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On Managing Fear And Surviving Surgery

by Ifunanya
Managing Fear and Surviving Surgery

When I was 22 years old I had a herniorrhaphy, it was one of the saddest times in my life till date.

A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall.  Most hernias are not immediately life threatening, but they don’t go away on their own and can require surgery  to prevent potentially dangerous complications.

I was operated on by my uncle an incredible surgeon and he did such a wonderful job, I don’t even have a scar anymore.

I’ve always had a hernia as far back as I can remember, it was a family thing, sort off. My dad, grandma, aunties and one cousin all have or had it at some point. The discomfort sort of came and went on its on but this time it came and wouldn’t go back, eventually getting so bad that I couldn’t stand up  straight without feeling pain and discomfort. Even I couldn’t deny the fact that it was time for a surgery. 

I am still not certain that  it had anything to do with the hernia but I suffered the worst bout of insomnia  around the same time, I would literally go days without sleep and be depressed the whole time. 

My grades where horrible and the man that I loved was well, wasn’t in my world anymore. 

 I lived in a different state from all my family at the time so I called mummy and she called uncle and I went to his hospital to be examined.

“You need to take it out” he was so chill about it, like he wasn’t talking about tearing me open and fiddling with parts of me.

I was terrified, I’d never really considered going under the knife.
“So go downstairs and tell the nurse I said to prep you for surgery”
“What?? Right now??”
I was befuddled, frozen and  completely in a daze. I guess it showed because he rang for the nurse and relayed the message personally.

“Oya, let’s go” she said stretching out her hands towards me.

I took her hand and still in that daze, walked out of his office. We went downstairs and my blood was drawn and tested for a bunch of stuff.

“Argh your blood count is low o” The words seemed like they were coming from a radio or a telephone. I had checked out mentally.

“So what does that mean?” I managed to respond

 It means we can’t do the surgery now, you’ll have to eat plenty vegetable and fish first”

I couldn’t hear her over the exploding joy in my heart, I wasn’t going to get operated on now, I’ve been saved by my low blood count.  Meaning I had a couple days to atleast wrap my head around it.

So off I went, to stuff my face with vegetables and fish and wrap my head around what everything that was meant to happen. The mind is a very funny tool,  for whatever reason I strongly believed that I’d go under and never come back up. This terrified me greatly. I tried to rest, I figured if I stayed still and strain free long enough maybe the hernia would go away. Bu at  the end of the couple days break, I was itching to go back to the hospital because the hernia hadn’t disappeared and the pain had multiplied.

 I checked into the hospital, depressed, terrified( I was still sure i wasn’t gonna wake up) and alone. My mum made plans to meet me at the hospital after the surgery to take me home for the recuperation period.

People say everything happens for a reason and I’m not entirely sure I believe that, the universe can’t possibly be that organized and premeditated.  But in this one encounter I’m inclined to atleast consider the fact that maybe it was meant to be.

I left that hospital a little tougher, a little bit more confident in my own ability to pull myself by my boot straps. And on days like this, when I feel alone and terrified, disillusioned by fear and uncertainty. I remind myself of that time how I made it through and I know I’ll make it through this one too.


Managing Fear Throw back, from after my surgery

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1 comment

Cynthia October 12, 2017 - 11:31 am

Wow! Quite an experience, am inspired and glad that you made it through.



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