The camera focuses on the actor’s face in time to register a barely perceptible movement around the eyes. Like a squiggle of paint that adds depth to a wall-size mural, a slight contraction of the occipitofrontalis muscle twists the plot of the play.
But this is not a play. After I inquired if my abdominal discomfort could be attributed to my ventral hernia, the gastroenterology physicians assistant replied that only a protruded hernia would be considered a risk. I affirmed it protruded. This PA, a model of calm, asked to see it. And the eyes told me: it was a risk.
This despite my PCP’s assurance that it could not strangulate. That assurance despite my former PCP’s warning that it could.
My friends and I are at an age when we are deeply involved in medical care. We find ourselves at the mercy of insurance companies which have no mercy. Our PCPs do little other than refer us to specialists who do not communicate with each other. Electronic medical records are locked within impenetrable systems which caregivers will not or cannot access. While warned not to rely on Google, we are expected to choose our care options based on limited information because we don’t know the questions to ask.
I would have had this surgery when first suggested if I had known. I was in much better physical condition then. Having undergone multiple surgeries, I was reluctant to jump into another. I was thrilled when my new PCP assured me that it wasn’t necessary. So now I am frustrated but not alone. These stories abound, often with dire consequences.
I made the appointment with a surgeon, and another appointment with a new PCP since mine has left the state. I will watch the eyes.