quite sure what was wrong and wants me to still see my doctor Monday. I might have to have some tests done, she said.

The good news? She was so sad for my pain and prescribed me some heavy-duty suppositories (Livi and I were cracking up at the instructions–“Unwrap and insert 1 per rectum twice daily for 1 week.”) and Vicodin to take the edge off the pain and knock me out cold all night long hopefully.

And there you have it. This is NOT how I envisioned my last post of 2010. Speaking of which, yesterday was the FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of when I started my blog. I was 89 weeks pregnant, 2 centimeters dilated, and sweet Nina was born 6 days later. So, I guess that makes my hemorrhoid issues and my blog the same age.

I totally could’ve had a big ol’ celebration here yesterday and missed my chance. Shoot. Anyone out there been reading my blog for five whole years? (if so, you deserve some kind of medal).

Anyway, Happy New Year! May your 2011 be full of God and his glory! Love you, friends!

21 thoughts on “a delicate matter

  1. GenieBlazi

    Oh Marla…that just sounds awful. I am so sorry you are having to deal with all this junk…can’t give you any advice here, but know I am praying for your doctor’s visit this morning. Happy Anniversary…and thanks for always keeping it real!!

  2. Pingback: Marla Taviano » in sickness and in… other things

  3. amber

    I feel a little sheepish showing my face around these parts, since I’ve been gone for so long….

    But truth is, I’ve missed you muchly. Your words always bring me so much encouragement and joy, that I’m so glad that I’m at least ATTEMPTING to reenter the blogosphere.

    That being said, I read this post the other day when I saw it come through on my FB feed, and, oh, honey, how I admire your willingness to bear your soul (and your nether-regions *wink*).

    Hope you get your answers soon and that you are back to better-than-normal lickety-split.

    Happy New Year, friend!

  4. Jaclyn K

    feel better soon. My friend always jokes”oh to be a man. Women have Painful childbirth and years later your reward Painful hemriods.” She’s a jokester and your blog made me think of her lol.

  5. Fiona

    Marla, oh I am so with you. Have had HMs for ages (but nothing so bad as yours) BUT around Sept-Oct started having colon cramps and rectal cramps and acid burn constantly, I was really sick. Yuck! On the one hand I was all fired up reading Radical (thanks to you!) and my heart and head were ready to jump in and change my life and my body was screaming “NOOOOOO!!!”
    Anyway ended up having a colonoscopy and the whole works in Nov, no fun. BUT the things I learnt were invaluable. I’ve realised that the way to treat these things is from above, not below – ie how you eat. My gastro specialist told me to take Metamucil every morning and that has made a massive difference. Then a friend led me to this site http://www.helpforibs.com/diet/
    where I learnt about soluble and insoluble fibre.
    See also this page http://www.helpforibs.com/diet/fiber1.asp
    (you need to dig around the website a bit)
    I learnt that by eating a little differently I feel heaps better. It is as easy as eating the rice on your plate before the meat & veg on your plate often, and avoiding whole wheat and greens on an empty stomach (opposite of what we are told). Anyway long story but reading your post made me realise that since taking Metamucil and eating this way: NO MORE hemorrhoids! Woo hooo! And no drugs needed, either! (Never had to break out that Rectogesic I bought …)
    Sorry such a long comment, hope this helps you as your blog has encouraged me so much 🙂
    Am happy if you want to email me …
    All the best and happy new year!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thanks, Fiona. I actually found out today at urgent care (again) that all my itching isn’t from hemorrhoids but from an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone cream. I have hives. 🙂 I may blog about it if I can find the energy. I TOTALLY agree that eating healthy is HUGE. And I’m so bad about it. Determined to do better in 2011.

  6. Shannah

    If you’re dealing with thrombosis…I totally get the pain. I had 3 do that post-Megan – one that required a procedure. All of it was NOT FUN. Hope you can find some relief!

  7. Nina

    Happy anniversary to your blog, to your hemorrhoids, to you and Gabe, and … did I forget anything? Perhaps an early “Happy Birthday” to your wonderfully-named daughter?

    This post made me smile. I don’t think I could have shared the same kind of thing on my blog, but I think most women who have been through childbirth have had to deal with hemorrhoids in some form, so you’re not alone in that. (Though it sounds like your pain is a lot worse than normal–I hope they’re able to figure out why and get it treated soon.)

    Take care, and best wishes to you and your family for 2011!

  8. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    My sweet, sweet friend. I am so sorry you are going through this! I wish I could just hug your neck right now.

    I haven’t had to fight this particular battle myself (yet), but I did some digging around and here are some suggestions:

    1) Tucks pads in the fridge
    2) witch hazel, also better if you keep it in the fridge
    3) Bottom Balm – http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/postpartum-recovery/earth-mama-bottom-balm.html
    4) Use washcloths (cloth wipes) for wiping after #2
    5) After #2, run a hot bath (as hot as you can stand) and sit in it for a few minutes
    6) VariGone by Nature’s Sunshine – actually made for varicose veins but works to support and strengthen vein walls and good for h-hoids, too
    7) Only a true hippie friend will tell you this, but if none of the conventional medical treatments help, you might get some Bentonite Clay from somewhere like Mountain Rose Herbs and take it internally (you mix it with water). I know people who swear this was the ONLY thing that helped the h-hoids go away.

    I really do love you, sister, and I am really sad you are dealing with this.


    Happy five years! My five year is in a few days. Isn’t that funny? I only wish I had been reading for so long. I am so thankful that God brought us together when He did. You bless my life beyond words.


  9. Claudia Porpiglia

    I am so sorry for your pain but the post did make me smile wide…I have been accused of being willing to talk about things that others avoid but not sure I have ever written anything quite like this! 😉 I will be praying for you.

    BTW, CONGRATS on 5 years of blogging! Also, may the new year be filled with God’s richest blessings as you obey Him!

  10. ali

    I’ve seen you a lot in the last couple of months and I had NO IDEA. And that surprises me, quite frankly, because what DON’T we talk about?! Who would have thought that h-roids would be the one subject we’ve missed 🙂

  11. Elizabeth

    You are a brave woman, and an honest one! I’m sorry for your suffering. And I know you are because my mil had them last summer and it was awful. I hope you have no more pain and a great night’s sleep! And I’m praying for answers on Monday.

    I haven’t been reading for 5 years, but at least 2, maybe 3. I think I’ve gone back and read all your posts though!

  12. Keli Gwyn

    Marla, I’m sooo sorry you’re suffering. I hope a complete recovery is in the works.

    By the time I reached the end of your post, I was feeling your pain. And then I came to the comment about you being 89 weeks pregnant when you started your blog, roared, and swallowed a mouthful of tic tacs whole. Thanks for the laugh.

  13. LS

    only you my friend could make me laugh fully and out loud on an awful day like today…when i grow up i hope i blog about hemorrhoids like you 😉


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