What Happened to a Month of my Life
To begin at the begining
I had a problem with a hernia on my abdomin for as long as I can remember. When I was in my very early teens I suffered from intense stomach cramps, which actually caused me to fold over almost double, I could not straighten up for anything up to a couple of hours.
I was admitted to hospital for a period of observation, this lasted nearly 14 days, and the hospital, as far as I know, could not find anything untoward. I was discharged and two days later suffered another severe cramp, which lasted an hour.
When I reached puberty these problems got fewer and lfurther apart and eventually faded away completely.
I was at that stage extremely fit and was swimming a mile a day, I mixed my laps with all four strokes, up butterfly, down breast, up back, down crawl, this would be the pattern for that mile, my final four laps would always be a flat out sprint.
I swam all year round as Johannesburg boasted an indoor swimming pool, for which I had a years pass.
Many years later
At the tender age of 38, I because of my kids got involved and hooked on Karate. I started to work on this quite seriously, and was very keen, as I found an outlet for my frustrations, as well as spending time with the kids.
As I started working up from white belt to yellow, I found that my old friend, the hernia again started to hamper me causing a certain amount of tenderness, as well as the inability to stretch forward in the warm ups, and the stretching exercise as well as using the stomach for blocking punched and kicks.
I then had this attended to by a surgeon who repaired the defect and sewed me up.
After my four week layoff from Karate, I was back in training and progressed to my brown belt.
The night before SA Championships, during a final training session I ended up snapping my Radius and Ulna just above the wrist.
- End of tournament, and because of the layoff time, I missed my black belt grading slot and would have had to wait another year to be graded.
- This after 3 years of intense training was a major set back, so I ended my Karate career, by this time the kids had all moved onto other sports and activities.
Four Years Ago through to Last Year
I ended up with the hernia reopening itself when we had a breakdown and I had to push our car out of a long the driveway so that we could get it started. This resulted in an operation that was supposed to be over and done with in 24 hours, I then was in for 48 hours.
No explanation from the doctor, and when I started to experience strange pulling feelings in the side of my stomach, after an exam was told nothing wrong.
Fast forward to two years later, again the stomach started swelling, with a higher reflux action than over the past two years. So went to see another surgeon who prodded and probed around, and said that the operation would have to be redone. This was duly done.
In the post operative stage, on the day due to see him, the drain fell of out of the wound. When I told him about it, he was not concerned and did not even ask how long the section of the drain was. It was only just into the skin about a quarter of an inch.
This Time Round
Over the past three months my stomach was taking on the looks of having an extra spare tyre tucked under my chest, it was tender to touch and extremely painful when bumbed into.
I braved another visit to a surgeon to see if it could be sorted out. After a long examination, I was told that it would be a difficult operation, and that I would be in hospital between 3 and 5 days, with a slow recuperation period afterwards.
I duly booked into hospital on the 12 of June, was operated on and discharged on the 15th June. All procceeding according to plan.
Went to the wound nurse on Monday 16th June, who told me to keep the staples clean and wipe down with Gentains Voilet, and come back to have the staples removed on the 26th June. Also instructed to empty and record the amount of drainage from the attached drain.
Obeyed all these instructions and returned on the morning of 26th June, the drain had been happily working away and was averaging a 450mm of waste a day being removed from the cavity.
Stitches were removed and the drain, after consultation with the surgeon was also removed, and a colostomy bag was placed over the hole were the drain was removed.
The next day, the colostomy bag had become unstuck and no fluid had drained into the bag. I contacted the wound sister and explained what had happened, she asked if the wound was oozing or anything, which it was not.
Was told that was fine and that if anything changed I must see her.
Over the weekend I was extremely dull and lethargic and in a lot of pain and quite delerious, unable to eat and not interested in much. My stomach itself started to resemble that of pregnant female, do I now really have sympathy for any woman in that state, if the pain of the skin stretching is anything like I experienced.
To cut a long story short I was then sent for a sonar, set up for an appiontment with another surgeon, mine was off for the week. Went to see the other surgeon, who admitted me again and administered massive of doses of antibiotics, operated to relieve the pressure and excess fluid from within me. This proccess took all aof seven days and was discharged on the eigth day, have been home for a week and the drains keep flowing atr a good rate.
But I am more positive and cheerful, a lot better than I was for the best part of the month. I had even in that period, forgot that my brother had his birthday, for which I now have wished him, and again apologise.
Am now hopefully on the final downhill and hopefully they can stich me up real soon.