For the last 10 days, there has been something wrong with me. I have been slightly more irritable than usual. I’ve been twitchy at work. I’ve gone through long spells when my mind appears to be in a very different place.
Today, I believe I’ve discovered the problem.
I may be bleeding out of my anus.
Now, this is probably not the type of thing you’ve come to this blog to read, and perhaps you’ll be inclined to click away, to read about my mother or my experience with Kosher-approved pornographic advertising. I’ll understand.
I’ll admit that this diagnosis hasn’t been doctor-confirmed. (1) But I’m still confident in it, partially because I can’t imagine many people have spent as much time thinking about their own ass as I have.
Some kids spent their childhoods looking up at the sky and guessing what each cloud resembled. My mother has stories of me, a two-year-old who’d come out of the bathroom describing in great detail what I’d just produced.
In fourth grade, when a family friend was asked what he was thankful for, he replied, “The toilet.” I just nodded in agreement.
At Hannukah, my siblings and I all hoped that mom and dad would gift us the latest edition of “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.” (2) The toilet is where I learned to appreciate Dave Barry’s columns, where I studied the Wall Street Journal’s middle column and where I occasionally penned verse. (3)
You get the idea.
Things get murky (4) about three weeks ago, when I started to feel an odd twinge in my right shoulder. I went to the doctor. His verdict: a pinched nerve in my neck. He told me to take two-a-day of some pill that had more Xs in its name than I cared for.
That night, after popping the first of the pills, I felt something where I didn’t want to. Let’s call it an unwanted tingle.
I blamed it on the chicken fried steak I’d eaten at lunch.
But the tingle was still there on the second day. On the third, I started to feel that something was seriously wrong. I looked, of course, to my stool. (5)
By week’s end, I was really worried. I was twitchy at work. I was tingly when I didn’t want to be — and where I didn’t want to be.
On day seven, I had to drop my laptop off at the store for some repairs — a note that would seem unrelated, except that afterward, I had a sudden urge to check WebMD for advice on my condition. I went to the public library to check my email, read the terms of agreement and decided that Googling anything beginning with the word “anal” might get me banned from all city buildings for the next year.
Finally, I got the laptop back. I checked first to make sure everything was in working order with my Mac — at least everything’s okay on this end, I told myself — and clicked toward my internal diagnostic confirmation.
Gastrointestinal problems? Check. Dermatological discomfort? Check. Special sensations? That might be one way to put it. Never had such an unspeakable tingle sounded more obscurer.
I walked over to the bathroom, where I’d left the bottle of pills on the counter. I felt up my shoulder, and I thought about my other twinge. Suddenly, the pain up top was tolerable.
The symptoms are now starting to subside, but the tingle was still there today. Also worth noting: I haven’t exactly figured out a way to casually mention my temporary condition at the office. It hasn’t been easy keeping my mind off of it, either.
In a chat with my boss this afternoon, I started to drift off. My boss asked if I was listening. I assured her that I was.
“I just can’t tell what you’re thinking about right now,” she said.
I squirmed a little in my seat, and I started to assure her that I had only two things on my mind. (6)
Then I decided that I probably shouldn’t think too much about any number two.
- Though, you’ll admit, ‘slight anal leakage’ isn’t exactly a tough one to figure out. ↩
- We’ve collected just about every one of his volumes. ↩
- Poo-etry, perhaps? ↩
- Yes, there’s still time to bail on this blog post yet. ↩
- A technique, I learned, of course, via the musical episode of ‘Scrubs.’ ↩
- I actually meant this new Twitter project and a meeting I had later in the day. ↩