My Hernia Story
Hi, I am from Canada and thought I would share my experience with hernia surgery. I have had a hernia in my stomach for about a year now. It started from a small lump and grew in to a huge bulge. I never really had any pain from it, but you could see this huge bulge through a shirt, or even jacket. Don't wait as long as I did to get a hernia fixed. I could have avoided a lot of headaches and grief.
When I first went to see my Doctor he was on holidays, and the replacement Doctor told me if there was no pain, I would just have to live with it. He recommended I buy a support belt to hold the bulge in. I bought one from Wal-Mart made by Formedica. It is just a long piece of stretchable fabric with velcro. You wrap it around and then adjust the tightness with the velcro. It really held my bulge in, and allowed me to feel better about going out. Eventually my Doctor came back and he sent me too see a stomach Specialist.
The Specialist was so busy that it took several months before he could see me. By that time, my bulge was pretty much staying out all the time, and I could feel the hole that it was popping through. The bulge was apparently a part of my intestines. The specialist said I should get Laparoscopic Surgery to fix my stomach. Laparoscopic is where they use small incisions instead of large incisions to do the surgery. He said I actually had two hernias; the hole and another tear just below. He said he had some openings for the surgery within a month.
I said I would have to check with work first to get some time off. My work told me that in two months I could take my two weeks holidays. My work is somewhat strenuous, but I am hoping two weeks will be enough to return. If you have someone to take care of you after the surgery that would be best. I didn't want to bother anyone so I made sure I had lots of protein, fruit,vegetables, bran and milk products at home. Also set up your room so that everything you need is near your bed.I was told not to eat or drink anything after midnight. My surgery was on November 7, 2012 at 10:45 a.m. I was told to arrive at 7:45 a.m. and my surgery was over at about 12:30 pm.
When I arrived I was given my own area with a bed, chair and closet. I had to remove all my clothes and put on that flimsy hospital gown with a robe. It is best to wear sweat pants and a loose shirt to the hospital. The nurse came and did some basic tests on my heart, blood pressure, temperature, etc. She then asked if I had any questions and explained how things would work. I had actually worked over-night so my plan was to sleep for the three hour wait. Then some Nursing student came in and asked if she could be allowed to watch the procedure. I said yes because I figured I would be put to sleep anyways. She then sat down in the chair and just waited. I couldn't sleep with her there, so I just chatted with her for three hours. I was then moved to a waiting area just outside the surgery room. There were also others laying in beds beside me.There I met the Head nurse, Anaesthesiologist, and my Surgeon. I found a lot of information about my surgeon at www.ratemds.com. He had some complaints against him, but I didn't really have a problem with him.
In the surgery room there were about six people altogether. They inserted an I.V. in my arm and then put a mask over my mouth which put me to sleep. When I woke up I was back in my room and the nursing student said I had been sleeping about an hour. The student said they made about six small incisions and then attached a mesh over the hole in my stomach. I went back to sleep until about 4:00 pm.Then this evil nurse came in and tried to get me out of the bed and walking. I told her it was really painful, but she didn't seem to care. She made me walk in a circle and then told me she was going to call my ride to take me home. She acted like she was in a real hurry to empty the bed. They gave me a prescription for Tylenol 3 and stool softener so you can go to the bathroom easier. They told me to take the medication because it will take away the pain and help you move around.
My original plan was to take a cab home, but they said that even if you take a cab, you need to have a responsible adult accompany you home.When I got home I just rested in bed and watched t.v. The hardest things for me are getting in and out of beds and cars.I try to slide in and out as slowly as possible. I also got a cold which is very difficult when you have to cough. If you get lots of colds, you might want to have your surgery in the summer. Coughing makes your stomach feel like something is tearing inside.
It has now been four days since my surgery and I have been mostly resting and watching movies. If I am sitting,sleeping or walking there is no pain. I also have not been eating much because it makes my stomach hurt. It also doesn't hurt when I urinate.I also need to start walking, but there is so much snow that I will have to go to a mall or something. I am going to try wearing that velcro belt for support. I have left my stomach bandages on because I feel like they are protecting the incisions. I still don't feel comfortable enough to drive in case I have to make a sudden movement.There is a bump where my hernia was, but the surgeon said that is fluid that the body will absorb. I did take a shower yesterday and that was relatively painless.The main thing is to make sure you don't lift anything over 10 pounds and don't strain the repair. Today I went for a long walk and had a large meal and it felt really good. I know this is a rambling mess, but if you have some questions I will try to answer them.