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Avatar universal

Best exercises after laparotomy

Hello,
I had a laparotomy almost 6 months ago and am trying to get my abdominals back into shape.  Does anyone have any advice on which exercises are the best ones to get your abs solid and working properly again?  I am amazed at how little muscle I have now.  I know this isn't problem to really be worried about - I'm just curious and a bit disheartened by how difficult it is to sustain any type of abdominal control.
10 Responses
Avatar universal
HEY THERE!!! I smiled at seeing your posting. I am glad you are doing well. This might make you giggle but I recently saw one of my good friends mom. She is probably in her late 50's early 60's. All these years I've known her she has always been petite but her trouble spot was the belly...belly fat. The last time I saw her my jaw dropped. She looked TIGHT! I asked her if she was working out and she laughed. She has been BELLY DANCING! When I tell you she looked awesome it doesn't do her justice. So that's my recommendation LOL! It sounds like fun too. I've been looking for a class in my area but nothing yet. I hate abs and they hate me. I've been told exercise DVD's from The Firm are good for abs. I also know pilates/yoga focus on your core. Good luck and I wish you a six pack LOL! Lori
Avatar universal
I am SOOO glad to hear from you!
How are you doing?  Are you all finished with your treatments yet?  How are your kids?  Things are good around here.  Nothing to tell - which is a good thing - right?  I did pilates today - and after 30 minutes my stomach just would NOT cooperate and it refused to lift me up off the floor.  That was my very first day of exercise since my surgery.  I did walk a while back in the fall but other than that - NOTHING.  How sad - right?  My daughter who is 4 keeps telling me that I need to do my exercises....yeah - so, i have to get it done!  Not to mention that I thought it might offset my severe pre-menstrual mood swings.  My period without the period - you know what I mean?  2 weeks of anger have replaced 1.5 of bleeding.  The jury is still out on whether that is a fair trade.  okay - its 1 AM and I am seriously losing it.  I'm off to bed and hopefully tomorrow i'll get in a jog or something (who are we kidding?).  Write back and tell me what is going on in your world.  Okay?  And, I haven't seen any belly-dancing classes around here but they have the strip-tease classes which I can't really figure out yet.  I mean - do you actually have to DO that while your in the public class?  I'm too scared to check it out...why don't you do that and get back with me about it.  Okay?
It was great to see you are still out there!
Laura
149816 tn?1212686941
Hi Laura,
How are you all doing? I've not seen you on here for ages.

I've recovered really well, except for the incredibley ugly belly, it still looks like a piece of bad modern art - definately no striptease classes for me!!!!

I've at last got a provisional date for my big operation - it doesn't seem over 6 months since we had our operations, time flies!

Lisa.

Avatar universal
Lisa,

I am ELATED to see you on this website!  I haven't seen your name posting in so long I thought maybe you just had moved on to bigger and better things.  Now, I need more info about your BIG surgery.  Will this be your first surgery since they discovered everything back in August?  I sure hope you are doing well.  Did you go to the Dominican Republic?  For some reason - I thought I remembered that you were going to go ahead and do it.
Well, i'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who hasn't fully appreciated the new look we have "inherited" on our stomachs.  I'm just now beginning to actually touch it and look at it.  It really weirded me out for a LONG time.  And, obviously, you read that I attempted some pilates and failed miserably.  In fact, today when I woke up, I felt like I had just gotten out of my laparotomy!  oh dear....but i'm just going to babystep my way back into the abs department.  i can't spend another summer telling my daughter that the pool is "closed today" simply b/c i can't stand to look at myself in a swimsuit.  This is the year for change!  (i'm hoping i can at least stick with the program for 2 weeks this time...).  How is England?  How is your man?  DO TELL!  Are you still buying skirts and purses off of ebay?  Any good finds?
My husband and I were just on-line checking out Ikea and dreaming of redoing our kitchen.  OH!  when we were in Italy in September - we kept seeing Ikeas all over the place and I always wanted to go - but he was like - "WE DIDN'T COME TO ITALY TO GO TO IKEA!"  and he was right about that.  Man oh Man - Italy seemed so different since I was there in 1996.  The world really is getting very homogonized(sp?) - isn't it?  Well, i need to get off to bed.  Write back and update me on your health - okay?  
My best to you,
Laura
Avatar universal
almost forgot...honestly it would take a couple shots of vodka before my first belly dancing class to expose this tummy of mine but if it helped flatten it out I would do it. With my scar it looks like a hiney now LOL! I am pretty sure I couldn't go as far as strip tease though...maybe if I had a hot flash with it! Yeah man! hahahaha!
149816 tn?1212686941
I do a lot of lurking and have very little time to post these days! How's your family and the wedding trade? We are still planning on Las Vegas and Mexico for our wedding, but it'll be October time now I think, May is going to be too soon after my op and I don't want too much hot weather. I'm glad Italy was nice, I haven't been since I was 16 and I think I'd be shocked with the changes!

I did get to the Domincan Republic, I was very careful all holiday then the taxi driver from hell appeared and took us a 50 mile journey to the airport going 80mph over pot holes (big enough for a family of 6 to live in confortably)I ended up with pulled innards, swollen and uncomfortable for 2 weeks! Since then we've slipped in to crafty weekends in Las Vegas - you can't keep a good holidayer down!!!

I had some really good news from my January scan - the tumour has stayed completely stable with a little reduction on my liver. They originally decided that I would be needing the cardio-thoracic surgeons (as well as liver, bowel, gynae surgeons) to remove it from my diaphragm because of the heart/lung risks involved, which meant a change of hospital. Hopefully, because there being no extra growth since August they won't be needed and I'll be at Christie's Hospital which is really nice, I find out tomorrow.

I've been really well since the first op, I went back to work fulltime after 9 weeks, which was a bit soon, but I feel great now. I have occassional shooting pains in my abdomen that are most likely due to either nerve damage or tumour pressing, nothing too bad. I have developed a strange Hannibal Lector type sniffy breathing though! It's where they scraped my diaphragm last time, good side is though it has provided Darren endless hours of entertainment!!!!! Are you hungry dear? Would you like a nice bottle of Chianti with that? He's such a wit (yawn)

On to the 'Mother of all Surgeries'. It's planned I'm having spleen and gall bladder out (both are unaffected but bits of tumour hide in the crevices behind and get missed by the chemo - whip 'em out I say!) About a 12-16 inches of large bowel will go (hopefully no colostomy), my pelvic area is full of it so uterus and all the linings/membranes and such like - I don't think my bladder is affected. I have a very small amout on my small intestines, they should be able to burn it off rather than resect - which would be good!!!! I have a fair bit on my stomach, liver and diaphragm, they'll strip the surface of each and do a liver resection if needed. Then any other bits of connective and scar tissue, membranes, peritoneal lining that they are concerned about will be removed - including my belly button!!! I'll look like a blobby-tummied alien! When they have got rid of all the visible tumour they fill my abdomen with heated chemo and swish it around for about 90 minutes. The whole thing will take between 10 and 22 hours - I expect about 12 hours, plenty of time for a good sleep! I'm going to set up a Caring Bridge site for Darren to update when I'm in -  so I'll post the address when I get it all sorted out. I'm asking for them to take pictures of where it is inside and all the muck and rubble they remove - Darren thinks I'm one sick woman and shakes his head with despair, but what the heck!

In the meantime I'm running round trying to get everything sorted out so I have a stress-free time once I'm out of hospital. I haven't got much off Ebay recently(or clothes in general, but some very nice handbags from LV!) nothing fits because of my large stomach and thin legs and I'll be loosing a fair bit of weight (20-40lbs)when I have my surgery - why can't they do lipo and remove the saggy bits too!

I can still talk too much!!!!!

Lisa.

Avatar universal
Well I wish my girls would tell me to exercise...then maybe I would!! They just cry for me to come play. The cabin fever here is out of control. If I watch Cinderella or The Little Mermaid one more time I might go insane!! I am all done my treatments...last one was 12/27. All is clear from my first scan and I am preparing to do my first CA 125 test since being finished. I am fighting a head cold with some ugly coughing (we all are here) so I just don't want that to make that test # higher since it's so affected by other things in body. Anyway, my spirits are good. I am confident I"ll be fine. Anything else in unacceptable. I have been working part time, trying to balance this with motherhood and being a wife and keeping up with the house. It's impossible most days but you know that! LOL! All I want now is hair!! I got my eyelashes back...shaved for the 2nd time (which I didn't miss one bit) and now it's just feeling like a chia pet. I have a wedding up by Lake George in NY late April and hopefully I'll have a nice pixie haircut by then!!! I am just sick of hats and do not want to wear a wig to it. I want to dance and sweat in my own hair you know?! I am trying to exercise and lose some weight. Low carbs diets are no fun but I do feel better and know it's more important than ever before. As for exercise...once I can stop coughing I'll get back on that treadmill. Spring would be helpful too. Anyway, I am glad you are doing well too!!! I don't check the site much. Honestly, I want to support others but all the stories mess up my head so I take it in small doses. There are so many others out there is harder situations than me and I give them so much credit for what they deal with everyday. Be well my dear!! You are a beautiful woman no matter what!!
xoxo Lori
Avatar universal
WOW!  I was laughing out loud and at the same time i was holding my hand to my mouth.  You have quite a surgery ahead of you!  I am just amazed at your tenacity and your humor.  Way to go, girl!  I believe that with the kind of attitude you have - you will come out of this way ahead of the game.  Believing we survive - is what makes us survive (i had to quote grey's anatomy right there...if you don't watch it...try getting the seasons on DVD - they are awesome!).  Seriously, though, i do believe that your positive outlook will serve you greatly through all of this.

Please please get me that carepage website info and i would love to get you my email address but i can't remember if that is allowed on this website - so i'll check into that and then see what i can do from there.

Now, i didn't quite understand...do you and Darren head over to vegas for a long weekend every now and then?  wow!  that isn't a quick flight...you guys must really truly LOVE it.  I, myself, have never been to Vegas.  I didnt' want to be around all those beautiful people...just kidding.  I guess there are other places I have wanted to visit more than Vegas.   You know?  I am NOW beating the drum for Scotland.  I had visited London and Edinburgh back in 1996 and have been in LOVE with Edinburgh ever since.  My mother-in-law is taking one of her daughters (the only single one left) to Scotland this fall.  why I didn't get invited - I'll never understand!  My 12 year old son, Cooper, has become enamoured with London (and the UK in general) and is always checking out websites and trying to find out about new bands (he is in love with the artic monkeys and Unkle bob.  And, I can't blame him - they are great bands!)  we like to listen to them together and get our groove on....  I keep trying to convice him to take a little bit of his money so that we can head on over there.  When I was a single mom and he was about 6 or 7 - I was constantly looking for jobs in London.  I wanted to move there so badly and give him that experience and now he is desperate to get there and informed me that he wants to attend college in the UK.  Which cracks me up b/c i always wanted to go to Oxford but that didn't exactly happen.  Okay - enough of my babbling about my love for the UK and europe.  I really need to pull it together!

Are you getting married in Vegas and then honeymooning in Mexico?  Where in Mexico?  I just read an article about the 15 most romantic beaches and one of them was south of Puerta Vallarta (sp?).

Okay - so I'll will be praying for you as you head into surgery and I want UPDATES and i want the carepage info and I want you to keep up with the positive attitude and the shopping and laughing and the loving and the living.  got it?

NO BELLY BUTTON?  wow!  i want a picture of that.  could you get into the guinness book of world records for that?  you could at least check into it.  anything is worth doing if you can get into the book of world records - eh?  i just informed my 4 yr old daughter that you would no longer have a belly button and she said,
"well how will she keep her food in her tummy?"  she thought that the belly button was holding the whole stomach together...so, you might want to pose that question to your doctors.  you wouldn't want your food to bee falling out b/c they took your belly button away...would you?

again, i am soo gald to hear your voice (email voice) and know that you are still a shaker and a mover.
That is an awesome thought!

Laura
Avatar universal
Lori,

Pixie hair cut?  Funny you should mention that b/c i just saw the CUTEST picture of michelle williams (of heath ledger fame) with a pixie haircut.  It was soo cute and i was thinking - maybe i should get my hair cut like that!  but i can NEVER do that b/c my hair is naturally curly and would look more like a fro.  But i would love to!  So, that sounds adorable!  I am so glad to hear that you are finished with treatments and that life is looking really good!  That is awesome awesome news!  

TELL ME ABOUT THE CABIN FEVER!  when the weekend hits - i have to DRAG myself out of the bed.  My husband is up and playing with the kids and I want to stay in bed all day just so i don't have to play imaginary games or watch videos ONE MORE TIME!  i just want some time where i can think on my own....you know?  of course you know!  we did have a respite in the weather last week.  it was about 60 a couple of days and we did get outside and that helped tremendously!  i have been working up at my childrens' school some (filling in when they have abscences) and boy oh boy am i tired when i get home!  One week my husband was out of town and i had to work up at the school every day all day and i didn't cook one home cooked meal the entire week!  every day i was like - so, do you want pizza or tacos or what?  it was awful!  and i realized that if i were to go back to work (which i have been toying with) that i wouldn't make any money at all if i am too tired to cook at night.  when i was a single mom (with just my son) i worked about 60 hours a week and did it all and felt full of energy but now that i have been home and i have two kids and a bigger house and a husband - i can't hardly keep up with anything.  sometimes, i think we do better the more we have to do...does that make sense?  i am seriously amazed to hear that you are working part time but i can totally see how that would be a huge help to you mentally.  it is nice to not be at home with the constant plea for play time and the only distraction is our thoughts.  

I'll be praying for you about your CA125 test.  I had another friend who just went for her 5 year check up for breast cancer and she was really nervous - but she got the all clear and the "you are officially cured" speech.  she was so happy but kinda scared to allow herself to believe it.  she needs to drink it in - and so do you.  okay?

speaking of drinking - if a couple of shots of vodka might get you to test out the dancing - try rasberry flavored vodka with sprite (its a grown up shirley temple).  I LOVE it!  now, i am a total lightweight and can only have like a teaspoon in a glass of sprite - but it is flavorfull and takes the edge off.....which might lead to you taking some other things off and attempting the strip tease classes.  24 hour fitness is offering them - you know.  so, you can't really be stripping but i'm sure you are moving in a certain way so that people know what you are emulating...which i just don't understand why people would want to do that in a public gym!  oh my!

with spring just around the corner - i'm dreaming of house improvements and romantic getaways...and it sounds lovely but it is hard on your heart when it doesn't come to pass.  you know?  but i jsut can't help myself!

NY in springtime!  that sounds quite lovely!  i LOVE NYC!  every time my husband has a business trip in that direciton - i try to tag along.  I also have a brother outside of Boston and we might be visiting him and his family this summer.  IN fact, my son might be attending a NYU film camp held at Smith College in Mass.  So, i might go and we can stay at my brother's house and then take the train into NYC for a long weekend and then my husband and daughter will fly up and we'll hit the shore (perhaps nantucket or martha's vineyard) for a little family vacation.  but that is just a dream at this point.
and somewehre in there i want to redo my kitchen and knock out the back wall of my family room - put in two sets of french doors and build a beautiful stone patio off of it - not to mention the landscaping that needs to be done!  i'll be lucky if i plant something this spring or summer...

well, keep on keeping on!
Laura

ps - yeah - the stories can really mess with your head...so, lets just look for eachothers names and talk about how we are doing in the OTHER areas of our lives...
Avatar universal
i agree...it's nice to chat about everyday stuff more. i'll post to you after the wedding and you post to me after the kichen especially! I only WISH I could do mine. Gotta run. They are climbing the walls...literally!
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