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Author Topic: Is there any hope for my tummy at this point?  (Read 2901 times)
UkrainianTracksuit
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« on: November 20, 2018, 05:07:42 PM »

I never had lower belly fat before and had a flat stomach. That is, until post-tx

I havenít gained much weight. 5 lbs is like the most I gained. But 10 months after the procedure, I have the most embarrassing belly now. Also, Iím bloated most of the time. So, while I feel better, it seems like tucking a turkey into human pants when I get dressed! Itís doing a number on my psyche and even my husband pokes at it. Man, I could do without tha attention on a problem I already know exists!  :stressed;

So I donít eat a lot of bad foods. My GP said nothing was wrong with my diet but that since muscles were cut during surgery, I can kiss my previous abs goodbye. Is this really so? I mean, I totally get that muscle was cut but can any form be recouped post-tx?

I stay busy. I XC ski, and even with fresh snow on the trails, itís like a droopy belly in spandex! Do I just need to work out more specifically or is it true all hope is lost?

For reference, it was a SPK.
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Mr Ken
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2018, 05:36:33 PM »

My gosh you had a transplant and you are complaining because of a pot belly now.... That is it???? Come on ...... Congratulations on going through the process and being selected......   
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Cupcake
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a good year for Chevys

« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 05:52:29 PM »

There is no exercise that 'spot reduces' belly fat. the Experts at the health spa I go to say the only way to cut down belly fat is more whole grains. I agree with other poster-I'm happy to trade my life on dialysis for a life with a belly. I suggest you buy bigger pants!

I'm 4 weeks now from transplant and I still haven't gotten used to the idea that I'm not tethered to a machine at night. I can actually walk around the house at night! I'm planning lots of trips now that I don't have to think about shipping supplies and lugging that darn cycler. Totally a game changer.
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PD for 2 years then living donor transplant October 2018.
UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 01:44:04 AM »

Donít get me wrong, Iím happy to have 2 new organs. From insulin as a newborn baby to finally living without it and then HD slamming the breaks on everything in my youth, transplant has been a life changer. For once, Iím living like a regular millennial!  :2thumbsup;

But on the other hand, I competed in competitive biathlon prior to dialysis and I wanted to do that again. So I started training and got hooked up with a club. My whole body is thin and has muscle tone.... except for that belly! So while life is better, this whole part is defeating. So, if my mind isnít happy, Iím not happy.

And as for pants, itís a weird shape to fit! Shoving my new belly into J Brand leather skinnies is like covering half a cantaloupe with cling wrap. The labels I buy donít cater to people with bellies. Ugh!!! I guess if I was older I wouldnít care so much but I just want to scratch my skin off looking in a mirror post-tx!
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cassandra
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 05:47:45 AM »

I remember after getting my dad's kidney that an exercised pot belly, looks as beautiful as a flat belly
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I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left

1983 high proteinloss in urine, chemo, stroke,coma, dialysis
1984 double nephrectomy
1985 transplant from dad
1998 lost dads kidney, start PD
2003 peritineum burst, back to hemo
2012 start Nxstage home hemo
       still on waitinglist, still ok I think
justagirl2325
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 08:05:13 AM »

The tummy may have more to do with the pancreas transplant than the kidney.  When my husband got his kidney last year he was the same as before but now this year with the pancreas his tummy really sticks out.  It's only been two months so far so we'll see what happens (he's not an exerciser  just always on the go with active work).

I've got the tummy problem now post kidney donation.  They did it laproscopic so they removed it from very low in my abdomen.  It healed like I have a shelf now.  So some dresses I used to wear have had to be donated.  I'd take this over home hemo for him any day.
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2018, 04:51:54 PM »

Maybe I will have an excercised pot belly then! Love that term, cas!

And thanks Just A Girl, for raising the point about the pancreas. I donít think about it much because it is in there, plugging along and doing its job. Always more emphasis on the kidney in regard to its care and tests.

Iíve noticed with the pancreas that my bowels are so much more vocal, at the level itís located, than pre-transplant. Wondering if that is part of some chronic bloating  these days.

The other thing is that my incision is near the left side of my belly button. Obviously, itís a little crooked since it had to dart away from the belly button. But anyway, one side is visibly higher/sticks out more than the other!
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2018, 02:36:43 PM »

Look up Amy Purdy, the Paralympian.  Since I don't have kidney disease or ever had a transplant I don't want to be out of line here by commenting but, I am sure you are every bit if not more, beautiful than her. You are "you" and from your posts here on ihd, "you" sound like a pretty great person. You sound highly educated, motivated and driven to succeed. Take care of this new body and the image you have of it. You are obviously meant to go places in this thing called "life". Best wishes to you!
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2018, 01:08:35 PM »

Aww, PrimeTimer, you know how to make a girl cry!  :cuddle; Thank you for such kind words!

Amy Purdy is a powerhouse and what an inspiration! She's made her own way through it all and now, I have to figure this life out too, as you say!
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2018, 06:26:15 PM »

Something I have learned is to never deny myself my own feelings. Whether it's over something I like or don't like, I can't move forward without acknowledging my own feelings. And I don't like accepting things just because it can't be changed. Sometimes the things that bother me eventually bother me less either because it's no longer a priority (to me) or simply because my time was filled by other things. What bothers you now may not bother you as much later on. Or it will but by then you've learned to move forward with it being in your life. I think you probably already know this but I'm going to say it anyways: Our feelings of self-worth go a long ways toward self-empowerment.
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
Charlie B53
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2018, 05:31:14 AM »


Any abdominal surgery damages muscles.  Depending ont he direction of the cut, vertical vs horizontal, the possibility of restoring a pre-surgery appearance will vary immensely.  As the vertical incision does far more damage to the lateral muscles.

There are many exercises that isolate lower abs.  Repeated exercise of these muscle groups will make a difference but it is going to take time.  Like that old saying "Rome wasn't build in a day."  Neither can muscle tone and appearance be restored.  This could take months of effort and dedication on your part.

Belly fat can be another issue.  It is easy to put  on, and yet very difficult to remove as the body will reduce most everywhere else before reducing the belly fat.  Sort of like a savings account that is locked up tight never to be used.  Here again, this will take serious time and effort, a reduction in diet, increase in metabolic rate over a long period of time to get the results you are looking for.

From what you have told us already I am confident that you are doing most all of the above already and you WILL succeed.

You are one tough Lady.  Far stronger than I.

Take Care,

Charlie B53
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2018, 10:44:01 AM »

Prime Timer, you are right on the ball here. Right now it bothers me but later on down the road, it wonít. Iím still at that silly age where this stuff matters but in the big picture, it doesnít. Having ďfreedomĒ from dialysis and injections, if only for a time, is much more important.

Hey Charlie, thanks for the kind words, but I am surely not strong or tough! My view is that in life we have 2 choices: we can decide to check out prematurely (as in end it ourselves) or go on living. Life pushes us forward and if we choose to live, thereís a bunch of stuff to go through. I learned to go with the flow rather than fight the current.

And yeah, ití a vertical incision/scar so no wonder itís been worse! Itís 9 inches: from above my belly button to right above my pubic area. Thatís a lot of muscle damage when I think about it now. Just have to keep working at it. Iíd like to join a gym for direction rather than just distance training but it seems like they are meat markets and places for selfies these days.  :waiting;
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MooseMom
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2018, 11:17:53 AM »

UT, instead of joining a gym, perhaps you could find a personal trainer to work with.  Several years ago, I happened to read an article in our local paper about a man who had survived many health challenges but wanted to return to being fit.  So he found this personal trainer who designed a program just for him that addressed his particular concerns that he could do at home.

I contacted her because I wanted the same thing.  I am older and because of the post tx meds, I was concerned about bone health and upper body strength.  She worked with me to first make sure my back was strong and stabilized, and then built a strength training program that I could do here at home with just free weights and stretch bands.

So, I'm thinking that maybe you could do the same type thing since you have a particular goal in mind.  Also, if privacy is a concern for you, this would address that.

Anyway, please remember that there is a difference between being slim and being fit!  Try to be patient with your body.  It has been through a lot and now deserves to be honored and not criticized!   :2thumbsup;

Good luck and take care!
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justagirl2325
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 08:10:55 AM »

And yeah, ití a vertical incision/scar so no wonder itís been worse! Itís 9 inches: from above my belly button to right above my pubic area.


My guy's pancreas scar actually almost connects to the bypass scar from heart surgery in 2016 so his scar runs the entire length of his torso.  He's going to scare people in the pool next summer lol.  Pancreas scars are huge.
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 09:19:23 AM »

That's a super idea, MM! After some quick googling after I read your reply, I see there is a place that offers semi- or private personal training. The best part is that, like you say, there is a complementary session to discuss concerns. There are some things that "normies in gyms" don't get such as weight restrictions and a fistula.

My guy's pancreas scar actually almost connects to the bypass scar from heart surgery in 2016 so his scar runs the entire length of his torso.  He's going to scare people in the pool next summer lol.  Pancreas scars are huge.
Wow, that sounds like some scar! A badass scar at the pool! Sadly, my pool days are completely over and I won't be hitting up the Black Sea beaches anytime soon. Between the belly and the scar, and the Russian gazelles strolling the sands, they'll throw me back into the exclusion zone of Chernobyl.

And I have a bunch of drain scars that don't seem to be fading. There's like 5. It's like a map for buried treasure! What a belly I have!  :rofl;

My husband is really crude so he told me to just put make-up over the scar "like strippers with c-sections gone wrong working on a Tuesday afternoon."  ::)
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Charlie B53
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2018, 04:28:05 PM »


Scar lines will shrink and fad a bunch but it takes TIME.

I had both shoulders taken apart, rebuilt then reassembled leaving a vertical line down over the front of each shoulder.  It was stiff tissue, the Physical Therapist I had took a 1/2 wooden dowel or plastic with a well rounded and polished end and holding in his fist pushed and turned circles, massaging the scar tissue, sort of breaking it up internally into smaller pieces that became more flexible.  Those small white lines are now soft and pliable. Hardly noticeable, and if noticed, not bad at all.

CHECK with a PT Person before trying this yourself.  This could be a job for a concerned and Loving Husband, followed by Kisses to make it feel better.  Give him this note.

My Wife's first C-Section/Child was an emergency.  Very Old Dr didn't even know much about a bikini cut and cut vertically far longer than necessary.  He was in a hurry after all.   Patsy was never one for exercise much of anything.  Ruined her upper abs.  I still Love every inch of her.

I know you are much stronger than you may think you are.  Time and effort will give you the results.  Maybe not 100% but I'll bet you make it into the 90's!
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2018, 06:41:07 AM »

Yes, Charlie, I've heard about that "breaking up of scar tissue" protocol! Definitely will check with a therapist first before doing anything with my abdomen but I know what you described works. As for scars fading, it's true that it takes time too, as I have learned from my graft and fistula scars. The arm may be less than pretty but where some incisions were made on "failed attempts", they've faded over time. In my pre-dialysis days, I scratched my body until I poured blood and those scars seem much harder to fade. Even with creams, etc. Just learned to live with them and wait... And I'll give my husband the doctor's note from Dr. Charlie!

If only there was something like that for breaking up scar tissue in vens....

There is something weird I noticed about my incision too. It's almost like when the surgical team closed it up, they started at the bottom and it's tighter and forced the tension upwards. If that makes sense. So it's like it sticks out more! Maybe this is the shelf that Just a Girl mentioned...

I would probably help to stop standing in front of a mirror at this point!  :rofl; I've come down with my first post-tx cold so I'm kinda finding trouble...
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Charlie B53
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2018, 09:26:02 AM »


Scars are merely the marks left on a True Warrior.

We do NOT give up, nor do we give in.

It really isn't our appearance on the outside as you are truly Beautiful on the inside, and that is what matters.

Anyone that knows you, knows you on the inside.

Anyone Judging you from the outside doesn't matter.




You can print this and frame it.
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2018, 11:22:01 AM »

Just a little bit more frustration but hey, whatís a pinch more in this life, right?

Finally, after over 3 weeks of waiting to be slotted in with the intake person for a personal training consult, I had my appointment.

So, I discussed my problem and limitations, such as weights, with some old, one working (sorta...) vascular accesses. The person at the helm of the meeting was really understanding about it all.

She told me that they recently worked with a young woman who needed to regain muscle after CF and a double lung transplant. Now sheís off doing other fun sports keeping in shape.

Lung transplants are hardcore so if they could help her along, I should be a piece of cake.

Hereís the problem. I guess my ďneedĒ to not feel like a body slob aligned with the timeline everyone needs personal training for warm vacations and New Years resolutions.

They can get me into a regular program IN MARCH!

And the warmer weather melted the majority of snow off the trails (damn it!) so XC is a no go... for now.

Any one have any sort of program ideas that work for them that are done at home? Something that can hold me over until March?

My husband offered to do training but heís much too strict about it than I want to be. And I know when he works out he gets belligerent and insulting to others.

But he suggested medicine ball routines to build up the layers of inner core muscles... itís all Greek to me... any experience post-tx with any of this?
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Paul
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2018, 04:50:29 PM »

I have a vague recollection that when I was in a talk about kidney transplants, one person who had had one years before was moaning that it had made him put on weight. I think the doctor's reply was that it was the meds that caused this, and that there are now alternative medications that do not do this. All of this is "vaguely remembered stuff that I was only half listening to", so you will have to check my facts with a neph before taking them as Gospel, but it may be worth looking into.
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Whoever said "God does not make mistakes" has obviously never seen the complete bog up he made of my kidneys!
PrimeTimer
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2018, 10:09:15 PM »

Maybe you can find a group that does resistance training. Or an indoor pool that offers classes. Pool classes for people with arthritis or fibromyalgia might help. I don't want to be giving empty advice but maybe groups that specialize in physical training for those with disabilities (and even on meds because of their disabilities) could help. When I was a young athlete I did most of my weight training during the winter indoors. Weather was often too crappy outdoors to not risk pulling muscles. I had to run and sprint inside a gym and run up/down bleachers and stairs. If I ran outdoors, I had to bundle up. Hated that. But pulled muscles are verrrry painful. And be careful about lifting, pushing and pulling. I once had some major surgery and the surgeon told me that it would take a good year for everything inside me to get back into place. A lot of muscle, tissue and organs are pushed, pulled and moved around during surgery, no doubt your own insides got a bit moved too for your transplants.
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2018, 05:33:10 AM »

I'll have to ask my tx doctors about the medication situation. Definitely know that Prednisone does this to some patients. And then, the ability to have a more open diet contributes to weight gain post-tx. I've gained only around 5 lbs post-tx but I have seen people gain a lot more, so it's definitely a valid point, Paul.

PT, you're absolutely right that "stuff" probably got pushed around during surgery. Since it was a major surgery, I had to wear one of those uncomfortable abdominal binders. Most definitely I want to be careful than cause any unneeded pain.

My husband still does a high intensity workout from a sporting background so he bundles up to run and then does crazy stuff in the gym. So when he offered his advice, I knew to turn it down because it would have been a ripped spleen... or something odd.. in me! My new kidney probably would cut itself out and run away.

Are pools okay for people with tx? I know not to swim in dirty lakes but I never paid attention to the pool lecture, if there ever was one. And now to look for resistance training....
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kristina
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2018, 03:40:21 AM »

Hello Ukrainian Tracksuit,
Since reading your comments, I have been observing transplanted people at "my" transplant center and have noticed, that they all seem to have a bit of a belly, some smaller, some bigger and when I approached them very delicately about this and asked, I was told that the new kidney was placed just precisely there, but they don't mind at all, because this is the place of their new kidney, which they were lucky enough to receive and it is now an additional organ in their body and needs a bit of space. They also told me that the new kidney - in time - expands a little bit, because, the better it takes over all the work a kidney is supposed to do, the better it expands a little to do all the work, because after all, it is one healthy kidney taking over the work of two healthy kidneys. Having thought it all over, that may be the answer, what do you think ? By the way, I also happen to have a little bit of a little belly right now, despite the fact that before my transplant I never ever had one.
It should be interesting to know, if you find out more or a different explanation from the transplant-nephrologists ...
I send you my best wishes and also seasonal greetings from Kristina. :grouphug;
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2019, 08:21:05 PM »

This scares the crap out of me because my stomach is flat flat flat and I have this huge issue with body dismorphia, so I'm pretty sure that being able to see an organ bulging through my abdomen is going to freak me right the heck out....
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2019, 07:11:19 AM »

In my case, there is no organ bulging or poking out of anywhere. It's just where they cut me in that long incision that it lost muscle tone. And I am BLOATED. Seriously, I could have conversations with my pancreatic side of my bowels. I don't think kristina meant the organ stuck out but rather, bellies happen for some surgical related issues.

My husband plays recreational league ice hockey so he pulled some strings and I got to talk to some "high performance" athlete coach. Well, as soon as I showed him my problem, he just KNEW the muscles were sliced. As he pointed out, above, it's firm and fine, below? They just let loose....

But there is no bulging organ. OMG, if my big honking new pancreas bulged out, even I would be freaked out!  :o Some people say they can feel their new kidney..but I'm not one of them. I won't speak on what I don't know.

I hear you on the body dysmorphia; I guess if I didn't "care" so much, it wouldn't be an issue.
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