Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Diastasis Recti: The Surgery and Recovery Part 2

The recovery at home seemed to take forever. For someone who can push through about anything, being in pain and restriction from movement was a lot to handle. I could not shower for three weeks. I sat up to sleep also for about three weeks. After that time, I thought I would eventually be able to stand up straight. That would not happen for about thirteen weeks. Because of my small size, the sutures for the mesh show through my skin. One is rather pronounced and irritates the nerves around it. That one may need to be removed.
I consider myself to be in recovery still, as things that seem simple are not. Everything is connected to the core, so everything has to be relearned as my body recuperates. Jumping was particularly difficult at first, and I still have trouble with exercises that are body weight on the upper body, like push ups and tricep dips. These exercises really pull on the stitches. The left side is recovering slower than the right and feels pulled and uncomfortable. I can feel where the mesh lays and all of the sutures around it.
After all of this, I am very glad that I got the surgery. My stomach muscles were not going to repair themselves, and this injury was greatly impacting my life. Though the recovery impacts my life, it is well worth it. I will eventually be able to do all of the things I enjoy, though maybe not to the full range of motion that I had when I was younger. At least I feel repaired and pulled together, and the problems associated with torn muscles and hernias are gone.
Because of the shock of recovery and the methods I have gone through for this recovery, I hope to come out with a new DVD or series to help others recover from surgeries or illnesses.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Diastasis Recti: The Surgery and Recovery Part 1

For all of you who have Diastasis Recti and you have come to the conclusion that it will not close through your efforts, or if you have a hernia in the diastasis and you know you will have to have surgery or live with it forever, I am writing a few articles for you. Please note that I am very honest. Some people do not want to know how it really is and would rather go in to the surgery without prior knowledge. Please know that I am not going to tiptoe around the situation.
The surgery was in June 2010. It is now almost December 2010, and I will say that the recovery is still underway, though I can do most activities that I enjoy, though everything is a process and nothing is easy. Here is how the surgery itself went for me:
Two weeks prior to surgery, I signed my life away and paid a "package" price to my plastic surgeon and the hospital. This took all day. They did blood work and I signed lots of paperwork about risks. My particular plastic surgeon works with a general surgeon on this surgery. The general surgeon removes the hernia and applies the mesh over the area to reduce risk of future herniations. On the day of the surgery, I arrived at 5 AM, and sat in an admitting room where they marked me up and took more blood. They started the IV and I fell asleep as they wheeled me down the hall.
Approximately five hours later, I woke up in the recovery room unable to take a full breath. I was terrified and shocked at first. The nurse was telling me to take a deep breath and I could not. I felt like I was hyperventalating. I could not move. I was taped to a corset-like hard shell that was holding me together. I was in terrible pain, even with lots of pain meds. I do not know how long I was in recovery. It took me a long time to relearn how to get air in to my lungs without expanding my torso, and this is how I would breathe for quite a while.
I stayed in the hospital for two nights. The first day and night, I mostly slept to escape the pain and frustration of breathing and moving. The second day, I had to get up and move more. Everything was difficult. My husband had to help me do everything, including moving my legs. I was on morphine for most of that time, until the headaches became excruciating. They moved me to another pain medicine then. The leaky drains were awkward and gross.
My husband drove me home, carefully, after the second night, and my adventure of recovering at home would begin.