Friday, July 20, 2012


Sculpture Garden
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

I had my one week post-op visit with the surgeon today.

I am healing well, and he is still pleased with his handiwork.  But.  There always seems to be a 'but' associated with these doctor visits.

Apparently he had to add quite a bit of tissue and do some quilting in layers of stitches on the added tissue to make a correctly-sized pocket for the implant.  This tissue and his sewing will be delicate for a while, so, contrary to what I was first told, that my activities would be restricted for just a week or two, I am to put no stress on my chest muscles for the next six weeks.

Too much stress will break the pocket, which means I'd need to go back in for further surgery.  It's quite some incentive to behave.  But, still!

This means:
  • no lifting anything over 15-20 pounds
  • no putting my arms up over my head to stretch or stretching them back
  • no sit-ups or weight lifting or katas or .....
  • no housecleaning (Kate will help me clean before she leaves next week - I guess I can just ignore the dirt for the month after that...)
Pretty much all I can do for exercise is to walk - and somehow, when the temps are hovering around 100 degrees every day - with the lows around 80, and that before 6AM, walking doesn't have the appeal it sometimes does.


Here I'd been working so hard to get the exercise habit back; the one I'd broken for the first time in years after my initial surgery in February.  Just in the past few weeks, I'd found the energy to start to get my stomach muscles back into some sort of shape, and had begun to work in a little weight-lifting and some katas.  I'll start again in a few months, but in the meantime, I'm clearly going to have to find an outlet besides exercise to help me deal with the frustrations and challenges of daily life.

Someone sent me a story earlier this week, purportedly about St. Teresa of Avila:  While fording a river, swollen with spring rains, Teresa was dumped from her horse and soaked through thoroughly. Shaking her fist at the sky, she said, 'THIS is how you treat your friends?  No wonder you have so few of them!'

I can relate.

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