Bye Bye Baby Pt 3

Nearly 4 years ago to the day, I was living in Ulsan, South Korea. It seems like a lifetime ago now. While I was living there, I had the opportunity to go through surgery for an umbilical hernia repair. You can read all about part 1 and part 2.

It didn’t seem to work though. I’m not sure if my attempt at pilates screwed it up, or if the mesh was no good. There apparently were some ‘recalls’ for people who had hernia repairs with a mesh. Unfortunately mine was outside of the US so I wouldn’t know if that even applies to my situation.

ANYHOOOO! I’ve been back in the US for a year and was experiencing some stomach issues and my hernia was full-fledged back to party. I have a full-time job here with good insurance (For the first time in how long?) — so one of the first things I did was go to Surgical Group of Orlando. Dr. Chambers took a look, gave a nod, and we set a date.

So on July 24th (1 week shy of 4 years) I had my umbilical hernia repair. I had my entourage with me (parents and grandparents) and we waited for a solid 30 minutes before I was called back. Michelle was attending me and she was a blast. We made small talk and funny talk and went over all of the necessities that I now can no longer remember for follow-up care.

At one point, she was taking a look at my belly and gasped: my stomach was beet red. I wasn’t having a reaction to medication or had some sort of viral breakout. I was severely sunburned. I made this dumbass mistake of going to Siesta Key the weekend before my Tuesday surgery. I chose to NOT wear a 1 piece because TAN LINES! Hello!? Yup. The wind was strong that day. My SPF30 sport sunscreen was expired. And I was just not responsible. I got SO SO SO Sunburned that i had to take 3 black tea & apple cider vinegar baths. I lived in an aloe plant and rubbed super potent “CBD” salve on me. And I had no a/c in my car on the 3 hour drive back. Boohoo my poor choices.
So anyway, I almost wasn’t allowed to get the surgery, but luckily I hadn’t started to peel yet.

Back to the story:
Because my surgery wasn’t scheduled until 1pm, I was allowed to eat and drink up until 3:30am. Unfortunately I was asleep by 11:30pm the night before and barely woke up in time to drink a bottle of water before I couldn’t anymore. For anyone going into surgery where they say ‘Don’t eat or drink anything for 12 hours before the surgery’ — do your veins a favor: drink and eat up until the last minute. If you do what I did and have an easy Thai meal and hit the hay early, your vein may or may not collapse when they try to put in the IV. If you’re a punk like me and don’t do well with needles — this is a problem.

My vein collapsed and Michelle had to do it again. My wrist is now so bruised that I look like I was in a domestic issue (I can’t even wear my watch). Anyway, I spoke with the anesthesiologist and Dr. Chambers came in for a few minutes. Then I was wheeled back and moved onto a table. They put my oxygen mask on, I wished them good luck, and I was out. I do not remember my dream, but I did manage to not sit up this time.

To indicate to the nurses that I was awake, I made a joke about how the nurse they were making fun of for being short was ‘fun sized.’ Then my teeth started some serious chattering. And the pain started really hitting. I couldn’t swallow. I was not freaking out. The anesthesia was leaving my system and for some reason, this was how my body reacted. I wasn’t cold. I wasn’t scared. I was just in pain and my wonderful mom kept trying to give me water, but would take the damn straw away mid-sip and make a giant mess. But to be fair, she hasn’t had to feed a person in a while.

They gave me Vicodin and I proceeded to hate every second of it. My breathing was really shallow and I just felt like I was in this half-way state of sleep and frustration. I took it a couple of times that first day and haven’t looked back.

Repair:
Initially, Dr. Chambers was going to make the incision from my original scar with a possibility of using a mesh.. However, she changed her mind the day of (whether it was the sunburned scar or other reasons, I currently do not know). She decided to go through my belly button and sutured the hernia rather than using a mesh.

Recovery:
The act of sitting, standing, lying down, sitting up, twisting, coughing, or you know.. anything was pretty rough the first day or two. I’m stubborn though and did more movement than I probably should have. But also, 5 days after the surgery, I’m sitting on my couch cross legged without too much pain. Just soreness. And majorly itchy from this damned sunburn. I’m barely starting to peel, but if I can keep moisturized then maybe it won’t? Hopefully?

I was able to take a shower on day 2 — and it was painful. But on day 4 (yesterday), I was able to take a full shower with hair care and then go get a haircut. I don’t think I’ll be going to a movie or out for dinner and drinks just yet, but I feel better today than I have all week.

Week 1:
Rest. Rest. Rest. No lifting, bending, etc. Take it easy.

Week 2:
Rest, but I can go back to work. Follow up visit is scheduled for 1 week from the surgery. No lifting anything more than 10lbs.

Week 3:
Resuming light activities. Lifting maybe up to 20lbs? But more than likely 10lbs still.

Weeks 4-6:
Resuming normal activities, no heavy workouts still, but light activities are encouraged. No lifting more than 20lbs.

I’ll hopefully remember to write a follow up in a week or two.

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2018 Resolutions (Delayed)

I have a tendency to start writing something and then it gets drafted and I forget to post it.  So that is my first resolution:

Resolution 1: Follow through.
Whether it’s a text message, a blog entry, an application, whatever! I will follow through with it.

Resolution 2: Weight Loss
Yup. Back on the list. I have been through a lot with this one. One year I gained a lot and then next I lost it. Last year, I gained a lot again. Whether it was stress, diet, hormonal, or lack of exercise — it will not be repeated. I admit I am more than 160lbs. That’s bad. My final goal is to be between 120-130. If I get down to 140, I’ll be pleased. If I plateau at 135, I’ll be still quite happy.
How will I change this? I’ve already started watching what I’m eating. I’m cooking for myself again and tracking how much I’m eating and when.
I’m going to also give myself 30 day food challenges. 30 Days with no pizza. The next 30 with no Mexican food, etc. Let’s see how long that lasts. Taco Tuesday will rue the day.

Resolution 2.5: Exercise
To follow up the weight loss through diet, I am also challenging myself to be more active again. In Korea, I had hills and stairs to climb every day. I didn’t drive as often, so I wasn’t as lazy. Being back in Orlando, I don’t have the natural inclines or the beautiful hiking options. But I do have lakes and water, along with a new paddleboard. I want to get a few hours of paddling in a week if I can (weather permitting). I’m also going to take advantage of ‘New Student’ specials offered by gyms and fitness studios. The first will be 40 days $40 Power Yoga. The next will be 30 day Barre classes. Having these near to my work will allow me to keep to a schedule while avoiding traffic. Let’s see how it goes.

Resolution 3: Make that money!
My new job is wonderful. But no lie, it does NOT pay very well. True, I get paid better than others in my position at the company, but it’s just not that much!! So I need to get back my passion projects. Voice acting and massage therapy. Today I reapplied for my Florida massage license. As soon as I’m done with this cold, I hope to start my voice over demos again and start auditioning. I need additional income one way or another.

Resolution 4: Stick with the Blogging!!
That was my resolution last year and I SUCKED at it. In fact, I went the ENTIRE year without a single blog post. Luckily, I’ve started a new blog that is not connected with this one. If you are interested in checking it out, I ask that you contact me privately. It’s not meant for everyone. Not yet at least.
I hope that I have some new experiences I can share via WittyLMT as well.

Resolution 5: Visit 2 new places this year!
In the past, I have said that I will visit 2 new countries. That maybe more difficult now that I’m state-side and not making the money I did before, and living in a higher-cost-of-living location. This year, I’d like to visit 2 places in the US that I’ve never been. Considering that I’ve barely been around the US, this should be easy. Let’s rack up some mileage points, hey?

10% of the world…

That’s how many places I have been to..

I have visited 21 countries (24 hours or longer) and stayed in 4 other countries’ airports.

1. USA

2. Mexico

3. Bahamas

4. Jamaica

5. Puerto Rico

6. England

7. Spain

8. Italy

9. France

10. Netherlands

11. Belgium

12. Greece

13. Israel

14. Thailand

15. Japan

16. Hong Kong

17. Malaysia

18. Philippines

19. South Korea

20. Maldives

21. South Africa

Airports:

Germany, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Singapore

I am so proud of my accomplishments – but I am also very disappointed that it hasn’t been more. I have not yet been to any South American countries and have only been to a small portion of Europe and Asia. There’s still Africa too.

My bucket list of countries:

Finland, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Egypt, Turkey, Taiwan, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Indonesia, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and more. I just can’t think of them all because I’m supposed to be teaching right now. Oops.

It’s Not Fair to Compare

It’s Not Fair to Compare.

 

my input in the form of an article for the new online magazine Tickets To:

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