My hernia operation was on January 7, 2013. It is more than 2 years later and I am still fine. I lift very heavy weights and have worked very hard helping people move and doing some other really hard labor. It was a success. There is no pain, I can do what I want and there is only a small scar.
If you are wondering what it’s like to have a hernia operation, read my story. I recorded what the days leading up to the operation, the operation, and the first few days afterward and had it transcribed.
Note: This story was transcribed from my audio description of my hernia operation a few years. So it
is mostly me just talking and the text will be a little shaky and not
Today I’m going to talk about my hernia operation. The reason I’m
going to talk about it today is just so there’s some information to help
men get through this operation and understand it a little bit better.
I wasn’t that satisfied in the last year finding anything to help me know what’s going on. So, this is my attempt to help you understand the process a little bit. What to do before, what the day of the surgery is like, and what the recovery is like afterward.
So, I had been suffering with this hernia for a year or so at least. My doctor told me, after the surgery, he thought I might have had it for years. Of course I didn’t know this. I didn’t know I had a hernia since I’ve been young.
I had noticed it at least a year ago, I had the bulge below the belt line and then the hernia sometimes comes out into your scrotum and it gets very large. It becomes difficult to move around because it is so big.
But it didn’t really hurt so I didn’t really do anything. In fact, the only reason I even went to the doctor at all was I had had severe pain on Saturday morning.
I had got up Saturday morning started my normal routine, drinking coffee, working on the internet, doing stuff with my computer and somewhere along the line it was just unbelievably painful.
From Hernia Resource Center
Read up about hernias if you suspect you have one. If you do, get the operation, you won't regret it.
It had never been painful. It had always been just been there, big and in the way.
I didn’t worry about it prior to that Saturday morning. I worked around it. I didn’t lift too heavily, most of the time I avoided over using it. But I didn’t want to go in to the doctor.
I knew there would be a cost involved. I figured, well, wait another month, or wait another two months. I’ll wait whatever it takes. I wanted to wait. I also had some insurance issues so I wanted to wait to accumulate more cash.
Terrible Pain on Saturday Morning Before My Hernia Operation
But, that Saturday morning there was just so much pain. I went back to bed thinking that when you lay down for long enough, the hernia
usually goes back in.
But it was there for, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, thirty minutes, and still wasn’t going back in. And it was irritating me because here I am, this is my Saturday morning, this is the morning I enjoy the most, quietly doing things around the house especially my internet work.
And I was thinking, man this is not getting better at all. Am I going to die? Is it a strangulated hernia that I’ve read about on the internet? Are my bowels going to get cut off? Am I going to die? Is this it?
So I kind of was just waiting there, and then I finally called to my son and told him to get ready. You are going to have to take me to the emergency room. This was the first I had told my kids of my health issue, so they were in a bit of shock.
So I gathered enough of my strength together to get out of bed, threw on some slippers, and a sweat shirt. I had him pull my jeep around to take me to the hospital.
At The Emergency Room Hospital 2 Days Before My Hernia Operation
He drove me to the emergency room which was about 25 minutes away. The ride was just agony of feeling every bump. It felt like a cobblestone road instead of smooth asphalt.
By the time we got to the hospital I was just doubled over in pain and could barely walk to the check-in desk. They checked me in, got me in a wheelchair and told me to wait in the waiting room. I only had to wait about 5 minutes. They did see me right away.
Best Tip I Could Give You About Hospitals
It is critical that you know what emergency rooms you need to go to. This is one big tip. I had learned this about a month ago, which emergency rooms my insurance will cover. So, learn that. That’s a very important thing for a man to know…what emergency rooms in your local area accept your insurance. You do not want to do too much thinking, and calling your insurance when you’re in an emergency.
The hospital isn’t in an urban area filled with gunshot people and whacked out crazies. It’s a suburban, nicey, nice place. So, that’s a good tip too. Go to a hospital that’s not filled with people who are getting shot up and the staff is just running around chaotically and there are police roaming the halls.
I Was Still in Terrible Pain
So I went there, and I was checking in and I could hardly sit there. I was bent over and couldn’t lift my head. And then, they took me right away, really. It didn’t take long at all. It was a good deal.
They took me in, but by the time I really got into the treatment room, I was starting to feel a little bit better. It was starting to kind of go away; it was starting to feel better. I was getting better.
So, at that point, the doctor came in and he did examine me and he said well you’ve got what they call a real man’s hernia. It was very, very big in his opinion. And I knew that, I mean, it was a big hernia. Dragging that around, it’s big. But, it was doable, that’s what I’ve been doing.
The CAT Scan
So, then they gave me a cat scan where they inject some dye into you and you go back and forth in that machine, the cat scan machine. And it’s not difficult at all; I don’t have any allergies to medications or dyes or iodine, or anything. I don’t have a bad heart, I hadn’t been to the doctor in a decade and I’m in good shape in spite of being too heavy. I’m fat, and heavy, and big, but I am in good shape I don’t take any medications, I don’t have any allergies. I walk around and do what I want to do for the most part.
I just want to lose weight for my health, well, not for my health to look better, but I’m sure it would help my health and be able to do more of what I want to do.
But anyway, the CAT scan, they brought it back. They said, yes, you have a very, very large hole in your body and it’s a hernia.
The ER doctor said we’ve talked to the surgeon that does the hernia operation, we scanned the results to him, he has said that it is not life threatening, because it is a large hernia and the hernia can be pushed back in and it’s going back in now. We’ve been pushing it back in. The strangulated hernia problem is when the hole is small and can get pinched and that is when you have the huge life threatening emergency.
So, in my case, they said, well, you don’t have to have the hernia operation today. It’s not a dire emergency. And I was feeling much better. They said, but what you should do, is stay on an all liquid diet until Monday.
What The Emergency Room Doctor Recommended Before My Hernia Operation
The ER doctor said to call the surgeon Monday morning and beg for an appointment. The surgeon says he will see you on Monday, and perhaps you should plan on having the hernia operation on Monday. So, that’s where I was. The emergency room doctor said to stay on an all liquid diet until Monday and do whatever I could to have the surgery on Monday.
So, on the way home I was feeling better, was feeling a little more spry and not in pain anymore. I finally had diagnoses from a doctor, I hadn’t gone to the doctor, and this was on my list to do, go to the doctor to figure out what should be done.
So, I did that, and now I know what to do. So, we stopped at the gas station on the way home, and they said had said to get milkshakes and soft foods, so I had my son run in there and get some of those types of products.
At Home The Rest of the Weekend Waiting for Monday and My Hernia Operation
And then we made it home. I’m trying to think of the time, how long I was actually in the emergency room. Probably three hours or so. Probably three hours, you know how it is in a hospital. There’s a lot of sitting around and waiting. You have to be able to sit around and wait at the hospital; they’re not in there to hustle you in and out. There’s a certain amount of waiting and waiting, and waiting. Which, you will just have to deal with it. I’m an impatient person, so I don’t like to wait, but that’s what you have to do.
So, anyway we got home, I had the milkshake and I just relaxed all the rest of the day. And I did as little as possible on Saturday and Sunday.
Monday Morning Prior to My Hernia Operation
I went back to work on Monday morning. I start work at six-thirty, so I knew the surgeon’s office probably wouldn’t be open until eight. So then at eight, I called and begged the receptionist to give me an appointment and told her the story about how I was in the emergency room on Saturday and the doctors at the ER talked to your surgeon and he said I should come in on Monday.
So, I was able to get an appointment on Monday morning, late morning. So I worked another hour or two there at work.
My parents had came over the day before, on Sunday, to stay in the hotel nearby because I was figuring, well, that somebody would need to pick me up and maybe I would need some help to do this.
My oldest kid was only 17 and in high school, so I had asked my parents to help. They are very good at helping people deal with crises and problems.
So, you’re going to need to have somebody to drive you away from an
operation. It’s very important. They’re not going to let you drive
yourself, and you’re not going to be able to drive.
So, keep that in mind. So, I went to see the doctor, he saw me right away and said that you have a giant hernia...a real man size hernia. He said you should get this thing fixed right away. Can you do it and when? I said, if you can do it today, that would be fantastic. I said, I’ve got people here to take care of me for a day or two. I can do it today, if we can do it today, let’s do it today.
He said, go and see the receptionist, we’ll see what we can do. The scheduling person, they said, well, yeah, 3:50. This was about 11:00 in the morning, she said, well, can you come back? We’ll do it at 3:50 today. There has been a cancellation. So, she said get to the hospital at 1:20, the operation will be at 3:50. Two and a half hours after that.
At about eleven-thirty, they said you got to put on this antiseptic goop on the incision site, first. I left, went home, took a shower, put on the antiseptic stuff on the incision site, that keeps down the infection.
My Parents and I Went Back to the Hospital for My Hernia Operation
And we just hustled back to the hospital. We checked in, and then you start waiting. You get in there and you go through all the waiting and you wait all afternoon. And they said you don’t eat and you don’t drink.
My normal routine is to drink a ton of water a day, and a lot of coffee. So, I’m always fully hydrated. And by this time I was just dying of thirst. So, all afternoon I had nothing to drink and nothing to eat. So you’re going to have to deal with your thirst if you drink a lot of water as you should.
The Start of My Hernia Operation
Then finally, things started happening. Right at 3:50 p.m. the anesthesiologist came in and talked to me and said I’m going to be put under. And they ask you all kinds of questions.
Then the nursing assistant came in and said this is what’s going to happen.
And the doctor came in and said, well, we’re going to fix you up.
Then they finally came and wheeled me in, we’re in the white room, the next thing I know, I’m waking up in the recovery room, I’m grogged up. It wasn’t that long. It didn’t hurt at all. I didn’t have any pain at all during or immediately after.
The Hospital Recovery Room After My Hernia Operation was the Absolutely the Most Uncomfortable Time of My Life
Then, we got back to the recovery room. The hours after my hernia operation in the hospital recovery room were the most uncomfortable. They were the worst.
The bed that I was in was just horrible. It was about the most uncomfortable bed I’ve ever been in in my life. It was about an inch thick and I could not get comfortable at all. So, it was very unpleasant. It was almost like a torture chamber being in that bed. I was complaining about it to my parents and the nurse.
They probably thought, man, what a clown. You’re complaining about a bed. It just seems like a simple thing. Plus, I had my glasses on and my eyes were so poor that I could not read the stuff on the wall, I couldn’t read anything. Everything was tiny writing. And I just wanted to read to pass the time.
So, I was really crabby afterwards.
I Was Dying of Thirst After My Hernia Operation
The nurse gave me some water in a tiny plastic cup that is mostly chipped ice with just a tiny squirt of water. So I sucked down the water in an instant. The nurse had left before she could fill it up again. And, I was dying of thirst.
I drink huge amounts of water in giant cups. So this tiny cup was not cutting it and I had not drank anything for hours.
So, I kept having my mom fill up this water and I was drinking like a fiend. My parents don’t drink any water, so seeing me guzzle this water they were probably thinking what’s wrong with this guy?
But I was thirsty! I hadn’t drank anything in like seven or eight hours. So, I was dying of thirst. And, you know how it is when a cup is filled with ice water, chopped ice, there’s no room for actual water. It's all ice.
So, I was really uncomfortable.
The nurse finally brought me one tiny Jello. I was starving.
I ate it one gulp and asked for more. Finally the nurse gave me four Jellos. So, I ate the Jellos. It kind of helped me to feel a little better.
I Go to The Bathroom for the First Time After My Hernia Operation
Of course, at some point, that water started kicking in and I really had to go to the bathroom. So, the nurses were able to get me up, I walked to the bathroom. It was hard to get up. You know, you’re really weak after your operation, hard to get up, very difficult.
So, I made it there, went to the bathroom. That worked, to pee, it didn’t hurt to pee at all. I did take a look at the surgery site of my hernia operaion in the mirror and it looked good at that time. There was a big scar but not the protruding bulge I was used to seeing for the last year.
Then, I went back to bed. And then, you just start waiting. They give you stuff, the IVs, the pain pump, and pills.
Tests I Had to Pass In Order to Go Home After My Hernia Operation
So the first 3 tests I passed.
But the only problem I had was my blood pressure was way too high, so they gave me some sort of a pill to make my blood pressure lower.
This waiting to go home after my hernia operation was just agony for me. The seconds were ticking by like hours. And the bed was so unbearably uncomfortable. I was just dreaming of my comfortable recliner, and my comfortable bed, and my comfortable couch with the foot rests. And my TV, books and computer to occupy myself.
I sat there in misery knowing that anything would be better than sitting in this blasted uncomfortable hospital bed. But they wouldn’t let me go until my blood pressure would lower. Thankfully, it finally did. I finally went home.
On The Ride Home After My Hernia Operation
I was in the front seat of my dad’s car, and he’s got a little car, at Toyota RAV4, and it’s really uncomfortable. I felt every bump. But, we made it home. So, you might want to think about having a good comfortable car to ride home in. A big car, with comfortable seats with shock absorber's.
My First Night Home After My Hernia Operation
I finally made it home at 10:00 p.m that night. I was able to pretty much go right to bed. Of course, the kids were up still, frogging around and my parents were there. I was just so tired and wanting to go to bed.
Usually, when I close my bedroom door, I don’t hear anything and I don’t mind if people are up and about, because I don’t hear anything.
But I wanted to keep the door open in case I needed to call my kids, if I fall or if I need help.
So, I was really crabby that night. I think you will find that you’re going to be really crabby. People are going to say, wow, you just had an operation, you should be feeling good!
I Felt Terrible After My Hernia Operation
And you’re not going to feel good; you’re going to feel terrible. The hernia itself was fixed, that didn’t hurt, but every other part of you hurts. You’ve been in an uncomfortable situation all day for many hours. Your body is all out of whack. You’re going to be uncomfortable and you’re going to be crabby. Any little sound will irritate you.
So, I was just complaining, you guys, get to bed. Telling my kids, get to bed, get to bed. Of course, they’re crabbed out too now by this time. You know, why is this old geezer giving us such a hard time, shouldn’t he be nicer?
In The Middle of the Night After My Hernia Operation
So, finally, I made it through the night after my hernia opertation. Not very well, though, I was getting up every two hours to go to the bathroom. And getting out of bed is very, very difficult. My shoulders were feeling better, but you’re going to have to use your upper body to get yourself out of bed. Getting out of bed that first night was just so unbelievably difficult.
And you’re going to be afraid you’re going to wreck your new operation. So, getting up, you don’t just pop out of bed. You kind of have to think about it. So, with all that water, I had to get out of bed like four times that night.
So, I’d only sleep for an hour and a half, get up, go to the bathroom, stagger in there, go to the bathroom, and go back to bed.
And the whole process of getting back in bed after my hernia operation was really uncomfortable. So, the first night is going to be really, really rough.
What they give you is this pain pump, which is a catheter that pumps into the surgery area that goes off every hour to try and relieve the pain. It’s a little pump that sits by your side. Of course, the first night, the darn thing kind of nearly pulled out.
So, I thought, oh gosh, now what. But it didn’t go out all the way, so I figured, well it’s probably okay.
The Morning After My Hernia Operation
So, the next day, Tuesday, I was feeling a little better. My mom had brought some eggs from the hotel, and some yogurts. The first thing I did was get up and make some coffee, to kind of get back to my normal routine.
You know, I wasn’t that chipper, but I made the coffee. The kids got off to school okay. My parents were there and they kind of hung around. Well, actually they didn’t. They took all my laundry to the laundry mat and did it.
So, they were gone most of the morning. I was just kind of sitting in my comfortable couch. That was working. You have to find a way to be comfortable that first day after. So, you need to find a way to really be comfortable. You’re going to want to wear easy, soft clothing. And pants that you can easily pull down to go to the bathroom.
The other thing is, you’re not going to have any bowel movements. That’s a big problem. The only pain medication I had was this pain pump that is a catheter attached to the surgery area and I was taking ibuprofen.
So, my parents had gotten the ibuprofen that morning. So, I started taking that. Two pills every meal and at night. But I wasn’t feeling that bad. I was able to get up, move around a few minutes, and go and sit down and relax.
I really wasn’t that hungry. I would drink a little coffee and a little water. So, that was Tuesday. My parents made a meal and put it in the oven for Tuesday night for me and the kids. But then they left and went home Tuesday afternoon.
The Second Night After My Hernia Operation
I went to bed at 6:30 Tuesday night.
I slept until about 11:30 p.m. I got up, went to the bathroom, had some more ibuprofen and some water.
Then I sat in the corner of the couch with the footrest up and the seat up. Then I was able to sleep until three in the morning on the couch kind of sitting up straight on the couch.
I got up at 3:00 a.m. and went to the bathroom. Then, from three until about seven am I slept in my bed again. So, I was starting to sleep a little bit better the second night. I only got up those 2 times.
The Second Day After My Hernia Operation
Then, Wednesday, I was feeling much improved. Still I didn’t do much. I was moving around a little bit nore, eating a tiny bit more, drinking plenty of water and a little bit of coffee.
I still hadn’t gone to the bathroom for a bowel movement on Wednesday. I had my son get a stool softener on Wednesday afternoon after school because I did not want to drive yet.
So, it took many days before you go to the bathroom. That part, having a bowel movement, will take time to get back to normal.
The Third Day After My Hernia Operation
Thursday, I was much improved. I was able to do a lot of things. I didn’t go to work yet. I finally had a bowel movement. I went out in my car and I went on numerous errands small errands
I wanted to see if I could make it somewhere and do some errands.
Thursday I Went To
Each time I went to do that one thing and then came home to rest.
I was doing things got me going. It was something fun. I didn’t feel like doing any computer work, I didn’t feel like reading, I didn’t feel like doing much. I was on the internet, just kind of looking at videos and listening and watching rather than reading.
The Fourth Day After My Hernia Operation
I went back to work on Friday morning at my normal early morning starting time of six-thirty. And I was happy to kind of get into it again.
I had just started this job 2 months ago so I did not want to be gone too long. Plus I did not have a lot of sick leave built up and I would not be able to use my vacation until I passed the 6 month probation.
I only worked until eleven.
Thursday night and Friday night I slept very well. I did not get up to go to the bathroom. Again, I’m forty-eight, in good health with no problems of going to the bathroom too often.
The Fifth Day After My Hernia Operation
Saturday morning, I finally felt good and recorded the experience for you and had it transcribed.
I just kept feeling better and stronger as the days went by. I quickly got back to my normal routine.
The Scar Two Years Later after My Hernia Operation
You will have a scar. Mine has faded somewhat, but I am afraid it will always be there.
The scar from my hernia operation is a few inches below my belt line, a few inches above the top of my penis and on the right side of my body. It is the pinkish line above and parallel my the top of my pants and about 4 inches long.
Over 2 Years Since My Hernia Operation and I Feel Fine
I have worked very hard physically numerous times:
So my hernia operation has worked out very well for me.
If you have a hernia, go in to
see your doctor, get that thing fixed. It doesn’t heal on its own. It
limits you. You can’t lift that much with a hernia. You can’t walk
around that well. It’s uncomfortable. It can be embarrassing at times,
because it’s a big bulge in your pants, basically.
And you’ll see this with old men with a hernia; they’ll have this big giant bulge below their belt.
Take care of yourself. When you google hernia's there are some horrible pictures. You don't want to let it go.
Here are the basics of what you will need preparing for your Hernia Operation:
I think you will find that the story of my hernia operation will help you as you prepare for your. Just make sure you take care of this.