bedside manner

Doctor’s bedside manner eases pre-surgery jitters

By ERNIE ZIMMERMANErnie Zimmerman
Palms West Monthly
Posted July 2, 2017

A couple months ago I went to my doctor complaining of discomfort on the left side of my groin area. Now, I’m no doctor and I certainly am not a hypochondriac, but I was certain that I had a hernia.

Upon examining me, however, my family doctor assured me that it wasn’t a hernia and I had nothing to worry about.

Who was I to argue? I just breathed a sigh of relief and went on with my life – and continued to feel my pain grow.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), it was just a few weeks later that I had my annual checkup with my urologist and my worst fears came true. At the end of the exam he told me that I indeed had a hernia – and that I needed to have it taken care of right away. He recommended a good local surgeon and said I needed to see her as soon as possible.

When a doctor tells you to see a surgeon as soon as possible, that’s not very good news. Sure, I was relieved to know what was causing the pain, but I wasn’t exactly rejoicing that I was right all along. (Although, part of me wanted to go back to my family doctor and say, “I told you so!”)

My initial meeting with the surgeon went great. After examining me, she said that I had quite a large hernia on the left side of my body. We then spent the next 45 minutes discussing the operation.

I’ve been to my share of doctors in my life, but I can honestly say that I’ve never felt as comfortable with a doctor as I felt with her.

In fact, as I was walking out of the office she had me laughing out loud and thinking about everything except the upcoming operation.

When the day of the surgery arrived, I couldn’t believe how calm I was. In fact, when they took my blood pressure in pre-op, it was the lowest it’s been in 25 years. That’s how good my surgeon was at making me feel calm.

My operation was only supposed to be about 30 minutes, but because my hernia was so big it lasted over an hour.

I didn’t feel a thing throughout the operation. I don’t even recall being wheeled into the operating room. But when I woke up I remembered it well. I was dizzy and felt like I was going to be sick. Lucky for me, this feeling didn’t last very long.

When I was finally able to see where the doctor cut me, I was amazed to see how large the cut was. And there were no stitches. Turns out they used glue instead. Who knew?

It’s been more than a month since the operation and with every day there’s less pain. I’m back in my walking routine, but doc says I can’t ride my bike yet.

One good thing about the operation is that I’ve lost five pounds. It may not be the best way to lose weight, but I’m not complaining.

The only negative to the whole procedure was I had to tell a white lie to my 100-year-old mother. I couldn’t tell her about my operation – she has enough to deal with without worrying about me. Instead, I told her I was going out of town and wouldn’t be able to visit her for a few weeks.

I’ve always been truthful with mom and it felt strange not telling her the truth, but I knew that I was just protecting her from worry.

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About Palms West Monthly

Palms West Monthly covers Palm Beach County's Western Communities of Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee Groves and The Acreage, as well as West Palm Beach.

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