No, this is NOT a picture of my navel...
On Tuesday, after working out, my belly button started to hurt.
I didn’t think too much of it. That is, until it started to get worse. By Wednesday night, the pain was so bad that it woke me up when I rolled over on to my tummy in my sleep.
By Thursday, I was whining about it at work.
One of my coworkers, tired of my complaining, Googled “Belly Button Pain” and discovered that pain in the belly button could be a symptom of a much more serious problem. Literally anything from a Urinary Tract Infection to Appendicitis to Crohn’s Disease. I wasn’t too worried about it, but my coworker was, and convinced me to call my doctor and inquire about the strange pain in my navel.
The nurse at my doctor’s office wasn’t too concerned, but recommended that I come in anyway to have it checked out. Since I am a newlywed, she figured it was most likely a bladder infection and – for whatever reason – I was presenting with belly button pain instead of the more common symptoms like frequent urination or a burning sensation while peeing.
I arrived at the doctor’s office around 3:30 and saw the doctor a little before 4 PM. Urine tests quickly ruled out a UTI, and a swab culture of the inside of my navel eliminated infection. So, my doctor made me stand up, stuck her gloved finger into my navel and had me turn my head and cough.
NOTE: Having someone stick their finger in your belly button for any reason is a weird. Even if it is a medical professional.
My doctor’s diagnosis: An umbilical hernia.
That’s right. A part of my body that has served no functional purpose in over 29 years and two months may suddenly be herniated.
My doctor explained that it probably happened during my workout on Tuesday, and is relatively common in people who lift heavy weights and/or professional weightlifters. Now, granted, I am not a professional weightlifter, but I DO lift two to three times a week and have been told that I am strong (for a girl). I never knew a potentially herniated belly button could be a side effect of working out.
To confirm the diagnosis, she referred me to a friend of hers down the hall. As luck would have it, Doc. #2 could see me at 4:30 that afternoon.
Doc. #2 also did the turn-head-and-cough test with her finger stuck in my navel, and seconded my doctor’s ruling of an umbilical hernia. To confirm, however, she’d need to take a CAT scan of my abdomen. And – lucky me – an appointment for Friday morning at 9 AM had just opened up.
I decided not to take the appointment, though, for four reasons.
- Everything was happening too fast. I had accepted the fact that I might have bladder infection, but not an umbilical hernia. Quite frankly, before yesterday I didn’t even know that a herniated belly button was possible.
- I wanted to give my belly button the weekend to reconsider itself and the pain it was causing me. Because, really? An umbilical hernia?! I just couldn’t get my head around a part of body herniating that has done absolutely NOTHING functional for me in almost 30 years!
I don’t want an umbilical hernia. Correction: I don’t want to have to tell people that I HAVE an umbilical hernia. I've already been told that I have a somewhat bizarre list of medical issues, and an umbilical hernia would only go to support that theory.
- I don’t like CAT scans.
So, basically, I am giving my belly button until Monday to feel better. If not, I’ll swallow my pride and get the test. Maybe. It may depend on the pain factor.
Stupid belly button…