The First Fortnight – Checked!

When I first heard about the consequences of the Pilonidal Cyst excision I was terrified. Nurses (believe me, I met many of them) warned me about how painful and ugly it would be. Lucky me, the doctor made the closed wound method, so in 3 weeks after the surgery I would be totally recovered.

What happened next is another story. I knew that the chances of getting it infected were high. I tried visualization technique and I hoped for the best. It didn’t work: some things are meant to be. And it gave me the strength for writing this Blog. 🙂

The good news is that each person has their own reaction to pain. Plus, each tail has their own personality and shape. This hasn’t been the nightmare I pictured.

It’s been 2 weeks since they opened the wound and I don’t walk like a pregnant woman anymore. Actually, sometimes I forget what’s behind the gauze.

These are my Top 5 learning points.

  1. Stay Positive

    Your mind can have a powerful effect on your body. Researches found that activation in brain areas associated with negative emotions led to a weaker immune response. Another healthy benefits associated with optimism include a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular problems, less depression, improved stress management and an increased lifespan. Complaining won’t help. Instead, focus on what YOU CAN do. Do you remember the book you wanted to read but you’ve never took the time?

  2. “U” Shaped Pillow

    After the surgery, sitting is one of the biggest challenges. If you’re standing and/or kneeling to eat, don’t worry – it’s normal. Nurses advised me to buy the so-called coccyx cushion to relieve the pressure on the butt. You can easily find them on amazon.com. Personally, I didn’t buy one because I don’t need it. What I do is to put a soft pillow inside a cloth bag and carry it everywhere. How fashion.

  3. Tiger Balm Hero

    Skin isn’t happy about changing the gauze once a day. In order to avoid the scratching, I tried ice, aloe vera gel and hydrating cream. The result was pretty much the same (ok, ice is good but we have to hold it for the whole time – boring). Until one night, Tiger Balm white (contains menthol and eucalyptus oils) became my best friend. I used it for mosquitos bites, congestion and even to handle the warm weather in India. But never for this. Why not? This is so refreshing! Oh, and if you feel comfortable, ask someone to clean the skin when changing the gauze. Small details make big differences.

  4. Kill the Pain 

    Taking a pill (metamizol/nolotil) one hour before the gauze change is a good idea. If your stomach is sensitive, try something softer like ben-u-ron or natural remedies. I haven’t taken pain killers for the past 2 days and I feel ok. However, if it hurts too much, please take it in advance. Pain creates anxiety and stress, which delays wound healing.

  5. Get rid of it as soon as you can 

    The later you get the operation, the bigger the cyst becomes. And the bigger the cyst becomes… More pain you’ll feel, the fear of the wound size will swallow you and the longest it will take to recover. Running away is easier, but not the smartest.

I’m having the best treatment I could expect. Nurses are taking care of me like angels.

I hope this helps. We all made it through and so will you.

Love,
Juma

Foods with Super-healing Powers

Photo 22-06-14, 13 02 55

If you’ve been an active person for most of your life, suddenly finding yourself a patient can be demoralizing. I’ve never imagined to need my mom to wash my hair again. It happens and, somehow, it gives me a warm feeling in my belly.

After surgery, pills, fatigue and complications can make eating unappealing (in my case the story is different: I started to eat like a whale). Though recovery process is different for everyone, good nutrition can speed wound healing, improve immunity and ensure the best outcome.

The type of operation isn’t important, the body always requires extra nutrients to heal. Focusing on nutrition can mean the difference between bouncing back and a lengthy recovery.

According to my research, this is the must list of a diet after surgery.

ProteinRequired to repair tissue, slow muscle catabolism and decrease the inflammatory phase.

  • Gelatin (jelly, agar agar, pectin)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • Nuts & Seeds (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, quinoa, chia seeds)
  • Tofu & Soy Products (soy milk, soy ice cream, soy yogurt, tempeh)
  • Wheat protein (seitan, veggie burgers)

Vitamin A: Stimulates the early inflammatory resonse to healing.

  • Fruits (mango, papaya, tomato)
  • Vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, spinach, pumpkin)
  • Eggs

Vitamin C: Needed to make collagen, it is an antioxidant and thought to strengthen the connective tissue in skin, muscle, and blood vessels.

  • Fruits (orange, kiwi, papaya, guava, strawberry, pineapple)
  • Vegetables (pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprout, pea)

Selenium: Reduces edema (swelling) and inflammation.

  • Nuts (Brazil nuts, cashew, walnut)
  • Fish (tuna, sardines, salmon, halibut)
  • Seafood (oyster, mussels, squid, lobster, shrimp)
  • Grains (wheat germ, barley, brown rice, oats)
  • Seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)

In the picture above there’s my first homemade jelly. I added one peach and a teaspoon of chia seeds.

Creativity knows no boundaries. Have fun!

Love,
Juma

Life is a Journey

I was luckly born with an extra: a tail (aka Sr. Pilonidal Cyst). Not the Sangoku type.

It isn’t one thing that you want to keep as a memory. When it gets infected, it’s literally a “pain in the butt”!

Best solution? To excise. Method? Open wound. Time recovery? Two months, at least.

Among others, these are some implications of the post-op:

  1. Daily nurse visits;
  2. Sponge bath;
  3. No Yoga;
  4. Pain killers;
  5. Find ways to keep active!

It was now or never.

In the beginning of June (2014) I said “yes” to my tail farewell. My summer plans were suspended, but my life wishes are stronger than ever.

Before I get in touch with the hospital, I didn’t realize how common pilonidal cyst is. So I’m sharing this situation not only to motivate/inspire others who may be going through the same, but also to find how to make the best lemonade out of green lemons.

In the meantime, I’ll keep dancing. Life is your creation.

With love,

Juma