So apparently a lot of you people don’t like to hear about hernias the size of a small child’s head? What? Did it make you uncomfortable? Queasy? Was it the dizzying height? Or the hernia itself?
So, doctors make awful, awful patients. You may have heard this before but if you are keen for a really great example of this phenomenon, check out Surgery at Tiffany’s brush with near death here.
But now for my story:
Steven and I were literally inseparable for years. As Gibber pointed out yesterday, it probably took a lot of guts to jump off of that platform. It was too bad some of those guts ended up outside of my abdominal cavity.
The problem is that I know what goes on in the OR:
You are virtually naked. And frickin’ cold… like erect-nipple-shriveled-penis cold. They tie down your arms outstretched beside you in a crucifix, rendering you paralyzed even before they actually paralyze you with meds. If you are lucky you get some nice drug pushed in your IV in the holding area that makes you forget everything. Sometimes, though, you get an anesthesiologist who is a prick. You don’t get to pick or not pick the prick. Then someone shoves a tube down your throat and tapes your eyelids shut. Eventually, you ARE naked as they prep your belly. You may not be aware if it, but there is probably music playing in the background and it may be absolute drivel as far as you are concerned but no one ever even asked you. Your thighs and pubic hair and stretch marks and wobbly left over baby belly are on full display and even though no one may actually say anything, you know they are thinking “Eeeeeew….” because you used to think that, too, before it was you on that table.
So I put it off and put it off and put it off.
I was still wearing my maternity pants almost a year out from the end of the pregnancy because the elastic panel helped keep the bugger in check.
I made all sorts of excuses: Recovery time would take me away from patient care for too long. What if I ever wanted to stretch my belly out by having another kid? My babies are too little to live without their mother in the event that I died from a botched procedure. I do too much lifting, a repair just wouldn’t hold. What about my Yoga? Not that I actually did yoga, but what if I actually WANTED to someday?
That was all just code for, “I’m a coward.”
Five years, Mr. Hernia and I lived together… each year becoming a larger and larger part of my life. People started asking me if I was pregnant again.
Finally, finally I gave in. I went to see my surgeon friend.
Then Steven was no more.
It was amazing how much weight I was carrying around from that sucker. Not weight in pounds, but rather emotional weight. It is hard to feel sexy and fun and joyful when there is a large fungating mass protruding from one’s belly. It was painful and embarrassing and all consuming.
How did I let something so little become so huge? By refusing to act on it.
I knew what I needed to do to fix it but I let fear rule me instead. So what should have been an easy repair turned into a major surgery.
And so it is with life. Little things become big things if we refuse to address them.
My advice? Deal with it. Sooner rather than later. It saves a whole ton of pain and heartache in the end.