Okay, what I’ve learned is that the abdominal wall right near the belly button is fragile tissue because the umbilical cord was there. So umbilical hernias are not that rare. They are usually caused by one of three things:
- Many pregnancies, not me, never had a kid.
- Overweight, I wish I was 10 pounds thinner but I am not overweight. The good Dr. Christy even called me skinny the last time I saw her. It’s no wonder I like her so much. It’s probably because she is so used to looking at fat people that I look skinny to her. In my opinion, I’d be skinny if I were 10 pounds thinner.
- Coughing, that would be me. When I first moved to the dreaded Dallas I had allergies so bad and was coughing so intensely all day every day that I thought I had lung cancer. I was coughing until I either sneezed or almost threw up. (TMI, I know.) I finally googled “internist Dallas,” closed my eyes and picked one and by an incredible stroke of luck, or divine intervention I ended up in Dr. Christy’s office. So anyway, one of my gifts from Texas is Dr. Christy and another one is a hernia. Jus’ sayin’.
Dr. Christy was able to simply push my hernia back in for a while. The last time I saw her however, she couldn’t do it so she referred me to a surgeon and I’ll be ringing in the New Year with surgery on New Years Eve! I hope each and every one of you has something just as fun and festive to do to ring in yours! I’ll be recovering from anesthesia and drinking chicken broth while all you guys are drinking expensive champagne, swinging from the chandeliers and kissing each other.
On Monday I got the call from the admissions person at the hospital for the typical pre-surgery health and lifestyle interview. She started by quizzing me to be sure I wasn’t a complete idiot.
“Do you know why you are having surgery on Wednesday?” Peggy asked.
“Yes,” I said, “I have an umbilical hernia that the surgeon and my PCP Dr. Christy thought should be repaired,” I said.
“Do you know what your surgeon’s name is?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, “Dr. Komen.”
“Do you remember what time they asked you to stop eating foods and beverages the day before your surgery?” she asked.
“Yes, midnight.” I said.
“Who will be driving you here on the day of your surgery”?
“My beautiful husband,” I said.
“What time is your surgery?” she asked.
“10:00 am.” I said.
“What time do you need to be here?” she asked.
“8:00 am.” I said confidently. I was kicking butt on my interview!
After determining that I had at least a couple of operative brain cells, she went on to the more complex questions.
“Do you live in a house, a condo, an apartment or a trailer?” she asked cheerfully as if each of these were an equally delightful situation. Why do they need to know that? I thought.
“Who else lives with you in the house other than your beautiful husband?” she laughed.
I laughed too, “beautiful doggies,” I said.
After she did all the family medical history stuff, who’s dead and who’s alive, what kind of shape everyone is in, the surgeries I’ve had, whether I smoked, drank, took illegal drugs (who would say yes to that!?), she moved on to more esoteric stuff.
“Do you like to ingest information from written material and figure it out by yourself OR do you prefer someone explain it to you and walk you through it OR both?” she asked.
“Probably both,” I said, “but what a weird question.”
“I know,” she said, “but we have patients who can’t read and they don’t want to admit it which is understandable.” I loved her for her sensitivity. “This question is a great way to let them off the hook so they don’t go home with instructions they can’t read but rather with a visual and explanation they can adhere to.”
“That makes perfect sense.” I said.
“Okay,” she said, “last question. Do you and your beautiful husband know where the hospital is?”
“Uh, yeah….” I said.
I’m nervous about two things; going under anesthesia and not drinking water for so many hours. Going under has always made me a little nervous. I’m envious because my sister Lisa and my friend Michelle love going under! They see it as a mini escape from life!
I snuck some water in tiny amounts the morning of my hip surgery and I planned on doing that again. I am a rebel and I think some rules like that are for the convenience of whoever made the rule and really have nothing to do with me. But my husband told me today if you are under anesthesia and 1 teaspoon of water gets in your lungs, you could drown. Sounds a little dramatic to me and I’m not sure I buy it but it was kind-a motivating and my husband does not make stuff up.
Today is Tuesday and I think I’ll stay up until midnight drinking water.