Prostate fears: The terrifying world of unknown ass pain
Riding shotgun with the groom-to-be heading to Atlantic City, I squirmed in my seat to find a comfortable position as I tried to ignore a mysterious, radiating pain in my ass.“What the heck is wrong with you?” John asked.
“Just pull over.”
It wasn’t only the sharp in the rear and around my jewels. I had to pee for the fifteenth time that day and the second time on the trip. More accurately, I thought I had to pee. I stood at a urinal and tried desperately to squeeze out a few droplets of misery before returning to the car.
Let me backtrack. The pain and frequent need to urinate, which itself had become uncomfortable, began a week earlier. I’m not talking about getting up twice in the night kind of incontinence. I constantly felt like I needed to piss, but rarely could. Kind of like incurable blue balls.
Now the first and last thing you want to do when you’ve got a mystery ailment is type your symptoms into WebMD. Could it be prostate cancer, which affects one in six men in their lifetime? I’m too young, I thought. I know my diet hadn’t been great recently, which can cause the prostate to enlarge, but the article I read was clearly for old men. So maybe you’ll get a clue but more likely you’ll come away with a ridiculous and wildly inaccurate self-diagnosis like my own, which was gonorrhea plus hemorrhoids. How would I explain this to my girlfriend?
I was certain there hadn’t been any objects in my ass, nor had I sat on any anything jagged, and best I could recall, I had managed to protect my testicles from blunt impact.
I got back in the passenger seat and told John my lower back was hurting. I didn’t want to talk about it or have him know that I would be in such discomfort during the party. Nothing several beers and a couple good runs at a blackjack table couldn’t fix, temporarily.
When the haze of the bachelor party wore off but my bodily anguish had not, I resolved to see a doctor.
I sat down awkwardly on a chair in the waiting room and shifted my weight to the left side, which had become a slightly less uncomfortable way to rest.
“You’ve been experiencing sharp pain in your ass?” said the doctor, a tall, bespectacled Lebanese man in his late sixties.
Yes. I explained the problem in great detail and privately hoped the inevitable wouldn’t be necessary. It was. He told me to drop my drawers and bend over the examination table.
“I don’t want to do this any more than you do,” he said.
Great. We were in this together. He’d seen hundreds, maybe thousands of naked asses before, but this one was mine.
It was a highly unpleasant experience, to say the least, and it took longer than necessary because I insisted on clenching.
He told me my prostate was inflamed. Not the result of some cancerous growth, as I feared, and asked. But the inflammation indicated prostatitis, or a prostate infection.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in the male pelvis, near the rectum. It produces the fluid portion of semen that accompanies your swimmers when called into action. If you’ve seen Road Trip or are into that kind of thing, you know that the prostate can actually be massaged for stimulation.
I didn’t have a clue what might have caused it but the doctor explained that prostate infections are extremely common. The kind that I was dealing with was “acute bacterial,” which onsets suddenly and presents severe symptoms. Confirmed. The diagnosis was also verified with a urine test.
More often prostatitis is chronic (not caused by bacteria) where symptoms are similar, longer lasting but perhaps less severe. It only took a cycle of an inexpensive antibacterial drug to kill the beast.
If you’ve been experiencing something similar, you’ll be well served to get checked out. Prostatitis affects over a third of men 50 and older but it’s an issue for men of all ages. In fact, it’s the most common prostate problem for men under 50 and will affect about half of adult men in their lifetimes.
While I was fortunate enough to be cursed with more fleeting version of prostatitis, it didn’t spare me from a follow-up visit. Only this time I knew the routine and defended myself with even greater vigor, which made the examination that much worse. But a guy’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. And so does a doctor.