Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Abdominal Incision 11 weeks

This week's installment of the Neosporin Scar Solution Challenge.
It's not looking much different than last week. I'm also a bit concerned about the formation of scar tissue. I'm trying to massage the area gently, but it is still quite sore and I can feel the thick scar tissue that's formed underneath. I don't want it to adhere to any layer of muscle in there, cause then it will look ugly and lumpy and there goes my goal of a six pack by summer.

I see Balderston on Friday and let's hope he gives me the go ahead for more activities (like bending!), and maybe some physical therapy to break up the scar tissue.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The MOLBY Revolving Hammock

A bit of vintage advertising found on Flickr. I should have used this, I may not have needed surgery!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Abdominal Incision 10 weeks

On with the Neosporin Scar Solution Challenge ...
It doesn't look too much different from last week's photo, but I didn't really expect results in one week.

I've still got the sciatica-type pain in my left leg and hip, and I'm now thinking that walking Tony, when he's in an excited state and pulling a bit on the leash, isn't the best thing for me. True, he's only 17 pounds, but I just had major surgery 10 weeks ago.

I'm feeling very frustrated right now. I mentioned before that I had stopped going to the gym in favor of walking Tony, but with the weather being absolutely frigid, neither one of us wanted to spend much time outside. Then I started to feel the pain and panicked and started to try to take it easy. But after about a week or so of that, I started to go stir crazy. I need exercise, mentally almost more than physically at this point. Plus with Tony being all in an anxious state about something, I needed to stop and rearrange things.

So I went to the gym today and rode the recumbent bike for twenty-five minutes and then came home. We'll increase the dog-walker's time in the afternoon from a half hour to an hour so Tony gets his exercise too and see how we all do. From just that short session at the gym, I'm already feeling better.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Abdominal Incision 9 weeks

It's still looking pretty raw, I think, and it's still sore and tender to the touch. It's also still a little swollen, which bothers me more than anything. I went to the dermatologist last week and he said that Mederma and Vitamin E, which is what I was using, don't really do too much. He recommended Neosporin Scar Solution, which I applied last night. The pads seem sturdy enough, but I'm not sure if they are going to last the 3-4 days that the dermatologist and brochure said they would. I woke up in the middle of the night last night to find one stuck to my finger and two more rolled up in the bed, stuck with lint. I plan to take a picture every Monday for the next several weeks to see how much it is helping, or not.

Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

All the barking dogs were not in the ring ...

This past week found me grimacing every time I leaned forward in my seat or randomly when I put weight on my left leg, and then later, also my right. Ugh. Not much pain, but pain, nevertheless, coupled with a weird pulling sensation that I've felt before over the last 15 years or so. Ugh x 2. My normal reaction to it would be to stretch stretch stretch my back and my legs, but that is still verboten, so I was left with just the grimacing, which didn't help, and rest, which did.

Another call to Theresa pretty much confirmed what I had feared: I'm overdoing it. She said it's not unusual for patients to have pain associated with the surgery for months or even up to a year afterward. Of course, Type A competitor that I am, I was trying to be the "star" patient and really astound everyone with everything that I was doing. So much for that. I can't even imagine going through everything that I went through to still have pain.

So I decided to cut back on my activities. No more going to the gym every day on top of the dog walks, and walking for shorter distances with Tony until this goes away. It's already gotten better.

All this didn't take effect until today, of course, because I had to go to the dog show yesterday. I've been going to Westminster for a few years now, and really missed going last year (I was in bad shape last year this time, remember?). I was wondering what being on my feet for a good portion of the day was going to feel like, now I know: tired, achy, painful, but oh, I was in heaven!

I did come home to rest for an hour or so at mid-morning (right after I saw the Borders in the ring!), and it did seem to help. What also helped was the taking of a Darvocet around 12:30 and forcing myself to sit down and stay sitting for a half an hour. It was hard! I really had to not allow myself to get up and walk around, looking for pictures to take. I finally headed home, reluctantly, about 4:15. I SO could've stayed there all night and gone again today. Did I mention it was heavenly?

I have to say that of all the aches and pains I have today, and they are many (shoulders and neck, probably from camera; entire back, legs, hips and butt), I think my feet were the biggest casualty. I hadn't realized how tender they were from doing only the most minimal of walking for an entire year.

So my new rest regime starts today. I'm putting my feet up, waiting for the dog walker to come and take Tony out, and cueing up the DVR of the dog show that was on USA last night. At least my dogs are getting a rest today!

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Uptown Girl!

Yesterday I went the farthest yet on my own, up to 96th and CPW to my dentist's office. I took the 10th Avenue bus up there and walked the block and a half from the stop to his office. The uptown bus was definitely a smoother ride than the crosstown double length job, with all its weird rattley segments, so even though I was on the bus for much longer (try 40 minutes!), I was ok. On the way home, I was very close to the C train, so I ventured down the stairs and, surprize! It was ok. I was worried again about bumping and jostling, but it wasn't crowded at all and it was really fun to be on the subway again, without the cane and without Tyler and without worrying.

I'm actually starting to feel not only like a normal human again, but a New Yorker! Yay!

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

I feel good!

I'm feeling like kicking up my heels!

I'm feeling really good lately. I've still got some really persistent itching in the incision area (I guess I can call it a scar now) and a twinge in my left lower back that feels like the start of sciatica, but isn't (a signal from my body that I'm over doing it a bit).

Spoke to Theresa on Friday about the quasi-sciatica pain and got the go-ahead to start riding the recumbent stationary bike at the gym. The reason that they don't tell everyone to do it is because some people have a lot of pain and discomfort when they sit. This can continue up to 6 months after the surgery. Lucky for me, I managed the bike for 20 minutes no problem. I'm really glad to have something else besides walking to do; it was getting boring, and now that I'm walking Tony more than just for "business," I needed another activity for the gym.

Thursday Tony and I walked up to 44th and 9th back (three miles total) to 24th and 10th. It's not a very picturesque walk, lots of trucks and buses up that way. Going south on 10th Avenue is definitely a better option, except it's really cold ; the wind whips off the Hudson like a mother. Most picturesque would be the walkway in Hudson River Park, but that would be colder still, plus Tony hates rollerbladers and skateboarders (don't we all?). Yesterday we went two miles and today too, a mile in the morning and a mile in the afternoon. Plus, I went over to the gym at 8th Ave. (another mile round trip) and rode the recumbent bike for 20 minutes for an additional three and a half miles. I'm also doing a bit of upper body work, biceps and triceps and shoulders, light weights, lotsa reps.

Both scars are very itchy. I still can't bend properly, so I keep my slippers, sneakers and boots (the only footwear I've been in for a year) on a shelf so I won't have to bend to get them. Also, washing my face at the sink and brushing my teeth are still hard. Well, brushing the teeth isn't so bad, it's the spitting, ever try spitting NOT on yourself without bending at the waist? I could bend at the hips, but I'd have to stand in the tub to reach the sink; I'd look like one of those dipping birds Anyway, we moved a small stool into the bathroom. Did I mention the itching? Otherwise I could positively jump for joy! But don't tell my doctor.

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