Santa came a little early for Travis this year. He got his very own hernia! Brace yourself Internet, for I am going to explain what a hernia is. Basically, some event occurs that causes a tear in the stomach muscles. Then the abdominal organs (generally the intestines) are free to move in and out of the abdomen.
We believe Travis' defining moment was last Thursday when he was throwing up all morning. He said he felt a pull in his groin, but assumed he just pulled a muscle. It wasn't until Monday (after working all weekend and playing a game of softball) that he noticed the bulge. The next day he called to set up an appointment to have this most-likely-hernia checked out by a professional. I went with him to his Wednesday afternoon appointment. The doctor confirmed our fears.
Since his intestines still move in and out freely, the doc was not seriously concerned. He said the repair could wait, but there are many serious complications that could occur which would require an emergency surgery. If the intestines get stuck out, they could get a blockage or the blood flow could get stopped off. Both of these would result in necrotic intestines. That would be an even bigger surgery. This is exactly why we have insurance, so he is going to go ahead and have the repair done as soon as possible.
For the moment, he is still allowed to work and go about his daily life. He is not supposed to lift over 30 lbs, which means he can still carry our son. If it ever hurts, he is supposed to stop what he is doing immediately. He has a cough. And coughing is painful. Having a full bladder is painful. Taking large steps is painful (like when he skips rungs on the ladder).
We have to wait for the surgeon to call us to schedule the pre-op visit. The Internal Medicine doc told us to give the surgeon a call on Monday if he hasn't called us yet. They put a rush on the appointment for Travis. Not because it is life threatening, but because he works a manual labor job.
While it will be a huge bummer for him to be in serious pain during the holidays, I am actually hoping he will have the surgery soon. I will be home for the next two weeks. That means I will be available to help him out in his first few days post-op with daily activities. My family will be around to give us a helping hand as well.
Our main concern at the moment is how we are going to pay for all of this. Travis does not have paid sick leave. The recovery time for this procedure is 3-6 weeks. Then on top of having half our income, we have to pay for the surgery. It's going to be a rough couple of months - that's for sure.
I sense the Grinch returning...