Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The most 80s of ailments ...

My doctor draws it out for me, something that looks like the layers of Earth. It's taken him a single poke to my navel to diagnose me and now he's explaining it in great, disgusting detail.

My outer core, so to speak, has bubbled into my mantle at a weak spot. It needs to be pushed back into position. And, in non-Earth metaphors -- I have a small hernia. It's not unusual for post-preggos. This can happen when a belly busts out to here. A wayward intestine found its way into a gap and now there is a bubble poking through creating a painful little bump above my belly button.

A surgeon will have to go in, take his/her massive thumb, and push it back into place. Then, the hole will be patched like I'm a leaky tent.

"This is not from your navel ring," he told me, though I'd not asked or even wondered. "This is because you were pregnant."

There was a pain right in the spot where I rest the baby. This is also where, when I'm putting her into her pajamas, she most frequently hauls off and kicks me. It only hurts when it's touched, so the rest of the day it can be ignored.

If you Google the right combination of symptoms, umbilical hernia is the only answer. You can say, "Hernia? Why that sounds like something for other people to deal with. People with aggressive intestines, for instance." You can rearrange the words and Google again, but the answer remains the same. Umbilical hernia.

"It seems like it might be a hernia," I had told the nurse. "According to the internet. I suppose you hear 'According to the internet' a lot. But this does seem to be a hernia."

It feels kind of weird to have a hernia. Like now that I know, I really want it fixed. Every time I exert any effort, I imagine the intestine slowing oozing through the hole, like slow motion Silly String. I ate jalapenos for at lunch and imagined a spicy piece getting caught in this pocket. I have to hold the baby in a new way, which inadvertently folds her into a weird C shape that neither of us like.

Chuck said of the diagnosis: This is what happens when you carry things.

There is something so Totally 80s about a hernia. Was it a thing back then? A saying or an insult? God. She practically had a hernia about it. 

Sam Malone had a hernia, Chuck told me. He freaked. Thought it was an ailment for old people. He told the regulars he was taking a ski trip, but really he had surgery. Chuck just saw this episode of "Cheers" last week while I was busy growing my own ... stomach tail?

Then, of course, there is this, which has been stuck in my head all day.

2 comments:

Whiskeymarie said...

I had an umbilical hernia too! Years ago, I developed one from waiting tables & all the heavy lifting from working in food. I got it operated on- it was no big whoop and the after-care drugs were lovely. 10 years later all I have is a teeny scar, which I sometimes tell people is from getting stabbed in a bar fight.

Christa said...

Wee! Awesome! We can be bar fight stab wound twins!