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At my four-week post op appointment, the plastic surgeon told us that patients notice significant improvement at six weeks and then again at 12 weeks.

Now that I’m at six weeks, I thought I’d share some observations about how I’m doing.

What surgery?
There are times during the day, when I’m feeling so “normal” that I forget I had major surgery barely six weeks ago. For example, I went for a four mile run on Monday.  Not only was it great to be out running, in looking back, I wasn’t even thinking about this being a “post-surgical” run. I was blissfully unaware of any differences.

What not to wear?
This past weekend I went shopping with friends.  Interestingly, I found myself drawn towards clothes that accentuated my new physique.  I tried on tighter fitting dresses and tops that were more revealing (more revealing for me as I’m a very conservative dresser). I ended up purchasing two dresses that threw Leland for a loop.  The next test will be if I actually wear them. But, having them in my closet is the first step.

Sleep, perchance to dream
For the first few weeks after the surgery, getting into a comfortable sleeping position was challenging.  Even though I was tired, I didn’t look forward to getting into bed.  I’m a side sleeper and that was proving to be a painful position.  I am now happy to report that I can sleep on my side for the whole night. Small victories!

Full Body Stretching
After a run or a cycling workout, I always spend a few minutes stretching.  One of my favorite stretches is a lying down spinal twist.  I remember trying this out only a week or two post-op and I was not able to get into the full position. My upper body and shoulders wouldn’t allow my torso to twist, mostly due to the discomfort as I was rotating my hips.  This past week, I found that I was easily able to get into that position with no pain.

Full Speed Ahead?
There are times when I’m amazed with how well I’m doing after six weeks.  I am eager to get back to doing all that I love like swimming, biking, running, core training and even some yoga.  But, I’m finding myself still in shock about all that has happened and how quickly I have recovered.  I spent nearly a year planning this surgery down the tiniest details.  Now that I’m on the other side, I sometimes have to remind myself that it happened.  I know that is a good thing and I’m not complaining.  But it was such a huge deal for me and my immediate family that I don’t want to minimize it.

In a way, it’s as if the process is ending with a very quiet whimper and not the same finality that I am used to with my races.  There is no horn that blows or a finish line to cross that says, “you’ve completed your surgery and rehab!”  When I was in high school and did something that I thought was noteworthy, a common put-down was “Great, you want a medal or a chest to pin it on?”  Well, now that I have the latter, I would appreciate the former.  But, there isn’t a medal, just the slow, steady rhythm of life and that sounds good to me.