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Archive for May 24th, 2008

As in, “Take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and give thanks to God!”

My surgery is done, and to all appearances, I am on the mend!  After the horrors of 2006, I can’t believe how easily this one is going — I still have energy, I still have my sense of humor, and best of all, I can actually get around the house and do a little work, mostly cooking and washing dishes — which is more than I could do during the last round.  Probably this is so because hernia repair is nowhere near as radical as a hysterectomy, but still — I was prepared for the worst (unlike the last time), and this is SO much easier than that was.

And now a word of advice:  Should you ever need surgery, of any kind, make sure beforehand that your doctor will use self-dissolving sutures. No staples.  I don’t even know if anyone uses regular sutures anymore; it seems to be either staples or these self-dissolving thingies.  I found out about this when I told my surgeon that I was concerned about this wound not healing, as happened with the last one.  He smiled and said, “I used self-dissolving sutures.  They dissolve in 3-4 weeks.  This wound won’t open up.”  Then he said something that fried me:  “A lot of surgeons use staples because it’s easier for them, but I like the self-dissolving sutures, because there’s a better chance of success for the patient.”

So all that hell was caused by two gynecologists making life easy for themselves.  I am just open-mouthed.  I had thought that maybe they used staples because, face it, I am not the most svelte person on the planet.  But apparently that wasn’t it at all.  I’m just flabbergasted.  Words fail me (and that doesn’t happen too often).

Back to the present.  I do have a drain, a little rubber syringe thingie attached to a tube that allows excess serum to drain off.  That should come out by next Wednesday, and till then, no showers.  Ugh, back to the sink baths, but at least it should only be for one week, two at most.  And the mesh they used — herniae are repaired by patching the hole with mesh — is (are you ready for this?) biologic.  It occurs to me that I may have mentioned this before, so forgive me if that’s the case, but I’ve made my little funny to so many people that I can’t remember who I told and who I didn’t tell.  The patch comes from a cadaver (eww), and when I asked about tissue rejection, my doctor explained that the patch is so thoroughly treated and broken down that by the time it’s put into a warm body, it’s basically just protein, and the warm body accepts it as such.  Kewl.  Now, I did some internet research on these things, and apparently they don’t have to come from a human cadaver, so I was thinking — but I never did get around to it — of asking my doctor if he could obtain skin from a sheep.  My family used to tease me that I knitted so much, I was turning into a sheep anyway, so why not go whole ewe?  (How can you go whole hog with a sheep?)

Okay, the silence is deafening.  Bad joke.  Almost enough to make anybody wish I was as knocked out as I was the last time.

Meanwhile, I have laundry to hang up in the back yard.  No, I am not supposed to lift anything, nor will I.  DH will carry the laundry basket out to the line, and I will hang it out — I figure that’s good exercise, which I need plenty of, anyway.  And no lifting.  I should actually be going for walks, but I would be happier about that if I had a cane — all I can picture is me taking a header on a pebble or some other stupid piece of road litter, and cracking open that beautiful surgical job.  No, thanks.  So the exercise component will consist of hanging out laundry.  Heaven knows there’s enough.

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