Grey hiker hernias.
I mentioned a few blogs back, that I needed to have surgery on a couple of inguinal hernias. It’s forty eight hours after the event, and now I’m home feeling bruised and battered. Never one to do anything by half measures, there were three that needed repairing not the original two, as seen on the scan. I have learned a few things again, that I think may be worth passing on. Laparoscopic surgery, is marvelous for sure, but you get the impression that it’s so scientific, that it’s tantamount to having a tooth out. Bullshit, ask my nuts, which are twice the size, and looking very colorful, mainly black and blue, with a tinge of mauve. When you cough or sneeze hold on to everything. Yeh right, two hernias on one side, one on the other, a wound at the navel and one a bit lower.
They never mentioned peeing barb wire for a while either and the big daddy of all, taking a number two as they say in polite speak. Making it sound like, if a child can poo, then so can you, poetry in the motion. Don’t strain though, or everything could come undone, being constipated from the anesthetic doesn’t help of course. I’m not going into all the gory details, but I can report it went well. It felt like I had won the lottery, I hadn’t of course but I’m sure that’s how it would feel. Fingers crossed, if all goes well, in around six weeks I should be back on the trail. No gung-ho this time though, if I want to keep on hiking, I’m going to have to learn not to push things to the limit anymore.
Lessons learned ?
Lessons to learn, I’m 65 years old and I’m still trying to learn new things every day. The question was asked by the surgeon, how I managed to get three hernias. I fudged the answer a bit, not wanting to appear a reckless old person with no common sense. Building our house a few years ago on my own, trying to save money, lifting things that even two people would of struggled with. Using a large jack hammer to drill into the rock to secure the poles of the house, a lesson learned, not to be so bloody stupid again.
Going into the hospital system here as a public patient took some time, and after being misdiagnosed twice, it was about eight months before I finally had surgery. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I’m grateful to the interesting people I met on the way, most of them did the best they possibly could.
The sign in the waiting area at the hospital, didn’t instill me with a great deal of confidence. It’s your responsibility to ask questions. Is that the right medication your giving me, and by the way, is it also the correct dose? Are you sure you know what your doing with that knife so close to my nuts? My young surgeon arrived with his backpack on, he asked me why I looked so apprehensive. “I haven’t lost anyone on a Wednesday for ages, so cheer up” Different, but still very talented, what would “I” know anyway? The paperwork as well, pages of it, yes, I do know that I might not wake up in this world again. I’m very aware that many things can go wrong but I’m not sure I want to know them all, it’s covering their backs, but it’s making my sphincter muscle quiver.
I have mentioned a few times now, about being grateful for what we have. It might be an age thing, I’m not sure, but I can say, it makes a tremendous difference to my state of well being. Sharing a room at the hospital and listening to people’s stories, is sobering, to say the least. A thought came to me, we are all different, but exactly the same in certain situations. When we have common feelings of fear and anxiousness, we seem to be able to just tell it how it is, open up, with no fluff involved. Gratitude is the sweetest thing in a seeker’s life-in all human life. If there is gratitude in your heart, then there will be tremendous sweetness in your eyes. (Sri Chinmoy)
The guy in the next bed, with a shoulder reconstruction and the lady over the way with the hip replacement, and me with my hernias. Being older, was no coincidence I guess, our bodies breaking down after years of hard work. Smiles of quiet understanding, as we were sharing the realization of our vulnerability together. I was grateful again, as I realized that my hiking had prevented me from having to take any medications, to sustain my health. A caveat here, young people work very hard as well. My youngest son often reminds me “the old man has never had it so good” I had better mention that just in case.
More lessons learned.
I did some reading as well of course. Choose yourself (James Altucher) I get where he’s coming from and agree with a lot of the things he says. He makes the point. This is a new phase in history where art, science, business and spirit will join together both externally and internally. New ideas are more important than people, and everyone will have to choose happiness for themselves. It sounds a bit like a mental spring cleaning. At a thought level, think about the people you enjoy being with, read the books that make you happy. And go to events that make you laugh or fall in love. And try to deal with people who will love you back, and who want you to win, as much as they do.
Thinking about all these new ideas we are all going to need in the future. He suggests that every day, we write down at least ten ideas, and to also develop a taste for things outside of our comfort zone. Now this next idea, isn’t his, and I’m not sure if it’s mine either. New ideas are found when two old ideas strike together and the splinters spin off into a new idea. I’m curious to know where that leaves us, if we don’t have any idea to start with. Well that’s taken my mind off a couple of things for a while. I may have a sleep and see if I can dream up a few more ideas, note book at the ready. That’s another idea in his book, or was it my idea, I can’t remember now.