After an Abdominal Myomectomy: Part III

Happy Wednesday…! I feel like this week is dragging, but it doesn’t help that work has been super quiet.  How’s your week going for you so far?

For those of you who are new to my little blog, you may or may not know that four months ago I had an abdominal myomectomy.  If you missed it, you can read Part 1 and Part II where I talk about what it’s like directly post surgery and how I fared after I got home.  But in other words, if you’re still wondering what the heck an abdominal myomectomy is, it’s the removal of fibroids via a cesarean.

Abdominal Myomectomy; Fibroids; Exercise

I can’t believe it was four months ago that I had this surgery.  It seems so long ago, yet it doesn’t.  In many ways, I feel like my scar has completely healed up aside from the obvious.  The scar is no longer an angry purple and it’s flattened out loads.  I have been really diligent in applying Vitamin E creams and oils on it since the surgery, so I’m sure that’s helped.  I also picked up “ScarAway” from the drugstore when I was back in the States; I definitely think that’s improved the appearance as well in the past few weeks of using it.  They’re silicone sheets that are washable and reusable for up to 2 weeks, pretty awesome!  Plus they make them in a length specifically for cesarean scars.

Like I said, for the most part I can almost forget that I even had this surgery now.  I no longer feel the pain in my ovaries before my periods; according to my doctor that pain is just the congestion and for the most part, I am no longer congested. Who knew your ovaries could get congested? HA  The only pain I feel now is when I stretch, or when I elongate my body.  I just feel a little pulling, but it’s not anything intense.  The only pain I feel is really just emotional.  I look at my body in the mirror and the scar is staring back at me; I still have a pooch above the scar and the fact that I’ve put on weight is tough to see.  I know I am lucky that the surgery went well and that I am alive, most importantly, but it really does hit me from a self esteem point of view.  My friends say I am being ridiculous, they haven’t noticed the weight gain, but the fact that none of my jeans and my work clothes fit me is depressing.  On a positive note though, I am finally back in the gym!

I was looking to head back into the gym in September but, life happened. Rather I knew I was going to be in New York in the middle of the month and I didn’t want to get back into a routine for it to then get disrupted, so I pushed it off until October.  Let me tell you how ecstatic I am to be back!  My doctor had only given me the green light to swim in August, but I didn’t get around to that.  I am allowed to run now, but well, running isn’t going to happen with all this nasty haze! And to be honest, I’ve never gone running in Singapore! The humidity just kills me and my asthma decides its the perfect opportunity to drop in.   So I prefer heading into the gym and working with my personal trainer.

It’s only been a couple of weeks and they’re taking it easy on me.  I don’t have the stamina that I used to – I practically died during Monday night’s session! But it feels absolutely amazing! It’s just a matter of time before my fitness level is back to where it was (I hope!).  My trainer is currently working on getting my strength back, so I’ve been going back to basics and working on my form.  He’s made me do a lot of back squats and with each session I am able to squat 10kgs more.  I am currently back squatting 45kgs, only 20kgs from my personal best.  I haven’t done any deadlifts yet but that will come with time.  We’ve also been working on push-ups by breaking down the movement and getting my form perfected.  It’s amazing how in the space of four months, my arm strength is just gone like it didn’t even exist. Before the surgery, I could hold myself up on the rings in pull up position for 30 seconds.  I can barely hold myself up for a split second now.  It’s super frustrating knowing that you could do it and now, nope! I know I need to be patient, but I’m tired of being patient!! Patience seems to be the theme of my life…!

My doctor said that I shouldn’t be lifting heavy weights, he thought 40kgs was too much at this moment and that I should wait another couple of months, but well, I think he’s being too conservative.  On that note though, I am also really listening to my body and how it feels.  My trainer is also aware of my surgery so he’s constantly making sure he’s not pushing me too hard. They’re also holding me back from doing a lot of jumps as you’re not meant to be jumping post surgery.  I am not complaining!! I hate jumping – and to think I had silly aspirations of being a professional snowboarder! Box jumps, jump squats, leap frogs – ARGH! Hate them! So I’m going to milk it just a bit… 😉

Another reason I’m so excited to be back in the gym is not from a vanity perspective.  I work out because it keeps me sane.  It keeps me from falling into periods of depression and when the world seems to be against me, it allows me to stay positive.  And girls, I can totally feel the difference in how I am on a day-to-day basis.  I definitely feel happier and now, if the weight would just magically fall off, I’d be even happier. HAHA But seriously, the weeks following my birthday weekend, I fell into a hole for a few weeks but I am now climbing out and back on terra firme.  It’s such a relief!

Anyway, that’s it for now.  Thanks for reading…!


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  • Jen

    Getting back into the gym is always the best!

  • Oh I hear you on the gym! Just makes you feel better. Takes me awhile to get back in the swing tho. I’m so habitually lazy. Haha

    • I”m so lazy too, its why I have to pay for personal training cos then I’m accountable for going. How much money did I lose by being a gym member and then never going…? HA

  • Natasha Hoover

    Being new here, as it were, I didn’t know about your surgery. I had a housemate for a while with fibroids and I know how miserable they made her. Undergoing surgery must have been a big decision and it’s clearly been a long recovery process, but from seeing my housemate’s pain I can understand why a person would do it!

    Getting back to the gym after a break is always so hard. It wasn’t nearly as much as what you went through, but winter 2014 I had a massive thumb injury that resulted in stitches, including a couple through my thumb nail. Needless to say I could’t work out for a few weeks! Going back to the gym felt like starting over. Best of luck with your return to the gym! It’s great your coaches are understanding.

    • It all happened very quickly, I didn’t know I had fibroids so to be honest I’m not even sure if they made me miserable other than the lower back pain I would experience…! But also went ahead with the surgery as I would like to have kids (I think, anyway)…

      It is like starting over, isn’t it…? A thumb injury does not seem fun at all… 🙁 And painful! Eek

      I’d be interested in learning more about how you ate. I haven’t found that balance yet cos I did feel like I got bigger from all the weights… Sigh.

      • Natasha Hoover

        I’m glad to hear you didn’t have too much pain prior to the surgery!

        Even though I’m a very similar weight to when I started CrossFit (only 1 or 2 pounds less), I am actually physically far smaller because muscle takes up so much less space! I’ve read a lot of studies that show working out without tracking what you eat does lead to weight gain for many people, though. It’s so easy to say “I worked out so I deserve this treat,” for example. Many things I’ve read even say studies indicate the vast majority of people either don’t see weight loss or experience weight gain after starting an exercise program! It’s also just soo easy to not eat enough or eat too much without even realizing it. If you feel like your workout program before made you get bigger, I’d guess it’s actually because of food, not the workout itself!

        I really resisted tracking my food for a long time because I thought it sounded ridiculous, but my coach talked me into just tracking what I ate for a week without making any changes. I was shocked by how what I ate (and I thought I ate healthily!) did not meet my needs at all. Now I use a “flexible eating plan” calculator (there are several online) and input how many times a week I work out, the duration of each workout, my weight, age, etc. to find out my daily average caloric intake (along with fat, protein, and carbs needed) and I aim for that. I don’t try to calculate how much I burned with exercise because that’s already included in my calorie count. I have several posts about it on my blog because I’ve become a huge fan of tracking food, no matter how goofy it seems!

        • I do try to eat as clean as possible, but Sing is not so easy..! Or good high fat with low carbs. But obviously I’m doing something wrong still!! I will snoop around your blog some more…! Thanks 🙂

  • Glad you’re getting back to normal. Don’t push yourself too hard!

  • oh man! That’s a crazy surgery, I took a female health class in college and they discussed fibroids at length so I have somewhat of an understanding of this. I’m glad you feel like you never had the surgery now, that is fantastic news.

    • I was never taught that in my health class..! Ha Yeah, I’m felling quite good for the most part!!

  • Oh my gosh I am so glad you’re finally feeling better! I can’t imagine going through such a thing. I would be so frustrated with limited activity – I’m glad youre finally get get back in the gym!

    • It was frustrating in the beginning, but time heals all… 😉 And it’s great to be back in the gym!! 🙂

  • clara mcmillan

    I remember you went through this, I’m so glad you have come so far and that you’re finally feeling better!

    God bless,

    XO, Claire

  • Ugh. I need to get myself back to my work out classes. That’s awesome that you’re getting right back into the routine. I have such a hard time going back!

    • I’m not sure I could if I had kids…! But you look amazing, you don’t need to go to the gym!! 😉

  • You’ve had a tough journey, I’m glad you are getting back to your old self though.

  • You are amazing for jumping right back in!

  • Woot! I’m glad you’re back working out again. Small steps. 🙂

  • Erica J

    Hi Jewel…I was wondering if your back to your original strength prior to your surgery and also is the swelling finally gone ( I know it’s a year later but heard it could take a while). I’m scheduled for surgery next month and like you I’m a work out junkie and concerned about my muscles deflating to nothing and a pooch from the scar.

    • Hi Erica, thanks for stopping by! I’m sorry to hear you’re going to go through this as well, let’s face it, it’s never fun… My strength is definitely back up, if anything I’m stronger and I am smashing my PRs from pre-surgery!! To be completely honest with you, I’ve struggled with my body since the surgery; I’m not sure if its a combination of getting older (I don’t know how old you are but i’m now in my mid-30s) or what, but my stomach is not as flat as it used to be and I haven’t been able to shake the weight gain around my belly despite eating 80% clean and having massively cut down the booze, but argh and I do still have a bit of a pooch – but that’s prolly cos I haven’t been able to shake the weight gain!! Around my scar, its also a bit numb. Not super numb, but still numb. Don’t be discouraged by my story!! Just be patient!! And let me know if you have any questions – feel free to email me at jewelswandering at gmail com xx

  • From Mexico

    Hi, i just found your blog because I was googling about when is the right time to start working out after a myomectomy. I know for me is just too soon right now (12 days) but I feel terrible as working out is something I do (did) everyday. I really feel how my legs have lost muscle, is incredible how fast you lose what you’ve been working on for years. I had just gotten to the point where I just felt really comfortable with myself and I feel like I’m not giving my body the recognition it deserves and the healing process it is going through. But your post and replies to other comments have really helped me.
    Thank you,

    • Girl, this wasn’t fun at all!! I hated the fact that walking for 10 mins left me wiped out… Definitely take it easy, hard as it is… Let yourself heal, your body will bounce back!! Your muscles will come back, better and stronger!! Sending you lots of love and a speedy recovery!! xx

  • Law

    Hi, I had abdominal myomectomy(open surgery) 6 months ago to remove fibroids and weight gain has been a constant issue on the back of my head, since then. Ive been given a go-ahead to hit the gym by my doctor, but I see no real progress after 3 months. Can you tell me what kind of exercises you do at your gym ? How much progress have you made towards reducing the belly pooch? Do respond. Your blog gives me hope!

    • Hi! Thank you for commenting and I’m sorry that you had to go through this as well. How are you doing? At that time, I was doing a lot of circuit training and Olympic weight lifting. I definitely lost a lot of my muscles during the time I was not able to exercise and since then I have gained weight to be absolutely honest. But I think it was because I put on a lot of muscle through the weight training and also because I’m now older. I was about to turn 35 when I had the surgery and after 35, it’s been a struggle to lose any weight! I find that if I’m eating properly and exercising, my weight is ok and well, gluten does bloat me up and now I notice it even more now because of the belly pooch. I think if you just carry on working out and eat right, you’ll be fine! Feel free to email me if you have any other questions! xx

  • Jovene

    Hello Julie, i just had the same surgery 4months ago. My fibroid was much bigger 🙁 understand you did the procedure 2 years ago, do you still have the pooch or bulge above your scar? If not, how long did your pooch take to flatten?