I grabbed the handle of the paddleboard and tugged.
Oh. Heavier than I thought. This is the point where I would be hollering for one of the boys, but I was at the cottage alone and determined. Somehow, I hauled it up three steps and started off down the hill to the lake.
I had an idyllic paddle around the whole lake that evening. It was the last time I would not be in excruciating pain for nearly a week. I waited 36 hours to get medical help because how on earth do you tell anyone you’ve turned your butt inside out lifting a paddleboard? The last hemorrhoid I’d had was in labour, where you at least get a consolation prize to go along with the homemade ice pack they’ve smacked up your wazoo.
I crept into the ER in Parry Sound, where a young man anchored the desk.
“I have a hemorrhoid as big as a planet.”
He hesitated, and said he’d be right back. I never saw him again. Instead a woman took my info as I perched on the chair like a barnacle allergic to boats.
She told me it was going to be a wait.
“It’s the rain,” she explained. “All the tourists come in when it rains.”
Of course they do. A splinter can wait three days in the sunshine, while a hemorrhoid is literally on the dark side of the moon.
A doctor finally took a peek and a poke as I gasped profanities; the attending nurse didn’t try to hide the stunned look on her face as she rushed to get an IV and Dilaudid, which is morphine in a prom dress.
As I got that floating feeling, I suddenly opened my eyes.
“Wait. I have to drive back to the cottage,” I told her.
“You drove here?” she asked me, incredulously.
The doctor was still staring at my butt.
“I’m gonna need the surgeon,” he muttered.
I texted my sister, Gillian. “I’m in the ER with a hemorrhoid as big as my head. Waiting on surgeon. Owowowowow.”
“WTF? Do you want me to come up?”
“Nah, I should be OK, I’m just worried about the cats.”
Two cats sleeping blissfully were my biggest worry as I was being prepped for surgery.
“We can be up in three hours.”
“Crap. They won’t let me drive.”
“Not too surprising, Rainey. We can come up.”
“Lemme try one more thing. I know a guy in Parry Sound.”
“Not like that, a reader. I only have his email though … I’m still trying to find if they can do this awake so I can drive.”
I wanted wide-awake surgery on my inside- out butt. Ah, morphine.
“Awake? Yuck. Ouch.”
“Yeah, even the surgeon just flinched. I’m getting dopey.”
“Will leave shortly.”
“Gawd I love you. I’m sorry.”
“No probs. Bringing Manuel so we’ll drive your car back.”
“That’s awesome. I will pay you all the moneys.”
“Shut up. You are high.”
“My bum hurts Gilly.”
“I’m hungry but I’m scared to poop.”
“Good to know.”
Along with the painkillers, the doctor had prescribed something to keep things moving along called lactulose, which I called flatulose.
I’m lactose intolerant, which I’d forgotten to mention, so I was basically guzzling something that turned me into a bloated fart machine.
Gilly tried to feed me but I know enough science to understand what goes in must come out so I had an apple. Three days, three apples. I would swing from a charm bracelet before I would poop.
For anyone wondering, I AM the kind of person who would call a reader from an ER in a small town and ask for a ride home.