Two months ago I had travelled out to southern California for work. Upon my visit, a friend of mine, pointing to my stomach, had mentioned, “Someone drinking a little too much beer?” Much to my chagrin, I had stated, “Only my belly button.” After about a month, I had noticed my navel protruding more than ever. It had crested with bluish tint and tender to the touch. On New Years’ Eve, I had decided on sending a picture to my general practitioner for some feedback. He had responded “umbilical hernia.” At first, I was writing off the protrusion as more cosmetic than a functional issue. For over two years, it really hadn’t bothered me much until getting the seasonal cold this past January. With each respective sneeze and cough, pain had bellowed through my chest cavity with a greater degree of discomfort but, still manageable.
Somewhere along the way in January, I had also noticed another protrusion in my lower pelvic area while working out. Maybe it was from doing leg presses or just lifting something incorrectly (i.e. a scuba tanks). Regardless, the mental toll of having two hernias, especially a lower pelvic one, really had lowered my spirits. I had wondered, “If I had surgery, how long until I recover to go run, hike, swim or scuba? Will I be the same man afterward?” In my 40s, I had really started to ponder every new ache with the progression of aging. I had started to channel, Stone Temple Pilots’,”Half the man I used to be.”
Now at first, I had written off a decision for surgery until later in the 2014. I had really wanted to focus on getting more reps scuba diving with a friend; however, I had figured, ”Why not schedule an appointment for a medical consult?” Two days before my appointment, I had gone out for Karaoke with a buddy. While there, I had an unexpected shift in my lower abdomen while going to the restroom. A sharp pain had begun emanating from my lower torso feeling like someone literally kicking constantly in the groin. With the pain increasing in severity, I had opted to bail on my friend at the bar in lieu of rest. Choosing to avoid a repeat of the previous night outing, I had chosen to skip the next morning at the gym. I had grown fearful of what might inadvertently occur. I was wondering if my intestines might pop out like the many ghastly depictions online including a story from Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock.
This past Thursday, I had finally caught up with my surgeon for a consult. Much to my surprise, he had mentioned the recovery time should be quick, even for activity like scuba diving or the gym. With that appraisal echoed by my family doctor, I was ecstatic. Now, all I was waiting on scheduling the surgery and getting back to a full range of activities. If you had a hernia before, what was it like? How long did it take you to return to a fully functional battle station?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Hernia Surgery: “Those Were Sexy Times” (US Weekly)