A stitch in time
Hernias and assorted pains
I seem to be popular with the ladies lately. I got a call the other day from a woman who wanted to know how my inguinal hernia surgery went and how I am afterwards. “Great!” I said, “Went fine!” I brushed it off. “Phhh. Nothin’ to it. And thanks fo…”
“Good,” she said. “Now tell Ambrose that! Ambrose! Mike’s on the phone. Ambrose! Ambrose?”
No Ambrose. By the time she got my number dialed Ambrose was at Tim Hortons sipping his double single and staring out the lonely window at the passing traffic.
I wished Ambrose’s wife well and passed the phone over to my wife, and before I left for Tim’s myself I heard the familiar refrain: “Short answer? You want him to get it fixed, you gotta be a bigger pain than the hernia.”
It’s not easy to get most men — I think it’s safe to say — to go to the doctor, let alone go to the surgeon. And I’m no exception. I put up with the problem for two years. Until it got ridiculous. The harassing. The threats. The scare tactics from the better half. “You’ll be sound asleep and that thing’ll twist and I’ll be collectin’ yer life insurance policy! So there! You want burial or cremation!?!” “Surprise me!”
“Aren’t you funny? You’re a real funny guy!”
“And not just looking,” I said. “Yeah,” she inhaled. “A riot.”
Finally, I did, I gave up and went. Fact is, I couldn’t take it anymore. I got tired of hanging upside down from the couch or the headboard trying to pop that thing back in where it came from. I had to get my life back. Stand up on my own two feet for more than 20 minutes at a stretch without that burning pain.
There are a lot of men — and women— in Cape Breton with hernias, I guess, according to a doctor I heard on “Information Morning” awhile ago.
I’m glad I got mine fixed at long last. I feel like a new man. Take my advice — it’s better to get it done.
It’s day surgery. It’s not like the old days, before X-rays. When they knocked you out with ether. Kept you in the hospital for a month. These days, you walk in at 10 a.m. and walk out at 3 p.m.
It’s a whole new philosophy. They want you on your pins pronto nowadays.
Still, they do make a big fuss over you within the process. They treat you like you’re a somebody. Before you go in you go through a good half dozen consultations/interviews — the surgeon, the pre-op nurse, the pharmacist, another pre-op nurse, the anesthesiologist … where you get to talk about yourself until you don’t even believe it yourself anymore that cinnamon and not surgery will cure you. It’s very reassuring. Very calming.
They’re grand. You don’t want to leave.
And after it’s all over, it’s pamper time. Six weeks in the grass. At least two ringing your bell. No shovelling snow. No garbage detail, mowing the lawn, no washing the walls.
In fact, that’s the hard part. Sure, you’re not going anywhere for the first two, three weeks. You won’t want to. But after that you’ll feel all better, ready to rock and roll. That’s when you still need to let the doctor drive.
And speaking of doctor, did I say thanks? I’d like to thank the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the pre-op staff at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, the blood work, EKG and urology people, the pharmacist, the pre-op and post-op staff at the Glace Bay General Hospital, the nurses, the orderlies, secretaries and admin staff. It takes a village. I’d also like to thank whoever put the Glace Bay General Hospital by South Street and Big Glace Bay beaches. Beautiful… genius.
Whoops, there’s the music… Thanks! Great work!
Get ‘er done!
A sunny seascape in Glace Bay calms a columnist as he settles in for day surgery.