Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Pregnancy induced ventral hernia
Does this picture remind you of an alien abduction? Does me.
Yesterday I visited briefly with a general surgeon who specializes in hernia repair. He confirmed what I already knew...that I have a hernia...just above my belly button. The only way to deal with it is to repair it with surgery....and even then its not 100% definite. There is a 5 - 15% chance it could re open and need more repair in the future. He wants to go in laproscopically and put a big piece of mesh, held down by titanium tacks, in my belly!
First off I want to say...honestly...im not out to bitch. Honestly...i dont want to pick apart doctors and the medical establishment. I dream of going to visit a doctor and coming out feeling educated and comforted.....but it rarely happens! This instance was no different. At first I was feeling great because they got me in early and the Dr was quickly in the room, shaking my hand, being cordial and friendly. Things were great! After a quick feelaroo...he started talking surgery. I had a lot of questions...its true. I showed my concern over jumping into surgery...and had questions about the actual procedure. I had questions about whether there were things i could do at home to help myself. I had questions about expense, general anesthesia, recovery time and any interruptions in nursing that may happen.....but before I was finished asking my questions...before I was comforted and educated...he STOOD UP and said to call him when I am ready! That was 10 minutes into our visit. So I only get 10 minutes for Im sure over $100 specialist charge? I only get 10 minutes and you want to cut me open and put a foreign piece of material inside of me to live forevermore (and these mesh pieces have been recalled in the past btw)? I was shaken up by the idea of surgery, with the idea of paralytic drugs that stop my organs from working while he sews me up...and the idea of being intubated and on a breathing machine...and my son was on my mind...i just have to come to him...and i was worried about pain meds and antibiotics that could disrupt nursing...and could disrupt my care of him and our time together....and here i was with all these emotions, concerns and valid questions...and HE WALKED OUT ON ME.
If I had my shit together...if I had my wits about me...I would have thrown a controlled and decent fit. However...i was weak at the time...i was tearful and felt alone and just confused...and so i just went to billing to ask questions about expense instead. I had to ask the receptionist what the next step would be IF i decided to go ahead with the surgery..and she said to call and talk with kathy. Kathy? Oh thats his nurse who NEVER bothered to stop in and introduce herself or talk with me. The receptionist acted surprised that I didnt know her. GREAT.
This was the second 40 minute one way trip I have taken to visit with this DR. The first time I took off work, sat in the waiting room for 1 hour just to find out that he had been called out for a trauma. Ok...thats legitimate...I mean it was very inconvenient for me...but dude...its a trauma situation. So yesterday was my second time to take off work drive 1.5 hours roundtrip to get the hernia confirmed (obvious) but more importantly to be consulted by a professional and get my fucking questions answered. Do I sound angst riddin? I am. I am sick and tired of dealing with assholes in the medical profession. Why cant they care? Why cant they be decent? Why cant they see me as a human being?
So sure....I probably need to shop around for a surgeon...and find one that is a decent human being...but how much time do i want to spend on this search? And how much money? The copay is $35 a pop. First...I continue to do my own search online (thank god for the internet...can you imagine how lost they felt before information was accessible?). I need to decide IF i want to go for surgery. Sounds like it is inevitable...because they tend to just get larger with time. There is no exercise that can fix it unfortunately.
I am scared. Honestly i know in the grand scheme of surgery...this is nothing! I mean...people (albeit crazy ass people ) sign up for elective surgery more complicated than this (like liposuction and boob jobs). But I am not those people. I avoid intervention when possible. However...its not an option in this case. The truth is...i need surgery. UGH. Being a mother puts everything into a spin...I just want to make sure and come home...and not disrupt his life...and not have complications etc etc. So I guess I need to find a humane surgeon who will hopefully perform the operation under local anesthesia (i would feel SOOO much better with this option!!!!!) or maybe a spinal (like a c section). I am just completely creeped out about the paralytic drugs and breathing machine)...oh and the mesh...but that seems to be a given. Will i ever be able to walk through a metal detector again with going off?
Oh he did say that its better to do this before getting pregnant again. Because if my intestines would become trapped and twisted during pregnancy..then i would need emergency surgery and that would put us both in jeopardy. NOT that I am going to pregnant...but its a tiny possibility... SHIT SHIT SHIT. this sucks! But it could always be worse. I AM SO BLESSED.
Anyone have any recommendations or know of an awesome surgeon? I am willing to travel.
Thanks for letting me bitch. Send me hugs please.