What happens during your hernia surgery-Scott Sitner

So after two years I finally decided to see a doctor about that strange and mysterious bulge that was coming out of my groin by the bottom part of my chest.  I had had some pretty severe but really random pain for probably two years.  I could go a month or so and nothing but some small discomfort then wake up one day and barely be able to walk.  After a truly crappy day on a high school band trip in Hawaii this past February, that totally ruined one day, it was time to do something.  My symptoms were exactly as above: a small bulge on my right side(inguinal) sort of at the top of my leg just to the right of my pubic bone.

FYI I am a 48 year old pretty healthy man(well, save for the diabetes but that’s pretty ok these days.  I weigh 155 lbs so no weight issues, just too many milanos and snapple)

I am a horrible, anxiety ridden patient so that’s why I waited until I realized I was being an idiot and my golf game might suffer.  My initial appointment was nothing. The hernia was so obvious, he just touched it, smiled and asked when i wanted surgery.  No ultra sounds, no rectals, no x rays, just a visual and a diagnosis/   he said that most hernias are like that, and laughed when I told him I read some pretty weird diagnosis stories, so that was a welcome surprise.I got the little handbook and the brief lecture, but the bottom line was surgery.  Mine was to be open as opposed to laproscopic. I tend to trust the drs as you read so much garbage on line.But what he said was yes the scope is less intrusive, quicker recovery time and no scar. However, there is more risk to internal organs and complications, and as he had done thousands of these, I decided to defer.

These are so frequent that I could have it any tuesday or friday he was there.  but of course with spring break had to wait a few weeks. You will need pro op blood tests and an EKG, which can be done in your drs office usually, so that was done and normal. Surgery was then set for today, and this is where hopefully people will find this a little useful, as I would have liked to know a lot of the basics.

First I was the first surgery of the day.  Beg for that. After the first who knows what complications may arise that could push back or cancel yours, and if anyone out there is nuts like me, the waiting would suck.  Be first,  no waiting. yeah, getting up at 4:45 not fun,being home by 10:30 was very cool.   Once you do the check in, they will take you back.  While I did mine in Michigan, it seems like the procedure is probably the same.

I got escorted to get all naked, yup all naked, but for my socks.  quick the sight, black socks, pale skin, very attractive but there was a strange security to that. I was then escorted to the bed.  You are hooked up to lots and lots of wire and tubes which maybe I should have known but was not told.  EKG, which is a lot, pulse on the finger, IV was in the top of my wrist. She was going to do it on the back of my hand but I objected and she did the wrist. Much more comfortable which even she agreed. You will also be placed on a blood pressure monitor so I could watch my anxiety level rise.

They will shave you.  My dr likes half shaved which was a lot.  So three women lifted the robe used an electric shaver for ten minutes and cut away.  If you are all embarrassed about showing your private parts, get over it.  The just lifted and went to town. It was so business like it did not even bother me.  But it will itch crazy when it grows back. They used a lint roller to pick up what they cut  that was funny.

You then meet with anesthesia person.  I did general, was not given the option of a local.I may be an idiot but did not realize I got the tube down my throat.  Thankfully it is all done when you are asleep, but my throat is pretty sore.  I have NO recollection of going to sleep. They gave me a valium type drug through the IV which calmed me, but not like being high.  They then told me they were taking me in.My next recollection is waking up.  Which is totally off as 90 minutes of my life is gone, but I have no memory of even seeing the OR. So if that is a concern, don’t.  Like everyone says you just sleep.

Day two

Ok.  It really hurt last night.  All the anesthesia burned off,  could not lie down, spent the night sitting up on my couch surrounded by pillows wallowing in pain and self pity.   Getting up was horrible, the peeing is still more spotty than strong.   But of course, I took Motrin 600 this morning, off the narcotics.    Helped.  Pain there but way down and I feel ok.

Some things to watch for.  Shivering.  Like uncontrollable in the middle of the night.   No fever just shaking.  No one told me about that.   Sucks.

But today ok.   Hurts. Still using ice in my pants and walking really really helps.  No pain when I walk even up the stairs.    Still waiting to poop.   Have until day three til an issue so say a prayer

Thanks for reading

Scott sitner
Birmingham. Mi

Day two and three:
Ok, still hurts.  here are the things they do not tell you.  Lying down hurts.  getting to that position and getting up are worse.  Oh my god,  I feel like a cripple(sorry)   I slept on the couch sitting up the first night, maybe not the best idea, but it did cut back on some of the pain.  I stopped taking the nocor and went to motrin 600(more on that later)  I maybe slept three hours sporadic.  Oh well.   You shiver.  I have now been told this by others.  I do not have a fever, no infection, I get up during the night,  both nights and could not stop shaking.  Last night, second night was a combo of amusing and embarrassing, pretty sure I was shaking so hard I peed on the wall, but did not care.  Just wanted back under the covers.
anyway….the second day was ok.  The anesthesia has worn off, a little burning where they cut me open.  but I walked a lot and ate and did ok.  Walk a lot, take the drugs, eat and try and relax.  I was told this and it’s true.  My kids were home in the afternoon and we had to drive. Thankfully my son has a permit, getting in and out of the car sucked. no way you drive the first few days, just don’t try.
Got a call from the hospital, a little confusing, I think they call just to make sure you are not dead. I was not, she seemed pleased and hung up.   Nice to sleep in bed, I did not try and roll over and again the bathroom thing sucked, but the sleep helped.
now on day three I am in paid, but more discomfort than pain, annoyance. I am thanking god for the shitty weather, do interest in leaving the house at all.
and oh yeah,  ice.  no swelling at all,  really did not want to see those parts swell up for a no good reason. Ice though, well, peas, use em
final update or two tomorrow……Ok, days three and four.so you know, I had my surgery at 7 am, so day one is that day.

Day four:

sorry to anyone who may know me, but all about the poop.  I woke up feeling ok.  little pain, took a shower, got mostly dressed. About ten am, it it.  Let’s just say they warn you you may got a little constipated.  Oh my god. Pain, discomfort, distension, a scared teen age daughter(or grossed out)  as I told my girlfriend in various e mails and texts and calls, worst day of my life, shoot me, kill me. You stand, you sit, you cry and whine, bend over. Anything  so awful.  I had been taking colace, no effect. I went to the store and got the Phillips. pretty tasty wild cherry.  It did work, but not for about 18 hours I think….

About 3 pm, some came out, as in teeny tiny something,but I felt better, enough to stop being a big baby.  Over the next six hours or so, little by little more came out, but really little pieces, and the pain involved was intense.  I did prune juice(pretty tasty no complaints)  went to bed.Up every two hours, some more came out, peeing was hard, not good. So at 6:25  I wake up.it was time again, went downstairs, and let’s just say the flood gates of egypt happened.  Yeah, some made it to the toilet which immediately clogged up.  and now let’s just say I will never look at this bathroom again and at this moment it is as clean as it will ever be because 45 minutes ago it was as dirty as it could ever be.  It just happened, so prepare yourself.  there is no stopping, you just stand there and amaze at the absurdity of it all.  and then you clean before your girlfriend wakes up or the four sleeping teenagers down the basement.  Wow, awful.Causalities:  one pair of sweats,one nice towel, one pair of underwear, my dignity.

How do I feel now as day five really start:  great.  Truly great. So live through the above and it is smooth sailing, I hope.

Thanks.

DAY 5-7

Really much better.  The bathroom stuff slowly resolved on Saturday which was day 5.  a few little set backs, but I had lunch at the mall and dinner out.  Had some soreness around the cut site, but really nothing that was not just able to handle with nothing or just with some advil.  Slept decent, one scare during the night, but I made it.  Sunday, day 6 was uneventful.  I only left the house to get my regular drugs from walgreens, and then spent the day pathetically watching golf on tv.  Lunch and dinner at home, quiet night until the kids got home.  I still think my daughter is a little shell shocked from TMI on Friday, but too bad.   She had a sleepover with friends, would have been far worse had one had to pee at 700 am.  So thank god for that.

Day 7-Monday.

Had the follow up doctor visit.  Two minutes, I timed it.  Looked at the scar, coughed(me not him)  chatted about limits and golf, told me to go home.  He seemed quite pleased with his handy work which is I guess better than the opposite.  Spending one more day at home, but right now I feel 80% good, some stiffness and soreness but no drugs.  Will walk outside later if no rain.  Driving was fine, just took it easy.  Stomache almost back, just being cautious for another day or so, but eating normally.

So all in all, I am glad it is done as it was not going to get better only worse, and is something that even if not constant pain, I would have noticed all the time and it would be a centerpiece of daily life. It’s done.  All good.

scott sitner.-Birmingham MI

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