I just had surgery to repair an incisional hernia near where my appendix used to be.

By “just” I mean Thursday week ago. I am recovering well, thank you, though it did knock me for six for several days, as abdominal surgery does.

I’m tapering off the painkillers now, back home, moving around, and even gingerly doing things that don’t involve heavy objects. Or medium weight objects.

Everything is fine. Thanks again.

Except… for the next eight weeks I must wear an abdominal truss in order to make sure the stitching doesn’t pop open and the mesh fall out. Or something.

The abdominal truss is possibly the least sexy item of clothing ever invented. Which is also fine. I do not need the truss to be sexy. I need it to protect my hernia repair. At 52 years of age, while my ‘being sexy’ days may not necessarily be entirely over, I am no longer remotely bothered about not being sexy while my hernia gets fixed. So be it.

Here’s what I look like in the truss.

CW: picture of me in a truss. Sorry about that.

Selfie of a middle-aged man with a beard holding with his T-shirt pulled up to reveal the white abdominal truss around his middle

What’s not merely fine but positively dandy is that the wonderful NHS hospital that fixed me up very kindly gifted me one (1) abdominal truss, which I must wear for the next eight weeks. Did I mention that already? The eight weeks bit? I think I did.

Anyway. One truss, eight weeks, a newly stitched wound busy healing - you do the maths. One week in and the thing was minging. Time to get hold of another one!

It arrived today, and the packaging was… not what I expected.

The cardboard box that the truss came in is propped up on a chair. The word 'Pavis' is at the top, with 'Linea Addome', 'Abdominal Line' and 'Ligne Abdomen' underneath. In the centre is a muscular man in purple underwear holding a woman also in purple underwear from behind. Her hair is in a bun and she is poised on one foot, on tiptoe, apparently being kept from falling over by a long length of purple silk cloth attached off camera on the left hand side. The man's hand is buried in the cloth. He looks deeply concerned, or angry. The woman has her right arm raised and is looking down at the man's hand.

I have… questions.

Neither of the people in the photo are wearing an abdominal truss. It is not entirely clear what they are wearing. Nor what they are doing.

Whatever it is, it looks a lot like something that I, a person currently wearing an abdominal truss, would be strongly advised to abstain from.

Mind you, neither of them look all that happy about it.

Oh well.