My doctors tore me a new asshole. Literally. When my surgery went awry in May and an abscess developed, a tube had to be inserted to drain it. The radiologists at Mount Sinai Hospital made a little puncture in my right buttock and ran the tube down into the abscess. The tube connected to a drainage bag I strapped to my right thigh. I lived with the tube/drainage bag combo for over months. It hurt, it itched, it leaked from time to time, it stank. On Monday though, I received the unexpected but welcome news that the tube could be removed. Huzzah! I’d still have my problematic ostomy and pesky wound, but the goddamned tube could be one less pain in the ass.
After the tube came out on Monday, I had a relaxed lunch with my friend Alistair, and then proceeded to walk around downtown Toronto with a newfound feeling of freedom. No more worrying about the stench of the drainage bag. No more worrying about fluids leaking from my second butthole. No more having to bunch up the tube underneath my pants. I walked at a decent pace when I had the tube in, and with it gone, I was blazing past the slow walkers on University Ave.
I stopped at the adidas store at Yonge and Dundas and took the stairs, two at a time, up to the adidas Originals section. A young man wearing white sneakers, red track pants, and a grey t-shirt worked the floor. He had a puffy brown afro with a beige pick sticking out of it. “What’s goin’ on man?” he asked while offering his closed fist for a bump. I obliged and felt pretty cool. I looked around the shop and did something I haven’t done in 5 months – I tried on pants. Navy blue track pants with three white stripes running down the sides and a red adidas Trefoil logo screen printed on the left thigh. The tube/drainage bag made putting on underwear and pants a delicate practice. I had to gingerly pull on/off my bottoms to make sure I didn’t tug on the tube. When I tried on the navy adidas pants, I pulled them up with ease, and it felt great. I know it’s trite to say this, but you really don’t notice the nice little things you can do in everyday life until you can’t. The pants fit well. They felt good. They looked good. They were on sale. Score!
I thanked Mr. Cool Afro Guy for his help and headed downstairs to pay for my new attire. I hope someday soon I’ll be able to try on pants that don’t have an elastic waistband. I’ve had a hard time gaining weight since my surgery, and I’m a little off my normal waist size. I fully intend on returning to that waist size, so why bother buying pants now that won’t fit me later?
With my new pants folded in my backpack, I kept on walking around downtown before boarding the subway at Museum Station. When I had to transfer trains at St. George, I did something else I hadn’t done in months – I ran down an escalator that was moving up. Without the tube, I had the confidence and the quickness to do it. Then at Kipling Station, I ran up an escalator that was moving down. Treadmills are everywhere, you know.
The next couple of months before my next appointment with my surgeon won’t be pain-free or hassle-free, and I still have a lengthy recovery ahead. As I told my friend Brian earlier this week, I’ve still got a ways to go, but not having a tube in your ass makes the journey a little easier.
Image via The Right Profile