In less than 48 hours, I’ll be under the knife with an endometriosis specialist looking inside my abdomen using a tiny camera attached to a robotic arm.
But unlike my 2016 surgery where the doctor made three incisions around my belly button, the team this time around will need to make only a single 1.5 to 2.5-centimeter incision inside my belly button.
“We take belly buttons extremely seriously here,” a woman doctor told me during my pre-op visit Monday.
I already have scarring in my belly button and around my abdomen from a previous excision and appendectomy, so naturally I assumed the doctors on Thursday (the day of my surgery) would re-use the holes. But that wouldn’t be necessary, the doctor told me. More than 90 percent of all the surgeries Dr. Guam performs only necessitates one opening – and it’s through the belly button, meaning any surgery scar can stay inconspicuous.
The thought is mildly comforting.
I still have to undergo the procedure, which according to some estimates can last up to four hours (or more); I have to tolerate the anesthesia, wake up, heal and go about normally using all my bodily functions. Not to mention to pain and the excessive amounts of vaginal bleeding that is sure to occur following the operation. Then there’s that tiny part in there where they don’t want you to lift more than 10 pounds for six weeks.
Goodbye Crossfit. Goodbye Olympic lifting. (At least for six weeks.)
Last year, my endo problems felt like they were getting worse. My poor lifestyle choices, including horrible nutrition and lack of exercise exacerbated the pain. When I began to do crossfit last April, I instantly felt happier and when I coupled that with better food choices, my body thanked me. In more ways than one.
Not only were some of my endo symptoms beginning to feel like they were under control, I started to lose weight, build muscle and get strong.
But right in the middle of that, I had to have an appendectomy and it significantly slowed me down healthwise. I was eventually able to get back on track and lose a total of 20 pounds between April and November, but it wasn’t easy.
I’m afraid this endo surgery, even though it’s meant to do more good than harm, is going to derail me from my overall health goals. Losing weight, getting strong – that felt good. I felt the difference, physically and emotionally, between non-training days and crossfit days.
My endo symptoms – the bloat, the digestive issues, the back pain, headaches – it all felt minor next to the feel-good muscle soreness I got from a tough workout.
Here’s to hoping that recovery from this surgery is swift.