(My) life of pi-les

Posted Monday 25th February 2013   By Ericka Waller

I started getting piles when I was pregnant with my first child. I did not even know what they were. I thought it was her head coming out and raced to hospital.

Yes, silly me. My piles have embarrassed me in so many ways.

I’ve had to show them to more doctors, nurses, midwives and medical students than I’ve had bikini waxes. I always know which doctor will be seeing me - the young, attractive one.

I remember one eager young surgeon drawing a diagram of my piles after the birth of one daughter. He used the Biros doctors keep in the top-right-hand pocket of their white coats to colour it in. I think it was the first time he has ever got to use them. Maybe that is why he was so eager.
Two were red, two were purple, and one was big and black and underneath he had drawn an arrow which pointed to the caption ‘exquisitely tender’. I remember thinking ‘how do you bloody know?’

My bathroom cabinet looks like the sex-shelf at the chemist. Full of lubes and oils and creams with scary long nozzles attached to the top.

And it’s not just me who’s suffered. As well as having to go and buy all the aforementioned pile-paraphernalia, my husband also had to get his hands dirty. He’s named them (Chardonnay, Shiraz, Pinot, Riesling and Merlot) taken photos, applied creams, and even tucked them in at bed-time.  He knows when I thrust my bum in his face not to get excited. It’s because I want to know if my piles look big in my jeggings.

Apparently though, after the operation I had on Tuesday, they will soon be ‘behind me’.  I find it hard to believe as I type this, perched on one buttock, precariously balanced on top of a pile of pillows (not literally, piles are made from blood, not goose feathers.)

The only good thing I will say about the operation is that Worthing NHS Hospital (Chanctonbury suite – aptly named after the Ring) was AMAZING. Who’d have known it’s possible to laugh during an enema?  Or that I would feel so at home, wandering around in my open-backed gown, like a nudist on Brighton beach.

We were all in for the same ailment, and so spent our time in the waiting room playing a warped version of musical chairs 'Ooh, that chair is too hard for me, quick that lady's been called, GRAB HER CUSHION!'

No one laughed at me in hospital. They bought me cups of tea and tucked me in and carried my catheter bag.

Back home it’s all different. I’m the butt of everyone’s jokes. Normally after an operation you get bunches of flowers and thoughtful cards. All I’ve had are bunches of grapes with cards saying ‘Saw these and thought of you’.  ‘Poke them up your bum.’ I thought, ‘maybe then you’d know how I feel’.

I think piles sufferers should be given disabled badges, tax-breaks, Stanner-stairlifts. Instead we get bumper stickers saying ‘If you were any closer to my arse, you’d be a haemorrhoid’ from 'wise-crack' friends, and lots of 'here's to your good health, BOTTOMS UP!' toasts.

I do have three wonderful children to show for my troubles however, although I always feel justified when I tell them what a pain-in-the-bum they are.

** Depending on the response to this post, I may start a support group, POMP (Proud of my piles).  We can have a Facebook Community page for hints, tips and cheap deals on rubber rings.  Do let me know if anyone is behind me on this.

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