Doctor, Doctor, Give me the News

I’ve got a bad case of … the scarred belly button blues.

Actually, I’m pretty happy with my belly button scar:)  Yep, it’s kind of ugly.  But the surgeon, who I saw on Wednesday for my post-op follow up, tells me that eventually there will be nothing to see.  Which doesn’t much matter to me since I am not a bikini wearer even at my thinnest!  Maybe I should get a piercing to commemorate.  Not!

Annyhoo, I’m doing well.  Pain is all gone:)  Let the healing begin.

I asked lots and lots of questions about the recovery time.  And I then I asked some more, just to be sure.  And I took notes.  “When is it okay to…” and “When can I…” and “Is it okay if I ….”

Unfortunately I will have to go against my impatient nature and exercise (no pun intended) patience for a while longer.  The gold standard for full recovery after hernia surgery is apparently six weeks.  And I am smart enough to know that the best course of action is for me to be prudent rather than rush things and risk a recurrence.  Yep, another characteristic of mine:  risk aversion.

That means that there will be no core work of any kind, no lower body work (since it engages the core), and no heavy lifting until late February.  I already have my first session back with the trainer (and my mom, my workout partner) on the calendar.  But about two weeks before that (which is two weeks from today) I can probably safely start some very light upper body weightlifting.

But I will be doing more than twiddling my thumbs (and writing thumbs posts) while I’m waiting.  I can try walking and ellipticalling (is that a verb?) next week.  Woo hoo for slow, easy, boring cardio!

As for my non-physical exercise experiment of meditation… well… to be honest I have been mindless about being mindFULL.  I am having a hard time remembering to take the time to do nothing:)  Gotta be more conscious about getting my zen on.  And the few times I’ve tried I found that I am a very good (or in this instance – bad) multi-tasker:  I can count my breathing,  recite something over and over in my head, and still manage to think about all sorts of other stuff at the same time.  Gotta work on that.  And now I have an extra incentive – Oprah shared on her show that a few moments of quiet each day has been shown to increase one’s happiness.  Woo hoo for happiness:)

One last tidbit from my questions of the doctor.  I finally got around to asking how it is I got this darn hernia.  His response:  I was born with it.  He went on to explain that usually this type of hernia would close up on its own but my “defect,” as he so politely put it, did not and over time the muscles weakened.  Which is sort of discouraging to hear considering how many crunches and planks I’ve done in the last decade.  TMI alert – interestingly, to me anyways, my pain in December that started me down the surgery road came, not from the typical problem of intestines poking through the hernia, but from some nerve-filled fat getting squeezed in there.  Ugh.  But maybe not as ugh as intestines being where they shouldn’t:)

So, this is the final chapter of my hernia story.  Next you hear from me on this subject will be an exercise report!!!  Can’t wait.

What are you looking forward to?

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56 Comments

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56 responses to “Doctor, Doctor, Give me the News

  1. Glad you’re doing well! Slow, boring cardio is better than nothing! You’ll be doing more in no time!! So what kind of belly button ring are you getting? 🙂

  2. At least in your picture at the top, you have a big clock covering the scar!

    • Karen

      That’s funny! I won’t be wearing any belts for a while. or even pants that come to the waist! Thank goodness for my baggy sweats that sit below the navel.

  3. I’m glad to hear you’re recovering well. I’ll get no one will notice the scar but you. My doctor told me I likely got my hernia from having a baby (but sounds like mine is not as severe as yours was).

    I love the title of your post. I hope the blues go away soon and that your back to your usual routine in no time.

    • Karen

      I actually wondered how he could say that and not know it was from pregnancy. Maybe he is just guessing. Or going with the odds. Or maybe he’s right since he said something about it coming from where the umbilical cord was attached. Who knows. And then I wish I knew what caused mine to act up! Oh well, another life mystery.

  4. I just realized I missed your Wednesday post about “normal”. It was great, as were the many comments. For me, I have accepted that I’ll never have a normal relationship with food (like alcohol), which is why my intention/dream/fervent wish is for peace with food.

    Not on to this post – glad you’re healing, and that you can at least start some cardio stuff. I love the elliptical, but walking is my all time fave exercise, be it treadmill or other. Love that you have your date with the trainer penned onto your calendar, and hearing that your mom is your workout partner makes me wish for the same. But someday maybe I can be my daughter’s workout partner! Gotta stay positive.

    BTW, what did you decide about WW? I’m thinking you’re not doing it since you haven’t mentioned it. I’ve strayed down the garden path a bit this week, but tomorrow morning I’m going back to face the music and get going in earnest again.

    • Karen

      Oh, so much to reply!

      Normal vs. peace: I’m was writing to someone else about that wording choice. I think there may be another post coming about this.

      My mom – did I never share that story? Maybe I’ll talk about it on Mother’s Day.

      WW – Nope. And I keep thinking about a whole post dedicated to that too!

  5. Ewa

    Heal well and fast, it seems you are well on the way.
    Hope you can survive elliptical machine well (I really don’t like them much).
    6 weeks only sounds like an eternity. Good luck.

    • Karen

      We bought an elliptical about 8 years ago when I was diagnosed with neuroma (nerve damage on the ball of my foot) from too much high impact stuff. I even had to quit walking for exercise for a while! I find it quite boring but it’s better than nothing and still easier on my feet than the treadmill. Sigh.

  6. Glad to know you are on the way to recovery! Before you know it you will be back at the exercise like you were.

    Oprah: I watched one show this week (which is my goal for leave) but not the one you mentioned. I do love Oprah and will be sorry when that show ends.

    Have a great weekend! Michele

    • Karen

      I have recorded her for years; don’t watch them all, but many. I have always envisioned a post here about what I learned from her. Not that I applied it all, but she does have some great wisdom now and then. I watched her happiness episode since I had just mentioned that in my honesty post and was curious.

  7. Glad you’re exercising your patience and good job on the work of healing 🙂 As for meditating? I decided a long time ago that it doesn’t have to look a certain way…know what I mean? We have this image of the perfect meditator…sitting there cross-legged with eyes closed and hands resting face up on knees. I find myself in meditative states when I walk (or run…which I haven’t done in a very long time) as well as when I write.

    What am I looking forward to? Warmer weather and sunshine!

    • Karen

      I admit I have been doing it laying down or reclining. Initially because it was more comfortable when my incision was hurting. But I just am not a “sit up right” person. I’m going to keep trying – I think it would be good for me:)

  8. Glad to hear about your recovery. The doc told my husband the exact same thing about his hernia being there all along. He said that most people with hernias are born with them but that women get them much less frequently that men (I know, don’t you feel all lucky?)
    Well you should feel lucky since I noticed that you were the big winner over on Michele’s Greek Yogurt Giveaway – I’m glad that someone I ‘know’ won, since it couldn’t be me – haha
    Have a great weekend and I’m glad to see that you can start moving around soon 🙂

  9. I hope you have a quick and painless recovery.

  10. Jan

    I’m so glad your surgery went perfectly and your recovery is going so, as well. Docs have an interesting language: “defect” to describe to a variant in a normal person; “negative” to say something is good (Your pap smear was negative.); “the patient denies” to mean someone does not have certain symptoms, not that someone is in denial. I could go on and give examples of how we seem to be fascinated with naming pathology findings after food, but that’s another story 😉
    Patience grasshopper. Remember all of those professional and amateur athletes who have major surgery and bounce back as they rehab using different exercises to maintain fitness. You did it after a broken humerus. I know you won’t little ‘ol umbilical hernia repair set you back.

    As to what I’m looking forward to – our trip to the Big Island of Hawaii the last week in February and trying to get under 200 by then (as if).

    • Karen

      I have Hawaii envy! I’ve been twice. The last time was a cruise with family and we stopped at the big island. Got some great pics but really wanted to see red, hot lava!

      I didn’t mind his language. But I actually left one practice because of the detailed notes they took and how they worded things after I had a dispute with an insurance company over paying a claim.

  11. You got an ipod or mp3 player? If you haven’t already, spend this time creating a playlist of your all-time favorite kick-ass dance songs. But some nice over-the-ear Bose headphones. (they are uber lightweight for their size.) then, when you are ready/able to walk next week, plug that Bose headphone set into your player, and learn that cardio does not have to be boring, my friend! it can be a blast! 😀

    • Karen

      So, am I the only person with no personal listening device!? I had lots of great suggests for downloading meditation stuff that makes me almost tempted to get one:)

  12. buy, not but the headphones. LOL!

  13. So pleased to read your healing is going well. Love the exercise puns! And in my opinion, ellipticalling is no less a verb than googling.

    Good question about what we’re looking forward to. I’m looking forward to blossoming Bradford pear trees, completing a book review at work, starting work on some new projects, and generally maintaining a good balance between work and personal things.

  14. Hi Karen. Glad you are starting to mend – we’ll be happy to give you support as you continue to “exercise” patience. 🙂

  15. When I was training for the Avon Walk my favorite music was Motown – perfect for walking and it helps with the boredom!

    I saw the Oprah happiness show, too. I’ll be with you trying to make myself quiet for a few minutes each day.

    I am looking forward to getting my first haircut in over a year!

    • Karen

      What did you think of that show? I have several recorded and jumped all over that one when I saw the topic but was disappointed. I don’t know what I was hoping for but that wasn’t it.

  16. So glad to hear all went well…6 weeks is a dang long time though, but good for you for planning for it!
    But I think Oprah is full of poop because my moments of quiet come when I wake up too early before the alarm goes off and I stare at the ceiling. Losing sleep does not increase my happiness! 😉 But the old broad probably is on to something there…haha

    Polar’s Mom
    http://www.polarspage.blogspot.com

    • Karen

      She actually was pretty smart IMO in saying that for many of us, we can really only start with a minute. She and her guest, Goldie Hawn, both admitted to going to the bathroom and sitting on the closed (Oprah had a joke here) toilet to get a few moments alone, quiet.

  17. glad to hear your feeling better

  18. Yahoo for recovery & being careful so you can go back strong & not be taken down again!!! I have little patience for those times when I can’t work out & 6 weeks would really try my patience.. I guess no boob job here.. well unless they do my face & nose at the same time & I come out a new person.. then, maybe – not doing recoup more than once on plastic surgery! 😉

    Honestly, interesting story about your hernia… crazy! Keep healing Karen!

    OK, you took my blog post away from me – was going to write about the quiet moments thing from Oprah… dang! You beat me! 😉 I may still has I was going to attach it to a great article I found!

    HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Karen

      You should still write about it! Obviously from my comments people are paying attention and I hardly touched on it.

      I was thinking of how insignificant my little surgery was compared to what it must be like to have a c-section and how then, new moms have babies to take care of! As for getting work done, I told my husband many years ago that if I am ever in an accident and my nose is broken to be sure they reset it smaller!

  19. I had to laugh at the part about your ability to multi task while trying to be zen! I have a gift for that as well! I am always thinking about what needs to be done and what should be done next!

    Glad to know you are being a good girls and doing what the Dr says. The time goes by quickly and soon enough you will be active again!

    I loved the whole quiet moments talk on the Oprah show the other day.

  20. So glad you’re up and fussing about exercise, thus proving you really are feeling better!!! You inspire me, my friend and shame me (which is not a bad thing) – I started walking again and am sticking to it. I’m just glad your guts are where they are supposed to be!

  21. Thank you for the comment on the green chili chicken lime soup, I have NOT used brown rice but I would imagine it would be fine. Just cook it until it is done. Hope you enjoy it!

  22. I’m glad to hear your health update– it sounds like things are going pretty well! Ugh–taking time off can be SO hard when you are motivated to work on a goal.

    Glad to hear you’ve been trying to meditate! I’ve been doing much better about doing it regularly since I scheduled it to my routine. Your multitasking comment made me laugh 🙂 I know the feeling.

  23. Glad to hear you’re doing well Karen! 🙂

  24. Mon

    Take it easy Karen. Enjoy your walking and ellipticalling – it is a bit boring, but it’s good that you still want to do something even in your post op recovery! Good on you! Love your description of your meditation experiences too – bought a smile to my face!

  25. Glad to hear you are on your way to recovery Karen!!! I can’t imagine having down time right now from exercise I realize anything could happen at anytime to prevent me from doing it. I just pray it doesn’t.

    Good for you putting your trainer and your workout friend on your calendar. You will be raring to go!

  26. It sounds like you’re doing better Karen, that’s great. I’m glad that you’re listening to the doctor and letting the body recover. Six weeks will go by quickly and walking is always good.

    • Karen

      You are probably right – the last two weeks seem to have vanished now that I look back on them. Of course the first week, when I was “ouch,” seemed to crawl by at the time.

  27. Oh yeah, go for the piercing! 🙂

    Glad to hear you are doing well. Move when you can, takeit slow,and listen to your body.

  28. I’m so glad you’re feeling better and that you’re wise enough to take it slow.
    Maybe all this mindfullness (and boredom?) will lead to some deep thoughts. Make sure to share them!

  29. Nicole

    I’m happy your feeling much better. Remember, each day take time for your quiet moments, it really does help and may be when you feel better, you can try gentle yoga. I feel so relaxed and calm when I’m done.
    Have a beautiful weekend. 🙂

  30. Visiting from LBS — heal quickly!!

  31. One of my favorite songs 🙂

  32. I am so glad to hear you are on the road to recovery. Take care of yourself!

  33. Definitely smart to take it easy with the core/cardio for awhile. What could be worse than prolonging an injury? For what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure we’re all born perfect…any defects are just things we pick up as we go along!

  34. glad to hear you’re healing and doing well over there. 🙂 and i hear you about the meditation, that’s something i’ve been neglecting myself lately. gotta get back into yoga ASAP, i found it really changed my day.

  35. I’m glad your recovery went well… my most fit friend had this happen as well… this would be the friend who lives by the beach, whom I go visit in the summer… so fun to stand next to her!

    I too have trouble taking time to do nothing… if I’m going to sit, I’m at least going to read a book!

  36. My brother had hernia surgery last year and it was kind of the same thing… sounds gross, but glad you are on the up and up and mending!

  37. Ouch. Hernia. I hope you a feeling better soon.

    Thanking you for popping by on my SITs day.

    LisaDay

  38. Glad everything went well 🙂

  39. sunnydaze

    Glad to hear that you’re doing so well! 😀

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