Today was supposed to be a normal day. I worked all day and left a bit early because there was a blood drive at a local elementary school that I wanted to attend before picking up the kids. I haven’t been able to give blood for a few years now because either I’d been on a cruise with a port in one of those places they don’t let you donate if you’ve been to, or my iron was low, or I had the kids with me and they don’t let you donate if you’re alone with kids in case you faint/etc. I went to the blood drive, all was good, my iron was even good…but they didn’t let me donate. On the form they ask about recent doctor’s visits and I’d been to see my surgeon so I mentioned that, and when they found out that the upcoming hernia surgery is technically “diagnostic laparoscopy” because they don’t know for sure it’s hernias, well they wouldn’t let me donate because what if it’s something else wrong. Ok I get it.
But that wasn’t the bad part of the day.
I got home, and still had about an hour before I had to pick up the kids. I figured I’d get a few extra knitting rows done and be even more ahead of the game. First I changed into comfier clothes to lounge on the couch in, and went to the washroom. That’s when it happened. I wasn’t going to blog about it because it’s kind of personal and I’m not looking for sympathy or anything, but it happened and it may affect things in the future so to hell with it. If you’re just here for knitting then I’ll sum it up now- I got 3 rows knit today. Am still ahead of the game, though I’d hoped to be much further ahead.
So back to the health thing.
Sorry to get technical for a second but I need to explain how things normally work so you can understand how today was so different. Usually, and I’ve been through this for 3 years so I know from what I speak, the hernias themselves aren’t painful, so to speak. When they pop out they immediately get your attention, and you freeze because you can’t really move, but it’s not a pain…it’s a discomfort. It’s a cramp, in the muscular sense, not in the “belly pain” sense. It feels like a tight muscle spasm, kind of like contractions, but in one localized spot. Mine have never bulged to be visible outside, but if I watch my belly I can see it shudder and undulate as whatever has herniated works its way back out. It looks (and kind of feels) like a baby rolling over during pregnancy. My hernias have always only stayed out for 30-45 seconds, and go back in on their own with no interference from me. No going to lie down and easing it back in by hand, I simply lean back to give it more room and wait for it to go on its own. It’s only AFTER it’s back in that the pain starts to set in. It’s worse by the next day, and can last up to a week.
What the pain is with hernias, at least for me, is that afterwards, the little piece of fat or intestine that got caught hurts, because it was pinched, and the hole of the hernia itself aches, because it was stretched. So for up to a week after my belly in the whole area of the hernia’s location aches and is tender and occasionally has little spasms or throbs of pain. Sometimes the pain feels sharp like little papercuts, sometimes it’s a numbness or fizziness like bubbly soda. But it’s not the hernia popping out itself that hurts.
Until tonight. I don’t know what was different today, but the hernia popped out and it hurt. It felt tight and sore and angry, and I couldn’t wait for it to get back in. I started getting worried but then it went back in after about 30 seconds, and the pain receded as soon as it went back in. I thought “ok, that was weird” but nothing worse than that. And then, a few seconds later, it popped back out again.
Hurt is not the word. There is no word for what that felt like. I’ve had Braxton Hicks contractions through 2 pregnancies, I’ve been kicked internally, I’ve had a broken scaphoid bone in my wrist, I’ve had concussions, I’ve had an amnio, I’ve had 2 c-sections, 2 hernia surgeries and a tonsillectomy as an adult. I have never, NEVER, ever had pain in my life like I was in at that moment. The hernia didn’t just pop out, I felt it ripping it’s way through my belly like an alien about to burst through. I was screaming “oh my god” over and over and over even though I was home alone and no one could hear me, I couldn’t help it, it was like an automatic, uncontrolled response. I think it was like when women in labor don’t control what they’re saying, I just kept screaming over and over and over. After 45 seconds it still wasn’t back in and I started to panic. I tried to stand up, I was leaning against the bathroom wall and all I kept thinking was a mess of: I need to call 911/but who will pick up the kids from daycare/what if it doesn’t go back in/yannick’s at work until 8/if i go to the hospital they might do emergency surgery and make more of a mess of things/and i can’t go to the hospital because I have to finish the deadline knitting…
It was crazy I was rationalizing I couldn’t risk going to the hospital because they might need to operate and I couldn’t fit that into my life.
FINALLY, almost a minute later, it went back in. I think I was in shock. I know I called Yannick and the line at the store was busy and I just kept hitting redial until he answered and I think I was hyperventilating, pacing back and forth around my bedroom, still moaning “oh my god” over and over. He talked me through it, calmed me down, and once I started to relax I realized it wasn’t hurting any more.
The rest of tonight was pretty normal, though I was very careful of my belly and cautious to not do anything to pop the hernia out. I didn’t lift the kids at all, but I know they noticed something was wrong because they kept asking why I was talking so quietly. Once they were in bed I tried to just sit and knit to destress but after 3 rows I couldn’t do it, and came up to bed. I know it makes no sense but it feels like what I’ve been feeling as 2 hernias have ripped themselves together to be one huge one, and I was actually just looking up symptoms of internal bleeding. I have no idea what happened or why, but luckily I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow anyways so I can ask my GP about it. I’m just now really, really scared of my hernia popping out again because I feel like if it does I’ll end up in the hospital. 😦
February 16, 2012 at 10:13 am
Wow that must have been so scary 😦 I hope everything is better now.
February 17, 2012 at 1:22 am
Sorry to hear about your hernia. Hope it doesn’t pop out again and you feel better soon. What did your GP say the next Day?
February 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm
I’m so sorry! That sounds so scary, and to be all alone while going through that must have made it worse. I totally understand the rationalization. I sprained my foot last year, and remember thinking that it could NOT be broken because there was no way I could deal with that in my busy life.