Belly achin’.

Today was another “these things only happen to me” day. I had a follow-up with my general practitioner, who was only able to get the radiology report and not the actual CT scans from last week, thanks to our government’s privacy regulations. (Don’t even get me started about how I feel about the government having any involvement in my health care to begin with!) So now I have to pick up the disk myself, hand-carry it to my GP, and by then it will have been another week of belly achin’.

My GP is not completely convinced that I don’t have a hernia. He acknowledges the possibility that it’s an injury to the scar tissue causing the pain, but he also said that it’s possible they didn’t do precise enough imaging, or they may have not imaged the right area. The pain is tricky for me to locate – the CT scan tech had me put a little sticker where I thought the pain was, but since last Thursday it has moved a good 2″ north and west of where I originally felt it. So – I’m probably in for more imaging, depending on what my GP sees once I can bypass all privacy red tape and actually show the scans to him. But there is also a good chance that I will be faced with two choices: wait and see, or go back to life as normal, yoga and everything, and try to make the darned thing rupture (my suggestion, acknowledged but not endorsed as a possibility by my doctor). I’m not thrilled with either option, and frankly, am leaning toward the latter. Let’s get this thing over with already!

Meanwhile, I’m spending more time lying flat on my back than I have since… the adrenalectomy! It’s the only time that the pain goes almost completely away; the rest of the time it’s as if I have a constant stitch in my side, mixed up with occasional sharp pains if I move the wrong way, and – best of all, feeling my pulse in my stomach nonstop by the end of each day. All of which is unpleasant enough that I actually look forward to DOING NOTHING since it makes it all temporarily stop. I’m not thrilled about the enforced down time, but Call the Midwife and Doc Martin have actually been making it a little more tolerable. A little.

ETA: an update – scans have been reviewed and reviewed and reviewed, and there is clearly NO hernia. I’m still having a bit of pain but it is MUCH better, and I’ve been given the go-ahead to go back to one yoga class a week, modified to avoid certain movements. Yay!

Wait, not so fast.

Met with the surgeon, who sent me for a CT scan today. An hour later he called me and asked if I wanted the good news, or the bad news first.

I opted for bad, at which point he started talking about my hepatic hemangioma. Been there, done that, ignoring it for now – yeah, I’m being pretty blase about a cyst the size of a strawberry in my liver. But my primary care doctor strongly believes it’s harmless, so I’m going with it.

The good news – the CT scan showed no evidence of an incisional hernia, so, I’m not being rushed off to surgery next week. HOORAY for that. But the scan showed considerable scar tissue from my adrenalectomy, which is now being blamed for my current painful situation. And which there really isn’t much to be done about.

To me, that last bit is actually the bad news – nothing much to be done about it. And if that’s as bad as it gets, I’LL TAKE IT. Not sure if this is the end of it or not; I’m meeting with my primary care doctor on Wednesday to find out more.

Whew. Dodged that bullet. Now if someone could only just stop this pain in my belly… 🙂

Well hello again, surgery.

Due to a combination of my own stubbornness, idiocy, independence, and plain old bad luck, I’m facing surgery again. This is the one complication of the adrenalectomy (or really any abdominal surgery) that they didn’t tell me about, since I don’t fit the profile for those who usually develop them (obese, sedentary, otherwise un-health-conscious) – I lifted something too heavy last week and next thing I knew, I had an incisional hernia. How did I know? Because I did a seated forward bend in yoga class, felt a searing pain in my belly, and looked down and saw a big bulge poking out. I did what any good yogi would do – took a deep breath, popped it back in, and finished my class. Aum, shanti, shanti. shanti.

I really had no idea that it was any big deal – I thought it was just my weird stomach being weird. But the pain didn’t go away and through the magic of Google, I diagnosed myself and realized it wasn’t something to mess around with. A visit with my primary care doctor this morning confirmed my diagnosis, and I’m scheduled to see a general surgeon on August 6 July 25.

I’m on complete and total restricted everything until the surgery – no lifting over 10 pounds, no yoga, no hiking, no bike riding. I can, however, walk, go to the beach, and play ukulele… as long as I lift no more than 10 pounds’ worth of ukulele at one time, of course. Put in those terms, it’s not entirely awful. Just a bit suckworthy, because I really like yoga, hiking, and bike riding.

According to my primary care doc, the hernia surgery will likely be laparoscopic, and will be a similar experience to my adrenalectomy except for the removing-an-organ-and-tumor bit. While it’s no picnic in the park, I know what I’m in for and outside of that horrible co2 gas they inflate one’s torso with, I know it’s nothing unbearable. Same routine, two weeks off work, the aforementioned restrictions in place for 4 weeks after surgery, yadda yadda. A bit of deja vu, perhaps.

Statistics claim that incisional hernias happen in 10 to 15% of all abdominal surgery patients. If you Google “10-15%”, interestingly you’ll find lots of depressing statistics for when bad things happen to good people, but few that reflect good things happening to good people. Or to bad people, for that matter. So I’m just going to file this one under sh*t happens.

Namaste.

Phooey on Phood: a rant.

File this one under middle-class problems, but – I’m feeling a little sorry for myself right now, so I’m going to vent. Maybe it’s all the homemade pies in my Instagram feed, and the invites to barbecues (and the minefields that they present), and the friends discussing trendy small-batch ice creameries at length, but – it seems like this summer is dedicated to Foods I Can’t Eat. For someone who can’t eat wheat, dairy, or fructose, there is little to nothing summer-y to eat!

Well, avocados. Thank goodness for those.

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