Get Up And Walk, Sista!

It’s nearly two months since my surgery. Time flies when you’re on MC, haha.

One of the downsides to my TRAM flap surgery is that, the whole tummy tuck process has caused my scoliosis to become even more obvious than it was before. Before my operation, I could pretty much hide the fact that my left leg was shorter than my right. But the week after, I realised while cleaning up in the bathroom and staring at my body in the mirror, that I suddenly had a hump on my right hip.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, for the first 30 days I was pretty much hunched like Liang Po Po and shuffling in an eerily similar fashion, except without the walking stick. When I went back to see Dr Hoe two weeks after the operation, his nurse Christine exclaimed: “Aiyoh! Why lidat? You looked fine sitting down — stand up only jialat!”

Liang Po Po: Jack Neo's most memorable alter-ego

Thing is, the tummy tuck basically meant that my tummy skin from 4, 5 inches above my navel had been pulled down 5 inches and sewn down. So that effectively made me something of a tightly strung bow, curving at the shoulder to compensate for the tightened stomach skin.

Yeah, OW.

I could feel my whole upper body was out of whack. My shoulders felt imbalanced. I wasn’t confident of going for a back massage (mostly because it hurts to high heaven to lie on my tummy even now, and I wasn’t allowed to the first 4 weeks). So basically I just walked like Liang Po Po and tried not to hurt myself.

But God is good – He really made the human body to be self-healing. As the weeks passed my bow string got a little longer and I stood a little straighter. But the aches in my back were still killing me, and I still shuffled like a little old trannie.

My plastic surgeon Dr Andrew Khoo suggested that I try to resume as much of my pre-surgery activity as possible, even going to the gym. His only taboo: “NO WEIGHTS.”

But to be honest, I didn’t think I could get on the treadmill just yet, and I wasn’t quite sure if all those table tops and attempted headstands were going to be weight-bearing (and honestly I didn’t want to scream out in pain, or tear my stitches and bleed through my workout tank… ugh, another nightmare for another blog entry).

So I thought I would start and do what already seemed hard enough: take a walk.

My first week of walks consisted of 100 metre crawls, holding on to the shoulder of my son Big B, who valiantly crawled along with me.

Middle B and Little B got into the act the second week, but they got bored real fast and sped ahead plucking every flower they could find on our short sojourn.

The 2 Bs getting bored and leaving Mommy behind...

Little B singing and destroying flowering shrubs all the way down the road

By the third week, I could walk about 800 metres around the block. My shoulders were still killing me but at least I felt a glimmer in my heart that hey, I could actually be getting better!

By the fourth week of my exercise routine (the sixth week after operation), I found myself walking my old route of 3.5km! I wasn’t going as fast as I used to, but wow, the shin burn felt fantastic and familiar, and — believe it or not — it felt like heaven to sweat again.

I even managed to work in a short, slow jog twice that week. And I mean s-l-o-w, but again, it felt wonderful to surprise myself with new “achievements”.

Bit by bit, I am working my body, finding my exercise feet again. I am reversing the Liang Po Po effect! I never thought I would ever be grateful for being able to exercise — what used to be necessary to keep fit and (feebly) fight fat has now become a panacea, an emotional and mental one.

Man, I’m so loving my smelly Nikes right now!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MieVee @
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 02:29:43

    Walking is a great exercise indeed. The other is qigong. My family has 1 member with heart surgery and another with cancer; both practices qigong and have regained strength very quickly. On Sunday early morning (about 7 am), many people practise at the Botanical Gardens.

    Personally, I have slight scoliosis and find Pilates wonderful at correcting alignment and relieving backache.

    Get well soon. 🙂


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