Check this out. This is me. I took the picture today after my shower. I am wearing a pair of jeans for the first time today. Almost 3.5 weeks ago I had surgery. A team of doctors and nurses cut into my body, through my abdominal muscles, and removed 60% of my liver, plus an additional hemangioma, that was sitting on the very left tip of my liver. Almost 4lbs of stuff gone. Just like that.
The big reminder of this procedure: a scar that starts right at the bottom of my breasts and goes down to almost my right hip. I’ve lost 12lbs since my surgery, and yet, I am now bigger around my waist and hips than I was before surgery. The jeans I’m wearing are a size 10. I haven’t worn a size 10 in over two years. I’m glad I kept these jeans in the closet. It’s almost like it was meant to be. After three and a half weeks in nightgowns and then yoga pants, I was ready to put on some real clothes.
I have been unable to do much at all. For half the time after surgery my brain was in a constant fog from the strong painkillers. Working, writing, none of it was important, nor was I able to focus long enough to write anything anyway.
Breathing deeply, coughing, laughing, walking… everything was hard work, everything was a job. Eating was something I had to do, not something I wanted. I had no appetite, and I had to toss out my goal to eat good-for-me bone broth daily. I couldn’t stomach it. I couldn’t stomach much of anything. A little soup here, some fruit there, and yes, I even ate an unhealthy bowl of jell-o, simply, because it was one of the few things I was able to eat.
For almost two weeks I ran a low grade fever, I walked hunched over, always with one hand on my belly. And I have to wait weeks before I get to do “light exercises”… a couple of months, before I can go all out at CrossFit again. I’m told by some, that it will be almost a year, before I’m really back to my gold old self, before my body will “look” the way it used to, although my liver will regenerate in six short weeks.
I am now off my pain medication. Occasionally I take a low dose Tylenol. I can walk about a mile in my hilly neighborhood. I can do the grocery shopping, think clearly, and cook my own meals again. I no longer walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and when I sneeze this morning, it almost didn’t hurt. Almost…
How do I feel emotionally? Well, that’s the beauty of it, I guess. I look at myself in the mirror every day, and all I can think is, how grateful I am.
– I have been operated on by one of the top surgeons in the field of liver transplants and hepatology. The woman is internationally renowned, and she and her team did an absolutely amazing job. I knew always, that I was in the best hands possible.
– Modern science! Medicine! Wow! How cool is it, that I live in the 21st century, where a lumpy liver is not something to fear? Humans are amazing in what they have accomplished.
– My body! Think about this. This amazing body of mine knew just what to do after this invasive procedure. Just like that, it started healing. It knew just what to do, and it’s doing it every day. I can feel it, and I can see it. And I am so very grateful for it.
Today, I feel beautiful. I don’t know how much body will change over the next year. Maybe I’ll fit into those smaller jeans again, or maybe not. Maybe I will forever have this little bump by my hip, where the scar ends. Maybe there will be a dent down the middle of my abs right along the scar. None of it matters. What does matter is, that I did come out on the other side of this. I love my body. I can honestly look at it and say, it doesn’t matter if there is every going to be a six pack. I will take my wiggly belly and love it and appreciate it just the way it is. Because it really is so deserving of my love….
Onward and upward!