Hernia Surgery

Yesterday I underwent surgery to fix an inguinal hernia on my right side. Aside from the current post-surgery pain and discomfort the overall experience was good from my initial appointment to my release from the hospital. The care was excellent. Everyone I dealt with at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center was great, the surgeon, the anesthesiologists, the residents, the nurses, everyone. They kept me informed as to what they were doing and what they were going to do, double and triple checking to ensure everything was going to plan. I truly felt like I was more than just a patient, I was actively involved (as much as I could possibly be).

At the initial consultation, the surgeon explained the various options. The agreed upon solution was to make a small incision, push the hernia back in place, attach a mesh patch over the muscle and glue the incision back together. He told me that the older method of stretching and stitching the muscle over the hernia weakened the muscle and was more likely to fail over time. The mesh method has a much higher success rate.

I don’t a thing between being rolled into OR #6 and waking up in the APU. But that’s how it was supposed to be. Tina and I spent most of the afternoon in the APU. Nurses were in and out checking on me, walking me walk around the room and bringing me juice and water. I had to pee before they’d release me. I finally peed around 3:30. I wasn’t feeling the urge but I decided I’d give it a try. The anesthesia still hadn’t completely worn off so maybe that dulled the sensation. While Tina got the car, a nurse brought in a wheelchair and rolled me out to the main entrance.

Once at home, I made myself as comfortable as I could on the couch while Tina fixed me some soup and a sandwich. I was famished as all I’d had eaten or drunk since the night before was a few graham crackers, juice and water in the APU. Along with my dinner I took my regimen of pills.

Around 7 PM I decided I should just go to bed and try to get some rest. I slept some, waking several times to use the bathroom. I took another dose of Vicodin around 11:30 and got up again around 3:30 at which time I changed from my sweats to a pair of shorts and a light T-shirt. That felt so much more comfortable. I also discovered that bending my right leg while lying down felt better. It probably relieved some of the pressure on the abdominal muscles.

According to the information on the bottle, it looks as though I’ll be taking the stool softeners for 9 months. I certainly hope I’ll be back to my normal routine long before then. No one has really given me much information as to my recovery time. I’ll see the surgeon again on November 5th and I’m sure we’ll discuss that. I want to get back into my yoga routine as soon as I can but I’m not going to rush into it and cause a more serious problem. I’ll work on pranayama (breathing) and meditation with some gentle restorative postures when I feel up to it. I’ll be sure to check with my doctor and my guru first.

I’ll be staying home all week. My contract at Good Samaritan is up today and I step into my new position there on the first of the month. It’s sort of a vacation without pay but it does give me some time to recover and maybe get some light tasks done.

I’m not sure what brought on the hernia. The only recent heavy lifting I can recall was moving Mandy’s “sentimental rocks” at the end of August. They were too heavy to lift so Adam and I rolled them up a ramp into the truck. I didn’t notice the hernia until near the end of September. That might have been it, not that it really matters. I’m hoping that I can recover quickly enough to get back into my yoga and accomplish a bathroom remodeling project this winter. We’ll see how it goes.

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