One of the weirdest and most traumatic experiences happened to me a few weeks ago, one that needs to be written down on paper before I forget about it.
It was a Friday evening a few weeks ago. I was in my room editing a wedding video on my laptop. My friend Tim called me and said there was a kick-ass band playing at a place called "Pins" in Milford, MA. He told me they were known to do lots of Guns 'N Roses covers and that lots of skanks would be in attendance. So I was excited to go and meet him there.
I ended my phone conversation with Tim and went to take a leak in the bathroom toilet. As I unzipped my fly and pulled out my best friend in the whole wide world, I felt fine. My mind was thinking about whether the band would play my favorite song "Welcome to the Jungle", and whether there would be girls grinding, and whether I'd end the night inside a pair of underpants other than my own.
While my mind was racing with all these exciting thoughts, I unconsciously aimed my snake-eye into the toilet bowl and felt my urine stream into my urethra. It was at this point that underpants were no longer on my mind.
"Holy fuck!" I exclaimed as I did a double-take and saw what was coming out of me: BLOOD!
Now, when I say there was blood in my urine, I don't mean there was a pinkish hue to it. I mean there was DARK RED BLOOD streaming out of my wang. In fact, it was almost as though there WASN'T any urine. There was just blood! My Mr. Johnson looked like an artery that had just been severed with a razor blade.
"Oh, Fuck! Oh fuck! What the fuck?!"
Needless to say, I was pretty freaked out, but for some reason I kept on pissing. Perhaps I thought that I had to get it out of my system - or that eventually it would stop. But it didn't. I kept pissing nothing but blood.
Once I was finished, I looked into the toilet and still couldn't believe what I saw. It looked like somebody had poured a bottle of Merlot into the toilet.
"Oh boy! Oh boy! I gotta get to a doctor!" I exclaimed as I ran out of the bathroom without flushing.
My parents were in the process of walking in the door to the house after taking the dog for a walk. I met them in the foyer and my mother immediately saw the look on my face:
"I just peed...a lot...of blood."
And it was at this moment that I felt a horrible darkness coming over me. My ears became blocked and I couldn't hear. My throat became choked by an invisible hand. My vision became blurred. I was blacking out.
"I need air!"
I stumbled out my front door and leaned on the railing of my front steps. But things only worsened...to the point where I knew I was still upright, but everything was dark.
"Well, this is it," I thought to myself as I floated through a pitch-black abyss. "This is what death feels like."
Now, when people think they're going to die, they say that their life "flashes before their eyes". But this didn't happen to me. My mind was on other things:
"This sucks, I'm going to die! And after my funeral my parents are going to go through my things. And when they go through my things they're inevitably going to come to my bottom dresser drawer. And when they come to my bottom dresser drawer they're going to find the two porno videos I bought when I turned eighteen and haven't watched since (I swear). And they're going to see the titles of the films ("Funny Boned" and "Knockers Volume Six") and they're going to be even more disturbed. 'Why didn't our son buy anything with Traci Lords or Jenna Jameson?' they'll wonder. 'If he was going to buy porno you think he would've gotten something a little better than what could be found in Video Expo's ten-dollar-or-less bargain bin.'"
Yes, all these horrible thoughts were racing through my mind when, suddenly, I started to feel better...and better...and better. I regained some vision, stumbled back into my house and took a seat inside the foyer. I gradually regained the rest of my senses, while a cold layer of sweat formed around my epidermis.
"Oh, my God! Call 911!" I heard my mother shout, whom had just come out of the bathroom and couldn't believe what she saw in the toilet bowl.
"Hold on, wait...I'm getting better," I muttered in a shaky voice. For some reason the thought of riding in an ambulance freaked me out. I had never been in one before and wanted to keep it that way. Who knew how many people died in the back of that thing?! Yeah, fuck that.
So I put my head between my knees, took a few sips of water and soon felt normal again, though still a little weak.
A few minutes later I was in the backseat of my Dad's Toyota Avalon and on my way to the Norwood Hospital emergency room. I felt ok during the ride over, although my mind was racing with possible medical diagnoses. Bladder infection?! Kidney failure?! Liver failure?! Penis failure?!
"You'd do that to me, wouldn't you God?! You goddamn sunavabitch!"
Twenty minutes later I was in the ER with a bunch of people who looked like hell personified. They were coughing and limping and nodding in and out of consciousness in their wheel chairs. In the distance there was shouting from some crazy woman in a neck brace who refused to wait for treatment any longer.
"I'm in great pain here! Great pain!"
"Ma'am, we will help you as soon as we can, but, please, you must remain calm."
"I'm in great pain! I'm in great pain!!!"
I thought that maybe I HAD died and that I was in hell. Maybe I was. Maybe I still am...
Anyway, I sat (in a wheelchair) and waited in the waiting area for my name to be called. To my surprise, it didn't take too long. Judging by what I heard from the neck-braced looney, I thought I would be waiting forever.
"Take this and go to the bathroom," a Cape Verdian nurse said to me after checking my vitals (i.e. temperature and blood pressure). She had a bag marked "Biohazard" in her hand and in the bag was a small container and a towelette.
"What the fuck is the towelette for?" I wondered.
And, almost as though she heard me, the nurse said - pointing - "This is to clean yourself."
"Ok...clean myself. Right. Where's the bathroom?"
"Down the hall and to the right."
The bathroom was one slight step up from the public restroom at Back Bay train station in Boston. Soiled paper towels overflowed from the wastebasket. Dry, sticky urine was caked onto the floor around the toilet. Slimy pubic hair lined the toilet-bowl rim.
I locked the door behind me and took out the towelette. "Clean myself? What did she mean by that? Was 'myself' a euphemism for my 'dong'? If she meant 'hands', why didn't she just say 'hands'? I'm not rubbing the towelette up and down my dong! No way! That's ridiculous!"
But I did, anyway...just to do things by the book.
I then broke the seal to the piss container and aimed my wee-wee into it, all while praying to God that blood wouldn't come out. Fortunately, my pee didn't come out red - it was a rusty brown. Kind of like apple cider, if you want to picture it in your mind, which I'm sure you do. I was somewhat relieved.
A few minutes later I was finished with my business and I found myself walking past the waiting area hiding my urine sample in my sweatshirt pocket as best I could. I eyeballed the people in the waiting room and saw them giving me looks. I could see it in their eyes: they knew what I had been up to in the bathroom.
"Ha-ha! He peed in a cup! Where is it?! Where is it?! Oh, there it is! There's the pee in a cup!!!"
I took a seat in the interview room where a bald male nurse confiscated my urine sample and assessed the seriousness of my situation.
"On a scale of one to ten, how much pain are you in?"
"Well, I'm not really in much pain. There's some irritation and burning. That's all."
"Burning???" There were red flags in his eyes. "Where, the urethra?"
"And it's constant? Not just when you urinate?"
The nurse tapped his pen on the desk, cleared his throat, and started to ask THE question. Yes, THE question.
"I'm gonna ask you a personal question and I think you can see why, given the nature of your condition."
I knew what was coming.
"Are you sexually active?"
I looked over my shoulder to make sure my parents were still in the waiting room. They were.
"It's been a few weeks," I said in a whisper, afraid that the acoustics in the ER were good enough to carry my answer far enough to my parents' ears.
"No, Seran wrap. That's good enough, right?" Just kidding. I didn't say this. I said...
The nurse checked off some boxes on his sheet.
"Ok, have a seat in the waiting room and wait for your name to be called."
Thus ensued a very long wait...right next to my parents...and I feared the worst. Herpes? Gonorrhea? Genital warts? Aids?! Doom consumed me. What was I going to tell my parents? How would they react? How could I hide Aids from them?!
After what seemed like an eternity, my name was called...but it still wasn't time to see a doctor. They just needed to get my friggin' medical insurance information.
More waiting. And also more waiting. And some waiting too. Waiting.
My name was called after about a half hour and I finally found myself in a room where I could get actual medical attention. There was a bed. A couple chairs. A sink and counter with medical supplies. Oh, and a TV with some boring fishing program on.
And, yes...more waiting. About twenty minutes-worth. Fortunately, there were some sexy nurses who walked by the door every few minutes that kept me entertained well enough (cuz the fishing program sure wasn't).
And then...hooray....a doctor!
"Hi, I'm Doctor Kim," said an Asian doctor in his late 30s looking stressed and frazzled.
I shook his hand.
"Yeah, so what's happening here, Matt?"
"Yes, I see. Well, we analyzed your urine and there was no bacteria detected that would be indicative of an infection. Do you have any back pain?"
"Well, let's have a look at you."
I took some deep breaths for him while he pressed his cold stethoscope into my flesh.
"Ok, and why don't you lie down on the table for me..."
I was hoping that he would at least give me fair warning if he was going to check things out downstairs. I had had one too many traumatic experiences with my childhood pediatrician going down on me without warning. Even if I went to him with a streppe throat or an ear infection the pervert would still find some excuse to grab my cock and have me cough.
But I didn't have to worry. The only thing Doctor Kim felt up was my abdomen to see if he could detect anything abnormal. But he didn't...
"Hmmm...everything seems fine."
And then I could sense some nervousness in his voice. He leaned in close to me and - under his breath - whispered:
"You haven't been...uh...sticking anything up there. Have you?"
He leaned even closer to me.
"What...you mean up..?"
"Yes, in your urethra."
I couldn't help but giggle.
But the doctor was all business.
"No sex toys or contraptions or anything like that?"
"Well, one time, I DID use a flesh-light, Doc. I was driving alone on the highway and I was lonely." Just kidding. I didn't say that. I said:
"Hahahaha. No. Hell no!"
"Ok. Ok. So sorry. I just had to ask."
"Well, yeah, I could see why that might cause some bleeding," I said with a chuckle, trying to have a sense of humor about it.
The doctor eventually decided to do a blood test to rule out kidney failure. And then hooked me up to an IV for really no practical reason other than to make it appear as though he was doing something to help me. In fact, all the IV made me do was want to piss again, which by the way, came out normal.
The blood test also turned out normal...but Dr. Kim still wasn't satisfied. He suggested I do a Cat scan, to rule out tumors and bladder cancer. It was at this point that I said:
"You know what? Why don't we just wait on that. I'm feeling pretty good now. My urine's less bloody. Why don't I just give it a few days and see how I am?"
After a long dramatic pause, Dr. Kim said:
"Ok, but I do want you to see a urologist on Monday."
So I signed something that basically said I wouldn't hold the doctor liable if I died after I set foot outside the hospital, and then I was back home a half an hour later.
Did I see the urologist? No, I didn't - mainly because I felt ok and didn't want to have myself probed in private areas of my body when I didn't really need to (not that that's what they would do, but I feared the worst).
Besides, after doing some research on the web I discovered a condition known as "Jogger's hematuria" that is common in athletes who work out excessively. To make a long story short, I had been running too much that week and probably not drinking enough water either. My kidneys got too jostled and abused, so they basically started to bleed (something like that).
So I didn't run for a week or so and I was ok. I haven't peed blood since, though I do close my eyes and say a Hail Mary every time I take a leak. Pissing blood that is of the same consistency as V8 juice is a pretty traumatic experience, one that is sure to haunt my psyche for the rest of my life. Also, I thought I was definitely going to die that night and that's pretty traumatic too. Not to mention the fact that I thought for sure my parents would find "Knockers Volume Six" in my bottom dresser drawer. Yeah, that wouldn't have been good at all.