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.