I thought I’d pulled a muscle.
We’d been doing an extraordinary amount of walking, in odd places, and I thought a pulled muscle would explain the mild pain I was feeling in my upper thigh area. (I’m trying to be tactful here.)
But then I was taking a shower one night and after one sweep of the washcloth, I said to myself, “THAT shouldn’t be there.”
I spent a little time on the Internet doing some research and made a doctor’s appointment. He took one look, did some things with some body parts that I would have preferred he wouldn’t, and said, “Yeah, you have a hernia. A big one. You’re going to want to get that fixed.”
I said, “ Doc, I’m supposed to go to Africa on a writing assignment in six weeks. Should I really get it fixed right now?”
He said, “You can get the hernia fixed here, or consider getting emergency surgery for a strangulated bowel in Africa, four hours from the closest city.”
I said, “I think you make a compelling point.”
My doctor lined up an appointment with a surgeon who examined me and said, “You don’t have a hernia. You have a double hernia.”
From my perspective, the conversation went downhill from there.
In a couple of days, I found myself wearing nothing more than a paper gown, laying on an operating room table about the same size as a 2x4, with a couple of tubes running hither and yon. A masked nurse leaned over me and asked, “Are you comfortable?”
“No,” I said, “I’m not.”
I wasn’t trying to be difficult, but she asked, didn’t she?
I may have been a little whiny. This was my second surgery of the summer, and I’m starting to feel like a car with a just-expired warranty.
Now, the upside is that I’m certainly getting value out of burning through my $3,000.00 deductible by piling up a decade’s worth of doctor bills in three months, but the downside is that I’m not actually getting anything done. Instead, I’m spending all my time on the couch, studying incisions on my torso. I did a quick count and discovered I’ve had 12 surgical-type penetrations of my skin, plus a few of the more accidental variety. If you play connect-the-dots with them, you get something that looks like a map of Florida. And, if you include my knee surgery, Key West comes into view.
The hard part, from a whiner’s perspective, is that all of this is pretty minor stuff. I have friends going undergoing chemotherapy, having triple bypasses, enduring difficulties and trials of heartbreaking severity, and my biggest problem is there’s nothing good on TV at 2:00 p.m. - or 2:00 a.m., for that matter.
Oh, well. Things are getting better. On Friday, I worked a solid four hours before I needed a nap, and on Saturday I wore pants ALL DAY LONG. Since I’m pretty well overhauled from the neck on down, I’m hoping I’m safe for a while – I’m just not counting on it.
Copyright 2013 Brent Olson