Ode to the Medicine

I had “minor” surgery a week ago. And in the middle of this blog, I will share what it was — I will give SPOILER ALERT tags for those who don’t want to know. I will not spring it on you! As much as you don’t want to know, I wish I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain it.

The surgery was minor in the sense that it was outpatient and only lasted 45 minutes. Other than that, it’s been major. People have asked me, Didn’t your doc warn you about it? Well, he was very evasive about it. He keeps telling me that everyone heals differently, blah blah blah. I don’t care about everyone; I just want to know when I’ll be able to sit down without pain! (Hint: we’re at day 8 and I’m not at that point yet.)

But there has been medicine. First some versed before surgery, because my blood pressure was up, out of nervousness. Then, general anesthesia that was so awesome, I actually felt fine for that entire day. It wasn’t until 12 hours had passed that I could really feel what had been done to me.

By then it was too late and I realized that I’d inadvertently had really major traumatic surgery on a really tender spot on my body without realizing it was going to be major and traumatic. It doesn’t matter that the surgical site is small; the pain is unbearable. But there’s medicine.

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to know what I had done —

I had a removal and repair of an Anal Fistula. You can google it if you want. It’s not uncommon — if you’re an old man with Crohn’s Disease. It has to be cut to the source, cleaned and left open to heal. I also had a hemorrhoid next to it that the doc fixed. Thanks, doc! The upshot is, I have a large gaping open wound in a place where there should only be one hole, and it shouldn’t be gaping or bleeding.


Maybe I’m a wimp — or just one of those people who doesn’t heal quickly — but the pain has sucked away my will to live. I cannot describe it. I would only wish it on Hitler. It is so awful.

I thank the medicine for the following:

• making me able to forget about the pain for an hour or two.
• or maybe just not mind it so much.
• keeping me from throwing up after the anesthesia.
• allowing me to sleep virtually anytime, anywhere.
• helping me really not care about anything except my pain level. So yes, I might not have showered or brushed my teeth lately. Or eaten. But I don’t care.

My Chemical Romance took a couple days off work, then some friends helped me, then my mom took The Informant and My Masterpiece to Florida for a week. So I’m down to just Mineral, Animal and Cousin It. Animal and Mineral are being really helpful, so that I can lay on the couch and supervise them while they run the house. And change diapers — they will make sandwiches and do laundry and wash dishes, but they will not change diapers.

My Chemical Romance took me for a follow up appointment, in which I was certain that the doc would say, “oh my gosh, this is terrible, let’s fix you up and make you unconscious for the next month til the pain stops.” But alas, he said I look normal and fine.

Here I am nursing Cousin It at the Proctologist’s office. By the way, in Charlotte, the procto was referred to by a much cooler phrase: COLO-RECTAL SURGEON.


Also, the drugs are not much stronger than what moms get after cesarean surgery, so I feel comfortable nursing Cousin It about three times a day.


2 Responses

  1. Ah! I thought that’s what it was. As someone who sufffered many a recurring anal fissure after each baby … if your pain is orders of magnitude worse than that, which it must be, I totally get it and you are not a wimp!! Yay, dilaudid!!

    • Yep. I had a fissure years ago, when I was pregnant with Cousin It. It was so awful — but nothing compared to this. This is a special level of hell that is barely touched by hardcore pain meds 😦 they make it painful. Without them, it’s excruciating. Dildudid was awesome.

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