Proctalgia Fugax is, quite literally, a pain in the bum, an ailment suffered by more people than will care to admit. It is characterised by a sharp extreme pain in the anus, often interpreted as a need to defecate and which can last from seconds to an hour or more in extreme cases. The pain is described as like having a knife or sharp instrument being thrust into the rear orifice and twisted about and this description is something that I can confirm.

Occurring once every three to eight weeks I have been having attacks since a teenager, in my situation they can last as short a time as minutes, but the longest I can remember was two hours. Pain on a scale of one to ten would put three as severe enough to invade your mind and make you begin to lose concentration, up to a ten which is to pass out on the bathroom floor; the latter has happened twice in my life, some while ago now.

The other night was very disturbed, I was woken initially by the sound of a heavy train passing which confused my thoughts a little as, according to schedules, there shouldn’t have been one there at that time of night. I looked at the clock, 2.00am, must remember to look up that train in the morning, then drifted back off to sleep.

Then it happened, the demon with the bottom knife woke me abruptly, I was in a pool of sweat and the pain was, well indescribable really, but I guess on my pain scale about an eight. There is no cure, I’ve tried all the remedies, sitting on a tennis ball for example, but none of them do anything and trying to ignore it is next to impossible, usually I end up hunched in a squatting position on the bed with my bare bum in the air, not a pretty site. It does go away, it always does, but leaves me feeling absolutely drained the following day, most probably from severely disturbed sleep as it takes me ages to slip into oblivion afterwards. Strangely, it always happens at night as it does with the majority of sufferers, although isolated daytime attacks do occur, usually at embarrassing or inconvenient moments.

As if PF wasn’t enough of an occasional down-below problem to deal with, I usually write my blog stories in the morning whilst waiting for the daily bout of IBS to kick in. You can look that one up yourselves, but it’s the reason why I no longer do early morning photographic shoots these days, which I miss!

Oh, nearly forgot about the phantom train, yes of course it should have been there, I had missed it on the schedules as it was on a very complicated run from Landore to Alexandra Dock. The route was via loads of places but also involved a collection from Ford’s siding at Bridgend, must have been a hefty loco, it sounded really powerful in the still night air.

Cloudy Morning at Ogmore-by-Sea on flickr

The good old days, when I was able to do sunrise photo shoots, a picture taken at Ogmore-by-Sea whilst out with friend and photographer David Smith; you might like to see his photographic blog which he started a few days ago.