****update: It looks like surgery is probably my only option, which totally bites. I'm waiting for the surgeon's office to call and schedule a consult and then we go from there I guess. Contrary to what the doctor said yesterday, it is not muscle and in fact my bowel that is bulging through the hole in the muscle and therefore should be repaired.
So I discovered a lump the other day on my lower right side. I have no idea what even made me notice it, but when I pushed on it it felt like I was pushing fluid or puss out of it. Quite a trip, as I'm a little side tracked by those things anyway. Throughout the day I continued feeling for the lump and pushing whatever was in it out. We helped my sister move that night and when I was showing my mom and sisters, they started making a huge deal about and I started to think maybe it was serious and called nurse direct when we were done.
My guess is the nurse I spoke with didn't cut it in an actual "situation" so she found her calling in the phone nurse industry. She wouldn't listen to the way I explained my problem...she kept insisting it was a zit that would eventually come to a head when I knew full well it wasn't that. When I told her forcefully it WASN'T A ZIT she decided to begin calling it a mass, but it wasn't that either...her final advice was to stop pressing on it and to call the doctor Monday. (this was Friday night) On Saturday morning I hit a swanky neighborhood garage sale in the morning and the lump was MIA when I woke up. An hour into garage saling, I noticed it along with a dull side/back ache. We spent our money in under 2 hours (scored a train table for $40, and Bogen Manfrotto tripod for $10!!! a hammock and stand for $10, and really nice clothes for the kids for reasonable prices) When we finished (first things first, you know) I called nurse direct again and explained again my situation. The pain that hadn't been there the night before alarmed the nurse and she convinced me I had a kidney problem and basically I rushed my tushy to the ER (it was on my way home :)) to find out that I didn't have anything wrong with my kidneys, wasn't pregnant, and whatever other tests they run from urine cultures were negative. (if I told them I knew I wasn't pregnant and they did a test anyway, am I required to pay for it?) Also, the lump I originally went in for was MIA again, so after prodding and whatnot for awhile, she decided it was "tissue" and said it was completely normal. Off I went with a prescription for something unrelated, annoyed that I'll have to pay hundreds of dollars for that visit. I didn't have to pay my usual co-pay on the script though...bonus!!! I can put that dollar towards my ER bill.
About 2 hours after leaving the emergency room, I noticed the lump yet again and really wanted to go in and be all "the thing's back and you need to look at it free of charge while it's still hanging out..." but of course I just grossed myself out over and over again by pushing the fluid out of it and forcing my family members to feel my "puss button" as I had taken to calling it. We had t-ball games all day Sunday that I will post about tomorrow as this is going to end up insanely long as it is.
Monday morning I woke up and the lump was there! I called and made another appointment for 10:45 with a doctor I loathe and I just don't know why I even go to her. In my experience, family practice doctors are the biggest batch of nerds ever.
As I was sitting in the waiting room, this 40-something dude came in wearing dirty dirty pants, black Harley boots, and a t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off. He walked past and sat down across from me. After glancing directly at me twice and saying "hiii" both times he sits quietly for a moment and then digs an eye booger out and eats it. Just as I'm processing that I've just witnessed a dude eating his eye booger for the first time ever (and what a milestone that was) he invades my thoughts and says "heeyyy, whaattts happnin'?" I told him not much and asked how about with him. He said he'd be doing okay if I wasn't for his arthritis and gout. He sticks his finger in his other eye and licks it too. A few moments pass and he turns to me like he hasn't noticed me before and says "heeyyy, whaattts happnin;?" again. I repeat that not much and decide not to tell him my thoughts on the eye booger eating and what it's done to my stomach. He tells me again about his gout and I'm glad we're so open with each other that we can talk gout and eat eye boogers in each others presence. I decide he probably has some type of personality disorder, as he reminded me of a client we had at the group home. I ended up feeling really mad about that because everyone that came in he'd nod and say "hiiii" and I was the only one to acknowledge him at all. One guy sneered at him and then just sat and stared at him as if he was trying to figure out his deal and I wanted to tell him to stop being such a jerk because clearly he has issues, but have a little compassion. You won't catch what he has by saying hi.
They finally call my name and get all the regular weight/bp/symptoms out of the way. I sit for a few minutes and wait for the doctor to come in. She does after about 15, and I stand up to present her with the lump. Except that it has disappeared again. She blurts out that all I need is an elastic belt...picture this...Doctor on her knees running her hands around each side of my waist repeatedly saying "you need to support this..backandforthbackandforth...you can buy them at Walmart, Scheels, my son got his at MENARDS!!...Hobby Lobby they have them in the back for lifting heavy stuff...." she gets to her feet, finally, because she was being so dumb I kinda wanted to kick her while she was down (haha, great play on words there...) and then starts "explaining" as she cups her breasts and heaves backwards and forward that just like we need support for these (pushes breasts up and lets them back down) I need extra support for my stomach muscles. She's sure it's from all the pregnancies, of course my bladder can't be the same. Incidentally it is the same and she tells me how lucky I am that I don't have my bladder falling out of my vagina and that my uterus hasn't prolapsed. As I look down at my feet because she is being beyond infuriating by being such a huge dork and kinda making me mad and want to laugh all at the same time I notice she's wearing socks with her sandals and I think "you would" and then tell her again I get what she's saying. She never elaborated about when I have to wear the belt or for how long, so I ask "so am I just wearing this all the time or what?" She goes back to feeling herself up and explaining the support thing and now I really do want to slap her and shake her until she shuts her pie hole because I can't stand this woman. Finally I snap "so I just wear this for the rest of my life or what?" She says when I'm lifting over 50 pounds. Great. Very cohesive to my lifestyle. I can't carry both of my small son's and my bag at the same time anymore unless I'm wearing the belt. I can't roller blade with them in the stroller anymore unless I wear the belt. And, I can't move my furniture by myself anymore, unless, of course, I wear my belt. I keep feeling for the bulge because I really wanted her to be able to feel what I have been feeling and make sure it's not, say, a tumor or something. She assures me, and I am comfortable now that I've researched it that a hernia it is.
She decided to get me a prescription for said belt, but before that she offers me a tetanus booster and tells me I need to schedule a fast to have my cholesterol checked. (note to Dr. Nerd...I am my own boss, suck it.) I refrain from the tetanus shot (I can get a crisis shot should I step on a rusty nail and it'll cover me, right?) and tell her I'll think about the other thing. Her computer is being slow and apparently the icon that says it's "thinking" is a flag because she's sitting there making flag motions with her hand and saying "waaave...waaave...waaave...." in a breathy voice. She comments on the slowness again and then adds full body wave motions and I just really want to get out of there before her nerd vibe rubs off on me. Or maybe I was just straining my hernia even more trying to resisting the urge to slap her silly, I'm not sure which. She offers me the tetanus shot again and says I may as well have it while I wait on her computer and I want to ask if she did a lot of shrooms in college or what is her problem with the waving? Finally I get the prescription and I'm out. She does mention again that I must schedule my cholesterol check, "I know Darling does your annuals, but I see he's never had it drawn. Just being thorough..." Well, Marie, Dr. Darling lives up to his name and he is very professional unlike some people, and I will have him do my testing at my next annual that I will pay HIM through the nose for because he's nice to me and doesn't call me fat OR contort his body in weird ways when I'm in his exam room. (she called me fat the last time I was in for an ulcer, that she wrongly diagnosed as a "weird zyphoid process thing" that would be worsened if I "kept gaining weight" which of course I was actually in the process of losing since I had just delivered a child or some such nonsense that caused me to gain weight in the first place) I notice that I have 1 refill on my script for an "elastic corsette support abdominal hernia belt" which is a daily PRN (as needed). Basically all day every day, because I'm always lifting over 50 pounds. Maybe she guessed and that's why she gave me a refill on her bogus prescription. She also says a girdle will work, and I'm thinking that they sell sexy girdles now...
I take it to the pharmacy to fill it, only to find out it is an over-the-counter thing. I sure am glad I subjected myself to the body swaying and what not.
Now that I've researched hernias, I realize that mine isn't in a typical location, and also that surgery is a very real option. I see nothing that says wearing an elastic belt will cure them, or that they heal in their own, but that would be really great if they could and mine would, however, I still plan on calling Dr. Darling today to talk about what else I can do. I did read about "strangulation" which is where your intestine gets pinched off and all the nastiness can spill into your gut and kill you and it is an emergency situation and everything...according to Marie, it is muscle that is bulging through not my intestine, but I want to be thorough and make sure that it isn't more serious than she thinks, seeing as how she hasn't even felt it.
The belt already came in handy this morning when I wiped out in my gravel driveway in my roller blades. I'm guessing that's not really a great thing for a hernia either.
I hate the word hernia. Luck thing people can't tell me "don't have a hernia" anymore, because that's just annoying.