In the fall of 2005 I began to notice blood in my stool. I wasn't really having any cramping. In fact I didn't really even have diarrhea. I was having 2-3 stools per day, instead of the 1 I would normally have when I didn't have diarrhea. The stools were somewhat yellow (not normal for me) with obvious amounts of blood mixed in. I didn't strain or experience any pain, so I figured whatever it was, it wasn't a hemorrhoid. I did notice that I had the urge to urinate more frequently, and felt like I had to go even immediately after voiding. Urination didn't cause any pain, but other than the blood this was my only symptom. I waited to see if this would go away. After about 3 weeks it was getting worse. Still no pain, but the amount of blood was increasing. I figured I had better see a specialist.
I knew a co-worker had a sister that worked at a hospital, so I asked her what specialist I should go see. Following her recommendation I made an appointment to see a gastroenterologist. When I called to make the appointment they asked about my symptoms. They seemed incredulous that I had no pain. They asked if I had pain when I pushed on my abdomen. I pushed around a bit and noticed that I did in fact have a small amount of discomfort when I pushed over my bladder. They said they would mail out some paperwork for me to fill out and bring to my appointment.
A couple days later my wife asked me what a gastroenterologist was. I asked her why she wanted to know. She said we got something in the mail, and she thought it may be for my grandfather. I have the same first name as my father and grandfather, so such mistakes have been known to happen. She was appalled when I asked what she had done with the mail, and told her it was for me. She was upset that I hadn't told her about the problem. She was very worried about it. I told my wife that that was exactly why I hadn't told her. She had 3-4 weeks less to worry because I hadn't told her. We still disagree on whether or not this was the correct approach. My wife feels I should have told her. I feel that it would have done no good to tell her sooner.
I filled out the paper work and waited for my doctor's appointment. When the day came, I went alone to my appointment. In the waiting room were magazines like in other doctor's offices I had been to. These magazines all seemed to be for old people though. I looked around the room and realized that, at age 30, I was by far the youngest person in the waiting room.