Tales from the Tail — Doctor Becomes the Patient

As I am sticking a needle into someone’s asshole, I always get the question:

Have you ever had anything like this done on yourself in order to understand or get a sense of the pain you cause?

And for this reason and this reason alone, I have decided to write this week’s Tales from the Tail about me. Not Dr. Evan Goldstein — the one who dons a lab coat — but the one who periodically sheds its protection and becomes a patient, just like each and everyone one of you. Thankfully, it happens sparingly, but it does indeed, rest assured, occur. And with this tale and many other prior personal, medical, and surgical experiences, I become more and more humbled. Oh yeah, and did I tell that it hurts like a motherfucker? OK, OK so now I piqued your interest and you ask what happened to me right? Here it goes…

While in surgical residency, I had terrible bouts of constipation (you were all hoping I was taking it up the ass, didn’t you?). My diet was for shit, I worked 120 hours a week, and the regularity of a morning routine was very difficult to achieve. So what do you do when nothing aligns your way? You fucking drop one whenever you can. And to that I say, thank you very much, anal fissure. For weeks and months, I tried the usual remedies without any progress. Still shitting with pain and blood, I decided to see a mentor of mine for guidance. I was not “out” at the time and didn’t know much about anything. So without any remedies improving the current situation, I underwent a procedure called a fissurectomy. Limited in my knowledge of gay science at the time, and not thinking along those lines, they cut my internal sphincter a bit (don’t worry — I can still shoot ping pong balls out my 🍑) to give me some relaxation and finally allow me to heal. Knowing now, specifically in the gay community, that this technique should be used sparingly, if at all, I am not sure I would have gone down the muscle cutting or sphincterotomy route. Instead, I would have chosen Botox as an alternative. Anyhow, I finally healed post-procedure allowing me to shit in peace without any unwanted residual sequelae. But I do believe this was the beginning of my anal career, as I finally started to analyze the intricacies of defecation, and then, of course, anal intercourse. A budding expertise (but not yet in full bloom).

Fast forward to two weeks ago. No issues with the ass prior to this. Shitting: A-OK. Bottoming on those special occasions, all the while using my plugs consistently. Let’s put into context the scenario. I was at the beach house, which has a lower toilet seat than my usual Toto in the city, taking my 💩, which was ordinary, and then felt a swollen and painful lump in the region of my old anal fissure site. I went to a full length mirror and did the usual song and dance to try and examine the fucking thing. I could barely see — this 6’ 3’’ guy ain’t so flexible — but it seemed to be a clotted hemorrhoid. I started the usual Advil, Epsom baths, stool softeners, and the like with limited relief over the ensuing days. After performing daily inspections, I could see what now was transforming into a localized anal infection and abscess. Oh, fuck me. It wasn’t pretty. Not pretty at all. It was not getting better and when I asked my partner, Andy, to stick a sharp scissor into it, he wouldn’t oblige. But who the hell was I gonna see? Not to toot my own horn, but there is no one who can perform the gay surgical service I needed, but myself. And, yeah, of course I tried to stab it myself as well, but without any success. Now I need a specialist well equipped to handle my precious ass and who the fuck is out there?

Well, I did find someone. It was for sure an abscess and it needed to be drained. And let me tell you — it hurt like a mother fucker. I found myself spread eagle, tapped up, and ass spread (usually a turn on, but definitely not that day). That fucking needle dove into my hole and I screamed like a baby. So don’t tell me I don’t know. I know, first hand, the struggles we all go through. And I have been through many hernia surgeries, teeth extractions, knee restoration, and anal fissure treatments, and, by far, the shot in the ass, with a localized infection, is the worst pain I have ever felt. But it needed to be done. I sucked it up and successfully drained that sucker.

Did you think that was it? No way. I walked home like a guy who just left a gang bang — waddling my way onto MTA and then was greeted at home by two kids wanting to play. Jesus Christ. Drawing a bath and then proceeding to take a shower, I decided to pull out the packing. Bad idea. Blood was now everywhere. I placed immediate pressure and while sitting on my ass with gauze shoved up my 🍑, one of my kids barges in — not paying any attention to the blood all over the place — and proceeds to ask me to download a new game on his iPad. 🙄 You can’t make this shit up.

Fast forward to now. Everything has improved since that drainage and blood bath fiasco, except I broke out in localized hives from the tape. Just my luck. My poor booty is not so happy with me, that’s for sure. Even though I bitched and cursed the needle and drainage, it was so necessary to get me back on track.

So I hope this brings some perspective to you, as I hold that needle up to your asshole before commencing on any surgical procedure. I try and give as much information on the true severity of what we are about to embark on and also an appropriate expectation on not only the immediate and long term pain it may cause, but also its prognosis. I don’t love to inflict pain nor do I get any sadistic benefit from the act. I am focused on its outcome and getting one not only healed, but able to engage in whatever act one desires as quickly as possible.

As for my booty, only time will tell if I need another procedure. It’s a 50–50 shot with anal abscesses causing these tunneled tracks called anal fistulas. The only good thing, in my case, is that the location is favorable and a simple approach would be warranted. Hopefully it doesn’t need any more surgical attention. It seems all healed and no drainage. Fingers crossed. 🤞

It’s not everyday that the doctor becomes the patient, but I wanted to share with you a story from someone who not only delivers the healthcare, but also requires his own interventions from time to time. Although I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, these humbling experiences do indeed make me not only a better surgeon, but also a better father and man. It ain’t easy, brother!

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