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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

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Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hernia Considerations

It is two months today since my hernia operation. My neighbor up the road, G., the X-ray technician, had one about five months before I did. Another neighbor, K., the potter right across the road, has told my wife that G. is a little peeved because I seem to have done somewhat better than he with the post-op phase, and actually that is hard to understand, as G. is 20 years younger than me and bigger and much more robust. G., who nevertheless has been very solicitous about my operation, told me just the other day that it wasn't till about a month ago that he stopped having twinges from his operation. It sort of stunned me to think that I haven't had any for nearly the same period, though my op was much more recent than his. And K. knows a couple of other guys, also much younger than me, who have had troubles that I didn't have, following their hernia operations.

I have no explanation for these disparities, other than it might be due to the skill of my surgeon and the others at the hospital.

My wife thinks one chief cause might be that I was more obedient to the doctor's orders. G., for instance, went back to work about a week after his op. As I am not employed, I wasn't under the same obligation. Mainly I rigorously observed the doctor's instructions not to lift anything heavier than 15 or 20 pounds, a restriction that he later extended so that I ended up under that constraint for six weeks. Luckily it was before I would start having to do my regular cutting and hauling of firewood. Still, when you live in the woods, a 20-pound weight limit is a severe constraint, but somehow I managed to stick with it.

One result is that where before I had little interest in exactly what things weigh, now I do. So I need to find something that I can use to weigh any manner of objects, up to about 55 pounds. Fifty-five has become my magic number, both in driving vehicles and in lifting things.

A few weeks ago a third neighbor, H., the gun guy, offered to sell me what would ordinarily be a great deal -- a perfectly good 21" CRT computer monitor for just $25. At first I jumped at it, but then I got to thinking, and a few hours later I cancelled the deal. I had reminded myself that I already had a 20" monitor and a 21" one, not to mention a 19-incher, and handling them had probably gone far to opening that tear in my abdominal wall. They were all well up into the 50- and 60-pound class, and H.'s monster promised to weigh even more. I saw no sense, the great deal aside, in having something that would encourage the 15 percent chance of a second intestinal bulge developing on the left side.

G., who is always ready with medical horror stories to drop on me, told me about a female acquaintance who recently had the same hernia operation that we had undergone. She runs a business teaching people to ride horses, and she went back to demonstrating it much too quickly and she reinjured herself in the same spot, and now she has to go through that hernia repair business all over again.

Just the thought of that makes me cringe, in spite of how well everything went for me.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a friend on the fiji island of kadavu who needed a hernia operation but didnt have the money for it. i put him in a boat and we went up to the colonial war memorial hospital at suva and checked him in. i hung around suva a few days and after the surgery took him home. i paid the bill for the hospital and doctor, it was $32.00, US.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Hoosier said...

I recently underwent a hernia repair. If you'd be interested in reading about it (warning: novel!), go to southernindianagal.blogspot.com. and then "search this blog" for "horrendous hernia."

My surgery was on 1/10/06, and I recently started experiencing sharp, intermittent jabs of pain where my navel is. After a call to the doc's office yesterday, his secretary reassured me that it's normal; it's the nerve endings healing/rebuilding themselves.

I have tried not lifting anything after my op. The only exception is when I (sporadically) lift my 2.5 y/o son, and he's a little over 20 lbs.

Good luck with your continued recovery from the hernia surgery!

Hoosier

9:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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8:37 AM  

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