I’m turning bionic, I think.

Remember when that Who-down-in-Whoville was trying to burrow its way out of my bellybutton and all of you were like, “That’s a hernia.  You need to get that shit fixed yesterday.”  Well, turns out it’s a hernia and I need to get that shit fixed yesterday.  You guys should consider charging for your diagnoses because that was pretty impressive.  If I had more energy I’d start a  website called “Does this look normal to you?” so people could post pictures of weird-ass stuff on their body and you could tell them what’s wrong with them.

This week I met with the surgeon and he felt around my stomach and was like, “Yep.  You’ve got a hole in there, and if we don’t fix it now it’ll just get worse,” but I countered that “Technically I have lots of holes in my body and they’re doing just fine.  In fact, if I didn’t have these holes in my face I’d suffocate.  They’re called ‘nostrils‘ and I’m a big fan.”  Then he explained that it was less of a “hole” and more of a “widening rip in my abdominal wall” so I agreed to have the surgery.  On the plus side, at the moment I can truthfully brag, “Yo, my abs are ripped” although not really in the way that most people might expect.

The surgeon explained that I would be having “robotic hernia surgery” and I explained that I didn’t want a hernia at all, much less a robotic hernia.  Then he paused and clarified that the surgery itself was done by robots and that’s even scarier because I can’t even walk past the tv without the cable going out and the last time I opened the refrigerator it spit ice cubes out at me because all technology hates me for some reason.  The doctor assured me that he’d be in command, and that the robots would just have a bunch of fingers in me that he’d be controlling.  He assured me this was a simple procedure, and that everything would be fine just so long as the robots didn’t suddenly become self-aware and give me chainsaw hands and implant their brain in my head so that they could use me to take over the world.  He didn’t say that last part out loud but I think it was implied.

A friend recommended I look at pictures of the procedure so that I’ll understand how great robotic surgery is because robots can do operations using tiny incisions.  I took their advice and I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a comforting surgery picture, or a scene from a horror film where a robotic spider is implanting robot spider eggs into the stomachs of their hosts.  Either way, it’s disconcerting.

“AAAAAAAAH.”  Also, is that a thermos of coffee on the left?  Why do robots need coffee?  What is even going on here?

Long story short, I’m having surgery on Friday and if all goes as planned I’ll be fine, and if not then I apologize in advance for using my chainsaw hands to threaten you but let me assure you that it’s nothing personal.  You can’t reason with robot spiders.  I assume.

171 thoughts on “I’m turning bionic, I think.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Ummm, that looks scary as all hell. You’ll be put under right? In that instance, you won’t even know it, so rock on! You can do it!

  2. The thermos could be coffee. Or soup. Or vodka.
    What I’m more concerned about is that big cooler further to the left. What’s in there? A picnic lunch? Or is that cooler there for to drop the who they remove from your stomach into? If so, where are they transporting her?

  3. Or maybe you’ll be like Robo cop! You’ll be fancy and shiny! Loved your bluebird picture by the way- just goregous!

  4. I’d feel better if there were a whole human somewhere in the frame and not just someone belly that looks like it’s about to be (precisely) slashed open.

  5. Forgive me for pointing this out, but isn’t the patient in that photo wearing scrubs? I fear the robots have attacked the surgeon.

    Remember to breathe deep when you come out of anesthesia. A nurse told me that tip. I think it prevents nausea, and helps expel all of the anesthesia from your body. It works!

  6. My husband had surgery for a hernia repair. It was not bad at all, though he did end up with testicles the size and color of eggplants for awhile. Fortunately for you, you don’t have testicles!

    Sending healing energy your way!

  7. Sending you good vibes on your surgery. My boyfriend had an abdominal hernia and his surgery went very well. So don’t worry!

  8. Resident OR nurse popping in here: the thermos is a scope warmer, to keep things we need to see GOOD TOUCH vs BAD TOUCH with from fogging up. It usually works. Usually. If it doesn’t we cuss a lot and send someone out to the magic room with extra shiny stuff for another and discuss Dr Who while we wait. It’s a thing. Also that Dr is in a corner with his head stuck in a machine that looks like the ass-end of a mechanical bull and my first day in there I swear he was making Super Mario Brothers noises. He said he was controlling the robot but I think maybe he was playing Tetris instead? Anyway. Hernias (and HISneas I guess, I’d hate to be sexist) are routine and easy and you’ll be fine. Protip: bring the OR team candy. We never get candy. We like candy. We will sometimes forget to charge you for something expensive if it’s good candy. Unofficially. YAY OBAMACARE

  9. that picture was supposed to make you feel better?! Time to re-think that friendship. I had the same surgery but ignorance is bliss – I have NO idea what went on – could be a hot wheels car in there for all I know.

  10. You can’t reason with robot spiders. I assume.

    Wouldn’t those be the Spiders From Mars? Maybe if you play Bowie at them?

    (Best of luck and a swift recovery!)

  11. In Logan’s Run the robot used lasers. You should ask your doctor if lasers are involved.

    And let Victor know you won’t be doing any lifting (you won’t want to anyway). Sneezing and belly laughs only if they’re unavoidable…

  12. Is it a long recovery period? How many days can you expect to be waited on hand and foot? I would milk that shit. I hate the day before surgery because (at least for me) life takes on a surreal kind of feeling. But I feel that way the day before I have to get on an airplane, too.

    Of course, everything is going to be 100% absolutely fine.

  13. You’re having surgery on Does-This-Look-Infected-Friday?!That seems to be tempting fate a bit.

  14. Good luck on your surgery tomorrow. I had robotic assisted laproscopy a year ago and it was so much better than the non-robotic assisted one I’d had 6 months before that. Just wanted to give you a little positive thoughts about the robots. They aren’t all bad. Wishing you lots of positive energy tomorrow. Also,thank you for your blog. I’m feeling rather dead today and you made me laugh as I caught up on your blog. Laughter gives energy (I hope).

  15. I assumed you mentioned Robot Spiders as a nod to Dr. Pants (the musicians who played a concert in your bathroom rather than an actual MD named Dr. Pants….)

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. And congrats on your “ripped” abs… even if it’s not in a traditional sense, I still think you deserve credit.

  16. One of my biggest heroes when I was a little girl was The Bionic Woman. Maybe after your surgery you’ll hear that cool (boing, oing, oing, oing” sound when you jump over cars and things. You WILL be able to jump over cars and things after this surgery, right?

  17. I would ask if these are combined with “Pepper” the robot who now understand (reads?) human emotions.

    Wishing you all things good for your surgery. I’m beginning to think of ripped abs as a bad thing, so that’s good. Thank you!

  18. Good luck on your minor surgery (minor surgery is surgery that someone else is having).

  19. That is the Intuitive Surgical da Vinci machine – and it is glorious. UT-Houston is a training center for it and I used to bring fundraising donors there to play around with it and watch the training classes. The most interesting part was watching kids play on it – because of all their gaming experience, they were almost instantaneously awesome using it. Grand Theft Auto = future cardiothoracic / urologic / gynecologic surgeons.

  20. My sister and I both had robotic hysterectomies, and neither one of us had much pain with it. We were up flouncing around in a couple of days. Hermia surgery is less complicated, so you should sail through it. Good luck.

  21. Can you still blog with chainsaw hands? You will be FINE and GREAT and please let us know you came out on the other side!! I can’t live without you!

  22. Have you read “This Book Is Filled With Spiders”, David Wong’s sequel to “John Dies at the End”?

    Scary, funny stuff that just seemed appropriate to mention right now.

  23. With all that technology, they can surely shoot a video as well. I expect this to be posted by Saturday. Thanks.

    Also, good luck and all that. You should draw a smiley face around your bellybutton with an arrow pointing to it to let the robots know where to work.

  24. I’ve had two hernia surgeries. But that was before robot surgeons. I do vaguely remember something about spiders, though that may have been the anesthesia. I don’t mean that they used spiders for anesthesia. That would be crazy. How would they know how much venom is “just enough” to put you out and not enough to kill you? Come to think of it, how do anesthesiologists know how much anesthesia to give you? What’s the formula for that: Weight times Anxiety Level divided by Surgeon’s Years of Experience?

    Next time I’m requesting the spiders.

  25. My sister and I both had robotic hysterectomies, and were up and around in a couple of days. Neither one of us has much pain, i didn’t even bother to fill my prescription. The robots make it much easier on you. Hernia surgery is not as complicated, so you should be fine. You won’t be able to lift anything over 10 lbs for six weeks, but the Who will be fine.

  26. I was going to say what james said. (Read this in your best pouty four-year-old voice.). If you are, indeed, our new overlord, I will be happy to bring you carafes of coffee for your pastic-wrapped spider-leg chainsaw-hands. Or lube. Or blood. Whatever the hell you want, just get out of my brain thankyouverymuch.

  27. You will be totally fine. When my dad had his hernia surgery he talked his surgeon into local Ansthesia so he could watch the whole. thing. It was really inteeresting.

  28. Do you get to pick your belly button shape for after the surgery? Can they give you one that looks like a tardis?

  29. I learned all about robotic sturgery when my friend was diagnosed with prostate cancer and the sturgeon used a robot. The robot is a little like one of those pantygraphs that you can use to trace a picture with a stylus and the pen on the other end of the pantygraph dingus makes a smaller picture — unless you have it set the other way where it will make a bigger picture. But the idea is that the sturgeon has biggish hands and makes coarse movements (even when he’s not operating on sensitive man parts) while the robot makes tiny movements in response so that the chance of having a big “OOPS” and cutting too much is significantly reduced.

  30. I had my hernia repaired last year, by a surgeon, and (probably) not a robot. It went just fine. The surgeon was all “we’ll do your surgery on Tuesday, and you can take it easy over the weekend and go back to work on Monday!” Apparently, the power of suggestion works, because I went back to work on Tuesday (’cause I don’t work Mondays), but then I just sat at work and did nothing all week because I felt like crap. Meanwhile, within 36 hours of having surgery, my ever-so-compassionate husband said “how long are you going to drag this recovery thing out?!” What a charmer. At any rate, it sucks the first couple days, but after that you start to feel better every day. Also, no one wants me to be sick. I guess that’s flattering?

    Much luck and good wishes – I hope you’re feeling great in no time!

  31. You’re going to be fine. And I say that because we need you. Your minions need you. So let the robot do its thing, enjoy the drugs, and write a funny post about it later, OK?

  32. No need to worry; take it as a break, enjoy anesthesia, your new robot friends, and the plastic-metal grid that will be downloaded in your belly upgrading it to the newest release. And take pictures !

  33. First, NAILED IT! Even without using WebMD. Second, that crap looks like a recycling project mated with a transformer. Opt out and see if they have that fix a flat stuff you can use on tires for your abs. Don’t laugh at this, or else you’ll need more fix a flat spray.

  34. Good luck. I am wishing you a speedy recovery.
    Make sure to talk to the anesthesiologist to make sure that they either give you something that won’t affect your B12 levels, or that you’ll be given a B12 shot right after surgery. Nitrous oxide deactivates all the B12 in your body. If you don’t replenish it quickly after exposure, it can slow down your recovery time.

  35. OK. My concern would be why are the robots wearing plastic? I mean, if I helped you move a dead body, obviously we’d be draped in hefty bags. If for no other reason than for easy clean up. But what will need cleaned up there? IF these robots are so talented, why do they make me imagine gallons of spewed bodily fluids is, I guess, what I’m asking. Oh, but you’ll be fine. These are just my thoughts. Carry on.

  36. Yeahhhh, that picture’s not comforting at ALL. But you’ll be out cold so I think that right there is pretty sweet compensation.

  37. I love the fact that the robot arms have “gloves” on. As if, robots aren’t naturally sterile. Do they get into shenanigans, off the clock, and then need to be sterilized and even where gloves during your operation? I just can’t trust these filthy machines! Also, if the name of this hospital is Austin General Sky Net please just build a time machine and go into the past to escape the terminators and I am sure some old timey leeches will fix that hernia right up!

  38. …Or maybe you will become a Cylon….sweeeeet. Also, maybe just maybe I watch too much sci-fy crap.

  39. As I understand it, these robots don’t make mistakes like we humans. Great for surgery but less interesting for a good time. Leave that to us.

  40. I actually think we have a great opportunity here. Look what robots did for Robocop. You could be the first Roboblogger or Robowriter. Think how many books and blogs you could write?

  41. I would go to the “Does this look normal to you?” website and just tell people who post pictures there that the thing that’s wrong with them is that they’re posting weird shit in their body in the intarnets rather than actually going to the doctor. 😛

  42. @Jenny Go kick some whoville butt! See you when the doctor says you may start laughing again. 🙂

    @Donte (#39) your dad gets my Iron Cojones Award for watching his own surgery.
    I’m inventing it for him on the spot…even though I’m sure someone’s already selling Tshirts for it on the internet somewhere.

  43. is that an auger down front right? that’s not reassuring, not at all,

  44. I’m pretty sure the thermos is where they put body parts they want to keep cold. Or hot. I’d have the surgery too but I would DAMN SURE have it in writing that I’ll be getting a lot of really cool anesthesia and won’t wake up until next week. (0.0) Good luck, muffin. 🙂

  45. They used a robot to do my hysterectomy – several plusses: several small holes in me as opposed to one BIG one and the robot is super expensive so they keep a super close count on what comes back out of you so they are less likely to send you home with a retractor or pair of scissors sitting next to your spleen.

  46. I can imagine the expression on the doctor’s face when you were talking to him. But honestly, he needs to be more precise. No one wants a robot hernia.

    Good luck with your surgery. I bet you’ll get some good stories from it.

  47. I really REALLY want there to be website called Does This Look Normal To You. Maybe once you’re bionic you can control a robot or two to set that up.

  48. While I know you will be fine, I am really concerned about the friend of Don in Pennsyltucky who suffered from prostate cancer. Apparently a sturgeon with big hands operated on his delicate man bits. How did a fish ever get a medical degree in the first place?

  49. Why don’t I have witty come backs like that whenever I’m talking to my doctor? Instead I just show off that pharmacy education my parents paid for that I’m not using that pisses my mom off.

    I’ll be sending you all the positive, healing energy I can tomorrow. Or is it next Friday? Either way, I’ll send it out there for you. Hey, it can’t hurt, right? 🙂 Good luck!!!

  50. bionic is great! I was legally blind without my glasses 3 years ago, and now bionic vision 20/20! Will be sending you healing thoughts on Friday…(well, every day, actually)

  51. May the surgeon operating the robots hands be blessed and steady. My prayers are with you for a speedy recovery. I am sure that all will go well tomorrow.

  52. Oh shit. I was already scared of regular spiders and now I have to worry about robot spiders? Never sleeping again.

  53. You totally need the “wtf is this??” Medical website. I’m kinda a hypochondriac like that. And omg…robotic surgery looks scary! But as long as they had their coffee, they’re good for the job, right? Yikes. Sending well wishes your way for tomorrow’s surgery.

  54. Well. That is horrifying.

    But on the plus side, if something goes wrong, it might make a great Doctor Who episode. So there’s that.

  55. Did you ask him if he’d mind taking over command of your fridge too, since it’s currently unhelpfully spitting ice cubes instead of saving people from ripped abs and shit?

    Good thoughts to you tomorrow. It’ll be fine and your Who from Whoville will be decimated by robot spider hands. 🙂

  56. My ex-husband had 5 hernias repaired in three different surgeries…trust me, as freaky as the robot surgery looks, you come back much quicker from it, it’s a good thing.

  57. I just watched an old episode of House where he was doing robot surgery. If Hugh Laurie can do it, so can your doc. Also, I suspect you may get The Good Drugs. Enjoy, and come back soon with one fewer holes 🙂

  58. I am sure you will be the best and baddest Cylon out there! Remember to milk this for all it’s worth and don’t let on that you are really a Cylon. Get all the love and attention that you damn well deserve, damn it!

  59. I don’t see a doctor anywhere in this picture =/ I see where one wouldn’t be able to get a scalpel in edgewise but shouldn’t proximity be a given in this instance?

  60. You should totally ask how many bionic pieces you have to have implanted before you start making that echoy whooshing noise from the Bionic Man when you run.

    When my mom got her hip replacement she was bummed and it took me forever to convince her how great getting bits of you replaced is. No really. Because when they finally invent robot bodies for all of us, you know it’s people who are already part robot who will get the robot bodies first. Kinda like mechanical nepotism. And while beta robot bodies might have a down side (although I can’t think of what that would be) you’d be a hard body forever.

    Never exercising again…living the dream.

  61. At least you didn’t watch a video of how they did the procedure. I had to have carpal tunnel surgery done on BOTH hands. The surgeon had this clever little animated video of how the surgery was done on his website. Once I got my head up from in between my knees….. my surgeon had to yell at me to get me to focus enough to remember what my name was. Good times…

  62. You will be just fine and able to walk not long after. Very short recovery time.This robo surgery is great. Less trauma to you and your body. I had a hysterectomy done this way. The only down side was gas. They fill your abdomen with gas to help the robot arms to move about and your body needs to get rid of it. Walking helps. After a day you will be fine. Walk walk walk.You are left with small incisions instead of a huge wound. I hope you get to see the photos of your insides. They took photos of mine. I need to make a t-shirt with them. You will be fine, the robots said so 🙂

  63. @Kara,” should draw a smiley face around your bellybutton with an arrow pointing to it to let the robots know where to work.”

    Great idea! There was a time I was so very sick. But…. I had a smile on my face and a giggle in my heart when I wrote a message to the doc/nurses on my body. As I laid on the.gurney waiting, I also giggled as I imagined what the doc/nurses face would look like when then put me under, lifted the gown, and saw the words. My favorite was when I was put under for injections in my butt.
    In permanent marker, before I left the house, I had a friend wrote on my back, “Matt 6:29”
    And below that I wrote, “turn the other cheek”.
    The nurses were still giggling when they looked at me in recovery.
    I can’t imagine the fun and distraction your brilliant mind could come up with if you had a bucket of permanent markers. Seriously, better than two pre surgery valium.

  64. Dude, I’m having robotic surgery in a couple of weeks? This must be a conspiracy to build their lady robot army!

  65. If they give you chainsaw hands, you’ll need to invest in some voice operated software to do your typing for you. Chainsaw hands will make typing difficult.

  66. Did you ask your surgeon how many robotic hernia repairs he’s done? I hope he’s got a lot of experience, and didn’t push the machine on you due to the hospital buying a shiny new toy. Regardless, I wish you luck for the surgery and subsequent recovery!

  67. I sooooo want a “does this look normal to you?” website! It would save me from always getting the “you’re pregnant and have ear cancer!” response from WebMD’s roulette wheel of awful every time I just want to know if I should get a weird mole checked out.

  68. I’d rather have a robot spider egg than a shit weasel. Not that you have to choose. Good luck and speedy recovery.


    Secondly, I need to hire your people for self-diagnoses, because seriously, last week, I had a sore throat and people literally asked me if I was pregnant and so far as I know you can’t get pregnant through your mouth, in fact, that’s kinda how you avoid pregnancy and anyway, I’m rambling.

    Good luck on surgery?

  70. My orthopedic surgeon was really disappointed when I told him that, no, I did not want a local so that I could watch my own procedure on the TV screens. I still hold by that decision. I don’t want to watch the surgeries. I want the surgeon to have watched them, though.

  71. Best wishes on your surgery, and hoping for a quick recovery. Chainsaw hands would be awesome, though!

  72. You can banter with the doctor about your ripped abs. This is why we love you.
    My 80 y.o. mother had her orthopedic surgeon WAKE HER UP in the middle of her knee replacement surgery so that she could see the titanium device before they closed her incisions. I say ignorance brought on by total anesthesia is bliss.
    The thermos is either coffee for the human surgeon or WD -40 for the robot surgeon. It’s all good. Now if it were duct tape, I’d be worried.
    Best wishes/happy thoughts/ positive energy and prayers for you tomorrow.

  73. So Thursday we dress the Who Down in Whoville in funeral garb and take farewell photos, yes?

  74. Healing vibes coming your way. Can’t wait to read your next blog.

  75. Hey Nurse Stepha! I passed popcorn through my nose (I KNOW!) when I read, “Protip: bring the OR team candy. We never get candy. We like candy.” I bring many batches of homemade toffee every time I have surgery. I give it out by the baggie-ful to everyone I see on the theory that at least some of them have the power to cause me pain, and if they like me, they will try not to. I give twice as much candy to the anesthesia team as I do to my surgeon.

  76. If I were a doctor, I’d want to be your doctor because you’d make me laugh. But then if I laughed while I was piloting robots (do you pilot robots?), the robots might do the chainsaw hand thing. So it’s probably good that I’m not a doctor.

  77. The docs at my OB/GYN office do robotic surgery all the time — they love it (and patients don’t seem to mind it either 🙂 My advice to you is to walk as much as you are able once they let you up — and don’t cough if you can help it — that shit hurts!

  78. I can’t believe it took 59 comments before someone realized how amazing the “Does this look normal?” website would be. One of us needs to get right on that.

    Also, as an ex-hospital-person, I second the thought that they’re SUPER CAREFUL with the really good toys and I doubt that you’ll have forceps attached to your bladder forever, for example.

    Bonus: If they turn you into Wolverine you’ve totes got the spider issue taken care of.

  79. I love the OR nurse’s suggestions/topics (bring candy! they discuss Doctor Who!). I’m SURE your surgeon is cool like that. Will be sending good thoughts your way! GOOD LUCK!

  80. What’s the doctor’s name? We need it in case he screws it all up, so we can all get organized and take his ass out for killing you. Don’t mess with our Jenny!

    Seriously, take care and get well soon. No laughing for a week.

  81. Good luck. Those robots are seriously cool – you even get the awesome medical procedures. But in all seriousness – you are in my thoughts and hope by the time I am up and around on the West Coast, you are up and around post-op and have a simple and easy recovery.

  82. “Yo, my abs are ripped” Love it!!!! In the midst of dramas, you continue to make your tribe smile. Thank you and warmest wishes.

  83. All the best to you, Jenny–flawless surgery, quick recovery, minimal (just being reasonable) pain. Take care and feel better stat (that’s medical talk for “right quick.”)

  84. Worse come to worst, you can use your chainsaw hands to remove your bellybutton cancer. That would seem impossible with an instrument as crude as a chainsaw, but remember that you will have a new, precise robot brain that will help you do it perfectly!

    Good luck. We’ll pull for you.

  85. The thermos probably contains oil. Or maybe beer. Of course, I learned most of what I “know” about robots from Bender on Futurama. Anyway, I suppose if they DO give you chainsaw hands, I’ll just have to resign myself to kissing your shiny metal butt.


  86. The thermos probably contains oil. Or maybe beer. Of course, I leaned most of what I “know” about robots from Bender on Futurama. I suppose that if they DO give you chainsaw hands, I’ll just have to resign myself to kissing your shiny metal butt…


  87. I have this theory that vacuum cleaners are robots. it’s the way they suck things up. Once I put my palm over the end of one in a scientific experiment I was conducting and it tried sucking me in. Luckily, someone saw what was happening and switched it off before it got me. Of course, the vacuum cleaner played all innocent after that, and my Mum blamed me. And now they have these cordless vacuum cleaners that people let loose in their houses. The world is a scary place, that’s why I’ve taken to living under my bed.

  88. Good luck! And feel better! Jesus…. robots, bionic? We all love you, don’t become self aware. You know that’s when we have to put you down. Just keeping it real

  89. Typing with chainsaw hands is pretty tricky I imagine… so if we don’t hear from you again – I’ll just assume that’s what happened. You should totally ask for some upgrades whilst they’re in there though… because being upgraded has GOT to be cool

  90. Well, my, my. You have quite a busy schedule coming up.

    I’m sure all will be fine. That’s my diagnosis. Fineness. You will have it.

    Pure fineness.

  91. Setting a new standard. Now all of us here in your tribe will be undertaking the serious business of getting ripped abs. If you need us we can be found doing ab ripper moves.

  92. I had robotic surgery on my uterus, and I loved it! Except for the sleepiness and puking from being put all the way under instead of the sleepy time normal stuff. The scars are teeny tiny, and most of them are already gone. It’s been two and a half years.

  93. On the plus side, you will be getting opiates. You are a damn lucky chick.

    I want my gallbladder back.

  94. I admire you just getting it checked out. I dismiss warning sides in my body as much as I do warning sides in my car. It’s pretty much a life of vacillating between ER visits or AAA roadside assistance. Then you showed up for the procedure (assuming you have not skipped town)despite seeing that Transformer looking device, truly impressive. I’d be asking my girlfriend to just do the procedure herself with whatever we have in our cutlery drawer. So darn impressive all around.

    Hope it is going (or has gone) well!

  95. It’s Friday, and I hope your recovery from surgery goes flawlessly and your recovery is quick! hugs

  96. It’s not coffee, it’s probably liquid nitrogen so they can snap freeze any abnormal tissue so they can look at it later. Robotic surgery is the best- you get all the good, sleepy drugs and like none of the pain since the incisions are so tiny. Probably not much of a scar.

  97. Sending good vibes to you and your robots (wow, that’s more than a lil creepy, but probably more sanitary, considering all the germs us humans are hosting all the time). Hope you can have a wine slushie very soooon! <3

  98. I don’t really see the robotic fingers in that pic, but what do I know?

    I do see the flask which I can only assume is full of margaritas. I also think you should get a tattoo around your navel to commemorate the event and show what a bad-ass you are. Something like, “Ask me about my other former holes” or “Stop navel gazing”. Or something more clever.

  99. It’s going to be so hard to type with chainsaw hands, but so much better for trimming hedges (no, that is not a euphemism).

    Good luck!!

  100. Dear Jenny, You are ruining my life. I can’t stop reading your blog and I have all sorts of important shit to do here at work. And by “important shit”, I mean “stuff I plan to avoid doing as long as possible.” Your blog is too good a distraction. Stop it. Stop it now. Did you know that “omphaloskepsis” (contemplation of one’s navel as an aid to meditation) is one of my favorite words? Of course you didn’t, because I’m pretty sure I’ve never commented before. But now you do. You’re welcome. Also, good luck with the borg…I mean robots surgeons. I will drink a wine slushie in your honor tonight.

  101. Well that’s freaky.
    Here’s to hoping they don’t impregnate you with creepy robot spiders.
    Although i’m sure they’d still be awesome.
    It’s friday in England right now and i don’t know what the time is there so i’m not sure whether to say “Good luck” or “hope it went well” but feel better soon xx

  102. Doctors are somewhat humorous usually or on guard. I do think with chainsaw hands you could become a log artist or tree trunk artist or whatever they’re called. I’m sure you will be chipper in no time. BTW my doctor is very humorous and younger than me, it’s a double whammy.

  103. Hoping all went well today, Jenny! In the picture, you can see the mother ship taking off in the upper-left corner.

  104. I was going to warn you not to watch the movie “Virus” before your surgery. But I’m too late. For the surgery. Hopefully, you didn’t stumble across that movie beforehand. You would not be letting the freaky robot hands anywhere near you if you did.

    In all seriousness, hope you’re in recovery and doing well, and that your belly button soon looks nice and boring again.

    PS. If you have problems with your cats trying to cuddle on your stitches, I recommend building a pillow fort across your lap so they can’t climb up. I had to do that after my gall bladder surgery. You can’t reason with a cat that wants to show affection.

  105. Hope the surgery went/is going/will go well (depending, you know, on when you’re having it today). I have great confidence in those robots — my first thought when I saw the picture was that they all look very focused and serious. Of course, I suppose they’d look that way if they were implanting robot spider eggs, too, but either way, they are definitely paying attention. Which is good. The last thing you want is confused robots wandering randomly around the OR and poking things with their robot parts.

  106. You’ll do great! Even if you do come out with some new robotic parts, we’ll still love you!

  107. The Doctor sits across the room with his head in a giant tv box and uses HAND and FOOT Controls!! Doctors can not even write their fucking names on a prescription and now they are using their FEET to do Robotic surgery. You need not worry or panic about this surgery though because I AM HAVING A PANIC ATTACK FOR YOU! OMG. Serious. I looked it up and saw the spider thing and I really am freaked out. My heart is beating fast and I am praying for you and I am not sure if I even believe in god. I really think it will all be fine. You MUST be fine. I need you too much.

  108. You’ll be FINE! I just had it 3 wks ago. They put me in a ‘Twilight’ state (no vampires were involved), and I’m told I was singing along with the oldies music the whole time.

  109. you know what’s going to happen with that website idea, right? well, you’re going to be saying ‘is that your penis’ a lot more, like a lot…:-)

    you know that picture is from a doctor who was like ‘ah, let me take a break from doing what I’m supposed to be doing and TAKE A PICTURE OF THE GUY I’M OPERATING ON USING ROBOTS’. But I’m sure it’ll be fine, your doctor is probably much more responsible, unless he just seems responsible because he’s a robot. Then he probably is going to put a robot eggs inside you or something… so have… fun?

  110. While your friend meant well, she obviously forgot about your anxiety diagnosis. Having you look at pictures of the OR and equipment would only fuel your overactive imagination (ie, thermos of coffee or vodka) and heighten your anxiety level. You seem to be a “less is more” kind of patient. Yeah, I’m one of your friendly medical professionals who would do pre-op teaching, and make sure you kept breathing after surgery. Minor details like that. Everything in that picture is 1000% normal. You will have LOTS of good drugs. I completely agree with the above person who said to bribe, I mean gift your pre-op, post-op, anesthesia, and OR staff with candy….lots of good candy. 🙂 You will get more good drugs and lots of comfy warm blankets that make you feel like you are wrapped up in warm kitties. And the good socks.

    Seriously, while it IS routine surgery for the MD & staff, it’s not routine for you. Your anxiety and concern is completely normal. It’s ok to freak out a little. Just have the surgery so nothing bad happens. Follow all the post-op instructions. Make sure to take a stool softener afterwards. That will help & be important. You can thank me later 🙂

  111. I hope it all goes great and you recover quickly. It cracks me up how blasé surgeons are about this stuff…but they do do it multiple times a day, right? You are super brave to watch your surgery BEFORE it happens. I just had my hip replaced. I had a vague idea of what was going to happen…cut my leg open, saw my bone in two, hammer a metal thing down into my femur, pop it back into place and then sew me up. I watched the surgery video AFTER and HOLY FUCK. I had a whole lot of “no wonder THAT part of me hurts like hell now.”

  112. Just like #28 said, it looks like you’re getting a DaVinci procedure. I had a hysterectomy with one yesterday. As in, I came home from the hospital this morning and I’m writing this before I go to bed. Granted, I’m on dilaudid, so this might all turn out to be gibberish… but still.

    You’ll be fine. The machine is awesome and has “arm condoms” as someone pointed out upstream just for fashion, really. Mine had them, too.

    You’ll be great. See you and your patched up abs when you’re all done.

  113. I saw on Twitter that you are alive but in pain. I hope it has eased by now…I hope the pain medicine is better than baby angels riding on unicorns.

  114. Oh, don’t worry. The worst the robots will do is build replicates of themselves into your spine, so that you can go around adding more robot arms to other people. It’s pretty much how the Borg got started.

    But, you know, you’d be getting in on the ground floor, so they’d probably make you their Queen or something.

  115. hope you will feel better soon (pain is the real pain in the ass, isn’t it?)
    and you can always that robots fixed you, and it’s kind of cool

  116. You are correct. You cannot reason with robot spiders. That is why God made Robot Spider RAID. Get some. In fact, you need to stock it in your shop. And you didn’t mention it, but I am sure the voices are screaming in your head. Ignore them. They lie. You will be fine. And we all love you.

  117. Look at it this way, dear lady. If the robots do implant chainsaw hands and their brain in your skull in a bid to take over the world, the rest of us can take some comfort in knowing that they’ve chosen as their Manchurian Candidate a robot assassin who will be prone (literally!) to hide in the bathroom whenever the shit gets too real.
    So, we’ve got that going for us.

  118. We have something in common other than a fondness of Xanax, I go in on Thursday, June 12th to have the same type of hernia repaired, but mine got a little out of hand so I think I am getting cut, the surgeon said he would make the decision once they looked inside. So, it will be like waking up on Christmas morning not knowing what you got.

    I had a robotic hysterectomy back in 2007 when they first starting doing them, it was fine, except for the part where it caused a hernia, which I have had so long I named.

    Hope you are doing well and everything went back in okay. It is like putting a snake in a balloon.

  119. I had one of those! It was okay and I lived with it for about 6 months because the UK health service takes a while to do stuff. I did have to shower with my eyes closed and try NOT TO TOUCH IT not because it was painful but because let’s face it, it is totally YUCK.

    The actual surgery is fine and you can relax. Mine was not done by robot doctors and I had it done under local anesthetic so I was completely awake while the surgeon was fooling around down there. I think the nurses appreciated it, “Patients are usually so asleep and boring,” they said. Anyway it didn’t hurt until afterward and I had about two days where moving around and passing gas caused me to clutch at a pillow and cry. This subsides though and is alleviated by the fact that sympathetic friends bring you chocolate.

    I hope that helped. I try to be helpful.

  120. We’ll I’ve just spat my banana out laughing so hard, I hope I can buy your book in Australia if it’s as good as your blog be well worth it!

  121. Hope you are recovering and that any pain fades quickly. Hope that the pain meds treat you well. For my mom they give her happy dreams of picnics with her grandchildren. For my dad they give him nightmares, and as hilarious as this post and the comments are, here’s hoping you are dreaming of fluffy kittens and roly poly puppies sliding down rainbows on the backs of unicorns under cotton candy clouds, and not of robot spiders poking at your navel.

  122. You know…if we ever get invaded by robots you should see if they will listen to your commands. Maybe the robot surgeons are rebels against the robot invasion and they gave you super powers for the upcoming apocalypse. Probably not, but still..if we get robot invaded, then I would at least issue a few commands and see what happens.

  123. I’m sure your robot surgery will be just fine. 🙂 BUT don’t forget to milk it when you get home and a recovering. That’s really the key to a successfully recovery – taking advantage of your loved ones.

  124. I think “robot spiders” is possibly the worst thing I’ve heard all day, week, month? perhaps. But who knows, they may be really good at surgery?

  125. Now that some of us are getting older, maybe your next book should be strictly about response to doctors, hospitals, surgery, etc.

    You laugh, or you cry.

  126. Good Lord, your friend was trying to reassure you with that pic? I think the less we know about what happens to us during surgery, the better.

    Best of luck and happy healing!

  127. I had this surgery, and it was easy, so I wish the same for you. You can’t even see my scar (and I have a tattoo over the same region, which was ever-so-much more destroyed by babies). Super good luck!

  128. You should put out an exercise DVD. Hernia your way to ripped abs.

    I’m uncomfortable with sincerity so I’ll keep this short. Take care of yourself, lady, because the world would be worse without you. And think of it this way, at least the giant robot spiders are on your side.

  129. I just had an interview at a surgical robotics company and their robot looked just like this. They even let me test drive it and I did heart surgery. And then I drove the robot out the lobby window. Good luck!!!

  130. Yay, DaVinci surgical robot! Those things are awesome when a good surgeon is driving. My dad had a cancerous tumor removed from the base of his tongue with a DaVinci (TORS: trans-oral robotic surgery) – vs. the classic “rip your throat out to get to the tumor” surgery, and he’s back to playing the trombone. Amazing stuff.

  131. Interesting and kind of scary. I have the same condition but my doc isn’t overly concerned and I specifically asked if I was likely to explode if I did any exercise. He said to come back if it started to hurt. Were you experiencing any pain or discomfort or was it the general weirdness of the way your belly button looked?

  132. Jenny- have you ever been tested for the MTHFR mutation? I’ve read your blog for a long time, and your health issues all seem to ladder up to MTHFR. You should look into it, or at the very least write a funny post about the ridiculousness of the acronym MTHFR. Cheers!

  133. Hi. This is a late reply, but I’m getting my hiatal hernia repaired soon (I’ll find out exactly when tomorrow), and I remembered this post so I came back to it. Different hernia, I know, but any pro tips?

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