Hernia sufferer feels at a loss
Health problems are an ongoing battle for Timaru man John Rankin, who is fighting to have a hernia repaired so it no longer "pops out" next to his colostomy bag.
Mr Rankin, 65, was admitted to Timaru Hospital last week after developing a hernia near the site of the stoma, or opening, that connects his bowel to the bag.
Due to its proximity, the hernia pops out three to four times a week. Mr Rankin said he has been told by numerous surgeons that the only way to deal with the hernia is to "push it back in".
"They came to my bed and they said there was no way they could operate to remove the hernia.
"It's so stupid. This is the 21st century, we're not living in the dark ages.
"Surely someone can operate and repair the hernia."
He said the condition was very painful and an inconvenience.
Mr Rankin rates the pain on a scale of 1 to 10 as 11.
"I could be up town and start talking to somebody and have to say ‘Excuse me, I've got to push my hernia back in' ".
The hernia is the size of a large orange, he said.
Mr Rankin has had a colostomy bag for three years after he contracted diverticulitis, a condition which is caused when small pouches of the intestine's inner lining become inflamed or infected.
He is booked in to have the colostomy bag surgically switched from his left side to the right side on November 19.
Mr Rankin believes that procedure will no longer go ahead, but he has no plans to give up just yet.
"I mean, there must be a world class surgeon out there to do it. I'm even prepared to go to Christchurch Hospital to get it done if I can't get it done here. The whole thing stinks."
Mr Rankin developed another hernia about a year ago, which doctors operated on. The area later became infected, but that is a risk Mr Rankin is prepared to take.
South Canterbury District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said Mr Rankin had been in contact with the hospital regarding his concerns.
An investigation into the matter is under way, Mr Fleming said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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