WELLNESS WITH A POT BELLY

Wellness has arrived along with fall, however there is a pot belly bulging underneath my shirt that will need another surgery. Ugh!

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Really, it’s not what you think.

I arrived home in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday after 1-1/2 weeks of travel up the west coast touring small towns and visiting friends. As soon as we hit the Redwood Forest, it struck me how much I missed the Pacific Northwest. The trees climbed taller and grew denser, enclosing the road ahead of me. The sun peaked between the branches, shimmering like gold glitter. My heart met the scene with excitement and inspiration. I’ve been away too long.

I feel great. Everyone who knows me says I look better *now* than I ever have. In spite of nearly seven months of cancer treatments, I suppose being free from illness means feeling elation, enthusiasm, pride and gratitude reflects in my outward appearance. Truthfully, if you woke me from a nap right now, I’d say it never happened.

But I get reminders every once in a while. For example, when I overexert myself, I spend about two days with diarrhea, a product of post-surgical inflammation. Also, I have this pot belly that I’m told will not go away on its own. Right underneath all the scars, the pot belly sticks out about three inches from my musculature, making it conspicuous. It is tough, and about eight inches in diameter, my belly button centered perfectly. No pain, so I would not know that it’s there, unless I look at it. Some would say it looks as though I’m 3 months pregnant, that is not the case.

The doctor called it a diastasis. This is commonly associated with pregnancy as a side-effect. It means that the muscles (in my case, in the abdomen) have split apart, everything behind is pushing out between them. The surgery should be a simple, laparoscopic and cosmetic procedure where a mesh is inserted behind the abdominal muscles to hold back the protruding guts. These next few months will be spent healing from the most recent surgery, then the cosmetic surgery will be discussed and scheduled.

In the meantime, I will enjoy wellness and giggle when you poke me in the tummy.

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MY BODY IS HAPPY, FINALLY

No cramps, no pains, no struggle with the bowels; my body is finally happy.

The last few weeks have been quite difficult. I’ve been pretty quiet about it wanting only to concentrate on getting my body better. Although I knew that eventually my body would be happy again, I just felt worn out. Fear of inciting abdominal cramps kept me from moving, and there was no finding a comfortable position. It took agonizing minutes just to roll my sore gut over in bed. What I ate and what, if anything, I should eat haunted me at every meal. I didn’t want to upset any balance in comfort I may have found. Persistant concern over bowels that were either stopped up or gushing made my foreseeable life miserable. I have never known chronic pain or discomfort like what I felt the past weeks.

Prior to my Monday meeting with Dr. Childs, I rounded a corner in physical comfort and emotional health. What exactly caused the relief from cramps and gas of the past weeks, no one knows for sure; the rest, the switch to low-residue foods, a combination?

Pains subsided three days ago, and now doing yoga stretches without pain brings me tears of joy.

It is common to feel we don’t have the guts or inborn vision to push through tough lifetime events. I am astute to this lesson now. I read this recently:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

– Sir Winston Churchill

I kept my sights on the light at the end of the tunnel, and my body is finally happy!

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