My Date with a Knife

Today is the day… Bye, bye hernia.  Hello “no exercise for several weeks.”

In response to your questions and for those of you who may have missed my brief mentions, here’s the low down…

In early December I had a little belly ache that developed into a little belly pain that eventually went away after a few days.  But before it was gone, there was a little suspicious and sore lump above my not so little belly button.  My internist suspected that Dr. Internet and I were probably correct in our diagnosis that I had an umbilical hernia.  Last week a surgeon confirmed that I do, indeed, have a little hernia.  (Yes, “little” was his word, not mine.)

How’d I get it, you ask?  I don’t know.  Seems to me that they are often preceded by some sort of strain or heavy lifting and that was not the case with mine that I can tell.  And the vast majority are in infants, which, while I might sometimes act immaturely and childishly, is obviously also not the case:)  Ironically, obesity is also a potential cause, but, despite all my years of weight struggles, I have never been in that category.

But, have it I do.  And repair it I must.

So today I am having outpatient surgery.  The surgeon thinks it will take all of 10 minutes for the cutting and repairing part.  He’s very low key about it all and I am trying to be as well.  Yes, I am a little nervous.  Yes, I have imagined every worst case scenario.  But, mostly, I am just ready to get it over with and move on.

Now, for the part that bothers me most about this whole thing… not the potential complications or the likely pain after surgery or the potential ugly scar on what is already my least favorite body part, but… not being able to do any exercise at all for the coming weeks.  The long recovery period.

It has already been close to a month since I have done any core work on the advice of my internist.  I feel my ab muscles atrophying and my waist expanding even as I type!

It took me years, and I do mean years, to build up to a fairly consistent exercise routine.  (You can read about my life and times as a non-athlete here.)  And, last year I had a setback when I broke a bone and went through months of healing and physical therapy.  I was not back to full strength when, boom, the hernia hits!  So, I admit I am a bit discouraged.  But such is life.  And it could be much worse.  And all that positive crap.

I am going to be smart about this.  I am going to do as the doctor orders and lay off exercise entirely for as long as I am instructed to do so and then gradually I will start back up.  I suspect I will be frustrated with the slow progress.  I am not a patient person, after all.  But I am going to do this right and I know that someday, I will be back in shape again.  And then, P90X, I’m coming for ya!

Next time you hear from me I’ll be hernia free:)



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70 responses to “My Date with a Knife

  1. Good luck and I hope you recover fast.

  2. Buh-bye, little hernia! We won’t miss you!

    Speedy healing, Karen!

  3. Good luck Kan, I’m sure it will all go well and you’ll come out the other side fitter and stronger!

  4. Obviously that was meant to be Karen, my danged iPad keyboard decided to shorten it!

  5. Good Luck – sending lots of White light your way!

  6. Well-wishes coming your way! Recover well. Recover quickly. And take good care of yourself.

  7. The Fat Mom

    Good luck Karen in your procedure today! Here is to a speedy recovery. You will be back into your exercise program before you know it.

  8. Enjoy being waited on and pampered today. I bet you’ll be on your feet sooner than you think. Stay away from those thin mints!

  9. Hernia, had a surgical repair myself. Just give yourself the time you need to heal. Find patience where you can, keep your mind busy busy busy, your body will heal and get back to being busy soon enough. Best wishes!

  10. Good luck! I’ll be thinking of you. I can understand your fear in not working out for a while, but you have to take care of your body right now. You’ll get back into it when the time is right. Speedy recovery!

  11. Best of luck to you today! I’m sure you will be A-OK in no time!!! I feel your pain about laying off the exercise… I freak out when I hurt myself and can’t work out for a few days…. let alone weeks. The last time I had to do that was at the end of my last pregnancy and it was torture… but obviously for the best. So stay positive… and when you can start up again you’ll attack P90X with even more force!

    • Karen

      Both my pregnancies fell in my “life before exercise.” But when I broke my bone last year, I was right back on the elliptical! I know this will be slooooowwwwer. Patience, Karen.

  12. Good luck and I am wishing you a quick recovery.

  13. Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery!

  14. Deb

    First, I’ve prayed for you and a complication-free surgery.

    Second, Boy, can i relate to the concern abut no exercise. My surgery was the end of November, and I’m STILL not able to do any exercise that puts pressure on the pelvic area. Well, that would pretty much be all of them except strolling. I couldn’t lift more than 10 pounds until 2 weeks ago. I’m surprised–I guess this means progress!–at how annoyed I am by this forced rest period.

    I’m sure your time with restrictions will be much shorter!

    The surgery will be a breeze.


    • Karen

      Bummer! I suspect I will be annoyed with you, pretty fast. I hope your recovery speeds along already! And, you were right, the surgery was easy, peasy.

  15. Wishing you the speediest recovery!

  16. Wishing you the best! Bye Bye hernia and good riddance!

  17. Yay for being hernia free! I can’t wait to hear about how awesome you’re doing post-op! 🙂

  18. Add me to the list of well wisher. It sounds like a quick repair indeed. Hopefully, the recovery will be quick as well. You’ll be back to the routine in no time.

  19. Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery! Take care of yourself 🙂

  20. Yeah for hernia-free days ahead!
    I’m so sorry about the exercise problem. I know how frustrating that will be and it makes it so much harder to resist the feel good foods.
    But you can surely do it.
    Maybe you can do some finger and toe isolation exercises to start with? Just to stay in the game.
    Here’s hoping you feel great before you know it!

  21. Glad it is getting taken care of! Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  22. My sister-in-law just had the same operation. It certainly is frustrating – the rest period – but absolutely follow the Dr’s orders to a T. You certainly don’t want to end up having to get any damage repaired. You will get back in the game very soon. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  23. sunnydaze

    Thank goodness it is out-patiend surgery. Good luck and here’s to a speedy recovery! ::hug::

  24. My thoughts are with you today, Karen. I understand the frustration but in the end, you will be better off for having allowed yourself to fully recover before exercising. Good luck today!

  25. Take care of yourself Karen. And can’t wait to talk to the hernia free version of you too!

  26. Karen, sending you HUGE HUGS & wishing a super fast recovery!!! It does suck to be thrown off like this but hang in there.

    I know it is hard to hear BUT when I have been out for one reason or another, I had to change the food for that period of time. I know this is the struggle for you in many ways but eat those healthy foods to help you heal & recoup & actually having less weight on you will be a help too….

    We are here for you – HUGS!

    • Karen

      I figured I would really need to focus on the eating now since I am losing my calorie burn. I actually went back to Weight Watchers last week to check out the new program, wondering if that would be a good change for a while. Not sure I want to do the whole point counting thing. I’ll probably post about it next week or so.

  27. I hope all goes well for you!! I was actually diagnosed with the same thing last year, but my doctor told me I’d probably live fine with doing nothing – ever. I am wondering what spawned yours to recommend surgery? Let me know when you have fully recovered!!

    • Karen

      Interesting! Both my internist and the surgeon agreed I had to have it repaired but neither felt it was urgent. If I understand correctly, the risk is that your intestine or something gets stangulated or some such thing and can die and that is pretty bad. And, they both said no heavy lifting or core work as it was and that wasn’t gonna fly! So, now it’s done and I can recover and move on.

  28. Walking. I’m sure walking is allowed. Soon as you can, ask the doctor how much, and how often. It’ll tide you over easily until you can do tougher stuff. Hope you are already at home now and on the road to full recovery! 🙂

    • Karen

      When I saw him last week he guessed 2-3 weeks before I can walk for exercise. Or elliptical. I go for a follow-up in about 10 days and will ask lots of questions then. Yep, home and doing well:)

      • Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. That said, there is slow walking, which is different than walking for exercise, but still burns more calories than just sitting or lying there. I’m just saying a stroll now and then for the next 10 days -very leisurely- probably won’t kill ya. 😉 Congrats on getting it done! 🙂

  29. Somehow I missed this post early, but now that you commented on my post assuming you woke from anesthesia with your witty creative writing self intact and your hernia repaired. I like Sunny’s suggestion – walking is great and likely won’t strain your innards.

    Hope your pain is minimal to non-existent and that you’re back to your perky self fast.

    • Karen

      Yep, I’m baaaaaack. Feels way better than I anticipated and hope that’s not just because the surgery pain meds haven’t worn off yet:) Starting to itch already:(

  30. I hope the surgery goes well. It does take time to heal, which is frustrating, but worth it! Once you’ve established a routine, it’s easier to go back to it than it was to get into it. You’ll be absolutely fine 🙂


  31. I hope your healing is much faster and easier than you imagine!

  32. I know I am late reading this and you most likely are out of surgery, back home recovering and enjoying some nice pain meds! Hope it all went well.

    I understand your frustration at not being able to exercise sometimes things don’t go the way we wish they would. I hope your recovery is swift and painless.

  33. I’m late to comment but I was thinking of you all day! Hope it went well…

    Now, just think about how well-rested you’ll be, and raring to go exercise-wise, when the time comes. I have a feeling you’ll reap some unexpected benefits!

  34. Karen – glad you are home and doing well. Take care of yourself. 🙂

  35. Wishing happy recovery for you Karen! Recouping from an injury or surgery is always so hard because you know how hard it is going to get back what you lost.

    However, you will get it back and you won’t lose your love for the exercise. Take care!

  36. Hope surgery goes well and recovery is fast! bye bye hernia!

  37. Oh, baby, I hope you’re feeling better really fast!

  38. Good luck Karen. I hope it all went well and you are home recouperation. It takes time and when you want to do things it seems like forever (like my shoulder, sorta) but take care of yourself and before spring time you’ll be up and about doing excatly what you want to be doing.
    Take care and God Bless!!

  39. Yeh, the recuperation part is the worst part, but, the best part is if you take teh docs advice (which you ARE), then you will be back at it. Plus, you have made a habit of exercising; you will miss it and you will get back to it. Take care, Karen. Hope your family smoothers you in good care.

  40. Fingers crossed! I hope your recovery is not too painful and–dare I say it?–even relaxing.

  41. Wished I had caught this post yesterday so that I could send good wishes from my end before you went in for surgery, so I’m just going to have to send them right now (as hopefully you are resting peacefully in recovery.) Despite the recovery process, I know you’ll feel tons better just having gotten the thing taken care of….there is now a light at the end of the tunnel, so YAY for that!
    Thinking of you today, Karen. Rest easy.

  42. Expecting good news about your “minor” (ha) outpatient surgery! And here is good news, our muscles have memory and snap back quickly to where they were so your abs are gonna rock very soon! This is not a setback, it’s temporary rest (as long as you leave those bon-bons alone)!

    • Karen

      What is it about bon bons that they are the food that comes to mind when we picture lounging on the couch? They almost made it into an upcoming post. Have I ever even had a bon bon?!

  43. I hope it all goes well! The long recovery period will be annoying but it will pass and soon you’re muscles won’t know what hit them! 🙂

  44. Thanks for letting me press the reset button!!! By the way, I hope that all goes well with your surgery! You will certainly be added to my prayer list!! Since I know that you and I are alike, I will begin to pray for patience during the recovery process. By the way…P90X is not ready for you 🙂

  45. Oh man, Karen….hope you have a speedy recovery!!

  46. Karen, aww! Please take care and get well soon!
    Do you know what i find great about all of this… the fact that you are already thinking of exercise and getting back at it. Years ago, it would have been the last thing on your mind. Maybe even a litle happy about days of laying on the couch. Not anymore! nope! I find that wonderful that you have made such a change in your life.
    Have a pretty day!

  47. Hi,
    I’ll say a prayer for you for your surgery to go well! 🙂

    Thanks for your comments on my blog. I saw you commented about me joining WW. I have to say the whole counting points thing was what kept me away all these years, but I finally bit the bullet after seeing so many people succeed on it around me. It has only been 3 days but I really like it. Just wanted to let you know. 🙂


  48. You made it through! Yay! I’m glad we live in a time for many medical advancements. I hope your recovery goes well.

  49. I glad it was a success. When I had surgery I tried to eat as healthy as possible since I couldn’t workout. I managed to lose 5 and only gained two back when I went back to eating as normal.

  50. I’m glad it went well. I actually remembered you were having this and said a silent prayer for you. Take care of yourself.

  51. Glad it went well. Hope you are feeling 100% soon!

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