Monday, July 30, 2018

Comics: Travel

Sorry everyone, I forgot to update last week!!! So here are 2 strips at one go~
It's always troublesome to sort the photos after holidays, I wonder if my readers are the same too?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Recovering from Inguinal hernia open repair surgery

This blog post is to share my experience with people who have hernia and what to expect after surgery.

I felt a small lump that comes and goes on my right groin without any pain at the beginning of the year so I ignored it for several months. Moreover I was rushing my 4th book at that time and had no time to see a doctor. I was worried if it's something serious, I would have to take time off from the book and I would miss the deadline. But I continued to ignore the lump after I was done with the book because it comes and goes, and there was no pain.

However it became worse after a replacement yoga instructor took over a class that I regularly go to in June. She made us do a lot of hip opening, stretches and core work and I felt pain a few hours later. My right groin area was in small pain whenever I walked. I couldn't tell if it was the lump causing the problem or tendon/muscles got torn so I went to see both a masseur and a TCM (traditional chinese medicine) physician. The masseur suspected I just hurt the tendons but my physician suspected that I have hernia. She advised me to see a gynaecology doctor for a scan to make sure. Meanwhile the masseur fixed the pain I had while walking so I had a glimmer of hope it was just a simple muscle tear.

Unfortunately my gynae doctor had the same suspicion as my TCM physician because the lump disappeared when I laid down and became more prominent when standing. She ordered both an uterus and a pelvic ultrasound scan for me. A week later, the result was out, I had femoral hernia 😢. I was referred to a general surgeon to have it fixed. Because the lump was not obvious, I had another scan done at the hospital, but the result was the same, femoral hernia. Their advise was once there is a hole, it can only get bigger as you age and the only way to fix it is with a mesh repair done. The procedure is common, simple and safe and I won't need to worry about my intestines popping out and get strangulated (which will become life-threatening).

By then, I already felt no pain but just occasional discomfort as if my right groin had a liquid balloon. It was especially uncomfortable when my stomach was gassy. I couldn't do yoga, carry heavy things nor run as these could make the hernia worse. So I opted for surgery in hope that I can do all the things that I used to be able to do.

However I read online about the side effects and grew worried. Some people experience chronic pain and some had an infected mesh that requires a second surgery to remove it. So I asked my surgeon if I could do without a mesh but he still recommended to have it. He said that if there's no problem for the first 2 months, then it is unlikely to have infected mesh after that. So I hoped for the best.

The open surgery
My surgery was scheduled in the afternoon 3.30pm so I could still eat and drink by 9.30am. It would be an open surgery under general anaesthesia because the doctor thought that I was young and can recover faster than the older folks... (so I have been having elderly problem at a young age 😑...) It was the first time I have a surgery done so I was a bit nervous when I was rolled into the surgical theatre. The anaesthesia doctor introduced herself and reconfirmed that I had no allergy before injection. The surgeon talked to me for a while and within a few minutes, my eyelids became heavy and I was knocked out.

The surgeon woke me up after the surgery, which was around 70-90 mins and asked how I felt. I replied ok and continued to close my eyes while I was being rolled back to my ward. It was as if I woke up from a good sleep. The doctor visited me later and told me that I had the more common inguinal hernia instead of femoral hernia and the wound was around 2". There was some swelling and my entire right lower tummy was aching. He said it's because of the pulling of the skin during surgery and it should get better after some days.

Day 1:
There was some pain on my wound after surgery that extended to my right tummy. I was given painkillers which helped. I was able to get down from bed and slowly make my way to the toilet but it was painful sitting down, getting up and moving around.The wound was swollen and of course I opted not to take a bath. I had a sore throat so I drank sips of water.

Day 2:
Getting down from bed and going to toilet was slightly better and there was no pain when I wasn't moving. The back of my heels were getting painful from lying down for too long. I can be discharged in the morning so I sat most of the time at my parent's home. But this made my back uncomfortable and my legs pretty stiff. My sore throat was gone, maybe thanks to the antibiotics too.

Day 3:
I was worried about constipation but luckily my breakfast coffee got me back into "motion". Groin was still swollen but significantly lesser pain when sitting down and getting up. I tried to walk more because I felt my legs swelling up due to lack of movement. I decreased painkillers by one dose as I was worried about its side effects.

Day 4:
There was an odd feeling that the wound was more swollen than yesterday and a bit numb but lesser pain when I sat down and got up. I stopped the painkillers completely as the pain was little and bearable. I tried to walk around the house more so blood can get flowing to my legs instead of just sitting down all the time. I even walked slowly around the block for 20min. The waterproof bandage seemed still intact. I had no sore throat but the occasional coughs made the wound burn in pain.

Day 5:
Groin is still swollen and the waterproof bandage seemed attached to my skin... (I guess it will be painful when it's time to remove). Somehow my right lower ab is a bit more painful than before when I get out of bed. Hope the pain disappears gradually. I walked a bit inside the house instead of outside.

Still swollen and painful whenever I cough. I guess the swelling and pain will take some time to disappear completely.

My right lower ab is no longer in pain. Not sure if the pain in stretching is due to the waterproof plaster or not. I was well enough to walk to nearby mall to eat and do groceries.

Day 8:
Went to see my surgeon to have the plaster removed. Wound is recovering well and clean but still swollen and numb. Doctor said it will take another 2-3 weeks for it to go down. I was given advise to only walk for 10min and not more than that for the next 2 weeks as the wound might ache if I push too much. After which, I could walk as much as I want but still no yoga for at least 2 months.

Day 9:
Not sure if it's because I went to my client's place yesterday to help with their wall murals so my lower tummy is in ache/pain whenever I stand up and walk around. It also hurts more when I was trying to get up from bed.

Day 10:
Tummy ache is gone but the wound still hurts when I move and the whole pelvic area is still swollen. The area around the wound is also still numb, though less numb than before. Maybe that's why I could feel more pain...

Day 11 and beyond:
Swelling and pain feels about the same everyday now. It's still painful whenever I cough or sneeze or use that part of the muscle to move, such as lying down or getting up. I can't toss around in bed like I used to because it would hurt... Hopefully it will get better next week!

The cause of my hernia?
The cause of my hernia could be born with naturally thinner muscle wall, or too much sitting to draw or yoga. I'm not exactly sure but I guess I wouldn't be doing deep forward bends or back bends for a long time...

Monday, July 2, 2018

Comics: Fashion on an Artist

So far I had to replace the soles of 2 pairs of shoes and 1 pair of sandals. Another pair of pump shoes' lining disintegrated after I walked halfway to the train station...


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