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help knock some sense into me!! help knock some sense into me!!

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Unread 03-02-2008, 10:02 AM
help knock some sense into me!!

LTR - I feel the same way, like I should be doing more and frankly other than seeing the Dr I have done nothing. I have gone for one walk around a small block just one time. For me I just cannot quite find the motivation which freaks be out becasue before all this mess I was a runner!! I too am still hunched a bit although my surgery was a little after your (Feb 8th). Your post is now motivating me to make a plan. Trish - thanks for the buiding stamina advice. That's exactly what I need to do.


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Unread 03-02-2008, 10:02 AM
help knock some sense into me!!

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your words of wisdom! Every post has helped me put things back into perspective.

To clarify, I am not necessarily ITCHING to get back into my normal life where I feel like I'm going a million miles per hour. I am really enjoying this time where things are slow and I'm able to relax. I haven't had this much R&R in I don't know how long. As for running, I've already had it in my mind that I won't be trying to run again until 8 weeks post-op. I figure at my 6 week check my doctor will give me the go-ahead to start up exercise again, but like any exercise program, you start up slow... you don't just make your first exercise session the hardest, because then you're only setting yourself up for injury. I figure after 6 weeks w/out running, my body will need a couple weeks of some conditioning before getting back into actual running.

So, I'm actually fine recovering the way I am now, but my concern really is just that I worry that I SHOULD be doing more. I know this is TOTALLY different, but I had knee surgery 2 years ago and the doctor had given me exercises to do starting at 48 hours post-op (like slightly bending my knee, and stuff like that). Well, it hurt so bad to even do these exercises that I waited 4 days to start them. Then, when I did them, I didn't do them enough because it hurt. Long story short, I healed right on time (in terms of being able to get up and walk around), but what happened it is took a WHOLE YEAR to get my FULL range of motion back into my knee and my physical therapist told me it was because I didn't do enough.... I didn't bend my knee enough right away, and scar tissue built up that caused my range of motion to be less. I had to work all year at being able to get my full-range of motion back, and it was a HUGE pain. I was able to run fine, but I couldn't bend my knee fully, and so I couldn't sit on the floor where your feet are under your butt, I just couldn't do anything that required my knee to have it's FULL range of motion.

So, I realize this is TOTALLY different than a hysterectomy. My doctor did not obvoiusly give me exercises to do right away to help me heal right. haha.

But, I think I have this little fear in me based off of my knee surgery that if I DON'T do enough that my recovery will take much longer than normal.... like I have these thoughts that by me still walking hunched over a little at 4 weeks post-op (which is tomorrow) that ligaments are getting tight and non-flexible in my abdomen and this will cause me to walk hunched for a LONG time.... like I feel like sometimes maybe I should be forcing myself to stand up straight and walk, and I should be forcing myself to walk "normal" because I keep having these images in my mind that the ligaments and other tissues are shortening or becoming tighter as a result and will cause me to not walk normal by 6 weeks.

So, I know I shouldn't use my knee surgery experience and translate it over to this experience but in the case of my knee surgery, because I DIDN'T do enough, that cause me set-back for a year.

But, you all are right.... in this case, NOT doing much will not set-me back, but only help me heal right. I am following my doctor's orders in doing nothing, except what is necessary for 6 weeks. In the case of my knee surgery, technically, I didn't really follow my doctor's orders by starting my knee exercises at 48 hours because it was too painful for me, but instead I started them at 4 days post-op, and I guess by doing that, it caused me a set-back.

Ok, enough of my rambling. But, I am listening to my body and making sure I don't over-do it. I just really am hoping by 6 weeks I am walking normal!!!

I can relate to "Sister5" in that I don't like people looking at me wondering what is wrong with me! For this reason, I can't wait to start walking NORMAL.

BillyJack... how was your walk at the beach??? gosh, I wish I lived where it was nice and warm!!! (of course, I'd probably be like you... wearing baggy sweats in 80 degree temps!)

Thanks everyone for helping!
Unread 03-02-2008, 11:19 AM
help knock some sense into me!!

Try to focous on your posture - your ab muscles all but disappear during this recovery and the hunching over is sub consious...try focusing on that when you stand, sit and walk...I had lap surgery this time but 8 years ago had abdominal surgery which left me with a 12 inch vertical incision and I fully understand what you mean about walking like a 90 year old - it has to be a very conscious thought...the posture that is. at four weeks your incision is strong enough (that is if you haven't had any opening or drainage there) for you to focus on breathing exercises and re-aquainting your torso to standing straight...not suggesting running out and doing an hour of pilates but just tuning into your core...meditating, closed eyes and deep breathing etc you will notice as you focus on that standing and sitting straighter will feel tight at first but will improve, your experience with knee surgery is a small reminder, now it'syour abs. all about retraining those muscles.

Sounds like you're on the right track, just do what you are comfortable with, within the guidelines your surgeon gave you.
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Unread 03-02-2008, 11:35 AM
help knock some sense into me!!

I'm 6 weeks post-op and still walk slower than normal and am still kind of hunched-up. LTR, sounds like you are doing fine. Try not to worry. I can only imagine the restlessness you are feeling, being a very active person. I wish I had the "lost weight" part !! ttteeeeeeheeeeeee...
Unread 03-02-2008, 01:39 PM
help knock some sense into me!!

Hi everyone!!

My day has been going really well. I have read all that has been posted since this morning and again everyone makes great sense, you need to listen to your body and stay in tuned with it.

I did go for a walk at the beach, I only set a limit of 20 minutes walking, which was not to little and not to much. But then my DH and I sat on a bench over looking the beach and ocean drinking a Dunkin Donuts and I was able to get a little sun on my face. I have to have what I call sun time to keep my spirits up and that is something I have been missing by being in the house recovering. I hadn't even realized how much I had missed it until today!!!

So then I came home and took a nap for a hour while he did some laundry and housework and now I feel good, tomorrow morning will probably be the test. If all goes well I am going to aim for the same goal all week, 20 minutes walking and as much fresh air as I can! then next week maybe add 5 more minutes we will see.

I read the exercises on this site but I have also read on another site about post op stretches that are suggested for about 4 weeks. One that may be of help is to lie on your back be it in bed or on the couch and try to tighten your abs slightly and I mean slightly hold and release. repeat this like 10 times relax and do like 3 sets. Also to try and concentrate on holding your abs flat and constricted the best that you can any time you are sitting or standing and this will help to jump start the muscles again after surgery. Of course these are suggested for anyone without complications and all that. My Mother-in-law had the same problem after her knee surgery and never recovered her rom in either knee, she did them both at the same time. Horrible!!!!Enough rambling.

I hope you all are doing well and sleep great!


41 TAH, Oophectomy left Overy
Unread 03-02-2008, 01:45 PM
help knock some sense into me!!

I am at 2weeks post and am feeling like I am doing too much. I don't feel bad and I am stubborn! So, letting others do stuff for me is driving me crazy. I feel fine walking and sitting in the yard on a bucket pruning bushes. I am having a hard time not picking up my 1 year old. My husband is doing a good job, but does thing differently than I.

I understand the confused feelings. I just need someone to sit on me instead of worrying that I am not doing enough.
Unread 03-02-2008, 03:13 PM
help knock some sense into me!!

HI there LTR and others gaining insight....

I will be 8 weeks post op on Tuesday the 4th and have to echo the sentiment about just listening to your body. About week 3, I tried walking on our new treadmill (not an exerciser pre-op) and it worked fine for about a week. I just wore myself out and exacerbated a foot injury from rolling my ankle at Thanksgiving. So I decided to stop and wait a little longer. Week 6 (2/18) was back to work, at a desk job. Yesterday, 3/1, I walked on the treadmill really slow, 2 miles an hour for 30 minutes. Felt good and I had lots of energy all day and got tons of stuff done around the house and also got grocery shopping done.

Today belly is totally sore and there feels like a groin strain, 'cept closer to my vert incision. I think I will wait a couple more weeks. I am hurting something inside....

So by personal example, DO take it easy and relish the R&R time. Add activity back a little at a time. I am carrying laundry, my computer bag, cleaning guinea pig cages and doing nearly everything I did pre-op except for real heavy chores, like putting stuff in the attic over the garage. Thankfully its not yard work season....So even at 8 weeks you may not be 100%, but you'll need to start back very gradually. Its very different than your knee and the range of motion thing. our innards are not supposed to move around! (I remember a bout with bursitis in my shoulder and the dr saying I'd better move it or they'd have to operate to move it for me! that got me moving it a little more every day!) Stamina is like the range of motion thing tho.

I hope this helps....
Unread 03-02-2008, 04:42 PM
help knock some sense into me!!

I think the way it goes, as long as you're not actually staying in bed for 6 weeks, then you're probably doing enough for that 6 week recovery period. It's amazing how much exercise you get from just doing things around the house!
That's all I did and I've had no lasting problems with my abdominal muscles, but then of course I couldn't have run a marathon The hunch gradually disappeared without even realising it had gone!

Happy recovery ladies
Unread 03-02-2008, 05:46 PM
help knock some sense into me!!

LTR: I thought I had wrote this post. I, like you am active and sometimes have an issue with limits. I set a time each day and went outside and walked and each day a little bit further than the last. Your body is your best guide. Just know that you may feel great when you're doing it but if you do overdo it you will feel it later and the next day you will be down. I did that a couple of times and learned quickly to do only a little bit and then rest. Every day I increased my walk and by week 10 I was at full pace on the treadmill and Eliptical and it felt so good. I now look back at my relaxation period and I am so grateful for having that time to recharge and recoup. We have our whole life to work out, think about it, but only one recovery time.
Unread 03-03-2008, 06:23 AM
help knock some sense into me!!

Remember how much of a difference there was between last week and this week? It will be another big improvement next week too! This past week I did way more than I ever thought possible, and probably a lot more than I should have, but I'm sure I didn't do any damage, I just need to rest a couple of days and catch up. (See 5th week post op plane trip report.) I think people that are used to a high level of activity expect more early on. If someone didn't get much exercise before surgery, then being back to normal will be a lower bench mark. When being back to normal means a 2 hour LSD, or several miles of speed work, "normal" is going to take a little while longer to get to
An odd co-incidence happened this week, while I was a house guest at my brother's home, he also had a friend staying for a couple of nights that is a pain management physician. He was shocked at how well I was doing! Our expectation for recovery are so high, the chances of things going exactly the way we envisioned them is probably pretty slim. We are going to need naps after big days for quite a while yet, and when we finally get to run, it will be slow and tiring, but that is just part of the process.
Hang in there, recovery won't last forever!

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