Discover The Dream Cream
When I was dealing with my first bout of hemorrhoids in business school, I was prescribed rectal suppositories. Despite what others might assume given all my butt issues, this was my first experience sticking anything up it.
As far as things that could go up your butt, I guess suppositories are not the worst option. They're typically only about an inch long and rounded, with a bullet-shaped tip to make insertion easier. The medicine that they deliver--for hemorrhoids this is typically phenylephrine--is often surrounded by substances like gelatin or cocoa butter for a smooth entry and to help decrease swelling and discomfort in the anal canal.
Even so, with all its comfort design features, scouts honor, I strongly prefer never to stick this or anything up my butt! (Which is a rule I made sure to be very clear about with my husband when we were starting to get romantic.)
If you've never used a rectal suppository, I will first state the obvious - it goes in your bum-hole. So, it's probably something you should do in a private place in your home, like the bathroom. In addition, since it's going up in that nether region and essentially plugging it up for a bit, it's a good idea to try to empty your bowels first. Otherwise, it's kind of a waste of all the effort of putting this thing in if it just shoots right out in a few minutes along with a poo. This I know, of course, from experience.
The following are some additional tips on how to make your first, next, and hopefully last experience with a suppository, more...satisfactory?
1. Wash up. Though you are putting the suppository up into a literal shithole of a place, you should wash your hands before unwrapping the medicine so you don't get any bacteria on it. Run the tip of the suppository under water to get it just slightly less solid feeling.
2. Assume the position. This is where the fun begins. Figure out what you think will be the most comfortable way to get this thing up your butt. If you're thinking there probably is not one, then you're reading my mind. However, medical professionals provide these ideas: You could stand with one leg up on a chair or lie on your side with one leg straight and the other bent toward your stomach. Before you get in any compromising position, lock the door!
3. Spread'm. Your cheeks that is. Gently pull them apart with your hands while also keeping a grip on the slippery suppository. Honestly, putting a rectal suppository in should be an event in the X-Games it takes such concentration, flexibility, and dexterity.
4. Push it in. Carefully--as if there was any other way--push the suppository, tapered end first, about one inch into your butt. Close your legs and sit or lie still for about 15 to 20 minutes to let it dissolve. If you're feeling rushed for time or short on patience, put off this process until you find a moment in your day when you have both. Otherwise, that little medicine bullet could peep its butt end out of your butt end and slip out. If that sounds slimy, icky, and gross, you nailed it.
5. Repeat. Don't worry, you don't have to repeat every step--well, at least not for 24 hours--but do make sure to repeat step 1 of thoroughly washing up before moving on with your day.
Now, if you've read my blog on taking a tub every morning, then you know that if there is something that makes my butt sing with joy, I'm not opposed to investing some time into it. But I really was not happy with the amount of time this suppository protocol would take me every morning, especially since many times I'd have to repeat it because the little bugger slipped out of my hands or melted before I could get it secured up there.
You also know, if you've read my blog about toilet paper and wetting it, that I am very happy to continue my butt protocols when I travel. However, this one did not travel so well. Picture a summer Euro trip, with friends from b-school, staying in hostels and itty-bitty hotel rooms, sharing bathrooms with other guests. And then try to imagine me having the privacy or time to fully relieve myself every morning and then finding a comfortable space to lie down and insert suppository for 20 minutes. My fellow travelers were not having any part of that and I don't blame them!
From the moment I realized that suppositories were not going to be a long-term fix as support for a hemorrhoid flareup, I have searched for an adequate replacement. There are over-the-counter hemorrhoid ointments, cooling pads, and even homeopathic oils. But, my rectal veins must have super swelling powers because these things generally do not do the trick, just leaving me disappointed and my butt a hostile environment.
Enter the Dream Cream. My butt and I waited an unbearably long time for this Mr. Right to come into our life--almost a decade from my first hemorrhoid experience. But, then he finally showed up, wearing a white tube with a rounded applicator tip, and dispensing 2.5% hydrocortisone rectal cream. Yes, the same hydrocortisone used on the skin to reduce swelling, redness, external itching, and allergic reactions. But, with a lot more muscle. It has truly been a match made in heaven for my hard-to-soothe buttocks.
This is a prescription strength medicine and your doctor will likely need to evaluate your hemorrhoidal situation before they will write it. I probably have a Dream Cream-worthy hemorrhoidal episode 2-3 times per year. They typically show up when I'm feeling higher than normal stress levels and/or putting in a lot more time in my car than usual. My physician is very familiar with my butt and its issues, so now when I have a flareup, we have a brief conversation about what's happening in my life that might be causing the situation. Then, she usually will write the prescription for two tubes of this lotion that I feel almost addicted to. I am almost giddy when I drive to CVS to pick up the Dream Cream because I know what a huge relief it is going to give me and my bum.
Now, I realize the Dream Cream may not be right for everyone. It is truly about finding what works for your tush. This option doesn't necessarily eliminate mess, nor does it change the fact that you have to stick something up your butt and might occasionally feel like you have lotion oozing out of it. (Note: Our expert tip is to wear a panty liner when using the Dream Cream.)
However, if you're looking for something that's relatively quick and easy to apply, highly effective for hemorrhoids, travels well, and, as long as that prescription is filled, always there for you when you need it, then you might want to have a conversation with your GP about getting yourself some Dream Cream too.