Tuesday, September 02, 2008

don't mess with mother nature (or: this won't hurt a bit, no, wait, yes it will)

Whoah, I feel like I feel off the face of the blogosphere and can't quite get my footing back.

But enough of this being sick stuff. My theory is that if I tell you what's wrong with me, I'll start feeling better.

It all started way back at the beginning of June when I finally (finally!) got out into the sorely neglected front garden and started ripping out weeks and stuff willy nilly. There was one tough customer in the form of a small shrub that needed to be relocated but wasn't cooperating. I pulled and pulled and finally yanked that sucker right out of the ground, falling backwards a bit in the process. That little tree was to be my downfall.

When I woke up the day after the gardening extravaganza I felt this weird stabbing pain in my belly button and thought I had done a number on my stomach muscles. This wasn't like any other muscle pain I'd ever had, though. Time to start googling.

Minutes later I came up with a diagnosis - an umbilical hernia. Nice. Thanks SO much. I always thought hernias were something for old men, but apparently they're pretty common, especially in women between 40 and 50 who have had multiple pregnancies and are overweight. Ahem. If the shoe fits...

A quick trip to the doctor confirmed my suspicions but he maintained that the opening was very small and wouldn't need to be repaired quite yet. If I had constant, excruciating pain, though, I should get myself to emergency immediately, he said. There's a risk of incarceration and strangulation with these things and that's bad, bad, bad. Ugh.

Anyway, there wasn't much I could do since we were going on holiday soon, so I tried to ignore it, even though there were good days and bad days with more or less pain and discomfort. I even managed to enjoy our vacation to the fullest, trying not to think about how travel insurance would deal with a pre-existing condition like that if things took a turn for the worse.

After we got back I visited the doc again, a different one this time since my regular GP was away. This doctor poked around a bit and said he thought I should see a surgeon if I was having a lot of discomfort and also make an appointment for a general exam with an ultrasound to check things out since some of my symptoms didn't fit the hernia issues.

The surgeon poked around even more and said he felt it was just a general weakness of the rectus abdominus muscles leading to a separation, the so-called diastasis recti, common in women who have had children. That's all well and good, but I've always had problems in that area since giving birth to a 9 pounder over 12 years ago, but I feel my symptoms and the discomfort point to something else, something new. Before I had the chance to shout "Would it kill ya to do an ultrasound??" he gives me a referal to yet another surgeon, the head honcho at the hospital one town over and a specialist in gastrointestinal stuff.

That appointment is on the 25th. The other general appointment is next Wednesday and I'm really hoping to find out why I sometimes have the feeling there's a red hot knitting needle poking through my belly button from the indside. And then there's that tennis-ball-wedged-under-my-ribcage sensation on the right side. The fun never stops.

Meanwhile I'm taking it one step at a time and doing what I can on good days like this, resting on bad days like yesterday. No need to worry, I'm perfectly fine - I'd just like to know what's going on in there and get it fixed once and for all.

I'll keep y'all posted and stay tuned for a bunch of What I Did on My Summer Vacation posts comin' up soon!

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At September 02, 2008 12:21 p.m., Blogger Alison said...

yikes... that sucks Christina. I know how terrible it is to go for ages knowing that something is not right only to have Dr.s all telling you different stories. I hope the mystery will be sorted out soon and you'll be on the road to recovery.

At September 02, 2008 12:54 p.m., Blogger Antipo Déesse said...

Poor old sausage, you have my sympathy, you really do. Would it help if I dress up in my nurse's uniform and fly over to fix you?

At September 02, 2008 4:11 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother has one and it's been there for 4 yrs...She refuses to have it patched up. Sometimes, it leaks fluid. ewww, gross. Sometimes it swells like a golf ball. But she's obese you see. You don't appear obese and she's also older than McCain. (Older than dirt so she won't have it fixed, because she's hoping it will kill her, just kidding).
Anyway, don't stress. It could be a simple stitch up.
I wished she'd get it repaired but she just won't do it. She also quit smoking 4 yrs ago after 50 yrs and that didn't kill her either. Again, just kidding, about the killing part. Anyway, I'm in a weird mood today. Really looking forward to your posts. I missed them. Lurking Lisa in Stuttgart.

At September 02, 2008 5:08 p.m., Blogger Ms Mac said...

I had an umbilical hernia after Ewan was born. Strangely enough, it would only give me hassle when I was having a good time, "only when I laughed", so to speak. My lovely and husband and best friends would take the micket relentlessly, clutching their stomachs and shouting, "Ooooh! Me hernia!" when it bothered me. Such love and support!

Ouchie, sore but it should be easy to fix, just a day procedure. Keep on at your docs until you get a referral to a surgeon!

At September 02, 2008 6:43 p.m., Blogger Silvia said...

Oh god Christina, thats not fun, and I am wondering that you are tolerating this for so long, I'd be at the emergency room already to have it taken out ASAP!Good luck!

At September 02, 2008 9:07 p.m., Blogger Thimbleanna said...

Holy cow Miss Mausi! Man...sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Stay on top of it and make them get it fixed!!!

At September 02, 2008 9:28 p.m., Anonymous amy said...

no fun! here's to getting the whatchamacallit figured out and fixed as soon as possible! and with a speedy recovery.

standing by for travel tales.

At September 02, 2008 11:56 p.m., Blogger Leah said...

I hope you get things sorted soon. It's no fun being in the dark. Feel better soon!

At September 03, 2008 2:51 a.m., Anonymous Maribeth said...

Don't you just wish you could look inside and have a good view?
I hope they figure it out soon and that you start to feel better!

At September 03, 2008 8:53 a.m., Blogger Snooker said...

Ouch and double ouch!
I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. Hopefully you'll get a sensible doctor who can actually TELL you something and then even HELP you!
I'm pushin' thumbs for ya!

At September 03, 2008 9:44 a.m., Blogger Andrea said...

I hope they figure it out soon and you can get back to feeling better.
I'll keep you in my thoughts.

At September 03, 2008 4:51 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Oh Christina, I completely forgot what you had told me about this. I am hoping for the best, but actually thought maybe your silence was due to getting it taken care of..

Just please make sure the boys help you out more! By the way, I'm moved now!

At September 04, 2008 2:35 a.m., Blogger Bek said...

Sorry to hear about that. I hope everything will turn out fine and that the "not knowing" will end soon.

At September 04, 2008 9:33 a.m., Blogger Betsy said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry! Good luck at your appointments-- I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you!

((Big hugs))

At September 04, 2008 1:05 p.m., Anonymous Lil'Sis said...

Hello Mausi! I´m surprised the next appointment is so late in the month. And also I`m wondering if you are going to a german or english doctor. (First time I read your Blog) If I were in this position I would press the point of pain and how long you have been going through this, why suffer any longer because doctors don´t seem to take you serious!? Show self confidence - find the right doctor who´s taking action now! You only have this one body... Don´t let them make you depend on certain doctors, their vacation, opening hours, their lack of experience.... Good luck! :)

At September 04, 2008 5:27 p.m., Blogger Trac said...

Oh dear, poor you!

And after reading Ms Mac's comment, I would avoid telling anyone that laughing makes things worse!

So no laughing ok? :O)

At September 05, 2008 9:13 a.m., Blogger Pumpkin Pie said...

No fun that our bodies are never the same after those babies! :)

Good luck with your next appointment and I agree with Lil'sis that you should stress how long you have been dealing with PAIN. I think doctors sometimes get caught up in their routines that they forget that there is a PERSON in front of them.

At September 05, 2008 5:34 p.m., Blogger swenglishexpat said...

Hi Christina - Sorry to hear of your troubles. I have nothing to compare with and no suggestions, just a good-luck to you. You have my sympathies. A glass of red wine might help though ;-)

At September 06, 2008 5:36 p.m., Blogger Carol said...

Hey -- I had surgery to my rectus abdominus after the birth of my twins 18 years ago. It was fairly major... as in, my belly button isn't even my own!

Any questions, feel free to contact me!

And feel better!


At September 07, 2008 6:01 p.m., Blogger beaverboosh said...

Hope you feel better... and that it is nothing serious

At September 08, 2008 5:20 p.m., Blogger Diane Mandy said...

I'm sorry you've had such a rough time of it and hope you are feeling better soon!

At September 08, 2008 9:21 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Unbelievable, Christina! The thing is, the needle in the haystack theory keeps them from misdiagnosing, I guess, but not figuring it out is for the birds. I hurt for and with you. Please hang in there and don't let them get away with murder!!!


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