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Author Topic: Is there any hope for my tummy at this point?  (Read 2903 times)
KeenString
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« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2019, 07:19:09 PM »

I worry a lot about bloating... why are you bloated? What's causing it? Is there a solution? That has to be awful uncomfortable. I can't stand it when I'm bloated from my cycle, and I only get a tad bloated from that. What can be done about it? And I know it's an extreme measure, but are the muscles in your stomach too badly damaged where any kind of reconstructive surgery can be done to repair them? Do they not try and repair the stomach muscles while you are in surgery? One time I saw this episode of... gosh, I think it was Embarrassing Bodies, where a woman kind of had the same problem. She came in to the doctors because no matter how hard she worked out or how much she dieted, her tummy wouldn't go away. Kind of looked like she had half a cantaloupe tucked in her pants, but the rest of her was very slim. Turns out her stomach muscles had been damaged from having kids. I don't remember the episode all that clearly, but I believe she had surgery to repair the damaged muscles. Have you talked to any of your surgeons about this? Or the bloating, for that matter? I'll see if I can find that vidya on the YouTubes if you're curious. (I mean.... now I'm curious about it again...)
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kristina
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« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2019, 03:58:39 AM »

Hello KeenString (as in: I play the guitar ?)
About bloating, my doctor told me to keep strictly to my liquid-restriction during the time/years needing dialysis-treatments, because if we drink more than we are allowed (and the precise liquid restriction doctors have worked out for each of us), our body could get easily bloated because from one dialysis-treatment to the next, the body may now be unable to "get rid" of this added water and so it can go nowhere and bloats our body and that can be dangerous, as water may also collect around the heart/lungs and may perhaps cause a heart-attack etc... My own liquid restriction during the dialysis years was 500 ml every day and I made absolutely sure to "stick" to it.

After the transplant, perhaps a big tummy depends on where the transplant-team "put" the kidney? My transplanted kidney has been "put" very much on my right side and it does not show except for the scar, but at first I had a little swelling where the new kidney had been "put", but now it has very much subsided and hopefully it stays like that. I see many people at the transplant clinic with a prominent tummy. I agree with UT, that the organ is perhaps not "bulging out" and perhaps the doctors need to find a space in the body for the new added organ and perhaps sometimes it works better than at other times ?
Good luck wishes from Kristina. :grouphug;
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 04:25:21 AM by kristina » Logged

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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2019, 05:54:00 AM »

My surgeon explained that because my bowels got, for lack of a better term, played around with and there's a new pancreas dumping its excretions in a new place, bloating is to be expected. But, he reiterated that it should go away after awhile. Well, it is almost a year, and my disturbed bowel area likes to talk! So, they suggested dietary changes, as in addition of even more fibre, which causes bloating at first, but will settle down.

The other point is that my gut flora are probably off after regular antibiotic use. There are probiotics for that but I forget to take them because they have to be like 2 hours post-antibiotic use. Whatever...

As for the stomach muscles, time will take care of it. They will heal but vertical scars take more time. So, it was suggested to focus on core strength to give them a bump. It's funny how you explained the lady's belly looking like half a cantaloupe in her pants! Yes! That's how I described my belly earlier in this thread. I said in J Brand leather skinnies, it looks like half a cantaloupe covered in saran wrap!  :rofl;

In regard to reconstructive surgery, my tx team doesn't think it is a good idea right now. I asked about some other cosmetic procedures (yes, I am one of THOSE...) and they said healing/infection is a real concern. Since we are immune suppressed, we don't heal as well and we're awesome candidates for infection. So, for stomach muscle repair, they are concerned about an internal infection happening (as I had one with my original incision and I am colonized with MRSA; colonized like moon!) and spreading to the kidney/pancreas area.

So, I just have to persevere. Oh, I asked about Coolsculpting also, in case my belly gets floopy with lack of muscle down for the time being, and I need clearance from my transplant surgeon for that too! It has been done on transplant patients but it gets tricky with those organs involved in abdominal surgery. 
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KeenString
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« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2019, 07:16:34 PM »

Kristina- Thanks!! KeenString is actually the name of a pretty neat song by a musical artist who goes by the name of Opiuo, but I actually am learning to play guitar. My father was an extremely talented guitarist, but he hasn't been able to play due to a stroke that left his left side compromised. He still manages to be a great teacher, though! I'm on a fluid restriction as well because I'm on PD, but often I find that my normal is under the restriction they gave me, so unless I know I've eaten a lot of salt, I don't really watch how much I drink. I know it wouldn't be the actual organ sticking out, but knowing that it's the organ that's making the tummy would still freak me out. Body Dismorphia is a strange, strange thing. I'm also diabetic and when I get knots from doing an insulin shot in the same place too many times, it freaks me right the heck out!

UkranianTracksuit - So, within time, do you think the tummy will go away? Or the muscles will heal enough where you can, say, do crunches again to tighten all the muscles up? I was told not to do ANY kind of exercise that works out the abdominal muscles while I'm on PD due to the possibility that it might displace the catheter. God, I can't TELL you how much I miss doing crunches. And I think I got the cantaloupe thing from you, cause I did read this entire thread before I posted on here hahaha. Don't worry, I'm one of 'those' as well. Call me vain, but I think if looking good is important to you and it improves your quality of life, then it's just as important as being physically healthy, as well. (I mean, within reasonable limits. Don't compromise your life for having bigger lips, or something like that.) I have on my list to talk to the surgeons about piercings after I get the tx, because I get a new piercing or switch old ones out for new ones every few months!

I did find this article online. The last part lists some specific exercises you can do to start rebuilding your muscles. Obviously I would check with a doctor to make sure you're ok to do them. Heck, you seem athletically savvy, so I'm guessing you probably already tried these. It talks about how these exercises build an 'abdominal girdle."

https://www.livestrong.com/article/530612-how-to-rebuild-muscles-after-an-abdominal-surgery/

 
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2019, 03:59:19 PM »

Sorry for getting back to you late. I have a deadline approaching for a work project and I'm going crayzeeee...  :urcrazy;

Thanks for the link! Looks so far helpful! And it links to other further good stuff!

So, yes, the muscles should heal but it is going to be a long drawn out process. Improvement will happen slowly and sadly, I'm not patient. It is going to take dedicated work to rebuild the muscles and to be honest, I get much too frustrated. I went from flat tummy to this disaster?! Yeah, I mean, don't get me wrong, transplant is a million times better than dialysis or taking insulin shots, but you know....

The point is to keep up with core building exercises but I've haven't found a regiment that I'm happy with yet. STILL waiting for the personal trainer to get back to me ---- not until MARCH. My husband started me on a basic work-out and I hated it. He's had a six pack for most of his life so he just doesn't get what it's like to come from "having your muscles severed and a need to rebuild." So, he nags if I don't keep up my work-outs or points out what is looking lumpy! "You'd have no problem if it wasn't for that.. ", "Once you work on that..." like it is all just lah de dah, fast abs! Man, I should stop before I get into a rant. Anyway, you can regain what was there prior BUT it won't be exactly the same. I'm just peeved because Valentine's Day is coming up and no lingerie companies have "Bride of Frankenstein" collections...

It's true that you have to avoid abdominal exercises for a few months post-tx. It was impressed upon me to really avoid deep bends for awhile. The same applies to a kidney transplant but they REALLY drilled it in with a pancreatic transplant. After awhile, you'll be able to do crunches and all that no problem. The really weird thing is that if I move a certain way, like a twist, I can feel in my new pancreatic zone, kind of like umm, something there? I noticed it a few times working out. Weird but not weird enough to get creeped out.

Good luck discussing the piercings. Let us know what the tx team advises. I'd be interested to hear just because it is one of those questions I'm sure youth/the younger transplant demographic would like to know!  :)
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KeenString
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« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2019, 12:36:57 AM »

So, here is what I did, and you might be able to do this too, being that you've had the transplant and your stomach muscles are still recovering. I spoke with my PCP and my Nephro about physical therapy, and both agreed that it would be great for me. (I'm actually probably in worse shape than you, because I'm quite weak due to the coma fiasco and then going on dialysis took a whole lot out of me, so I can't make my way out of a wet paper bag.) Rather than get a personal trainer, they're hooking me up with a PT trainer that is going to customize my workouts based on what my body can do (apparently not a whole lot of abdominal things due to the PD catheter) but at the same time, they're going to try and help me build my abdominal muscles in preparation for the surgery, so that I don't like... completely have zero strength when I begin recovery. Out of curiosity, I mentioned that I knew someone that had a transplant (you) and they were trying to rebuild their abdominal muscles. They said that you might be able to ask your PCP if they'd write you a scrip for PT, considering you did have abdominal surgery and any kind of abdominal training should be done under a watchful eye when you are recovering from it. Not sure if that's something you'd want to do, but hey, it might get you in with a personal trainer that can specifically help with the problem before freaking March!
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They choose the path where no-one goes
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