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I'm not the only one! This lady has an inguinal hernia, too!

The thing is, the hernia itself wasn't really ever painful. An inguinal hernia is basically just a lump of fat or intestines that decides to break through a weak layer in the abdominal wall. It ends up looking like a weird, soft lump on your groin that can easily be pushed back in -- or at least, mine could -- and it didn't exactly stop me from living an active life. I still went to gym classes two or three times a week, jogged, played sport, and skied or hiked on the weekend. There is an excellent chance that this active lifestyle is what caused Henry to show up in the first place.

But because inguinal hernias (there are many many other kinds of hernias) are generally considered more of a men's health issue than women's, it took awhile for me to figure out what was even wrong. In the last few months, Henry started to show himself more, and I felt a dull sense of discomfort every time he popped out. Because of the general region of my discomfort, googling symptoms (never a good idea) made it seem as though I had anything from ovarian cysts to cancer, until I finally spoke to some people IRL who suggested it might be a hernia.

It is really difficult to get a doctor to realize you have a hernia if you're female. I had to tell the first 2 doctors i saw that it was a hernia. I diagnosed myself using Google. How sad is that? You should have seen how confused the urgency care doctor was when the lump disappeared when i was prone and reappeared when i was standing.

The first surgeon i saw was focused on getting me open and repairing the hernia. Right away! I was like "Whoa! Can we talk about it some more first?". And when i asked him if i should cut back on my weight lifting, he just stammered and seemed to be confused by the question entirely. I felt like i needed to enunciate more slowly - "Ex-cer-cise? Lift-heavy-things-with-body?". So, needless to say, not filled with confidence.

Which led me to my second surgeon who understood my question about lifting (he said i didn't need to change anything) and wasn't in a hurry to cut me. He said that since it wasn't currently causing me pain and because it was very unlikely to become strangulated (where the intestine gets trapped so that things inside can't pass through), i should wait on the surgery. Once i had the surgery, i would forever feel some discomfort from the scar tissue and whatnot, so why do that to myself if i wasn't currently in pain, was his reasoning. But he was willing to repair the hernia for me if i wanted it done.

Obviously, this was the answer i wanted to hear, so how much did that influence my feelings about his judgement? But at the same time, it's been nearly 3 years and things seem fine. I do wish i could just squish the stupid thing back in and hold it there until my muscles knit themselves back together and closed the hole, but apparently, that isn't how things work. Balls!

By min | April 22, 2016, 8:36 AM | My stupid life