On Managing Fear And Surviving Surgery

When I was 22 years old I had a herniorrhaphy, it was one of the saddest times in my life.

I was operated on by my uncle an incredibly talented surgeon who did a wonderful job, I don’t even have a scar anymore.

“A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall. Most hernias are not immediately life threatening, but they don’t go away on their own and can require surgery to prevent potentially dangerous complications.”

I’ve always had a hernia as far back as I can remember, it a bit of a family thing. My dad, grandma, aunties and one cousin all have or had it at some point. The discomfort sort of came and went on its on. But alas, this time it came and didn’t go back. Eventually getting so bad that I couldn’t stand up straight without feeling pain and discomfort. At that point I could no longer deny the fact that it was time for a surgery.

I am still not certain that it had anything to do with the hernia but I suffered the worst bout of insomnia around the same time. I would literally go days without sleep and be depressed the whole time.

My grades were the worst they had ever been and the man I loved wasn’t in the picture anymore.

I lived in a different state from all my family at the time so I called mummy and she called uncle and I went to his hospital to be examined.

“You need to take it out” he was so chill about it, like he wasn’t talking about tearing me open and fiddling with parts of me.

I was terrified, I’d never really considered going under the knife.

“So go downstairs and tell the nurse I said to prep you for surgery”

“What?? Right now??”

I was befuddled, frozen and completely in a daze. I guess it showed because he rang for the nurse and relayed the message personally.

“Oya, let’s go” she said stretching out her hands towards me.

Still dazed, I took her hand and walked out of his office. We proceeded downstairs were my blood was drawn and tested for a bunch of stuff.

“Ahh your blood count is low o”

The words seemed like they were coming from a radio or a telephone. I had checked out mentally.

“So what does that mean?” I managed to respond

It means we can’t do the surgery now, you’ll have to eat plenty vegetable and fish first…..”

Her words faded over the exploding joy in my heart, I wasn’t going to get operated on now. I had been saved by my low blood count. Meaning I had a couple days to atleast wrap my head around it.

So off I went, to stuff my face with vegetables and fish as was the doctor’s orders, and to wrap my head around everything that was meant to happen. The mind is a very funny tool, for whatever reason I strongly believed that I’d go under and never come back up. This terrified me greatly. I tried to rest, I figured if I stayed still and strain free long enough maybe the hernia would go away. But at the end of the couple days break, I was itching to go back to the hospital because the hernia hadn’t disappeared and the pain had multiplied.

I checked into the hospital, depressed, terrified( I was still sure i wasn’t gonna wake up) and alone. My mum made plans to meet me at the hospital after the surgery to take me home for the recuperation period.

Surgery morning came, I was prepped and wheeled into the operating room. I remember being asked to count backwards from 10 to 1, I don’t think I made it pass 8 before I passing.

I left that hospital a little tougher, a little bit more confident in my own ability to pull myself by my boot straps. And on days like this, when I feel alone and terrified, disillusioned by fear and uncertainty. I remind myself of that time how I made it through and I know I’ll make it through this one too.

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