This is brief update 12/14/2016:
In 2009 I had emergency surgery. My colon had a perforation and the end result was a temporary colostomy and then another surgery doing a reversal. Neither surgery was performed by a specialist. I always felt like the end result was a wonky lopsided mess but sometimes you’re just happy to be alive. So many things were happening in life the following years that I put my unease about my tummy issues on a backburner.
The past year I inexplicably gained 30 pounds very quickly and have just felt very tired. I have felt a tugging every since the surgeries but over 2016 it was more tugging, discomfort, and sometimes pain. I felt limited and like I could possibly hurt myself with too much physical exertion. I thought I just needed to work up my endurance and strength. So I started the health and weight loss Instagram account.
I still did not make any headway. In fact I felt worse. So fast forward to October 2016. I researched hernias. I suspected I had one at the site of the ostomy. The more I read the more I thought I might also have Diastasis recti caused by having 2 surgeries back to back both cutting straight up the center of my abdomen. I decided to research and find a surgeon with an expertise in hernias and gastrointestinal surgery. My appointment was in November.
After a physical examination the Dr. confirmed my suspicions. He sent me for a CT scan and I was advised that if it was more complicated than he was comfortable with I would be referred to a ‘plastic’. Well, my next appointment was with a plastic surgeon. Strictly from an aesthetic point of view, this doctor recommended I lose 20 or more pounds before they did corrective surgery. This make perfect sense because internal fat pushes against what the plastic man is trying to do. Internal fat exasperated and facilitated the problem. But then the plastic man looked at the scan.
I think it looked pretty bad.The hernia is not at the site of the ostomy. Diastasis recti is a gap of more than one inch between the rectus abdominus muscles that run down the center of your abdomen. The separation measured over SIX inches at places on my scan. Then there is a breach in the abdominal wall containing ‘mesenteric fat and small and large bowel loops’. So basically my stomach muscles are gapping up to 6 inches and my guts are on the wrong side.
The plastic doctor said at first that he usually performs abdominoplasty by himself. After seeing the scan he said he would probably advise a joint operation with the first surgeon. And that’s where I am on December 14, 2016. Waiting to hear from my ‘surgical team’ to schedule fixing this crazy weird tummy of mine.
I think I’m like a lot of people, women and men, who have many ups and downs with weight, level of fitness, and health. There have been times when I had a good handle on all of it and maintained a weight and energy level that really felt awesome. There have been so-so times when I have been sluggish and a little over weight but not enough to prevent me from doing the thing I really wanted to do. And then of course there have been blah periods when I couldn’t get motivated if I thought you were in the other rooms burning my family albums, I would just lay there like a sack of potatoes thinking, “Eh, I’ll go check later to see what I can salvage.”
It’s a cycle, a cycle I know I’d like to get out of but it seems like when you live decades that the highs and lows just happen. I personally know people who are on the extremes of either side:
The perpetually skinny person that only puts on 5 pounds during menopause and never gets the urge to hide a pack of powdered donuts in the closet and eat them throughout the day.
“What’s that on your mouth mom?”
“Oh, this?” (licking powder from lips) “My lips have been chapped and dry all day….”
Most of us don’t fall into either of these extremes and that makes it a constant balancing act.
Right now, today, March 8, 2016, if I rated myself on a scale of 1-10, one being laid up in bed after colon surgery for 7 days and 10 being the time I would run 6 miles every Sunday and had beautiful clavicles, I would have to say I’m a 3.85. I want to say 4, I really do, but my stamina prevents me.
It is in the interest of chronicling this cycle and hopefully inspiring myself to at least a 7.5 if not an eight that I started a new Instagram account. I think it will help me to see concrete proof of progress or not progress and I invite you to join me.
I will also keep posting some exercise and fitness articles. Sometimes I don’t like to take weight advice from someone who is overweight, but if I’m looking for motivation or sisterly advice there are a lot of us who have succeeded in the past can and do have a good plan for the future. We can support each other. I hope you feel supported, motivated, encouraged, and normal from visiting my post. Under the health and exercise category in the side bar you can explore my health and fitness post.