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Surgery Recovery & Easing Back Into Workouts

So, as you know I had a workout hiatus due to my unexpected surgery in November.

I am oh-so-happy to report, as of last week I am back to workouts! Halelujah. I am easing back into it though, being very careful.

Like I kind of mentioned, the long recovery was due to the hernia issue I had. And after I mentioned that, I realized that I never actually really went into anything about the hernia or ever really even told you guys about it, so I will give ya a quick run down because who knows, maybe it could be informative to someone. (It may be a little gross too – sorry).

Basically I have had an umbilical hernia (hernia in my navel) that popped up the first time about 3-4 years ago. It wasnt a big deal but over these last 2 years it has been bothering me off and on and I knew I was going to have to probably get surgery on it soon (I was dreading it).

However, since I had to get my appendix out, it worked out well and they were able to do the hernia repair at the same time.

Only, come to found out once they were in there they said it wasnt really a normal hernia (but they were able to repair it). Basically, if you are unaware, a hernia is a tear in your abdominal wall where other internal parts can kinda go into – painful, annoying, and yeah – kinda gross.

Mine never seemed like a normal hernia. I wasnt doing anything in particular when it first popped up. I just woke up one morning and my belly button was tender. And then it slowly grew into a weird lump, etc. And after that there was always a hard lump there (it was almost kinda of an outty belly button). It didnt go in and out like a lot of hernias do.

So the surgeon said it looks like it had sucked in some kind of tissue a while back and tried to reclose with that in there (ew). So, they fixed that and sewed up the tear inside and unlike a lot of hernia repairs, they didnt do a mesh reinforcement in mine. Which to me that told me I had to be extra careful with recovery.

It is actually really hard to not overuse your abdominal muscles. I mean you really use your core for everything. There were little things I noticed that would make it hurt – the worst (at first) was getting up and down from sitting or laying. Yikes. And even now, 7 weeks later, if I am sitting and slouching even a little, it starts to bug it – so yeah, that is probably a good thing, I am being forced to have good posture.

I have had a little pain here and there which they said is to be expected.

I waited the recommended 6 weeks before going back to any physical activity or lifting. Which luckily was last week.

So I headed back to training and actually did 3 sessions last week (Mon, Wed, Fri). The thing I love about going to the kind of training that I do, my trainer is so familiar with this type of stuff and he is great with modifying things and helping me know what I can/cant do yet.

I am really easing back into it, basically most anything that uses weight, I am modifying to use little to no weight at this point. I still got a few good workouts in though.

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But I can tell I am burning less calories, etc and not working as hard as I normally do – which obviously is not the point right now. I am just happy to be moving at all again.

I havent had many issues with pain or anything just until randomly Sunday afternoon (where I was sitting around a lot of the day – it was a rainy movie watching kind of day – dont judge me). And I have had a little soreness in my navel area since then.

I did go to training Monday, regardless and took it extra, extra easy.

watch1

And I felt okay with it. Oddly enough the workout actually seemed to ease some of the dicomfort I had. My trainer said things still feel really tight in my abdominal area, especially around my navel so he thinks the workouts are probably giving it some stretch it may need.

He gave me some additional mild stretches I can do at home, and suggested some heat on the area.

Which is awesome, but come to find out I do not have a heating pad. What the hell?

So, I just heated up a packet of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice and used that.

watch2 Why not?

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As far as recovery overall – it actually has went great. Since I had laparoscopic surgery, they didnt have to slice me open too bad and I have one tiny little scar (3/4 inch cut) on my stomach, and then a tiny hole right under my underwear line (I was gonna say “pubic area” but that sounds weird) and my belly button is still a little bit ugly (it was ugly before because of the hernia) but its not as bad and I dont really care about that. Plus, he was able to keep my piercing so a belly ring covers it anyway.

I am hoping the tenderness I have subsides sooner than later so I can feel more confident about working the area and not like I am still having to constantly baby it, but I know that will probably just take some time.

Patience is really not my thing (ha!), but I know it is a must here. I have always been a slow healer when it comes to just about anything so I suppose I should have expected that with this as well.

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  • Have you ever had to “baby” something after an injury or surgery?
  • Any experiences with hernias?
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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Recovery after injuries is always tough for me, I’m never very patient. I’m hoping you feel back to normal sooner rather than later.

    January 8, 2014
  2. My friend had a hernia. She named him Ernie the Hernie. And I think it just went away on its own, so I am assuming it was not on oddball like yours.
    And THIS is the BEST story I have ever read regarding a hernia http://www.touchofembellishment.com/2012/03/buttons-belly-button.html

    In all seriousness, you are a freakin’ trooper. This does not sound fun at all, and I’m glad you are nearly back in tip-top shape!

    January 8, 2014
    • OMG seriously… thank you for that! Seriously bahaha
      Ernie the Hernia. I called mine Regina. I have no idea why. It just seemed to fit.

      January 8, 2014
  3. Kudos for recovering right! I did NOT follow instruction as I’d told myself I would, and kept trying to to go back to the gym too early. Last week was my first week really back at the gym, and I’m frustrated with the loss in stamina, but aware that it’s going to be there and all I can do is work with it and build it back up. You’re doing GREAT, it’s all good from here!

    January 8, 2014

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