A stitch in time

Her­nias and as­sorted pains

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRE­TON - Mike Fini­gan

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!

46#.*55&% #: .*,& '*/*("/

A sunny seascape in Glace Bay calms a colum­nist as he set­tles in for day surgery.

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