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Southern Discomfort

Trouble where the sun don’t shine

I’ve been avoiding telling this story. First off, I’m not sure I can even say “butt hole” in print. 

With vocabulary options so limited, there’s no acceptable way to even mention, as we all learned in grade school astronomy, “Uranus” (even though, and I think I’m safe generalizing here, pretty much all of us have one). 

Mine was troubling me something awful, but until I could talk about it I suffered in private. For months I endured sporadic crises in my orifice that dare not speak its name. As you can imagine, this put a serious damper on social interactions which customarily include the dreaded question, How are you? Awkward. 

I was embarrassed to tell the truth, but I felt hypocritical holding back.

How could I, number one advocate of coming out, remain closeted about anything? Coming out about sexual orientation and gender identity is our ticket to acceptance in families, workplaces, religion, the media, and the law. Proven fact. In terms of social justice for people who are GLBT or Q, OUT is better than IN. 

Unfortunately, inhibition was keeping me from disclosing the saga of my undisclosed location. But those days are, ahem, behind me now. If others can benefit from my experience, then telling will have been worth it, even if it is way TMI. 

For those who prefer everyone stay in the closet about everything, stop here. 

Stand back. I’m comin’ out!

My story started with a stabbing sensation, as if I were having my temperature taken with a bayonet. 

What was going on? 

As a feminist from the flashlight-mirror-speculum generation, I was confident I could find out. My attempt at self-exam, however, revealed only that my eyesight isn’t what it used to be, nor is my spinal flexibility. I had to ask my Domestic Partner to have a look-see. Wifey, never keen on self-exam, is even less keen on examining anyone else. But I was hurting and she’s devoted and there you have yet another reason our marriage should be legal. But I digress.

I assumed the position. Wifey shined the flashlight and I awaited her assessment. 

“Oh, wow.” Aside from that less-than-illuminating commentary, she was speechless.

“Take a picture” I suggested.

She reached for the camera. “Smile.” The flash went off.

That photo led to the WebMD’s conclusion that  I had a malady — one fairly common in women of my age and body type — called fissure (no relation to Carrie.)

Like the isolated adolescent first discovering gay community, I felt profound relief. There was a name for it!

Knowing what to call my condition allowed me to talk about it and talking about it helped me discover that I wasn’t alone. Some of my best friends had experienced the same thing. Like them, I was eventually cured by a colo-rectal surgeon — something I can now say without blushing. Much. 

Those online testimonials from others like me were right. Having what I had is nothing to be ashamed of. There’s hope. It Gets Better.