hernias happen

It’s kind of like sh*t happens. They are not planned, nor do we normally think about preventing them. Hernias just happen. They don’t happen to everyone, but they do happen for a reason. Basically, a hernia is a rupture in a muscle or protective wall, allowing stuff, like fat or organs to protrude through that protective wall. They can happen all over, but mostly occur on the front side where our guts and organs are. Although some do happen along the spine.

I’m working on number two. The first one was shortly after I was out of high school. For some reason I ended up with one in the groin area, right side. The doctor said it most likely came from lifting things heavy, the wrong way. The surgeon then said that 50% of those with hernias on the right side end up getting then on the left, while 65% of those with left side hernias end up with right side hernias. He told me this for me to determine whether I wanted to get them both fixed at once or go with the odds. Given that the recovery time was longer for both, I went with the odds. No problem to date.

The hernia was fixed by placing a mesh screen where the rupture was, thereby holding in whatever was protruding out. The hernia was fairly small, but I was young enough that I needed to have it fixed. Since then, I’ve seen those with hernias much larger. Apparently it’s not so uncommon for men to get them in the groin area.

Now I’m dealing with one right in the middle of my stomach. It’s a weird one alright. Just where the peg tube cavity was, now there Is a protrusion. I can push it in, and it stays in, until it comes out. The surgeon I recently visited about fixing it told me it’s probably a piece of fatty tissue. He smiled and said “even us thin guys have fat.” I wanted to smile with him, but I knew I had fat and I didn’t want a piece of it bulging out unnaturally.

Funny thing, it doesn’t matter whether you are thin or heavy, hernias happen. The ability of the protective wall to stretch has nothing to do with how it may rupture. For example, one could stretch out the stomach to barrel shape without ever having a hernia. A hernia means that there was either a weakness or an extreme force which caused a tear. In my case the stomach hernia resulted from a knife puncture that didn’t fully heal before it was stressed beyond its tolerance.

And in living, we humans,(luckily only some), go through what we might call life hernias. Those events, or times, in which stress finds its way past the tolerance point. We rupture. Ruptures show up in all kinds of conditions; violence, depression, dependence, and many etceteras.

Some life hernias are minor repairs which may even end up making the whole somewhat stronger. Other ruptures are life lasting and we see examples talking to themselves and camping on the streets.

There are entire industries built to help people repair life hernias; hospitals, psyc doctors, support groups, and even religions. The good thing is, most of us have the tools to repair our own ruptures. But those tools are not always easy to find. Some, not finding the tools even end up taking their own lives as an extreme rupture cure.

And then there are those hernias called temp brain hernias.  Temp brain hernias are words or actions where a strong desire exceeds intelligence. I had a temp brain hernia this weekend. I just returned from a 75 mile bike ride and I have not been riding or training for quite some time. My desire for a relatively solid ride over-road my intelligence. I didn’t do my body any favors, but I do feel like I accomplished something. But I’ll be paying for it during the next couple of days.

Regarding physical ruptures, they come in all sizes and forms. And one can either let the hernias ruptured or get them repaired.

The last time I saw the surgeon, he asked me if I was going to have my stomach hernia repaired. He said I could just live with it. It wasn’t hurting anything, (unless it got larger). My response was he’ll yes I’m getting it repaired. Not going to leave (a piece of fat?) hangout past the tolerance point if there is the opportunity to pull it back where its supposed to be. But at least there is enough tolerance that I can wait until the summer’s over. But hey, hernias do happen.

3 thoughts on “hernias happen

  1. JA

    two umbilical hernias for JA…one age 4 (lifting JK), another age 19 (at gym doing situps)…both painful and required surgeries to repair. A pain in the gut. The thought of the intrusion was more mentally painful (my intenstines came through abdomen wall and out my belly button…wha?).
    Fall sounds like a good hernia repair season – least it’s not painful. How’s the tongue/throat feeling these days? Is chewing/swallowing/eating becoming easier still?
    xo Love you.

    Reply
  2. Mother

    Your purposeful diligence in keeping fit has always been apparent. This new challenge must gall you. I am sorry to know of this new development. I am also sorry to hear about JA’s
    early hernia conditions. Now she is fit and beautiful. Is there a slight possibility that you Spaghetti’s push yourselves a tad too much?

    Reply
  3. Stryker Warren jr.

    Fred: Once again, I am left admiring your stamina and your wicked sense of humor combined with a remarkable, philosophical perspective on life in general. 75 miles. . . U R the Warrior for sure. And, I hope the results of your OUS odyssey will bear significant results for your business. Best, swjr

    Reply

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