Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cough. Okay, cough again. Okay, again.

And that is how Dr. A confirmed that the bulge above my navel is a "seroma" (fluid-filled pocket between tissue). He palpated my tummy, and asked me to cough. Like that hernia test for guys, but without the intimacy. On my begging, Dr. A drained some of the fluid - about 30 cc's (I think 2 tablespoons), but not all, so I still have a small bulge. It's as if there's a small, slightly deflated water-balloon under the skin of my tummy, in the space between my bottom ribs.

It's been three weeks since my tummy tuck and breast-reconstruction scar-revision and port removal, and I am still not "permitted" to exercise, although now I AM "permitted" to go about my day-to-day business. It's going to be three MORE weeks until I am released to exercise, but even then, I won't be allowed to do anything that "strains the abdominal muscles" for a "few months". What does that mean? I never really feel any strain on my abdominal muscles, but most people who do the things I do WOULD feel strain. Take Navasana, for example. Normally, I feel NOTHING in Navasana. But I see that other people really struggle with it - can't get their legs straight, can't hold themselves up without grabbing their legs. For some strange reason, even with my previously damaged abdominal muscles, Navasana presented no challenge for me at all (I don't know what it is going to feel like now...). But I am SURE that Dr. A would faint if he saw me doing Navasana.

I guess I am going to have to play it by ear. Perhaps now Navasana WILL be uncomfortable, so then it will feel natural NOT to do it.

But what about Chatturanga? What about Uddyana Bandha in general?

Well, for now, at any rate, I am home with my kids, without a babysitter, so I won't be going to the shala to practice. I will probably stretch, like I have been, without vinyasa-ing. Then when the kids start school, September 8 (one more week), I will go back to the shala and explain my situation...and go from there.

One thing about this seroma, I have to say, it is making it impossible to eat full meals - when I get full, my stomach presses against my abdominal wall, pressing the seroma outward, stretching my skin....ouch. I have quickly learned to eat very small amounts. I have not been on the scale since a bit more than a week ago, but judging by my clothes, it would seem that I have probably lost a few more pounds, which is fine. I don't think I want to lose any more weight though.

Still waiting to hear about my little baby puppie-pie, Lou. I can't wait to see her again!!!

On a more distressing front, I've been emailing with Michele, the yoga teacher who assists me at my Yoga For Breast Cancer Survivors class...her family is in New Orleans, which is being hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. Eighty people are believed to have died amid the destruction in Mississippi, and the following was reported by MSNBC. regarding New Orleans:

“The city of New Orleans is in a state of devastation. We probably have 80 percent of our city under water, with some sections of our city the water is as deep as 20 feet. We still have many of our residents on roofs,” he said. “Both airports are under water.”

Bodies have been reportedly floating on the water, although no deaths have been confirmed as of yet. Luckily, so far, Michele's family seems to be okay, but not necessarily their worldly belongings and their lives as they have known it up to this point.

It's times like this (well, actually, it's a LOT of times besides this as well), that I wonder how God could let this sort of thing happen. It's the sort of thing that biblical stories (e.g. the Flood) were built on. But in the bible, there's an explanation, even if only imagined. Here, in this case, it feels as if we are left on our own to make sense of what can only be called senseless. Yoga (as well as modern-day psychotherapy) tells us not to bother asking "why" but to accept the unexplainable as inevitable. But it's hard.



Anonymous said...

you are setting yourself up for complications with your surgery. i think you should let your doctor see exactly what your doing in primary series, and see what he has to say about it. its so easy for a person to trick themselves into thinking that they are not over doing it, and i fear that you are doing just that. i sincerely hope that nothing goes awry, please take care of yourself. yoga isnt going anywhere.

yoga chickie said...

i hear you...believe me, i have seriou reservations about doing much of anything at this point i feel lucky that nothing has gone wrong so far. i do have good instincts about what my body can handle though, and i have been through this drill numerous times already. i promise to be judicious about what i do, and when to hold back. i don't want to ruin the beautiful work my doctor did...

vivage said...

Have you considered that you have a high pain tolerance? I had a c-section with one of my kids and there is no way I could have done primary for about the first 2 months.

I'm really worried that you're going to rip out some internal stitches and your tummy tuck will be for naught.

What does attempting any asana that's asking your muscles to stretch serve? Your soul, your body or your mind? I'm sorry for the armchair psychology but I honestly feel that your monkey mind is asking to be served, instead of listening to the concept of Ahimsa and applying that to yourself.

Truly, with love

yoga chickie said...

Hey V - I have DEFINITELY considered the notion of "high pain tolerance". I have often wondered why I could tolerate 20 hours of labor with my firstborn, including three hours of pushing and a vacuum extraction, with an epidural only during the last two centimeters of active labor. I have also wondered how it is that I am up and about so quickly after every surgery I have ever had, including my c-section with my secondborn.

I hear you about the monkey mind, and you and my other commentators are putting the FEAR in me, believe me. I don't mind at all being called out for not treating my body with the same love and compassion that I ask my student to treat their own bodies with...



vivage said...

There you go exactly! Giving yourself the same compassion, the same patience and love.

:-) I am reminding myself of that very thing.

Anonymous said...

i agree,please be kinder with yourself. Asana is but a wee part of a true yoga practice

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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