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!
Labels: doctors, hernia, pain