I wasn’t really all that worried when I first noticed the large lump in my right groin area. At first I thought one of my cojones had sneaked back inside where it’s safe and warm. Wouldn’t you if you had the chance? Perhaps not. But a quick count confirmed all of my moving parts were where they should be.
I did not panic. It was a Thursday and on the Friday TLOML and I were due to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our first date. French champagne, flowers, candlelight, a spliff or two and hot, passionate sex, replete with fun games all our own. Would you believe I spend months anticipating events like these? You bet I do.
I decided to wait a week or so before asking my GP if this lump was bad news or really bad news. Besides, it was quite soft and almost completely painless.
I forgot all about it for the next week and just turned up unannounced at the surgery on Saturday morning. This GP is a lovely bloke and has been our family doctor for about 25 years. He has a steady core clientele of elderly locals but there were very few in the waiting room this time around, most of his long-standing patients, including my own parents, having dropped off the twig these past few years.
Having waited for a week that might have been the difference between life-saving early diagnosis and I’m-afraid-there’s-nothing-we-can-do, you can imagine how keen I was to find out what the prognosis would be. I was about to drop strides and lie down on the table but thought I’d better do that in the surgery rather than the waiting room.
The examination and a few perfunctory questions confirmed what I’d suspected all along: that I had an indirect inguinal hernia. Nothing too serious. You can go on with all your normal business but if the bowel gets mixed up in it, forcing its way into the passage which only contains some fatty tissue for now, it’s emergency time. I’d be silly not to have something done about it.
So I’ve been referred to a specialist surgeon. The GP told me that the operation is a fairly routine one that seldom leads to recurrence or complications, but I’d have the physically active part of my life on hold for about six weeks. So I’ll be trying to have it done well away from cricket season, wedding anniversaries, etc.
And I’d probably need to be off work for about four weeks. I think I can manage that.