Challenging Your Doctors, Surgery, & How I Felt About Not Working Out for 2 Weeks
MY WRIST ISSUES...
I recently had surgery on my wrist for the removal of a ganglion cyst that was below the skin and not visible. My journey to healing has been quite a process. My pain started in September 2016 and it took me 7 months to even acknowledge the pain and stop doing yoga which was irritating it the most. From there, I changed up my workout routine, saw 3 doctors, had an x-ray, MRI, physical therapy and acupuncture. The first doctor gave me a cortisone shot which did nothing. The second doctor said that I likely had a cyst. The third doctor said that I definitely had a cyst and that the MRI analysis should have shown this. He called them right then while I was sitting in his office to let them know that they missed it. Before operating, he wanted to give another cortisone shot one last try so I did but again, it didn't work. At this point, I was very frustrated with the fact that the first doctor didn't see anything, the MRI analysis missed the cyst and no one really seemed to understand or connect the dots about the pain I was having. This final doctor made me feel comfortable and confident that he could help me...enough so that I decided to go through with the surgery. Ultimately it was my decision whether I wanted to live with the pain or have it operated on but when I started noticing pain in areas of my life other than just working out (such as holding grocery bags or my niece) I decided I was going to do it and I'm so happy I did...
THE OUTCOME OF THE SURGERY
I listened to my gut. I knew that something was wrong and refused to live with it. After the surgery, the doctor informed me that in addition to removing the cyst, he also found and removed a rare anomalous muscle that only 1.1% of people are born with. The exact name of the muscle is extensor digitirium manus brevis. He said that he wasn't sure if it was the cyst or the muscle or the combination of the two were causing my pain but it made a lot of sense because the pain was also in my hand which is where the muscle was.
This taught me a very valuable lesson. When you know something is wrong, especially with your health, you need to push for answers. I could have stopped after the cortisone shot from the first doctor. I would have saved money and time but remained in pain.
HEALING + HOW 2 WEEKS OFF FROM THE GYM MADE ME FEEL
My recovery included being in a (massive) cast for 7 days and a smaller cast for an additional 3 days. During this time I obviously could not work out and ended up taking 2 weeks total off from the gym. At first I was in a lot of pain which distracted me. Towards the end as the pain began to lessen, I felt lazy and blah. I realized how much working out really affects the other areas of my life. It helps me stay structured and scheduled, boosts my endorphins, gives me a good night sleep and the most noticeable of all was with my eating. I realized that when I wasn't working out, I wanted to eat bad foods that I normally don't eat. I don't really know exactly what caused this to happen. At first I thought it was mental but due to me not working out, it made sense that it would be physical too. In terms of my weight, it usually fluctuates a few pounds a day but overall I lost a pound or two. Whereas normally losing weight might be exciting, I knew that it was muscle that I lost and also that I feel SO much better while working out. I couldn't wait to get back to the gym and put those pounds back on.
GETTING BACK ON TRACK
I'm officially back in the gym now but taking it easy. I've been doing a 5-15 min slow walk or jog on the treadmill and then some lower body exercises (squats, lunges, etc.) that do not involve my arms. I feel limited and have realized that so many of the other workouts that I didn't consider "arm" workouts still do involve your arms but its forcing me to get creative. Even though my workouts have been shorter and lower intensity, I still feel better overall and the best part, I'm craving healthy food again :) I just started PT and they're estimating around 3-4 months before I will be feeling fully better and able to return to yoga.