Blog Post

A #hernia2013 Update

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write this post because I thought it might end up sounding bitter, but the fact of the matter is that I’m not bitter about anything.  I am just writing this to try to inspire those who might be struggling with issues in their life right now, especially around the Christmas season.

For those of you who don’t know, I started on a weight loss journey back in March 2013.  Since that time, I’ve lost around 60 lbs.  And since I had been on a diet before that, I’ve lost a total of about 90 lbs overall.  But this post isn’t about the weight loss, it’s actually about the side effects of the weight loss.

See, what I didn’t know about weight loss is that it can lead to a hernia.  Apparently, your intestine is held in place by a fatty membrane.  As I started to lose weight, the fat holding the intestine in place started to slowly to dissolve.  Then, one day in mid-October, my intestine fell totally out of place and dropped right into my testicles.

The good news is that I was at work when all of this happened.  The bad news is that the paramedics nor the police actually believed me when I told them I was in pain.  They told me to man up and that it was probably just a kidney stone or appendicitis and that I should just stand up and walk it off because the hospital was not going to do anything for me.

Eventually, I convinced the police to rush me to the hospital.  When I finally saw a doctor, he identified the hernia immediately and had me rushed directly into surgery.  He told me that if he had waited any longer to do the surgery that I could have at minimum lost my testicles and if it would have gotten to that point, I would have probably died.

This is the closest to dying that I have ever been.  I haven’t told anyone about this near death experience up until this point because I didn’t want to make a bigger deal out of my hernia than it actually was because the fact of the matter is that I’m alive and I didn’t die.

However, what this experience has taught me is who I can really count on in my life.  My parents rushed right up to the hospital and stayed by my side as long as they possibly could.  My co-workers sent me flowers and fruit and one co-worker even visited me at the hospital.  My students in one of my classes made me a nice card that was so nice that I even laminated it.  One of my family members called me and sent me a card in the mail.  And one of my buddies called me as well.

I wasn’t actually even supposed to return to work for 6 to 8 weeks and I actually returned to work after 4 days.  So, I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of people who didn’t even really realize that I even was out of work for a life-threatening surgery of any sort at all.  However, that does not excuse the fact that the majority of the people that I know didn’t even ask how I was feeling after my surgery.  I don’t even mean about the physical pain.  I mean about how I was feeling about the fact that I could have been a dead man.

It’s been several weeks after the surgery now and I’m still not really sure about how I feel about it.  I know there are certain things I want to do now that I didn’t necessarily want to do before.  I know that I am probably even more in a hurry now to find a girlfriend and be in a relationship than I was before.  I know, life isn’t all about rainbows and butterflies and all of that crap.

The most important thing I’ve learned through this whole experience, though, is exactly who I can count on in life and who I can’t count on in life.  I will never forget the people who took a moment out of their busy lives to actually acknowledge the fact that I had something happened to me that could have caused me to die.  I will never forget that they actually do love me and care about me.

On the other hand, I will never forget all of those people didn’t even acknowledge my near death experience.  Yeah, I’ve been in car accidents and what not, but that’s not the same.  My hernia didn’t come with a cast or a visible scar or something that would signify to people that I had been through an experience that warrants them acknowledging me.

There are certain people now that I thought were my friends who I probably will never talk to ever again in my life.  For example, right after my surgery, I started talking to someone who I thought was my friend more than usual.  Instead of asking me why I felt like talking more, he told me he was tired of talking to me and that I should leave him alone.  The fact of the matter is that I just wanted someone to talk to ask me how I was feeling about almost dying.  Needless to say I really don’t consider this person a friend anymore.

In fact, I can’t even tell people the story of my hernia because it’s generally not socially acceptable to talk about intestines falling into one’s testicles in a public setting.  I have mentioned to people that I’ve had a hernia and I occasionally get someone who makes a sly comment about lifting something too heavy, which is especially annoying since that’s not at all how my hernia occurred.

So, in conclusion, again, this post isn’t about being bitter in anyway.  However, it is about the side effects of the hernia.  The fact is that as a result of my whole near death experience I have found out exactly who I can count on in life and who I can’t count on in life.

My advice to anyone reading this is to realize who your true compadres are in life before it’s too late.  Because if a near death experience happens to you, you are going to need someone to talk to and you will definitely want to know who you can trust in life and who you can’t trust in life.  As I always like to put it, sometimes you have to kick the riffraff to the curb.

By Jon Oaks

College Math Instructor. Tech Enthusiast. Visionary. Creative Genius. But above all, I enjoy what I do. That is why I am a teacher. Because I like to teach.

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