Under the Knife: A Lesson in Procrastination

Over the past year, I finally made a point to take care of some basic adulting that I’ve been putting off, and by adulting I mean doctor appointments. During the move to Minnesota, and the year of finding a home and planning a wedding, we had enough on our plate that it was easy to put off finding a doctor. Afterwards, I no longer had any excuse, so I set up a string of physicals, blood tests, scans and everything that I shouldn’t have put off for over a year. Because I was taking care of business, I decided to finally talk to a doctor about fixing an issue I’ve had on the back burner since high school: a twenty year old hernia.

We’ll skip over the part of how silly it is to live with an easily remedied ailment for two decades and the firm, lifelong commitment I’ve had to ignoring my problems. Instead, we’re going to talk about what the recovery process looked like and how it’s impacted me personally and professionally.

An inguinal hernia repair is common enough that I know three people off the top of my head that have had it. While it’s a relatively quick in and out, it does put you out of commission for quite a while. I had to take a minimum of two weeks off work with an additional two weeks of work restrictions, which meant no quick movements and no lifting of anything over twenty pounds.

First, the operation itself is the easy part because I was knocked out. I have never had anesthesia before so I was skeptical, but it’s an amazing thing. I chatted with the nurses and my doctor for a few minutes and the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room telling Britt how I wanted to watch the new Suspiria movie because it looked “pretty.” I’m not entirely sure how that subject was broached. {Britt here: I tried so hard to get a video of him saying something hilarious or embarrassing; but, in classic Logan fashion, he was completely un-fazed.}

I was fortunate in that my initial two weeks were relatively pain free. I maintained a steady regimen of the minimum recommended dose of pain killers mostly just to avoid any potential pain. My mother also stayed with us that first week, so I really didn’t have to do anything other than lay around catching up on some shows. We took a little jaunt around the neighborhood once a day just to keep me moving a little bit, which was slow going it but again, relatively pain free. I came off the painkillers in under a week.

The hardest part of the whole process was returning to work. At the time of my surgery, I was still working with children, which meant a lot of blocking, lifting, and running after the kiddos, all of which were big no nos. My supervisor was very supportive and made sure I was only scheduled with kids who were relatively low maintenance, but it was still difficult to keep myself from reacting as situations arose.

This also, unfortunately, took a serious toll on my running plans for the year. My operation was right around when I had intended to be running a marathon. Cancelling that led to a pretty serious drop in motivation for months before I even went under the knife. Afterwards, it took me a little over four weeks to go out for my first runs, which were easy-going run/walks (Britt is going to be working on her first Couch-to-5k program so she joined me on these, which is very exciting!). I didn’t feel confident enough to do anything sustained until around 6 weeks later, which is a long time to be stagnant.

I’m very happy I went in for this operation, as I am far more comfortable in my day-to-day life. It had a huge impact on my year, but if I had simply taken care of this a decade or two ago I wouldn’t have had to miss out on any of my plans. Forced downtime proved its worth, however, and I used it to apply for and secure a new job at the University of Minnesota!

Logan

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