Life Alert: It's Not Just for Seniors Anymore...


Have you seen those commercials where "seniors" are trapped in a burning house, or have fallen and they can't get up, but then they have this device around their necks so they just push a button and "help is on the way?" Think that's just for old people? Think again.

I have an umbilical hernia. It was diagnosed at the same time my husband's hernia was diagnosed. There is a pecking order however, so my husband has been hernia-free for a couple of years while my hernia has been comfortably tucked inside my body. On Saturday, for some odd reason, my hernia turned on me and decided to implement its emergency evacuation plan.

Without any warning whatsoever, I felt pain so severe that it left me unable to move and gasping for air. Thankfully, I was already laying in bed when it happened. I laid in bed watching my stomach bulge out while I tried to deal with the intense pain just beneath my belly button. It was the attack of the killer hernia. The pain was unbearable and I was convinced that I was going to pass out. I was trying not to pass out before whipping off some last minute items to my husband.

Can you grab some clean undergarments, please?

Feed the cat.

I love you.

Remember that I'm allergic to penicillin.

By the way, I feel ridiculous.

Poor guy. You should have seen the look on his face. He wanted to call 9/11, or put me in the car and head for the ER. I refused. I couldn't even move to get to the car. I was squeezing my husband's hands as hard as I could and he was telling me to breathe. Little did he know, breathing hurt like hell. I knew it was the hernia-unworthy-of-repair-when-diagnosed that was the issue. The husband, whose hernia-was-worthy-of-repair-when-diagnosed, knew a thing or two about hernias, so he ran to the freezer looking for a bag of frozen peas to place across my ever-expanding belly. He couldn't find peas (we prefer broccoli) so he comes running in the bedroom with towel in one hand and and a frozen one-pound ball of fresh mozzarella from Costco in the other. Heh. Try balancing a ball of mozzarella on a tummy bulge. Points for quick thinking, though....

The horrific pain eventually gave way to a dull annoyance, but it was rough going for a while there.

Sarah warned of something like this, didn't she? I thought about that all night. If my husband hadn't been home, I would likely have panicked knowing that I wasn't near the phone and it would have been a major feat for me to get to it during the attack of the killer hernia. Then, I thought about Life Alert. Know what I think? I think they should market Life Alert to military spouses whose husbands/wives are deployed. Because you never know when a hernia will attack....

We've had a few laughs about the whole affair. Since the hernia is just beneath my belly button, the coming out party is quite evident. Now I know what I would look like if I were six months pregnant. I went to bed with a full moon as a belly button (mine's an inny, not an outy). I woke up with a half moon belly button. Currently, there is no moon to see because the hernia has pushed the opening closed. When my husband asks for a status report, he asks, "full moon, half moon or no moon?"

My hernia will be repaired sometime soon. Something tells me lots of blog material will follow. In the meantime, anyone have maternity clothes they'd be willing to lend to a non-pregnant woman with an invisible belly button?.

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