Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'I Was Crying Because the Pain Was So Bad, and I Feared I Would Never See My Family Again'; Tina Campbell on the Agony of a Hernia

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'I Was Crying Because the Pain Was So Bad, and I Feared I Would Never See My Family Again'; Tina Campbell on the Agony of a Hernia

Article excerpt

I HAD my third daughter, Kirsty, in an elective Caesarean, because my babies are big and my pelvis is small. I'd been in Nuffield House, part of Guy's Hospital, for a week, recovering, and was absolutely desperate to get home as it was just before Christmas last year and I had masses to do.

I spent the morning packing my flowers and noticed a vague stomach ache but thought it was because of overexertion. Nicky came to collect me and we were all joyous leaving the hospital. I was excited to see my other girls, Breagha, three, and 18-month old Lilla, and tried to ignore the fact that in the car I began to feel sick.

When I got to our home, in Battersea, the children were ecstatic, jumping all over me and shrieking. The bare Christmas tree was in position, waiting to be decorated, and it was like "Mummy's home, it's time for her to take over". I sat down and the pain in my stomach, above my Caesarean scar, was getting worse.

My mother-in-law made me a cup of tea but by now I could hardly breathe, the pain was so bad.

I went to the lavatory and looked down. An inch below my tummy button there was a lump the size of a tennis ball sticking out. I looked away, thinking: "This isn't happening to me," but the pain, which apparently is as acute as that of a heart attack, was terrifying. I showed the lump to Nicky and he said: "We'll ring the specialist now." The consultant said: "Are you sure it isn't your uterus?" and Nicky was saying: "No, it's definitely a large lump in her stomach."

The consultant told us to come straight back in. Kirsty had woken up and was crying to be fed as I was supposed to be breast-feeding. I had to tell the other children that I had to go back into hospital. Breagha and Lilla were lying on the floor screaming: "Mummy, Mummy, don't go," and I was crying because the pain was so bad and I was having to leave them again.

I dreaded going back into hospital but was scared as I didn't know what was wrong. Nicky went into crisis-management mode: super-efficient and icy calm.

He put Kirsty back in the car and drove us through the horrendous pre-Christmas traffic. I was in agony, hoping against hope that the lump would go away. When we got to the hospital I was sheet-white, bent double, holding my stomach, wailing.

ONE of the midwives asked if I could feed Kirsty but the pain was crippling and I couldn't function.

She handed Nicky a bottle of formula milk and he got on with it. The anaesthetist arrived and gave me some morphine and I started to relax. He put a drip in and I remember the consultant coming in, taking one look at me and saying: "I think you've got a hernia.

You've got to have an operation now."

He explained that he had to stop the hernia - which is a protrusion of contents beyond normal anatomical confines - becoming strangulated. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.