A “bust gut” is a very descriptive term for a hernia.
Basically it is when your intestine breaks through weak muscle wall in
your gut. A visible lump appears where the break occurs.
The hernia is classified
depending on where in the gut the break occurs. In my case
(twice), the break has occurred in the femoral region of my groin, once
left, once right. This apparently is a common hernia
for women where weakness occurs in the muscle wall as a result of
pregnancy/s. This is my layman’s understanding so best you seek
proper medical advice if you suspect you have one!
A hernia is
relatively harmless but in some cases it can be potentially life
threatening if strangulation occurs and the femoral artery gets blocked
in the process. It is important to know that a hernia cannot repair itself.
Once the gut is bust, it can only be repaired by surgery. During
surgery the intestine is pushed back to where it belongs and the muscle
wall is then stitched up. In some cases a “mesh” lining will be
placed in the muscle wall to strengthen it. The procedure is done
under general anaesthetic and it’s pretty straight forward (apparently).
While the hernia
is present it is not particularly painful. It’s more like a
tenderness around the lump area. The only real discomfort I had
was that the rogue bit of intestine was pressing against my bladder
wall which resulted in me having a constant urge to wee! In my
particular case I was in the UK at the time and was only returning home
in 2 weeks. During this time I was still able to run daily (10
kays). I was mindful of the hernia
and took things easy in the meantime. On return to Cape Town I
was able to run the Cango Marathon* and Smitswinkel 50km* before
undergoing surgery the following week to repair the hernia. I was back on the road in 10 days and ran the 2 Oceans 3 weeks after the operation.
key thing I would say is to take things easy after surgery as the
anaesthetic seems to stay in the body for quite a while and if I’m not
mistaken there’s a lot of “muscle relaxant” in that stuff! At no
point did I let this surgery setback affect my focus for Comrades. Much like any other injury, it was something I had to deal with in my preparation for Comrades. *
I had “permission” from my physician to do these two runs as long as I
took them easy and was mindful of any sudden pain, in which case I was
instructed to get myself to the hospital in a hurry!
Key words: hernia, bust gut,
Internal links: focus, injury,
External links: Official Comrades Marathon