Maybe it’s better I didn’t know

Who knows what kind of anxiety I could have built up if I’d known.

Until Friday I had an umbilical hernia. I preferred this name to the more common “belly-button hernia.” Until Friday night I thought the surgery to repair it would be nothing – no more harmful than its silly sounding common name.

I have a couple days under my belt now, and holy shit on a popsicle stick, it wasn’t nothing! It felt like my poor navel coughed up a large fruit. There was a constant, off the charts sharp pain in my gut, and it wasn’t in the same galaxy as the feeling that followed any movement. It took my breath away. In fact, the rise and fall of my stomach during the act of breathing was enough. (It’s better now but I’ll get to that.)

Cheryl and I developed a close relationship with the doctor-on-call over the last few days. There’s been a few cases of miscommunication, a few conversations with health insurance reps, a couple run-ins with a pharmacist who thinks I’m a doctor shopping drug addict, and a fall back to meds I had left over from neck surgery. In fact, I’d like to go to the pharmacy and throw my half-full bottle of oxycodone at the judgmental prick. I won’t because I’d like to keep my criminal record clean. I can’t because it’s the only thing I have that’ll touch the pain. It would be funny if I didn’t feel angry, frustrated, ashamed, stigmatized and depressed. The script the pharmacy wouldn’t fill was less potent than the oxycodone I had left over from neck surgery. In fact, I only had the stuff because I’d long ago asked my first surgeon (from the neck surgery in February) for a less potent script so I could try to start weening off the pain meds altogether.

Before you say anything, I recognize there are lots of folks who shop for doctors to get scripts for medication they don’t really need. I get it. We live in a world where people do bad things. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to treated like a criminal until I can prove otherwise. Hell, Cheryl criticizes me because I don’t sell my discomfort, usually resulting in under-treatment of symptoms. The only reason I had this lovely chat with the folks at CVS is because I turned down a script after the surgery, and Cheryl called my (hernia) surgeon after I spent a night and half the next day curled in a whimpering ball. (I was thinking the discomfort would be nothing compared to my last surgery, and the weened down meds I’d been taking for my neck would be plenty. Yes, I’m THAT stupid.)

Now it’s late, I’m tired, and even in my current medicated state/fog, sitting here really hurts. I’ve got one thing left I want to say.

If you’re offended by foul language stop reading now and turn away.

Fuck you, CVS.

Give the gift of words.