For the past couple of months, I have been going to massage therapy once a week in order to maintain mobility and prevent workplace overuse injury. However, recently, we decided to do some work on my scarred tissue surrounding my incision.
I have always felt pulling around the incision. It was most obvious with the valsalva manouver (increasing intra-abdominal pressure). For example, sneezing was one of the worst things I could do. I figured it was just adhesions built up around the surgical site and lack of mobility post surgery. I started doing cross frictions (rubbing around the incision gently) once the incision had fully closed. This helped to a degree but I still felt the pulling around the incision.
Once a week for the past three weeks, I have been getting about 10-15 minutes of work on my incision and the surrounding tissue. Initially, the sensation was more of a ‘tearing’ feeling that needed to occur. I describe it to my own patients as a “good but bad feeling”. The week following the first treatment, my incision was pretty itchy. This was a good sign though because it demonstrates that healing is occurring. This week, I have noticed a large improvement in my overall spinal mobility. I have increased extension as well as side bending range of motion. There are times where I don’t even noticed my incisional site.
Besides the range of motion improvement, the scar appears remarkably better. It is less red and has flattened out. There is less of a ‘hard’ feeling along the incision. Both my registered massage therapist and I are really excited about how fast this change has occurred. The change has been so significant, we have started to document the progress. Unfortunately, we did not take one before we started this process because we didn’t realize how fast the change would occur. I have always known about wound healing (did you know that physiotherapist work with wounds as well?). But it’s always nice when someone can work on it for you, right?
Besides my massage therapy update, I have one other big piece of news. I decided to start taking vitamin B12 sublingually. I wanted to take it prior to having my monthly blood work to see if it was a feasible option for me. Some people can absorb it this way post gastrectomy and others require monthly injections.
**Aside: Vitamin B12 pairs with an intrinsic factor in the stomach allowing it to be absorbed through the small intestine into your blood stream. Without this factor, very little B12 is actually absorbed into the bloodstream. Taking it sublingually bypasses the intestinal route and is absorbed through the salivary glands into your bloodstream. **
Last week, I went for my monthly blood work and my B12 was actually higher than it was back in June! My doctor was puzzled why this was the case because I failed to mention I started taking it sublingually. Anyways, this is fantastic news and I am glad that I will have one less doctors appointment to book and more autonomy. I was so excited, I had to call my mom and give her the update. She currently takes it by injection but maybe now she will have another option. Who likes injections anyways?
Next week my gym membership is activated and I am more than excited to return. Also, Sunday I am participating in the “Santa Jingle” which Brandon and I have been doing annually for the past three years. It is a 5km run/walk dressed in a Santa Claus costume. Initially, I wanted to run it but I know that would not be the best idea given that I am not fit to do so. However, due to my competitive nature, I am going to try run/walk it and beat at least one other person in my age category. It’s nice to say you beat someone, but even nicer to say you did it without a stomach!! Joking.
Looking good. Feeling good. That’s my 6.75 month update.