Tag Archives: hernia

Life, Interrupted, For a Little Bit

It’s not much fun when you’re trying to get around with your insides spilling out, and I don’t mean through blogging.

This hernia is dominating everything at the moment and because of it, life is on hold. For a little bit. Hopefully.

I’m still working (in a wonky, stomach-clutching way), still running the house (just about) and still catching up with paperwork (me and the hernia get up early in the morning, best time of the day).

To most people I must look like the oldest pregnant woman they’ve ever seen, the hernia now taking on the appearance of a six-month bulge and still growing. I turn 45 the week after next and it’s getting plain embarrassing, especially when I’m accompanied by the Man Mountain, aka the very tall and muscle-rippled Teenager.

My summer wardrobe consists of jeans I can now fit, due to my low-carb eating but teamed with  big flowing tops, so that I look like a very fat, very pregnant woman who wobbles when she walks and trips over a lot. And wears tents.

Yup, MS hasn’t moved aside, in fact, it’s intensified. With the hernia situated right in the centre of my body, the neuropathic pain has increased ten-fold. I walk into walls a lot more and basically pinball around my house.

And as for the pain, I’m on the strongest painkillers my Doctor can give me and I look back wistfully at the gas and air I had when I actually was pregnant and about to give birth, never mind the epidural. Now, that would be utter bliss.

So, we muddle along, the hernia and me, the hernia (Phyllis – we’ve known each other so long now, she just has to have a name) always going first. Of course.

And it’s ever so slightly icky. I never knew anything about hernias until Phyllis took up residence and when I read up about it (thank you, Dr. Google), I was horrified. So it’s a delicate subject to bring up, especially when people ask me what it is. Eww.

I’m not seeing a consultant until the last day of August, after two urgent GP letters and a deadly committed MS nurse fighting my case. It’s anyone’s guess when the actual operation will be.

The only way I’m getting through this month before the appointment is to imagine myself without my melon-belly; I’ll be reborn, and I’m half-tempted to ask them to tummy-tuck me at the same time, seeing as they’ve kept me waiting so long, the meanies.

Plus, I’ll need to be off work for a couple of weeks, which will give me ample time to embark upon some University reading. Result.

Or binge-watch Jeremy Kyle and Homes Under the Hammer.

Probable result.

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And The Lump Came Too …

Phyllis The Hernia is starting to get on my nerves (which are frayed enough as it is, thanks very much MS).

As regular readers will know, I tagged along with The Boss on his recent Geneva road trip, where he gawped at a bunch of cars and took selfies of himself sitting in yet more cars at the Geneva Motor Show.

While he did that, I sat in one of the numerous cafes at the event, poking and prodding Phyllis and pretending to read through the stack of books I’d brought with me.

Luckily, The Boss was satisfied with a couple of hours wandering around miles of … cars, so we spent the other two days exploring Geneva. Just me, him and Phyllis.

I’d packed my hernia support belt (words I never ever thought I would utter in my 40’s) and tried it on. An almost metre-wide band of elastic, stretchy beige material that I was supposed to wrap around my waist.

In the comfort of the hotel bathroom, I breathed in, pulled the belt tightly around me, Velcroing myself into place. With floor to ceiling mirrors, it was easy to see how ridiculous I appeared. Sure, the pressure was great and I felt a lot better, but I looked like a semi-skinned extra-large sausage, wrapped in pastry and ready to cook.

However, and this is a definite positive, hernia belts are the new Spanx. I suddenly had a waist! With this in mind, I dressed, admiring my new figure and dismissing the ever so slight inability to breathe properly.

Anyway, I took Phyllis to have an ultrasound scan today, to see how big she had grown, before I have surgery. I duly turned up at the allotted time, having foregone coffee for hours beforehand and waited for almost an hour.

When I was finally called and had shown Phyllis to a couple of people, they looked at me sadly and told me the doctor had booked me in for the wrong scan, so I have to go back on Sunday.

I got back home, gulped down three coffees in rapid succession and cursed Phyllis. The hernia saga continues …

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Alien?

herniaAt first, I put it down to pasta.

Then croissants, lattes and wholegrain rice.

It started with a slow but distinct rumbling and gurgling in my stomach and I thought no more of it.

Until it started to grow.

The upshot is, I have a hernia. I mean, what? Huh? How?

I’ve been to my Doctor and I’m waiting for a scan (‘the same one you get when you’re pregnant. You’re not pregnant are you?’ chirruped my Doctor, as I chuckled), but this lump in my stomach doesn’t seem to want to wait and grow at a semi-decent rate¬† – it’s morphed from a cute little egg-size into a full-blown grapefruit in the space of weeks.

And it moves. Even the Doctor was impressed, and she’s probably seen everything, warts and all.

Of course, as with MS, I’ve been inundated with horror stories – aunties and uncles who ended up strangling their hernias or being strangled by them, hernias that popped, hernias that led to … more hernias. There’s even support groups out there, filled with more horror stories, along with some excellent advice (I am awaiting a hernia support belt – extra strong – as I write).

To be honest, it’s uncomfortable in the extreme. I may as well have a brick strapped to my stomach. I look weird in the mirror, my podgy belly is still there, but now with a pronounced lump on top of it.

In a bid to embrace this unexpected addition to my already raddled body, I’ve decided to name my hernia Phyllis. My MS has many names, most of which are too rude to publish. More often than not, it’s a malign shadow – the exact replica of my body, but completely different when it moves.

And that’s the great thing about hernias! Yup, there is one. It’s got a definable path. I know what to expect. I’ll most likely have a quick operation, where the Doctors open me up and squish everything back inside then staple me back together. Or strap me up with gaffer tape. I don’t mind, I’m easy.

It’s refreshing in a way. Like having a cut I know will heal. Or a headache I can take a tablet for. So although it’s dominating my life at the moment, it’s temporary and it will go.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we can one day say the same for MS?

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