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Coming Out: Hemorrhoids Confessionals

Elliot Friar

When people say “butt hurt,” they typically are referring to emotional pain. But for me, the phrase should be taken literally. Although I have never admitted it publicly before, I am finally ready to discuss something I experienced in the summer during one of my high school years: Hemorrhoids. *SCREAMS!*

I woke up on that fateful day and felt an itch within me unlike any other. Rightfully, I was freaking out. Did a bug crawl up my butt at the beach? Was there an alien trying to enter and use my body as an avatar? The possibilities of my predicament were endless and ensured a bummer Summer day. Little did I know, half of all people in the United States would experience some variation of what I was experiencing. With this knowledge, I could have played “You Are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson and felt slightly better about my standing in life. Instead, I was still freaking out. And actually in legitimate pain.

A quick phone call to my hard-at-work mother brought a moment of clarity, because who else would one call when your a*s feels like the burning Saudi Arabian deserts. She clarified the cause and I realized my new-found enemy. Hemorrhoids.

Why haven’t I heard of this tragic condition before? And why wasn’t I told how to prevent it? These thoughts swirled in my head as I tried thinking of a way to get out of my plans with a friend that day. Going to the beach is normally a dream, but under these circumstances it would be a sandy nightmare. Unfortunately, my friend arrived at my house on time. I embarASSingly (sorry) informed him of what would surely be my demise.

Although I no longer suffer from painful conditions of the darkside on/in my backside, it is something I want to talk about. Think about when you last had a proper discussion about anal health. I’m guessing not in a while, or never. Like sex in the past or menstruation always, it is just something we don’t talk about.

So let’s talk about it. “Hemorrhoid” comes from the Greek word that means means “blood flowing,” and quite literally means that. Not too much blood, but enough to make you double-take at your toilet paper (if you use toilet paper).

And, actually, using toilet paper doesn’t do anything to prevent hemorrhoids. In addition to making sure you’re not pushing too hard when number-twoing, using a bidet to clean your bum post-poo relaxes your coveted butt muscles and prevents hemorrhoids, anal fissures, anal itching, UTIs and even yeast infections.

Still, most patients are reluctant to seek medical advice because of “embarrassment or the fear, discomfort, and pain associated with treatment,”  according to Anorectal Surgery (a truly riveting read). This is true even though treatment is easy, prevention is easier, and millions of people suffer from the same Hemorrhoid Hell. And all because we collectively as a society are afraid to talk about the health of our butts. Okay, humanity. It’s time to grow up and get down to booty business