I’ll admit, this one is a little embarrassing. I had a hernia for something like 8 years. This was an inguinal hernia, which means that it’s in the groin area. It just looked like a little lump right above my groin. It didn’t hurt, and it started out small, so I just kind of let it go.
Over time though, it got bigger, and once in a while it would hurt a bit. My doctor noticed it one year and told me that it could actually be dangerous. She explained that a hernia is when there is a hole or opening in the abdominal muscles, and a bit of the intestine starts to poke through. As it goes untreated longer over time, the hole gets bigger and more of the intestine starts to stick out. The intestine could get trapped in there and burst, which is pretty uncommon, but if it were to happen it would be life threatening.
My doctor explained that the surgery would be done with a laser, and would only be minimally invasive. They would place a small sheet of mesh over the hole so that the intestine couldn’t get through anymore. Over time, my body would heal by growing muscle through and around the mesh. The recovery time would only be about two weeks.
I’ve talked (well, written) before about how much I dislike having surgery, but in this case it seemed pretty necessary. There doesn’t seem to be any other way to get rid of a hernia, and they don’t exactly go away on their own. So finally I agreed to go ahead and have the surgical procedure done.
I remember trying to sit up after the surgery. Big mistake. My abdominal muscles would be sore for a while, because the doctors had to tease the muscle fibers apart! I would have to baby my belly muscles, and find creative ways to move myself around.
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I’m a baby when it comes to pain, but I’m even worse when it comes to pain medicine. I took my medicine as prescribed, but I really didn’t like how it made me feel. However, when the pain subsided enough that I could switch to the over the counter brands, I noticed something. Even though I hated the feeling of pain meds, it was really hard to come off of them! I was a sweaty, emotional mess for a couple of days! No wonder so many people develop a problem with addiction these days. Especially people who struggle with chronic pain. This experience really helped me to develop more compassion.
After a couple weeks, I was pretty much back to normal. I had to continue to be careful not to lift anything too heavy for a while longer. Overall though, I was able to resume activity and work pretty quickly. While having surgery is not my favorite thing, in this case, it was definitely worth it!