Recovery Time

Yeah, it’s overused, but the human body really is an interesting and amazing thing. I’m recovering from surgery — I had my left submandibular salivary gland removed a week ago. It was an outpatient procedure, but due to some scar tissue, the surgery went a little longer than expected and ended up resulting in a bit of a bigger incision than planned. It also resulted in a bruised nerve that caused some temporary mouth droopage and tongue numbness. That’s all but returned to normal at this point.

I was bummed about the surgery because my neck is one of my new favorite features on my thinner body. I mean, I actually have a neck now! But now it is going to have a 5-inch scar from this ridiculous surgery (that is random and unexpected and something my surgeon couldn’t believe happened to me). Although, I did get my 14 stitches removed today and my surgeon said the incision looks good and should leave a “minimal, clean scar” — whatever that means.

Anyway, I’ve been banned from exercising for at least a week and no strength training for two to three weeks, depending on how I’m feeling and how the healing is going. I was supposed to be back at work today, but my doctor gave me a big N-O on that one. Well, I’m entirely too sick of being cooped up inside. So, yesterday I ventured out for a slow walk. It took me 35 minutes to go a mile and a half. And I needed a nap when I got home.

Today I headed to the gym to hit the treadmill — the cold wind was irritating my incision. I set it on a 3.5 pace and an incline of 1.0. I was sweating after 5 minutes. I had to back it down to a 3.0 pace when my trainer came up to see how I was doing — it was hard to talk and walk at the same time.

I am honestly shocked at how much this surgery took out of me. I feel like I weigh 271 pounds again. Back then, it was a struggle to walk distances at any kind of a decent pace. I was excited when I hit 3.5 miles per hour as a regular basis. But now I’m a runner and set a PR of a 9:36 mile during my last 5k. I’ve registered for my first half marathon. I work out every day — some days twice. I strength train on a very regular basis. And an outpatient neck surgery has me taking a nap after a 1.5-mile stroll.

I plan on getting back into some sort of a routine starting tomorrow — early a.m. workouts, just a much slower, easier pace until I’m feeling up to it. No running. Yet. But it’s so important to my daily energy level to get in my a.m. cardio sessions. And once I’m feeling like myself, I want to be able to dive back in and get up to speed as soon as possible. I’ve been really focusing on taking care of my health and fitness over the last year and a half — and I’m hoping that helps with a speedy recovery.

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