Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Ring Around Your Anus


Thanks to the movie Beverly Hills Cop, most of us know that if you put a banana in your tailpipe, your car won't go.

Thanks to The People's Pharmacy, I know that putting a banana in your personal tailpipe makes it easier for you to go. Allegedly, it's just the ticket for hemorrhoids. Insertion is easy, because of the natural taper of the fruit, but that's not what they recommend. You are supposed to apply just a portion of the banana peel to the Affected Area. According to the website, "getting the banana peel to stay in position may be challenging, but no more so than a cabbage leaf." I do not have sufficient experience to refute this. I do know that rigging up a whole banana peel on one of those sanitary napkin belts we used to wear in the olden days is not likely to be useful, let alone socially acceptable. The belts worked fine if you didn't move, but take two steps and everything has migrated north.

Hemorrhoids are very common. By middle age, some 50% of the population is bothered by them. The other half doesn't much mind. They tend to flare up and die down, but occasionally can become quite debilitating. It is said that life-threatening bleeding from hemorrhoids is rare, but it could be that that sort of thing just never makes it into the obituaries. If things do get especially dire, surgery is recommended. Outcomes are usually good. When it comes to the anus, we all like a good outcome.

If you find piles starting to get the upper hand, you might need to be examined with a proctoscope. A proctoscope is a long tube with an asshole at each end, I've heard, but that might be unfair. After all, the proctologist is just trying to help. They're like anyone else--they take pride in their work. If they didn't, they wouldn't have proctoscopes named after them, like Kelly's Rectal Speculum. Or they wouldn't attach their name to the position a patient assumes during a rectal exam ("Sim's Position"). For the record, if anyone wants to name something after me, I'd prefer a star.

Everybody specializes these days. We don't have many general practitioners anymore like we did when I was a kid, and Mom would call Dr. Martin to come over when I came down with the punies. Dr. Martin always called my mom "Mother," and one time when I was sick in bed he just poked his head in the door long enough to sniff, and then wrote out a prescription for penicillin. He was either very good or not so good. He was also, years later, the first person who performed a gynecological exam on me, which was mortifying, because we had never had that kind of relationship before. I felt humiliated enough before he went over to the clothes hook to sniff my underpants. The man was a sniffer.

Anyway, nowadays doctors have specialties. I'm guessing the good sniffers dont' get into proctology. In fact, there's a built-in dilemma about consulting proctologists because there's something suspect about a doctor who wants to be in that field. On the other hand, in any class of med students, someone's got to be near the bottom, and there's always an opening in proctology.

There are benefits. If you tickle someone's ass with a feather, you are likely to generate a reflex called the Anal Wink. I'm not sure what the presence or lack of an anal wink can tell you, medically speaking, but I can imagine that you might be moved to perform the test anyway, when you're in an under-appreciated specialty. It's like a little thumbs-up. So to speak.

If you want to avoid the proctologist, you might want to keep some bananas on hand. Especially later in the year. According to experts, winter is the peak of multiple hemorrhoids. I'm going to try to remember that, because I'm always missing the Perseids.

53 comments:

  1. Apparently Drs. can learn a lot by how a patient smells, but underpants sniffing is VERY creepy!
    I always thought podiatrists were at the low end of the Dr. totem, but you are probably right about Ass Doctors.

    Maybe Kelly was using an alias...very funny observation.

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    1. Oh that would be cool. Dr. Smith invented the rectal speculum and Dr. Kelly was someone he hated to work with.

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  2. I was about to have a banana for breakfast, but think I'll switch to oatmeal. Love the clever puns.

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    1. Oatmeal might work just as well on hemorrhoids. I wonder if it's ever been tried.

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    2. I'm thinking if you can spackle your crack with oatmeal and let it dry, it might stay in place rather nicely.

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  3. This cracked me up! The sniffers, the bottom of the class, the Perseids. hahahaha. And anal wink? I sooooo have to work that phrase into a conversation today!

    Please tell me Dr. Martin didn't really sniff your underwear. Please tell me that was thrown in to set up the proctologist sniffing joke. Please?

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    1. I am so sorry. Dr. Martin sniffed my underwear. I had only just gotten to an age where there might have been something in there that had previously been in me, and he wanted to sniff it. I charitably assume he could tell if something had gone bad.

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  4. I think you should write about urologists next.

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    1. Good topic. That could be a real pisser.

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  5. It's asstonishing what obscure butt useful information keeps rearing its head on your blog, in this case yet another healthful property of bananas. With obesity so prevalent and so much of modern life spent sitting, the Great American Behind is under unprecedented pressure, and we need every tool available to combat the ailments which result.

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    1. There are a lot of available tools. I'm told.

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    2. Sold by greengrocers, perhaps? (with free apostrophe's.Of course.)

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  6. I was home with the flu, feverish and bored, so I tuned in to Oprah's show for the very first time. Dr. Oz was telling us all about colon health, and the importance of fiber. He explained what a healthy poop looked like and how it should be delivered. Then he brought out two honest-to-god human colons out of real dead people. One had gotten a lot of fiber. The other hadn't. I now have oatmeal for breakfast almost every day, and I eat about half a pound of raw carrots a week. And I never watched Oprah again!!

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    1. Ooo, I loved those ads for probiotics we used to deliver in the junk mail. Lots of colon pictures. They said when John Wayne died he had 35 pounds of impacted fecal matter in his colon. Explains his gait, I guess.

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  7. Wonderful post. Hemorrhoid, Saskatchewan is halfway between Hazenmore and Aneroid.
    I expect you have heard this but just in case: Here is Bowser and Blue with the Colorectal Surgeon song. http://youtu.be/_N0w2rORwSc

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    1. LOVE that song! It's a family tradition for all of us to start singing it whenever an appropriate verbal cue appears in conversation (which, fortunately, isn't frequently). That probably says more than it should about my family...

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    2. Great song! I already kind of had your family pegged. And there is no HEMORRHOID, SASKATCHEWAN! Made me look.

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  8. ...and apparently my visual mis-reads aren't limited to words. When I first glanced at the photo, my first thought was "nice codpiece". 'Cause the possibility of banana-butt had never even occurred to me. Thank you for my enlightenment du jour.

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    1. So my backside looks like my frontside? Huh. No wonder I never know if I'm coming or going. Which is the punchline of a whole different post...

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  9. Just hilarious, Murr! You crack me up every time. I definitely don't visit enough!

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  10. Having spent a number of years working in medicine, I eventually stopped being surprised at the things people put up there for fun - things that later must be removed by professionals. One doctor, after extracting a carrot, told the patient he should chew his food better in future.

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    1. HA HA HA HA HA! Actually, I don't even see how a carrot could get stuck. A pineapple, sure.

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    2. Imagine a 12" double-ended dildo. Then imagine being a young, impressionable medical secretary and seeing the operating room photos after *that* had to be surgically removed from a very embarrassed patient . . .

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    3. I had a hard time reading past your first sentence...but after that, I got to thinking, proctology might be kind of a gas after all.

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  11. Luckily I'm one of the 50% not afflicted by hemorrhoids and don't have to expose my nether regions to any briskly-efficient medics. This may be because I eat a lot of bananas. Or it may be because passing hemorrhoids take one look at my bony behind and decide it wouldn't be a very comfortable spot.

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    1. For a second there I thought you said something about passing hemorrhoids. Can you do that?

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  12. Here's a definition I read years ago and have never forgotten:
    DIMINUENDO - Poorly-lit Italian proctologist's office.

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    1. I'll be trying to forget that all day.

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  13. I plum got nothing. No comment. That's not just sour grapes, either. You're a peach, no matter what you write about. Orange you glad I didn't make any stupid jokes about bananas?

    Seriously, this is all that came to mind. Maybe I should just not comment when my brain does this.

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    1. This is exactly when you should comment. I'm berry glad you did.

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    2. You two are both cherries....

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  14. I'd already ingested my banana the from the normal end of my digestive system and thrown away the peal. And probably will not remember to test this hypothesis next time I'm around a banana. But definitely worth the read.

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    1. It's one of those little pieces of information you'll want to tuck away in a safe spot. You're responsible for finding your own safe spot.

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  15. Where DO you get your ideas!!??
    Pain medications always cause people to become 'clogged.'

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    1. I've never taken any decent pain medication. I tend to avoid drugs, except recreationally.

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    1. Oh dear, is that another thing we only said in our family?

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    2. Nope. The day my mother died, she said she felt "puny."

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    3. Ah. Yeah, I probably didn't feel that bad.

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    4. So what is it to be suffering the punies?

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    5. Ya don't feel so good. That's all. In the case of a little girl, you don't feel so good and maybe you've quit talking too much. That alarms a parent.

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  17. To comment or not to comment, that is the question? If I do people will know I moved past the title, The Ring Around Your Anus. My only mention will be of Dr. Hannibal (The Cannibal) Lecter and the fact that he was a sniffer. Nuff said.

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    1. If you don't, people might think you dwelled on the title. Or, you know, you never got to this page. Hey, you're right about Hannibal (Dave's favorite movie).

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  18. It worries me greatly when I understand absolutely everything you and the rest of the readers have said. And why don't they call them assteroids?

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  19. Just a comment on your doc sniffing your crotch residue. Obviously an old-fashioned doctor! That's how one would determine if you had a vaginal discharge indicative of an infection (yeast, etc.)prior to the days of actual lab tests. Faster and cheaper than a lab test, too!

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    1. I figured it was something like that, even at the time, but the whole business of even HAVING crotch residue was new to me and deeply embarrassing, and then having someone get so personal with it--did I mention I wasn't all that keen on growing up?

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  20. There are so many wrong things going on in that last picture.

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    1. In the nineteen-fifties, it was pretty dang wholesome. Our minds got all dirty since then.

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  21. I learned (from somewhere)that hemorrhoids were caused by the constant straining of long term constipation, so to me the answer is clear. A lifetime of fibre and enough fluids in the diet should see a person living without hemorrhoids. This information is too late for someone who already has them, but the effects of them can be greatly lessened by the addition of more water and fibre to the diet.
    They are also a side effect of pregnancy, but often resolve themselves once the baby is born.

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  22. My husband frowns at me when I eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches because, he says, 'Elvis died of those.' Elvis's innards were said to be in a similar state to the description above of John Wayne's, yet it seems he was eating large quantities of bananas.

    I remember hearing a while back that Tour de France cyclists were reputed to insert a banana (presumably peeled but I don't know) between their buttocks inside their Lycra cycling shorts to alleviate saddle sores. Or maybe they got their team people to lean out of the car window and insert it for them as they were going along, as they can't stop for long. At about the same time I recall they brought out a new kind of yogurt which you had to stir for yourself (seemed kind of cheap to me) called 'Fruit on the Bottom'.

    I don't usually comment as I am too much in awe of the comic genius I find here - and too incapacitated by laughter - to feel I can contribute anything, but this one prompted too much to hold back...

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    1. "Fruit On The Bottom!" Doubled me over, darlin'.

      I remember riding with a fellow in a mass cycling event who put a banana in the front of his Spandex shorts to eat later. By the time he pulled it out he had quite the audience.

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