Adventures with two hernias

Feb 4, 2021

All my life, I have been very active. Since my youth, I have spent my days outside competing in sports, lifting weights, hiking, running, biking, living. Being active has gotten me through health crises, bad luck, and bad days. If I felt down in the dumps, I could always cheer myself up with a long bike ride or a satisfying run. When I was laid off in April 2020, what did I do to get me through the extra time? Worked out. 

Worked out too much, apparently.

By the end of the summer (2020) I started to feel terrible. It was a pain I was not accustomed to. I have generally always had a twitchy back, and general aches and pains from training, but this was a different type of pain. Running got more challenging. I could not bend over. I could not jump. Getting out of a chair became an agonizing chore.

Thinking it was the result of overtraining, I slowed down. When the symptoms persisted, I finally realized what I had. A hernia. A dreaded hernia. An umbilical hernia to be exact. I have known several people who have had hernias and they all said how awful they are. Plus, they require surgery and up to three months until full recovery. So, in November, I started the process of getting officially diagnosed. First came the ultrasound which determined, that yes, I had a hernia. Then came the cat scan in December. I actually had two hernias (umbilical and inguinal). 


Ok, full confession, I am super sensitive in my belly button region. I am also incredibly modest. So the double hernia seemed like a horrible curse. After seeing the surgeon and getting a final confirmation in early January, surgery was scheduled for January 26. 


To say this knock the wind out of me would be an understatement. I figured I lived with the inguinal hernia for probably a year based on the symptoms. Once I got the second hernia, my body gave up. I cannot really describe the pain other than it limits you on just about every level. You can't move without some pain. You do get somewhat conditioned to it, but it's not something one can live with. One week before my surgery, I could hardly get out of bed. 

My surgery was a success and remarkably I felt better almost immediately. People always say you feel the results instantly, but now you have to heal from the surgery. I am more than a week post-surgery and I feel pretty good. I do have pain from my incisions, but it is better than the pain from the hernia. I feel like I did a couple of years ago in fact. I figure in about two weeks, I will be able to do some moderate exercising again and probably within two months, be back to my usual workout routine, this time with more caution. 



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