Friday, September 02, 2016
  Surgery today



Here we go.... showing the colors for luck.

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Afterward: So far so good. Total of 4 hours in hospital, for navel hernia.

The op was done with local anesthesia and sedative. The sedative's behavior was 'step-function'.

What I saw and felt:

In the pre-surgery room, nurse anesthetist says "Okay, we're putting

[zero time interval]

In a different room. Vague for a minute. People come in the room.

No longer vague. 80% conscious and answering questions, but my speech is slow and dumb. Yyyyyyes, I'd like some wwwwwwwater. Collllld waterrrr is goooood.

Minute later: Fully conscious, slightly dizzy.

Couple hours later, at home: still just a tiny bit dizzy.

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It appears that they did the laparoscopic version even though the doctor had previously announced the open version? Need more info. /// Got more info. Nurse at hosp was wrong. It was open version as doc said.

Feels sort of stiff, no real pain YET. I want to avoid pain meds if at all possible. I can handle pain, can't handle constipation. Will keep moving cautiously for a few days, using the old back pain tricks to leave the 'core' loose.

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Day 2, 9AM: Took another look at it with mirror. Scared me shitless. Just after the op, the navel was nicely IN, bright red, seemed to have blood behind it. Now it's nearly flat again, all red. Still no major pain, no external bleeding. Called the surgeon immediately. He said that's not uncommon. There's lots of blood floating around in there, and it sometimes refills the area until the body can reabsorb it. Not sure I believe him, but he seemed confident, didn't tell me to call 911 or anything.

Day 2, afternoon: A moment of lucidity. While laying on back, I very carefully tried to push the surface down. Before the surgery I could always push the 'stuff' inside the blob inward, and I knew the feel. This stuff won't push! Oh shit! That means ... Wait. That means there's no longer a 'drain' at the back of the little chamber. That means the muscle no longer has a hole in it. That means the internal stitches did NOT fail. So I believe the doctor now. I'll just have to tolerate the annoyance. Think I'll get some Advil after all.

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Day 3, after Advil brought sleep and REAL lucidity: Jesus, am I DUMB.

DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB.

What I was seeing and feeling was NOT the full-up navel. It was the fucking TRANSPARENT DRESSING, which had blood on its internal surface. It wasn't full, there was just some leakage. Carefully took it off, and the navel is still cavernously INNIE. All the stuff that had looked like a giant rectangular blood blister (the RECTANGULAR is what finally clued me in!) was just the cellophane stuff. Still not pretty; skin is properly colored, but there's some leftover scab stuff. Now that it can shower and air-dry properly, I'll bet it will make more progress.


This could have been prevented by clearer and more VISUAL information from the hospital and doctor. I didn't know what things should look like.


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Day 5 (Sep 7) After breaking the barrier of my intractable STUPIDITY, things turned the corner toward normal. At this point the inner muscles are no longer sore, the outer skin is still sensitive and 'ticklish' but fading, and the original navel is starting to take shape again.

I'll close with three magic words: ADVIL. COLACE. SLEEP.



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Later update Day 18, Sept 20. As of yesterday, back to normal. If I woke up today without any memory, I wouldn't know I'd had a hernia or an operation. Still looks a little strange but feels strictly normal.

Broad-brush picture: Week one, lots of internal strain and external pain and panic. Week two, internal strain gone, external twinges and tickles and sensitivity and occasional pain as the skin "reshapes". Week three, flat and normal.


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Later update Oct 14: The 'normal' in week 3 was premature. Apparently there's a separate stage of healing which other accounts of this process often mention. Week 4 resumed the sensitivity and occasional pain. Week 5 gradual decrease. Now, as of Oct 15, end of week 6, I think it's finally done. I've had one full week with exactly zero symptoms. Just ordinary skin. Humidity seems to have helped; this week was rainy.

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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