I visited my consultant yesterday (yes, on a Saturday because despite the reports, we DO have an NHS on the weekend!) I’ve been having stomach pains, feeling very tired and more worrying, some weird swellings in my stomach. I knew what he was going to say, but it didn’t make it any less devastating when he told me I have two hernias.
I have a parastomal hernia, which means it sits right behind my stoma and an incisional hernia in my belly button. I can’t actually explain just how upset I am. I know some people may think that a hernia is a minor thing, but it affects you every day and limits what you can and can’t do. But worse than that for me, is that they can only be fixed through surgery. I just feel my struggle is never fucking ending.
Just saying the word ‘surgery’ makes me anxious, I feel hot, my palms sweat and my mouth goes dry. I feel like crying and running away. The word takes me back to a dark place of hospital wards, pain, suffering and sadness. I feel panicky and sick.
Mr Brown saw my face and asked me what I’d like to do, he said surgery is the treatment for this and I just shook my head. “No. I can’t. I’m not ready in my body or my mind to face surgery again.” He smiled and agreed, saying he thought I was right and that we should wait as long as possible to operate.
I asked about alternate ways to help during this time, I already wear support underwear (see Vanilla Blush for support underwear that doesn’t look like your nan bought it) and I try to not over exert my tummy muscles. I have spoken to my stoma nurse about getting some other hernia support designed for people with an ostomy.
The other thing is my weight. There’s too much of it.
I asked Mr Brown if losing weight would help and he said yes. It will help with the pressure on my stomach and when I do face surgery it will be better for me to be a bit lighter. I’m a size 16-18, my BMI is 28, I am classed as overweight and plus size. I genuinely like how I look, I don’t diet because I don’t feel that I need to be thinner. Now I am being told that losing weight would be really beneficial to my health and so it is time to shed a few pounds.
I know this will be hard, I’ve been overweight since I started having babies but if this will hold off the surgery then it something I must do.
Regarding the tummy pains and aches, I was told that I’ve had a lot of surgery, there are a lot of internal scars and unfortunately, it is just part of healing. I’ve had a lot taken away inside so I suppose things are moving around and settling which causes pain. Regarding the tiredness I had bloods taken to test my vit b12 so Ill wait and see what they say about that.
I’m trying to be positive and look for the ways I can help myself. But really I want to hide in a duvet and cry. I’m absolutely devastated. Have I not been through enough? Does the struggle never end? After each of the 4 surgeries I’ve had in the past 3 years, I think it will be my last, I think that this is the one that makes everything ok, but it never does.
There’s always something else around the corner and I’m so tired of being unwell and broken. When does it all end? When will I be ok?
I don’t know the answer to this question but I do know that I have no other choice but to plod on and keep going. I’ll recite my Yorkshire mantra that “it’ll be reight” and keep smiling.