Last month I had surgery to repair a hernia that had one day just popped out.  The surgery went fine and all was right with the world until I stopped taking the pain medication.  I admitted to friends and colleagues that I had clearly underestimated how sore I would be post-op.  I was also surprised at how awkward I felt physically trying to limit my activities to prevent pain and avoid any complications.  At my post op visit 10 days into my recovery, I got a 'thumbs up' from my surgeon but was reminded again to "take it easy."

By week 4, I was feeling pretty good.  And therein lies the problem, my friends.  I forgot that I was recovering from hernia surgery and decided that I'd like to move the ottoman into the other room.  I bent down, put my arms around the small, leather ottoman and up she went!   Within seconds, I felt a pop in the lower right side of my abdomen.   Down went the ottoman amidst a loud, outward expression of adult language which doesn't bear repeating.

Nothing looked 'out of place' but it sure felt like something was amiss. I iced the area, took some Aleve, and went to bed. The next day I sheepishly called my surgeon's office and reported what I had done.  "I was doing something I shouldn't be doing and something popped."  I wondered how many times they hear that from post-op patients.  Still, they got me in the next day and when I saw my surgeon, I said, "I'm really sorry. I know I shouldn't have lifted the ottoman. I'm 4 weeks out and I thought I could do it."  I think she could tell I felt awful about not following her directions so she didn't give me TOO much of a hard time.

She examined me, everything seemed fine, she said, but ordered a CT scan "just to be sure you didn't tear anything."  Though I didn't re-injure the hernia itself, judging from the CT results, she told me I likely "popped a stitch and irritated some nerve endings."  I'll say.  Definitely mine and probably hers!

I was grateful for the news and swore that I would lay low for my last 2 weeks.  I'm proud to say that the offending ottoman is still sitting where I dropped it.

Here's the lesson:  Do as I say, not as I do.  Follow your surgeon's directions.