I Should Have Been Writing

Some of you kind folks still ask how I’m doing after my New Years’ surgery. I’ve been saying just fine except for what those of us who’ve had a hysterectomy (whether for endometrial cancer or other cancer or for other reasons) call swelly belly.

Such a great term. After a really long day or exercise or some other less obvious reason, my belly swells. Think of a puffer fish on steroids.

I’ve been back to yin yoga since 8 ½ weeks post-op. Muscle-soreness and swelly belly kicked in at first. Added more active yoga earlier this month (3 ½ months post-op.) Same thing — muscle-sore and increased swelly belly, but not bad.

Not until this week.

I had active yoga Sunday, yin yoga Monday, weeded a bit Tuesday (forward folds and squats <wg>). Weeded more Wednesday. Thursday, I did significantly more weeding, cut down bushes, hauled the

The villain of the story: invasive Japanese honeysuckle. The offspring are 90% of my weeding and the blooming bushes hanging over my yard from neighbor is what I was lopping.

brush, then put Preen on part of the back yard with a spreader. Rain stopped me from doing the whole yard.

Was quite tired, but thought it would go away. Not so much. By Friday morning I had achy belly and incision area in addition to swelly belly extraordinaire. But I’d committed (with myself) to drive an hour to look at kitchen countertops at 2 places.  By the time I tromped around those warehouses, I was quite lightheaded in addition to the pain and uber-swelly belly. Thought I might pass out, which I’ve done twice. Once as a Brownie in the Memorial Day parade during a heat spell and once in the ER waiting room when I had a 105-degree temperature with what turned out to be Scarlet Fever. (Passing out in the waiting room can get you to the front of the line, btw.)

Water eased some of the light-headedness. Getting in and out of the car hurt, but driving didn’t.  Got home fine, after 7 hours of being out and about. Even made a couple necessary errand stops. But I wasn’t home more than 10 minutes before I collapsed for a nap.

Slept a loooong time overnight and my head feels mostly back to normal. Pain has diminished, but still around when I move. Even walking jolts it to life. Grrr.

Been very inactive today. (Rainy and chilly – perfect day to curl up in the chaise. Though getting out can be a challenge.) I suspect I’ll have to cancel active yoga tomorrow, which irks me.

Thursday was 4 months post-op and really, I should be able to do this stuff without going back to the pain and brain-fog of Week 3 post-op. … Says me.

Other people, like doctors, say it’s 6-12 months before you’re really back to normal. So I’m writing this to warn anyone else who might innocently overdo. (I never know it’s happening until I’ve already overdone. There should be a warning bell.)

My sister-who-knows-all-the-Latin-names of plants insists it was using the lopper to cut down the bushes. She says lopping uses a lot of those muscles.

So that’s my other piece of advice: Don’t use loppers at 4 months post-op. Who knew?

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