Living with a hernia.

In a matter of weeks I will be undergoing hernia repair surgery, my second one during the past year. Last year was a hydrocele repair on my right side but this time it’ll be the simpler task of patching up the abdominal wall on my left side. It’s one I’ve had for well over 10 years but it’s been getting worse in recent months, so I figured it’s time to get it wrapped up.

I will forever be wondering how this hernia got started. I certainly remember the day I first noticed it. I had taken the train to the Bayside outdoor  shopping center in Miami to spend the day browsing and do a little shopping. During the course of the day I got hungry, so I went to a candy store to get some gummy candy and later washed it down with a Diet Coke.

Later I felt a mild discomfort and the feeling of swelling in the lower left region of my abdomen. When I went to the restroom to examine the area, I was shocked to see it puffed up like a balloon. I pushed down on it and was able to deflate it but I was left with the feeling of something poking through my abdominal wall. I could push down on it to make it go away but it would return moments later. Needless to say, it became quite annoying, especially when there was gas in my intestines. My hernia would make a strange flatulent sound that has triggered many a startled face staring in my general direction.

I’m still left to wonder whether my meal of gummy candy and Diet Coke did anything to cause the hernia. Maybe there was some chemical reaction that caused the excess gas that ruptured my abdominal wall, much like the way Mentos and Diet Coke react. I was feeling fine earlier that morning and didn’t feel any discomfort anywhere before my fateful snack.

More realistically, I think my abdominal wall was already weak through heredity. My father had undergone similar surgery years before.

And now here I am, counting down the days to the surgery and the recovery period afterwards. I’ll definitely use this period to do write some poems and stories to keep my writing skills in top form.

A letter from my hernia.

Mike,

I hear you have an appointment tomorrow morning with the surgeon for a consultation. If at all possible I’d like you to reconsider keeping this appointment. In fact, I strongly recommend you cancel it. Why do you want to get rid of me after all the fun times we’ve had together? Yeah, I do act up throughout the day, but hey, all you have to do is push me in and I’ll be out of the way.

I’ll never forget that look on your face upon my arrival. You felt that strange swelling in your lower abdomen and after you ran to the restroom for an impromptu self-examination, you were startled to see the area puffed up like a balloon. Sure, you were able to push it back in, but little did you realize that you had just witnessed the beginning of our wonderful friendship. I’m sure that’s the last time you’ll ever have gummy candy with diet soda, huh?

And I’m sure you’ll never forget the strange noises I made whenever there was gas in your intestines. You have to admit it was funny when people stared at you while wondering where those strange flatulent noises were coming from. And the fact you were too ashamed to admit that it was me, your very own hernia, making all those noises? Priceless.

And now you want to have surgery to get rid of me. Why? So you can return to your normal life without having to constantly reach in your pocket so you can push me back in? Don’t tell me you’re actually going to miss being one of the few people on Earth who can make flatulent noises from both front and rear. You’d be perfect for “America’s Got Talent”.

Did you ever consider what’s going to happen to me once you have this surgery? I’m going to disappear and then be gone from your life forever. Are you sure this is what you really want to do? I’d think this over real carefully. Maybe then your desire to get rid of me will change.

I look forward to your response.

Your Hernia

The Bridge To Wellness.

My hernia follows me
As I climb the steep trail
That takes me to the commanding view
At the top of the hill.
Upon my arrival
I am in awe of the view
And the panoramic splendour
And the divine majesty surrounding the vast Wellness below.
With my journey almost at an end
I continue on the descending trail
That takes me back down to the forest,
Along with the anticipation
That I must first cross the Bridge
That will take me to the land
Of Wellness where there is no pain.
I get nervous about crossing this Bridge
But I know I must do it
If my hernia is to vanish forever.
I arrive at the foot of the Bridge
And shudder at the darkness
Over which the bridge hangs.
But there is a Guide present
To escort me as I travel
Along the Bridge.
“Trust me,” he says
With assurance in his voice,
“I am one who can help you.
It will not be an easy journey
But I will guide you
Every step of the way.”
The Guide offers me his hand
And I take it and in exchange
Give him my complete trust
As we both travel the Bridge
That will leave my hernia behind
And myself on the road to recovery
And allow me safe passage
To the Wellness that awaits me
At the other side of the Bridge.