Mr. Jarvis had surgery last week for a hernia. It wasn't until after the surgery that he gave a clear description of his symptoms. He had been telling his wife and his doctor for several months that he had a pain in his hip. About three months ago he said it was bothering him more frequently and radiating into his groin. He wanted to see his doctor, but he wasn't available so he made an appointment with the physician assistant. His wife usually goes to all of his appointments, but was unavailable for this one. He came home with no answers.
The pain continued to get worse to the point that he was quite miserable. At the time it was three weeks until his yearly physical so he toughed it out. He, once again, described his pain as in the hip going into his groin. The doctor examined him and told him he was pretty sure it was a hernia and referred him to a surgeon where the same description was given.
He had the surgery last week. The surgeon was unable to do the simpler laparoscopic procedure because the hernia was too large. As the anesthesia wore off and the pain from the surgery began he said he could tell the difference already. His wife asked, "How is it different?"
He said, "The bulging is gone."
"What do you mean?"his wife replied in surprise.
He said that his abdomen had been bulging by the end of the day for quite some time. A symptom he had never mentioned to anyone- his wife, the physician assistant or either doctor.
When hernias become large a person is at risk of small intestines protruding, getting stuck and leading to risky surgery and infection. He was fortunate not to have that happen. Had he told the doctors about the bulging months earlier would he have had the simpler, less risky surgery? Probably. Hernias are common and fairly easy to diagnose when ALL of the symptoms are reported.
Carefully listen to your body for ALL of your symptoms.
Document them to help you put them into words.
Tell your doctor everything.
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