On August 19th I finally had surgery to repair an ingruinal hernia. It was an operation that I had put off for about 2 years. I've been recovering for a week now and I have a few pearls of wisdom to impart.
My surgery was laparoscopic and it is described well on WebMD, in my opinion.
I have to mention that, as someone new to the whole hospital experience, several things happened post surgery that were unexpected. Firstly, I left the hospital with a tube inserted into my abdomen which provided a continual dose of pain killing lidocaine for the first 2 days of recovery. I also received four prescriptions for drugs for pain, swelling, and nausea. Secondly, there's the bloating and constipation. Laying in bed with my body partly sedated for days led to some backup in the pipes, so to speak. Only drinking plenty of water and coming off of the lidocaine and other pain killers gave me some eventual relief. Thirdly, I had no idea that I would have a breathing tube and a catheter during my surgery. I never saw either but the anesthetist told me about the breathing tube and I felt the results of the catheter later in the day. It felt like I went to the hospital to get a hernia fixed and I left with an STD - ouch that burns. Besides the burning it took far longer to urinate than I ever thought. It was an event. Pause the movie because this is gonna take a while. The breathing tube left me with several nights of acid reflux. So that's what they mean by general anesthesia. The final thing I noticed post surgery was the swelling which was not so much at the surgery site but more around my waist. Eating normally and being completely sedentary spiked my weight to about 156 lbs. or about 8 lbs. above my current weight. That's 29 lbs above my 2011 Ironman Florida (IMFL) weight of 127 lbs. and 24 lbs. above my 2013 IMFL weight of 132 lbs. I had to buy new larger pants before going back to work and lets face it, body weight matters when trying to me competitive.
Ultimately, I'm glad that I finally got this surgery done. It works well into my plan to compete in the 2016 Ironman Chattanooga race in 13 months. It also makes me more inclined to prevent any future activities that might cause another hernia. I'm almost 100% sure that this hernia was caused by sneezing after an open water swim session in a local lake. In the future I'll be sure to have plenty of nasal spray on-hand. Past practice has shown that using this product cuts my sneezing episodes from dozens over a 24 hour period to about 4 sneezes within the first hour after coming out of the water. It should also remove the errant flesh eating amoeba from my sinus cavity, hopefully
On the bright-side I got to sit on the couch and watch the first two seasons of Vikings and the first season on Strike Back. I'm trying to fill the void until Game of Thrones comes back on TV.
I know that this type of operation is not a big deal in the whole grand scheme of things especially when others are confronting far more serious health issues. I'm just happy I didn't say something stupid while I was sedated or, if I did, no one said anything afterward.
Thanks to my surgeon Dr. Winger and the staff at Peidmont Fayette Hospital for the good care.
Sorry, no pictures!
Thanks for reading.