Thursday, April 2, 2015

A patient’s tale


Adejoh Idoko Momoh

‘It was a little harder this time’, most people don’t understand this when I tell it and there’s good reason not to. After all, I always wore a smile, was first to assure I’d be fine in no time and was out of the hospital two days after surgery. I shared with no one the horrid tales of how I thought I’d not survive the procedure, not even with my partner or family; it’s this not being able to tell that hurt the most: Just knowing that everyone has his problems and not wanting to burden anyone.
They didn’t see and I didn’t tell them of the nausea that wouldn’t let me sleep for all my recovery. Or that constantly lingering pain that made me pause even as I tried to do seemingly normal things. How waking from the anesthesia felt like an out-of-body experience and how I could hear the doctors call my name even as I struggled to respond. Every time I formed words in my head they never came out of my mouth. When they finally came the first thing I said was something so inappropriate the doctors cringed.  
The thing about surgery and recovery is that even when no one pressures you to take strides or expects you to make a full recovery immediately; you put the pressure on yourself. Like proving the point that you are strong and can beat the weakness associated with recuperating.
For me, the pressure begins with the very origins of illness; they say an inguinal hernia is mostly caused by pressure to the abdominal wall; it typically presents in patients as they are young and keeps increasing in size as they do things that further weaken the wall. However irrational some guilt starts to prick at you; afterall this pressure is brought about by your own acts.
For most people who suffer hernia or will suffer it, I say this; hernias are typically non threatening and there is the temptation to save yourself the needless procedure that fixes it because it poses no harm. Know that in all these, there is the very slim chance that it gets strangulated and from reduced blood supply to severe pain and possibly a fever there are many downsides to this. My advice, if you start to see signs of a hernia, have it fixed before it becomes an emergency.

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