4 days ago I had an abdominal myomectomy. I didn’t have laparoscopic surgery, so it was essentially a C-section cut across my bikini line. I have to be honest; I was really scared about the pain and recovery. I have so much planned in the next three months and I wasn’t looking spend it uncomfortable and distracted. Getting things done, as a single person would also be an extra challenge. My friends and family were supportive and I knew I’d have a structure in place- but I couldn’t help worry…even it was just a little.
An MRI showed that I had 6 fibroids. When I was in surgery it seemed that I had 11 and one was almost the size of a tennis ball. It’s considered major surgery since organs are exposed and I spent a night in the hospital. I was intent on only spending one night. In fact, I was sure I was going home the same day until the day of the surgery. The doctor and his team said it was a great attitude to have- I just don’t like being in places where there are tons of sick people.
I woke up groggy and vomiting. Not great, but told myself to keep my body calm. When I was ready I was rolled to my room. I couldn’t get comfortable at first. While I know that a 15 cm incision is big, I also knew that my control of my body was also pretty good. By focusing on my arms and not my belly I was able to shift with minimal pain to a more comfortable spot.
I wasn’t aware that I could press my pain killer button as many times as I wanted to deliver meds. I ended up breathing my way through a lot of the pain. Let me be clear- the dilaudid was a saving grace but it wasn’t until 11 pm that I knew I could have pain meds delivered every ten minutes. I was out of surgery by 12 pm.
The next morning I was feeling pretty good and was told I looked ‘fantastic’- I was home in my bed by 1pm.
I am sure that my yoga and mediation practice had everything to do with my upbeat attitude and consequently smooth recovery. Over three months ago I committed to a daily meditation practice. It’s been a journey that has deepened connections to the world and my place in it.
1. Meditating helped me listen to my body. As a yogi I have a strong mind/body/breathing connection but my meditation practice lets me go deeper. Being still lets me connect to all of my koshas (energetic bodies or coverings). As a result I think I am able to inhale and exhale in tight places and let go of muscle tension completely.
2. Meditation has helped my not to rush the recovery process. I may be feeling great quickly but I also believe that I need to listen to my body. I can’t and won’t push myself into normal activities before I’m supposed to. This is a very different approach than I would have had a few years ago. In the past getting back to my pre-surgery pace would have been more important that the healing process. It’s that kind of thinking and neglect that allows a person to get sicker than they need to.
3. Meditation allows me to relax more, so I have less pain. Put another way, my pain is something that I can accept and adjust to rather than fight against. What we resist persists. By being able to relax I know I’m healing in an efficient manner.
I don’t think I’ll need anything more than an OTC painkiller going forward. I’m still sore but I’m already moving better. I think that in a week I’ll be back to basic yoga and in three weeks I’ll be better than ever.