A Stupid, Stupid Move

So yesterday I'm talking to my friend Summer on the phone. She's pregnant too, so we're having a lively little gab sesh and cackling madly about stuff that first-time pregnant chicks chat about - namely bodily functions, phobias and all the cheeky, passive-aggressive blather pregnant women endure from the mouths of strangers who are anti-procreation, anti-female or just plain oblivious. (I mean, do we really want to hear about the 36 hour dry labor ending in a horrific c-section with complications and a staph infection that your sister's best-friend's Aunt Betty endured ten years ago? The answer, you total idiot, is NO.)

So. There we are flappin' gums via telephone when she gets another call, and clicks over to make sure it's not a client on the other line. Meanwhile, I grab my laptop while I wait, and decide - brilliantly - that NOW is the perfect time for me to check real quick on something I've been worrying about lately, what with labor approaching and all.

And that, my friends, would be hemorrhoids. For some reason, I'm terrified of 'em. Partly, I realize, because I've never seen what one looks like, since I'm unsure as to whether or not I've had one before.

And that, logically, made me wonder: How would I know whether or not I have ever had one before, if I've never seen one? It's not like pink eye, a skin rash or something that people might show you. So, how are you supposed to know?

I'll admit that they are something that have recently gained status within my personal PHOBIAS closet since they are a common side-effect of labor. And usually, the way I manage my phobias is to research them and develop a plan of attack. For me, the more information I have, the easier the thing is for me to deal with.

So, feeling proactive and admiring myself for my mature, direct approach, I tuck the phone between ear and shoulder and blithely type "h-e-m-o-r-r-h-o-i-d" into Google. Then I click "Images."

1. What the HELL was I thinking?!


3. If you make my mistake anyway - do not blame me. I warned you. In capital letters, even.

Oh, blessed ignorance! Let's just say that by the time Summer got back on to the phone, I was nearly comatose, frozen almost speechless (except for stammering partial sentences and horrified exclamations such as, "Never in my life have I..." and "I've never, EVER seen... " and "Oh, man. Oh, man. Oh...my...God.")

After a minute or two, Summer finally begins to piece together what I've just done. Between guffaws, and hiccuping from laughter, she proceeds to tell me a really funny hemorrhoid story. It was something about a pregnant wife consulting her husband after mistaking her rectal condition for her baby taking a wrong turn. She'd assumed her baby's hand was coming out the wrong place.
After seeing those pictures, however, I couldn't laugh too hard because I could actually see - right there on those Google results - how she could make that mistake!

Now granted, the pictures up on Google are likely to be particularly bad cases, right? I mean, we're talking hemorrhoids the size of dinner biscuits, people! ... But if that iswhat we're talking about here, and knowing that this is the sort of thing people commonly live with every day, then, well... holy cow. All I can say is that those blow-up pillow-ring things, Witch Hazel swabs and Preparation H gel are laughable in the face of these monsters. They'd be about as effective as lobbing sticks and rocks at Godzilla.

To any chronic sufferers out there - after seeing what I saw, you have my deepest sympathy and admiration. Seriously. I can't even imagine. After this self-imposed mental trauma, I'm adding a new affirmation to my daily "Stuff I'm Grateful For" checklist: #58 - I am deeply grateful for not being prone to butt biscuits. I am thankful for being able to sit down comfortably and to conduct my private functions without breaking into a cold sweat.

This is unquestionably the dumbest mistake I've ever made while preparing to bring this baby into the world. Now that I've assured my place in some post-traumatic stress disorder waiting room, I have to reiterate that no one, and I mean no one, needs to see what I saw yesterday afternoon. Seriously. Unless, of course, you just can't help yourself.

But like I said: Don't blame me.


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >