I Break for Hernias

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It’s been some time since I last updated on my fitness journey, and there’s a reason for that.

I mentioned in “An Unwelcome Break” that I was having a pain in my belly button checked out for a possible umbilical hernia. After getting a cat scan and consulting with the surgeon, it was concluded that I had a small but symptomatic umbilical hernia that would continue to cause me pain and only get bigger if I continued to lift.

So we decided to get it taken care of now, instead of letting it get bigger. So I scheduled open surgery for June 21st.

I wasn’t too worried about the pain…in fact the main thing that concerned me was the fact that I would have to put my workouts on hold for a while. It will probably be around a month before I can run again, and 4-6 weeks before I can lift, and at least 6 weeks before I can do any ab exercises. These aren’t set in stone–everyone is different, but these seem to be the average recovery guidelines from all the research I did on the subject. And, being the dedicated (and perhaps slightly obsessed) fitness nut I am, I put in some good hours at the gym the two weeks prior to surgery. I never did get to finish the LiveFit Trainer, but I basically did my own thing. It would be my last workouts for quite some time, so I put all my efforts into them, and had some great workouts.

The thought of taking all that time off from the gym had me a little upset, and I was stressing out thinking about how much muscle mass I might lose, especially since I was so dedicated to fitness and had put in months of hard work. But, I forced myself to think more positively, and although I will be out for a while, at least when I get back into it I can hit it hard without fear of pain.

So Friday morning, my boyfriend took me to the hospital. We checked in and I changed into a stylish hospital gown and non-skid socks, and an IV was put into my left hand. I was wheeled into the “loading” area, and waited there for an hour, getting very hungry (I wasn’t allowed to eat anything past midnight the night before, and it was already 2pm). The surgeon came and talked to us briefly, and was adamant about “no lifting!” I was given my “Margarita,” which took my pre-op jitters away, and I was feeling pretty relaxed and a little loopy. Then I was wheeled into the surgery room. I was transferred to the operating table, and at that point I must have been injected with the anesthesia because that’s as far as I can remember.

I woke up 45 minutes later in the recovery room feeling a bit loopy and muttering nonsense (I think I remember asking the nurse how my hair looked and telling her that they didn’t ask me to count to ten, and giggling a lot…the nurse must have gotten a little entertainment out of me at least!). I was asked how bad my pain was (a 6 at that point) and administered some medicine. It felt as though the surgeon had punched me in the stomach.

After a while I was wheeled into a hospital room where I was reunited with my boyfriend. I was given a brace to wear (kind of like a girdle) and some crackers and juice to nibble on. I was given another pain pill when my pain had gone up a little and the nurse helped transfer me to the recliner to sit up for a little.

A while later, I was finally discharged and wheeled out the front doors. We got home and I went straight to bed while my boyfriend went to fill my prescription.

These past few days have been rough. I feel like I’ve been drop-kicked in the stomach a few times. I was given the brace to wear when I was awake and moving around. Moving is pretty painful. Especially getting up and down, and I probably look a bit funny trying to stand up or lay down on my own. When the medicine kicks in the pain is a lot more bearable, but not gone. I’m not in pain if I’m laying down and not moving, but any movement and I feel like I’m being punched in the stomach. I can’t sit up for more than 30 minutes without pain or being medicated. I was hoping to be back to work by Monday (tomorrow), but in reality I will need at least another day of recovery time before I can think of driving myself or sitting up straight in a chair for 8 hours. So I’ve mostly been laying in bed or on the couch watching old episodes of Smallville and True Blood.

David has been wonderful these past three days. I’m in great hands and he has been very helpful, and I’m very thankful that he has been here to help me through this painful recovery, and I don’t know what I would have done without him 🙂

It has only been 3 days, but I already miss the gym, and keep eyeing my weights in the corner with envy. But I am determined to have a healthy, speedy recovery, and will listen to what my doctor tells me.

I hope everyone else has a great week! Stay healthy, and thanks for reading!

<3 Jordan

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