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.