Friday, April 3, 2009

Preparing to Avoid Preparation H

It's a nice coincidence that I happen to enjoy the taste and texture of a large variety of fruits and vegetables. But the main reason why I have a banana at breakfast, an apple at lunch and spinach with dinner has a lot more to do than with taste alone. Actually, I think my body cries out for more broccoli because it needs those essential vitamins. (Like the little misunderstood boy who constantly craved salt because of a salt deficiency. And who ended up dying when he was deprived of it by doctors. That could be me, except that I would die from a B12 deficiency or something). That and I've been sufficiently scared into wanting to maintain my digestive system's health for the rest of my life.

It started one day a few years ago while I was sitting in Irene's apartment reading a magazine. Someone else was also reading a magazine nearby, in the bathroom. He spent a good half hour reading his magazine and sitting in a position which had to have been putting a lot of pressure on everything down there. When he finished his business and came out with magazine in hand, someone else in the room exclaimed, "That took a long time! You're going to get hemorrhoids!"

I had heard this word -- hemorrhoid -- before, and I remembered seeing a commercial for Preparation H, a hemorrhoid cream, on TV.

"That's how you get hemorrhoids?" I asked.

"Yup," the room said.

"What exactly are hemorrhoids?" I asked.

And then Irene began explaining what they were, an explanation that would change my life forever.

"It's when you spend too long on the toilet or try to hard to go and then your intestines get pushed out because you're trying too hard," she said.

"Your intestines can get pushed out?" I repeated in disbelief.

"Yeah, that's why they always tell you not to strain too much." I had never known Irene to be an expert in bathroom matters, but that day she sure seemed to be the expert on the more serious issues of going #2.

From the Preparation H commercial, all I could remember was the man on the toilet with the pained look on his face. And now I knew why. If you had hemorrhoids with your intestines spilling out, you would look like that too. Preparation H, a cream that promises to soothe the burning, would seem like a God send. But would a cream be enough?

I don't think I went to the bathroom for a few days after that. It's safe to say that from that day on, I made sure to eat enough fibrous things so that I wouldn't have to worry about any intestine eruptions.

And now, in addition to hemorrhoids, I worry about getting colorectal cancer like Alan or diverticulitis like Nathalie. It just goes to show that you never know when your intestines might pop out or when your large intestine might strike out in anger.


Irene said...

I never knew I had such an impact on your diet and bathroom habits!!! But I'm glad my little comment that one day at the apt has made you into a healthier, more bowel friendly person. :D hahaha!

Karin said...

OMG, is that really what hemmorhoids are? I'm going to have to Google this.

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