Several few weeks ago, after chasing a bunch of two year olds around at a birthday party, I noticed a lump in my groin area. I immediately thought is was a swollen lymph node, and within seconds, had myself diagnosed with giardia. (giardia is a parasite that lives within your intestines...our new puppy had been diagnosed with it just a week prior).
I got extremely dizzy...and sweaty at the thought. ONE, because the vet told me that it would only be transmitted through the puppy's feces to mouth. TWO, because I thought if I called the doctor, he would make me poop in a jar.
I quickly called my bff nurse practitioner. She had lovingly replaced WEBMD several months ago as my "go to" medical source. Granted, she deals with primarily vaginas, but to me...that qualified her to handle almost any and all medical issues I might have.
She agreed to come over and give me the once over. I layed on the couch and raised my shirt....I had lowered my pants, and thankfully, had chosen to wear undies that day. (unfortunately, this day was NOT lawn maintenance day (sorry T) ) Anyway, she rubbed, pushed, prodded. She had me lay flat, sit up, etc. It was the most action I had seen in weeks...and frankly, if I hadn't thought I was acting as host body for thousands of parasitic creatures, I may have enjoyed it (more) )
'Well, Jenny, its not a lymph node..I think its an "in -gwin-nal" hernia". "A what? What the heck is that? " I couldn't even pronounce that word. At first, I wasn't sure if that was better, or worse than a parasitic micro worm. I would later discover that for me it was worse...much worse.
When I finally made it to my bed later that night, I opened that lap top, and googled "inguinal" (that is the proper spelling) The first thing I did was learn how to pronounce it. The second thing I did was google images, so I could determine for sure that that was what is was.
After perusing the photos for 10 minutes or so, I noticed that all the photos were that of men. I decided that maybe I should be reading...and not just looking at the pictures. (afterall....this wasn't the newspaper...it was my health)
After further reading, I discovered that inguinal hernias are very common in MEN. In MEN. Very uncommon in women. Of course they are, if there is a small margin of occurrence for anything , I will fall into that category. I am a a statistical wonder.
Panic set in...panic that I would be unable to resume my intense workout schedule. I had finally sculpted my once soft physique into a lean (er) and muscular frame...just in time for summer...and for the fist time since June, 1999.
I couldn't bare the thought of letting up on my routine. The next morning, I awoke to find the lump has dissipated. The wandering intestine that busted through my muscle wall had sunken back into the inguinal canal. I ignorantly convinced myself that it had gone away, and I was fine.
I took this one day off from the gym....just in case. Monday rolled around, and I decided to resume working out. I figured I would lay low on lower body exercises, or even standing ones that put undue stress on my lower half. I also laid off any lower ab work. I was in the clear....so I thought.
Not two weeks later, the lump once again reappeared. This time, instead of a golf ball appearance, it was more peanut shaped, and protruded horizontally across my lady front. Once again, it disappeared over night, and I followed the lay low routine.
However, it appeared AGAIN, only several days later. The recurrence was becoming more frequent....and my peanut was growing larger. As I look at the bulge, a light bulb went off in my head. "What must this look like to others...wait...its almost bathing suit time!"
I whipped my pants off and slipped on one of my new bikini bottoms. What I feared was so. It looked as if I had a penis...hanging to the left. I ran down to show Dave, who for once in his life, took a page out of my book. He laughed. He found it amusing that I was ranting that I looked like a transvestite. Oh my God. I am going to look like a man on the beach. With my new muscles, no boobs, and penis.
Even the girls got in on it. Ava is old enough to know (damn TLC) that there are people who are transgendered and asked what they are called. Not realizing she is half my DNA, I told her. "hermaphrodite". She then proceeded to call me this for the remainder of the night.
I went to the Doctor. As he felt around the area, he instructed me to do something I myself had made jokes about to my male friends. " Ok Jen, turn your head to the left and cough. Ok, again, Ok, cough again". Is this a hernia or a testicle? Maybe I am a hermaphrodite.(?)
I was informed that surgery is the only option in repairing the hernia. This has left me with a conflict that I cannot seem to resolve. (Both of which are narcissistic, I realize.)
1. Have the Surgery Within the next few weeks
Pros: 1. "Penis" is gone; 2.Probably get a small supply of Pain Killers; 3. Might be able to save on anesthesia and get a tandem boob job in time for summer
Cons: 1. Out of commission for 4 weeks...that means NO GYM. 2.Risk losing the muscle tone I have worked so hard for to get ready for the summer; No pain killers.
2. Have the Surgery POST Summer
Pro: 1. I can continue to maintaining my summer physique
Con: 1. I risk looking like a he/she on the beach, ...or resort back to my skirted bikinis.
I guess I will give it a few more weeks and gauge the size of my peanut when it gets closer to beach time. Until then, I will endure the family ridicule, and welcome the curious gropers. (hey, gotta take it when you can get it, right?)