Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sometimes there is no bear
Sometimes you get the bear.
Sometimes the bear gets you.
I've always liked that saying, expressive of acceptance. But this morning, leaving the surgeon's office, I thought, Sometimes there is no bear. In fact, often there isn't.
Another old saying is, "If you don't want surgery, don't see a surgeon." But I felt I had to go back to the guy who repaired my abdominal hernia last year. The incision, which is unfortunately right where waistbands sit, had gradually stopped being tender, and then gotten tender again. I could feel a lump in the most tender spot. I was afraid the thing was getting ready to rupture again, so with a feeling of some dread, made an appointment with the surgeon. If he thought he needed to repair it, that would be my fourth abdominal surgery in two years. No big deal, really, surgery, except you think it is.
He listened to what I said and did a good physical exam. Then he explained that I'm feeling the sutures, and why I'm feeling them, and repeated firmly, "It's not going to rupture."
I have learned to, let's say, approach doctors with caution. But sometimes I have to depend on them. I was relieved by this guy's certainty, and the reasonableness of the explanation. No bear. Now I could come home and make appointments for my mammogram and my annual eye exam. That right eye is blurry, boy, I hope it's not . . .