Keep It Clean

This isn’t going to be a warm and fuzzy post full of nice things or cute animals… ok, here’s a cute animal….

cute animal
cute animal

but after this it really becomes a TMI post and you probably don’t want to continue reading… that was your last chance…

So I’ve written about it a few times here … ok, hinted a few times here… that I’m having surgery. I don’t have an actual date yet for the surgery but today I met with the surgeon, she seems like a very nice lady and has a sense of humor. She confirms that I have, what I knew I’ve had since November – an anal fistula

eeeeew… wtf is an anal fistula? you may be thinking to yourself or saying out loud if you’re like me.

First lets talk about how this all came about – back as far at 2009 I started to itch a bit more than I figured was normal in my end area… being sexually active I assumed the worst of course (an STD) and went to the doctor to get checked out, I had the same doctor for a good long while and I liked him, I really did and told him all about anything that I did or didn’t do, complete honesty on my part. He did some tests and looked back there and said basically – you’re fine but

“you need to keep it clean back there”

Now, here’s where I thought something and didn’t, but should have, said… “Um, I didn’t wake up at 39 and forget how to wipe”

But I trust this guy, I go “Ok doc” and I go buy some wipes… and I’m sensitive, no really… so those perfumy ones made me break out… so I tried Preparation H wipes and those didn’t make me break out. But it wasn’t helping the itching was continuing to be bad and there was some… um… leakage – and this is really unacceptable at this point and I know I KNOW I wiped well, I know I cleaned the area this is not possible…

Another trip to the doc and he says “Oh, you might have a little hemorrhoid down there, keep it clean (and I thought it and didn’t do anything about saying it… I didn’t wake up and suddenly forget how to do that) and it’ll go away on it’s own”

Now at this point it’s been a few years and this problem comes and goes but mostly just stays annoyingly itchy, sometimes painful… the docs latest advice is fiber pills and stool softeners. So know it’s 6 – 12 fiber pills a day, gallons and gallons of water, stool softeners at night, Preparation H wipes, Tucks Hemorrhoidal Ointment (really works much better than Prep H wipes for me anyway, but it’s not a hemorrhoid so who knows) and this is going on for a long long time… and finally the doctor agrees that “OK, I’ll advise you to the surgeon”

Now this was October or November of last year and I was happy this might finally be taken care of – the Doc says though: in the interim you should do sitz-baths 2 – 3 times a day… A what? I say

A sitz-bath
A sitz-bath

So now in addition to the pills, the wipes, the ointment… I’m doing 2 – 3 sitz-baths a day and this is not helping, this is interfering with my life but I can do this… unless of course I’m traveling because I’m not going to pack a sitz-bath everywhere I travel… If I was in  a hotel I hoped for a tub so I could sit in the tub for 15 – 20 minutes a few times a day. A sits-bath is basically you sitting with your rear in moving water for 15 – 20 minutes. But sometimes there isn’t time, if I’m flying or at work for more than 10 hours in a day then it gets tough – no really, the area gets hard and causes me grief.

So in November I got to see the surgeon, and I’m happy the hemorrhoids will finally be taken care of, it’s a woman, she seems nice… and she looks at the hemorrhoid and says “this is tiny” and looks around some more and then says “this isn’t a hemorrhoid ”

I’m like “what?!” and she says she has to come right back – she then shows me a drawing of what’s wrong with me – an anal fistula and explains that’s what’s causing all this to happen.

I’m like great, can we fix it, she says “yes, but in the interim do the sits baths” I had a follow up call with her and January and we were going to have another call when appendicitis struck…  And a month later I no longer had insurance as I was no longer employed.

So, I’ve been continuing on, doing all these things which work to relieve the irritation and uncomfortableness most of the time since then… but there is still a leakage problem, there’s still 15 minutes of sitting on the pot 2 – 3 times a day. Sometimes it feels like there is something hard there all the time, and sometimes an urge to itch at the craziest time is crazy… I do mean crazy.

So a few weeks ago I saw a doctor here, I had insurance in June with my new job but I think the last think anyone wants to do at a new job is say “Hi, thanks for the job… now I need a few days off for surgery and doctor appointments” so I waited. The doctor confirmed my symptoms and diagnosis and as she’s fishing around back there I say “I know you have to confirm diagnosis’s but really – who would come into a doctors office and say they had this? back pain sure I can see it, anything for drugs… yeah, I can see that too, but not this” she chuckled, I like her.

Today I saw the surgeon, she too had to confirm – maybe my ass is just very attractive (guys have been telling me that for years) but she said this is easy to take care of and if we schedule for a Thursday or a Friday I should be out of work only 2 – 3 days. Her scheduler is going to call me tomorrow or Friday to set it up and I’m so ready for this all to be over. Of course there is a risk, she could cut too deep and cause incontinence  or the anesthesia could make me die, or a meteor could crash through the ceiling at the moment she’s in my bottom making it better and well that would end badly… I think the doctor said we could likely have this done before Thanksgiving, and I’d like that… I’ll need a friend to drop me off at the hospital and pick me up after and Im anticipating being the butt of jokes… get it, the butt … ok, sorry…

So imagine everything here and then put in that I’m gay and the fun activities that gay guys do… or don’t do as my case may be at the moment… This has been something that’s kept me from doing things with guys and kept me from enjoying life as much as I’d like.

Many years ago my friend Randy assured me that if I got cancer or some other disease that made me frail and I needed to be taken care of that he’d be willing – he was married to my best friend at the time – unless it was prostate cancer, cause that was probably my own fault for being gay and all. 🙂 He was kidding, he’s a republican but not completely stupid (most of the time).

So there you go – I’ll hope for the best and that this all gets taken care of before long and be happy again… or happier and more comfortable.

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