Friday, July 5, 2013
8 Weeks Post-Op
Now for the best news of all: I've had practically no pain, and since the outer stitches dissolved 2 weeks ago I don't have any itching either. The surrounding skin is pretty tight so it does hurt to spread wide for pictures. I still take my pillow if I'm going to be sitting very upright on hard surfaces or for long periods of time. I could probably go without it, but it isn't hurting anything to use it. For the most part I feel like I'm back to my old self. On Monday my hubby and I went on a fairly easy 3 mile hike up Cowles Mountain and back, which is the highest peak in San Diego. We got some nice panorama views of San Diego County. The hike was a little more tiring than I would like to admit, but given what my body has gone through in the last 8 weeks I think I did pretty well. My pain maybe increased to a 1 but resolved quickly. After the hike we meandered through a couple of stores for a few more hours. Thankfully, I slept well for the first time in awhile and I woke up pain free. I'm ready to get back to some real hiking, biking, and swimming when that three month mark hits and, of course, when Dr G says I'm allowed. I've actually wanted to run the past few weeks, which is totally foreign to me.
I've been seeing the physical therapist at SDSM once a week while I'm in the area to help get me ready for work and to do some external work on my pelvic floor. She said everything looks great down there, and that only a trained eye would know that I had surgery. Debbie (the PT) is really nice, but I was so frustrated after my first appointment. My homework was to work on breathing lower into my abdomen in addition to some strength training. I tried and tried, but could never seem to get the pattern right and feel the right muscles moving. My husband found a video online that explained it a bit differently, and I was finally able to figure it out. Seriously who knew breathing could be so hard!
Each week my husband takes pictures to send to Dr Goldstein. In one of my pre-op conversations with Dr G he said I could make a slide show of my pictures or that he would do it himself. I figured I could save him the effort and have my husband make a collage of the pictures. It has been such a relief and encouragement to look at those pictures side by side. Just looking at the single picture it's hard to see how much progress was made in one week, but when you look at the comparison you can see less redness, fewer stitches, etc. It really puts everything in perspective.
Prior to the surgery, I had been working on being more active and losing weight. I was having some pretty decent success so needless to say I was a bit nervous about gaining weight during my recovery period. I have been using the free app "My Fitness Pal" regularly since February. There is also an online version. You enter your details (height, weight, activity level, weight loss goal) and it calculates your daily recommended calories. During recovery I set my activity level to sedentary and recorded each time I walked (speed and time). If you aren't sure of how fast you are walking you can use the free app "Run keeper" to find out. Both apps are easy to use. I'm happy to report that at 8 weeks post-op I haven't gained any weight.