Tag Archives: surgery

I am Wounded

Death Valley from Zabrisky Point. Absolutely nothing to do with this post.

Those dang Godfreys just aren’t posting like they once were, so I guess I’ll have to go back to writing my own. Since my last post, let’s see. I bought an AZERTY keyboard for typing in French, which language I actually speak now, though not terribly well yet, but well enough to carry on a normal conversation. (Maybe not in Paris.) I’m getting a Pfizer/BIOnTech booster next week. Being officially retired, the Pandemic’s various upsets have affected me less than those still doing regular work. (You’d think I’d have the next “War and Peace” drafted. You’d be wrong.) So. More specifically then.

Last April I had my hiatal hernia corrected. The surgeon yanked my stomach down through my diaphragm, folded it over, and put a mesh over it so it wouldn’t unfold. Ah, surgery, how do I love thee? Oh, yeah, I do not. Okay, but there are positives here. After a lifetime of what was at times debilitating heartburn I am completely heartburn free. I can eat whatever I want to just before going to bed. And my sinuses are considerably less congested day to day. Some, heck I have allergies, but I’m more comfortable with no medications than I was taking everything I could find. (Once I took a combination of things that destroyed my short-term memory for a few hours.) I had a measured pH of 1.4 in my esophagus prior to surgery. Now it’s mildly alkaline. Alkalinity is better. Of course, changing the chemistry in my upper regions has had repercussions all over.

After the surgery I discovered that I was lactose intolerant. It’s not all that bad, thanks to lactose free milk (and it really is just milk, folks.) And there are lactase pills one can eat with dairy foods to keep the lactose from moving out of one’s stomach and into infamy. (Look it up if you really want to know.) Hard cheese, Cheddar even, is okay, too, no pills needed. And butter! Yum! And ice cream? Oddly, not all that awful if you keep it down to a modest amount. And, why not, huh? my intestinal fauna all disappeared, independent of any dairy issues. They old ones couldn’t stand the new environment. Here, too, one can take probiotics, which sounds like a scam, but it’s a real thing. They’re in yoghurt, all active-culture yoghurts not just those expensive ones, but I have found that taking about four billion microorganisms per day works out well. And the weirdest effect? A horrible case of athlete’s foot! WTF??? Athlete’s foot! Yeah, well, things are going that way, I see.

In spite of my wearing only open toe sandals all summer (and to this day) the athlete’s foot wouldn’t go away. My insurance requires trying a prescription fungal cure before going to a podiatrist, so I took Terbinafine. Terbinafine side effects include sinus congestion and intestinal upset. Just when the Probiotics were working well, too.

And then there’s the ingual hernia (why settle for just one type of hernia?) It started at Disneyland, after walking around all day. A lump on my lower abdomen (or upper groin, I dunno) that, when I pushed on it, something popped back in. Yoiks! So just this week I had that hernia repaired also. Well, at least I could eat normally as soon as I got home. It never hurt bad enough that I wanted strong painkillers (the stomach thing did) so I’d say it was a pretty easy thing to go through. Of course, I have another ingual hernia on my other side, but nothing has popped through, so we’re just moving along.

Here I want to say a word about good health insurance. It is available in the United States of America, but only, apparently, to certain of us. I have a Medicare supplement policy, not the one associated with the AARP, but from the same company. My outpatient surgeries have resulted in my paying exactly zero in copays. Two in one year. I’m on Social Security. My wife is rich, though, so I pay a hefty premium out of my Social Security payments. Which has totally been worth it this year. The amount is income based, sort of like in France, so after she retires I’ll pay a lot less.

Three weeks from today we leave for France, hoping to find a house to buy. We’ll be there for three weeks, with an eye to moving to somewhere in Southwest France. It takes eight to twelve months to buy a house there. I’ll post my experiences along the way. But for today I’m done. Thanks for reading, keep your powder dry, get vaccinated, and have a great week!