Thursday, January 1, 2015

Surgery Part 1

*****Backdated....Sometime in November 2014*******

It's been talked about, researched, prayed about, and discussed in great length. And after seeing 7 different doctors regarding it, a decision has been made:

I'm going to have surgery.


When I was pregnant with Hattie, around month 6ish, I called into the ob doctor. My complaint: pain. I told him that my stomach was hurting so much, that it felt like my insides were ripping apart. I explained that I could barely let my shirt rest on my stomach either because my skin was so sore. He asked a series of questions, made sure that I wasn't having any issues relating to the pregnancy itself and that baby was ok. He went on to tell me that there wasn't much they could do until after delivery and that I was just going to have to get through it. Days turned into weeks and the pain persisted.

After delivering Hattie and returning home, my belly button area hurt a lot. Not the kind of hurt like "I just had a baby" hurt, but something more severe. I could barely rest Hattie on my stomach while nursing and when she slept I had to strategically place her so her feet wouldn't touch anywhere near my belly button. A month went by and although I had healed up a lot from the pregnancy and birthing experience, the hurt never went away in that area. I also noticed that my "innie" belly button no longer remained...I had an "outie" and it made me wince when it would get touched.

I made an appointment to go see a doctor and get this checked out. I was concerned I had an umbilical hernia. According to google, I was a shut-and-close case. :) The doctor examined me and within about 3 seconds confirmed what I had thought all along. He also told me that I had a very severe diastasis. That means that the abdominal muscles that run vertically on either side of the center of your stomach had separated...significantly. So when I had called that OB back when I was pregnant telling him I felt like I was ripping apart, I literally was. I was told to see a specialist and get it taken care of.

I made an appointment to see someone at the Midwest Hernia Center in Edina. He was very nice and I knew he did good work because he had fixed my dad's hernia so he came highly recommended. My mom, Hattie, and I made the trek down there to the consultation.

In short, he told me what I already knew. An umbilical hernia was present and indicated that a diastasis that large on a small frame such as mine could be problematic. I was given two options, do surgery soon (interrupting the nursing of my new baby) or wait until she was a bit older and get it taken care of then. I naturally opted for the "I'll take care of it later" choice. I was not willing to do anything that might stand in the way of a successful nursing experience with Hattie. So I shelved the idea and promised to revisit it in 12 -18 months.

Fast forward to November 2014.:

I had at this point seen 7 different doctors regarding this diastasis/umbilical hernia issue. Each time hoping I would get a different answer, each time receiving the same solution to this problem. After the 7th doctor, I decided it was high time to step out of denial and accept that the solution to the problem was going to require surgery.

My belly button area never really got any better over the 18 months. It still ached at times, hurt at others, had pains shoot through it, burned and generally just caused discomfort. Upon researching the diastasis issue, I learned that it was the culprit of my back going out on so many different occasions, why I was having some pelvic floor issues, and why it hurt to mow the lawn, mop the floor, lean over the tub to bathe Hattie, and made me feel so weak in my core.  Running had become a thing I didn't want to do anymore because it felt like things were ripping further when I exercised.


A major surgery.


I thought long and hard about when to have this surgery. I was getting tired of the discomfort and that came with it. I finally made a decision and had the surgery set up for February 12. I knew by then Mom and Dad would have moved down here so they could help in my recovery, it would give me time to prepare for it, and by then I was thinking that Hattie might naturally wean herself. Plus I would get a bulk of the healing done in the winter so by summer I would be back to normal again.

But the best laid plans...

...never seem to work out....

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