Bizarrely, not only did they not find a hernia in my wee boy, the four-year-old in the bed next to him who was in for the same operation also did not have a hernia. It was phantom hernia day at our local children's hospital. When the nurse told me that the surgeon hadn't found anything wrong, my guilt was enormous - we had put him through all that for no reason. However, after some thought and discussion, I realised that there was nothing else we could have done - there was a lump there that came and went quickly, a GP did say she felt something that indicated that a hernia was the reason, ing.uinal hernias don't fix themselves so what else could anyone have done - for the doctors and for us, the only sensible, safe thing to do in those circumstances is to check it out. Thankfully, the operation was being done laparoscopically, so all he had was one tiny incision at his belly button where they popped the tiny camera in. Of course, the poor soul had had gas and the equivalent of an epidural - which I wish we could have spared him - but he has recovered really well.
I couldn't believe it when I heard the surgeon tell the family next to us that their son did not have a hernia either, though. I didn't know whether to be relieved that we weren't the only ones with imaginary lumps or to be worried about the surgeon's eyesight! The other wee boy is older and had had a double ing.uinal hernia at birth (which was corrected with surgery), so his family knew exactly what to look for (unlike us novice parents). His mother was stunned - we spoke afterwards and apparently her son's "hernia" pops out quite often and gives him pain. Both of us are to keep an eye on our sons for the next 6 weeks, take a photo of the "hernia" if it pops out and go back for a follow-up appointment. I'm fairly sure we won't see ours again - we only saw it once before. One of the more junior doctors suggested that our wee one's lump might have been a hyd.rocele, which can self-correct, so maybe that's the answer. All I know, is that I'm very relieved that my wee one came through OK - but still keeping a close eye on him for post-op problems (primarily infection etc) and not feeling complacent.
Our losses and the time it has taken us to have our wee boy definitely mean that we do not take him for granted!
"The Unmade Bed" by Stephen Marche
1 day ago