Hernia Procedure, A Personal Account – II

As mentioned in my previous blog, prior to arrival to the Shouldice hospital, I had to get my Austin general physician examine and diagnose my hernia condition plus getting the blood and EKG tests done. When the Shouldice Hospital doctor has reviewed and approved of my condition, then I was able to set a surgery date.

I was asked to arrive one day prior to the surgery date to settle into my hospital room. Had a visit with the surgeon that afternoon and he re-examined my condition. However, due to my white coat syndrome, I had an exceptionally high blood pressure in his office. He did not like that and told me that I needed to settle down. He told me that he will have nurses come by my room to re-measure my blood pressure a few more times that evening before he decides in the morning if I will be able to be operated on or not.

That statement obviously did not help my blood pressure, which at first went even higher that afternoon measured by the nurse. I was not about to have the blood pressure issue alone to suspend my operation after I have travelled all the way from Texas.

After the dinner, I decided to join the group of patients (30) who has registered with me that same day, in watching a hockey playoff game (this is Canada after all). Then, I decided to settle nerves down in my room and read the Bible instead. The blood pressure readings started to come down finally. The last reading at around 11pm was good and acceptable to the nurse.

I learned something about myself that night. One, I did have a white coat syndrome (a rather serious one). Two, my nervous system affects my systolic blood pressure and heart rate by as much 30 points. I need to address my adrenal and nervous system weakness in the long run. Third, God’s Word does work in calming one’s nerves when we delight and meditate on His Word.

At the final nurse visit of the night, she gave each of us a pill of sedation in preparation for early morning surgery. The nurse told me my surgery time was 8:30am. I will be woken up at 5:30am, no food and water for 12 hours and change to the surgery gown. Be in our room ready to be called to go to the surgery quarters.

Whatever the reason, I slept real well and had to be awaken by the nurse at 5:30am next morning and was given another sedative pill. At 7:45am or so, a small group of us (6) followed the nurse to the surgery quarters. I don’t know why, but I had a mental image of us being led to the slaughter house. I chuckled at that weir thought and dismissed it immediately. We all waited for another 20 minutes each in our bed then we were led to the surgery room. Once on the operation table, I only remember 3 doctors starting to look and talk about my hernia. But I could not hear what they were saying. Then everything went blank. I only remember the voice that called my name and said it was all done. I checked the clock and it said 10am. Wow, an hour or so approximate time of surgery went by in a blink of an eye (literally). I was helped out of the room and walked up to my room with assistance.

I was told that the surgeons (at least 3 of them) operated on all 30 of us that day and I was one in the first batch of 6. The Shouldice Hospital registers about 20 to 40 each day, 5 days in a week. That’s an average of 150 a week. They operate on more than 7,000 patients a year. By far the busiest and most sought after hernia surgery hospital in Canada if not in the world.

I was one of the 4 people here who came from the States for this surgery. Others came from Arizona, Colorado, and Florida. There was also a gentleman from Japan who did not speak a word of English. He was mostly by himself. He came to Shouldice Hospital just for this specialized surgery.

Besides the very good hospital care, there is something else that made it a highlight of my Shouldice Hospital stay. That is, we had plenty of opportunities to get to know other fellow patients that went through the similar surgeries. We shared meals and snacks together at the preset times daily. Not to mention about our individual hernia stories and recoveries. Over the 3 days of in-patient recovery period, we got to know each well and build some good relationships. The comradery was developed and somehow the post-surgery pain and physical un-easiness that followed were tolerable and almost unnoticeable. I would suspect that would not have been the case if I went to a regular hospital with a whole variety of different patient situations. I would have felt out of place. While at Shouldice, I never did have that feeling. I felt almost like home!

The amazing thing was there were no other post-medicine given me other than the 100mg Tylenol. I took only half of the portion they gave me for the first 2 days at the hospital. I took none of the two they gave on my last day of stay at the hospital.

On May 1st, 2017, I left the hospital without assistance and went to my mom’s place for the rest of the recovery process. No shower, bath or water exposure was allowed during the first week in that area. The bruise around the cut was reduced over time and by second week of the surgery, all bruises disappeared completely. My movements, specially sitting up and down were still bothersome. But within the third week, those pains were pretty much subsided to the point of just a little discomfort.

On a daily basis, I took four times a day of the following supplements – Curamin Xtra Strength (4 tablets), Vitamin C (3, 1000mg each), and High Potency Protease (4 capsules) since leaving hospital. Now that my pain is pretty much all but done with, I have cut back my supplementation down to only 1 time a day and sometimes none.

Overall, my experience has been excellent. I am very satisfied with the care I received. The post-surgery recovery at the hospital and at my mom’s place was smooth and trouble free as well.

I thank all the folks who prayed for me for they were answered. I also want to specially make note of my family members’ assistance (especially my mom for putting up with me for a few weeks) in setting me up here in Toronto. I would not have had such a smooth time without them and their love for me!

I am anxious to get home to my wife, family, and my clients. I want to get back to fitness again. God bless you all and thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to give me your comments or any question you may have.

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Posted by Paul

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