Hernia Surgery WITHOUT Mesh… ( And 100% absorbable sutures)

Feb. 26 was quite hectic. Did not plan to ‘check’ luggage – carry-on only, so I chose to leave larger camera equipment behind.

Since it was winter, suddenly being in Florida should have been more appreciated, but it had been very warm here in NC so it wasn’t much different. I DID NOT like the HEAT! Some days it was very hot but at least it was nothing like the summer heat of FL which I experienced while living there some years ago.

The reason I chose to go through all that hassle and expense of travelling to FL rather than using a local surgeon (after all,, near Duke University and EVERYTHING, thee should be no need to fly out.

Well, if it had been NYC or the tri-state area up there, I wouldn’t have had to do that. But I’m not complaining, because the surgeon I dd choose was trained himself personally by the inventor/creator of the surgical technique of using your own abdominal muscles to perform a graft using 100% absorbable sutures.. so, there will be no wire left in me, no knots, no thread, no needles either (surgical mesh can be like needles, if it fails and becomes brittle…. even if not, the nerve pain and the post-hernia op pain syndrome (chronic and possibly lifelong/permanent) is something that I had learned of in my prior research, and I believed it was something I very much wanted to avoid risking.

The actual statistics for whether or not YOU would get such a syndrome of chronic inflammation and pain that persists indefinitely are not easy to find, or even to define, as most studies do not even seem to consider pain experienced by the patient – instead, the criteria and data are taken from medical records, perhaps out of codes, and can be grossly inaccurate.

The official figures I’ve seen are as high as about or even above 30%. If you want to talk about a permanent, DISABLING, life-destroying kind of pain, the number does drop drastically, but even something like 8% is still too high for my taste.

So, I just sucked it up, pushed it back in (literally, lol) and for over a year, I just played it safe, was unable to do very much, did light walking, and tried to avoid the pain by doing things like wearing very light pants/clothes…. never wearing a waist belt…

Eventually one day, during this time where I’d read online (on the entire global internet, at least the English part of it, I think there are only maybe two or three sources that suggest a hernia can be fixed or cured or repaired WITHOUT surgery – and trust me, I did NOT want to undergo ANY type of surgery; the very thought of it scared me.

Call me weak minded, laugh at me all you want, I don’t care. It was a personal issue and phobia that was very serious for me, and I had to deal with it and face it on my own.

It is VERY helpful to have friends, family etc. support during such stressful times, I must say. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how people react to someone else going through anguish (esp. when there is nothing they can do about it) – finally seeing what that feels and looks like from the OTHER side of the coin (where I’M the one suffering).

You also realize and learn a few other things about the very nature of people and their personalities, as well. It could be people you’ve known your whole life – and thought you knew – and you could still be surprised at their words and actions.

It’s ironic, but at first this operation almost rekindled the relationship with my ex from last year – at the airport we met briefly, but the TSA wouldn’t let her through, and I got lost, and it took forever just to figure out whether she could get through the gate or not. Eventually I walked through, we were able to talk for about 10 minutes before I had to run – in pain from the hernia, which really had gotten worse (the surgery was done JUST in time)….

While I certainly appreciated the effort to “see me off” for something like this.. my first surgery in my entire life (hopefully my last, too! lol) it was very frustrating due to the TSA and causing us to have what felt like seconds to talk. She told me I looked almost sick with anxiety. I was in panic mode because of the time, and I was afraid of missing my connecting flight.

By the next morning, she and I were no longer on speaking terms, due to something or other on the internet, a video of some girl from 2011 I had dated for about a week. Then it was more rocky rollercoaster typical indecisive, mood swings, anger then love then lust then plain boredom. And that’s BEFORE the operation. Monday was only the day of the pre-op inspection.

They checked my oil for anticoagulants or clotting factors or whatever, and Dr. Tomas checked both sides for inguinal hernia. I was SO relieved when he didn’t find one on the other side, no matter how small, because that would have DOUBLED the cost, putting it WELL over SIX THOUSAND dollars.

Tuesday morning I go in for the surgery and I’m a little nervous but remained focused. Never having had surgery before, I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know that I would NOT be getting “knocked out” (no general anesthesia) but instead “conscious sedation” with propofol and fentanyl. Oh, with local anesthesia as well, of course.

I honestly didn’t feel anything. Or I don’t remember it. Either way, it didn’t bother me, even if I did feel it, I’ve seen videos of the procedure, and some parts of it look like they would be quite painful. Thank God for modern anesthesia; what a breakthrough that was, when that doctor performed the leg amputation before an audience and as he finished removing the leg, the patient suddenly said wait stop i’ve changed my mind! (He hadn’t felt it at all)>

Who knows if that’s really how it went, but it is definitely a good story.

Right now I am on Day 11. Just a couple more days and it’ll be two weeks, a significant milestone. Fortunately there are groups for this sort of thing where people can share their experience, exchange notes, compare progress, and so on, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I even took the time to create a “no mesh” group and page.

 

March 11, 2017

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