There is nothing like personal experience to give you a renewed appreciation of what your patients go through. Having worked in health care as a PT for many years and being well versed in the role of the professional examining and treating patients it is a salient experience to be on the other side of the fence where I am the patient undergoing a procedure, in this case a minor abdominal repair. In the grand scheme of things a relatively minor issue however I was not anticipating the degree of discomfort afterwards albeit temporary. What was interesting was to feel the local anaesthetic wearing off by the following day and the increasing degree of pain aggravated by just about any light activity. I knew that this was “normal” considering what had been done.The abdominal muscles really do “kick in” with the most minor physical activity which underscores their importance in function.Furthermore, while I did not experience any back pain I did feel that my back felt a little “vulnerable” and weak for a few days probably because I was not able to use my abs. There were two distinct aspects to my recovery, firstly the need for good pain control for the first 3-4 days amply provided by the anaeshetist using a block followed by a few Tylenol 3s. Controlling pain is important simply for comfort and enabling the patient to function in a light way as instructed by the surgeon. Secondly, the return to function in a graduated way bearing in mind the healing process which feels great at two weeks and is likely to be complete by four weeks. I have also experienced that curious phenomenon “the good pain” felt about two weeks post surgery after doing a very light work out which feels very much like a recovery. What did I learn from this from a professional point of view? The role and value of the abdominals in physical function and the important role of careful, graduated activity as per the MD’s instructions as a compliment to the healing process.