It felt great back in May when I did the Guess The Photo… LIVE! thing at the Delafield Art Walk. That is, until a few days later when I was experiencing pain, saw a doctor, and found out I had a hernia. Most likely from doing all the lifting during the event. (Medical term: bilateral inguinal hernia – I actually had a hernia on both sides.)
But hey, with modern medicine being so advanced, and actually having insurance during this injury as compared to last time (See Dislocation) I wasn’t too worried. And then I was told I needed surgery. I learned back in 2000 when I was hospitalized that there are things doctors don’t joke about.
So I figured, let’s schedule this thing ASAP, and the surgeon is pretty accommodating, and I’m all set for June 16th. Two days before my birthday.
I’ve never had surgery before, so this was a whole new experience. I’ll keep it brief and not too gross (not until the end anyway.)
I got to the hospital, got a nice looking gown, and answered a lot of questions. The anesthesiologist shows up to talk to me, and I guess reassure me. They ask if anyone in my family has ever had a problem waking up from anesthesia. Not that I know of. I figure I’ll be the first. The surgeon was supposed to come and never did. Too busy I guess. Eventually they wheeled me into a waiting area outside the operating theater, and I think the surgeon stopped by to talk to me, but I’m not 100% sure. I then went into the operating theater and when the anesthesia was applied, I just drifted off quickly. I have sleep problems, and I guess that is what it feels like if you don’t have sleep problems. I feel asleep almost instantly. When I woke up, I was in another room. (I had asked where I would wake up, so I wasn’t completely surprised.) I looked around, and everything was blurry (I didn’t have my glasses on, but it probably would have still been blurry.) I was half out of it, and not really sure where I was. I think there were a bunch of other people on stretchers in the room, but I could have imagined that. Maybe I thought I was in the morgue.
So finally they wheeled me out, and stopped at the waiting room to grab the wife, and headed back to the first room they had me in. They gave me a small amount of fluids, and and crackers and pudding. They said I had to go pee before I could leave. I did that, and managed not to fall over even though the old legs were not working well. I then threw up, just a little bit, mainly liquid. I kept asking for a Jimmy Johns sub, but they kept telling me that was a bad idea. They were probably right. They gave me a bit more time to rest, and finally put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me out. I got wheeled around a lot.
I was at the hospital for maybe 5 or 6 hours total. Once we got home, I tried to sleep on the couch, but ended up going to the bathroom about 12 times during the night, which meant that best-case I got about 30 minutes of sleep between bathroom breaks. The next day (June 17th) I took it pretty easy, rested a lot, used the iPhone a lot, and the Macbook a little, pretty much staying on the couch the entire time. (At this point I sort of wished I had an iPad… something between the iPhone and the Macbook, for a better browsing experience.)
So Friday, June 18th came. Happy Birthday! I again took it pretty easy. Hung out with the kids. Watched The Fellowship of the Ring. Opened some gifts, had some cake. I still took it pretty easy, but was able to do some things normally.
Saturday, June 19th… again, took it pretty easy, but did not spend the day on the couch. Actually left the house for dinner. Sitting upright or forward was uncomfortable (and would be for a while.)
Sunday, June 20th… I spent maybe two hours working at my desk, which was quite uncomfortable. Sitting with the Macbook on the couch was much more comfortable.
Monday rolled around and I went back to work. I wore shorts all week long and didn’t button them. Sitting back helped a lot, and I took a lot of breaks. (I used a piece of Mac software called Time Out .) The rest of the week was pretty much the same, with my comfort level improving daily. The one bothersome thing was that my right leg would get numb. I talked to a nurse and she said it was the nerves, and would take a little time to heal.
Oh yeah, what about the gross part!? Well, I was originally told that the camera they were going to put inside me could record what it saw, so I asked for a copy of the footage. In the end, they could not provide any footage, but did provide a few still photos. I couldn’t look at them for about a week… when I did, I didn’t know what was what, except that it was my insides, and it was very red. So here, transformed into black and white, and posterized so I can actually look at it, are four photos they gave me.
If you have any other questions about my bilateral inguinal hernia surgery… please ask me.