Today, I went back to see my surgeon, Dr. L, for a follow-up appointment relating to a surgery I had almost two weeks ago to remove a lipoma, a usually-benign, fatty tumor. Thankfully, mine also were benign. I say “were” rather than “was” because there turned out to be two of them. I asked Dr.L about the lipomas he removed from my lower back and he described the shape and size of the first one, then told me how in the lower back there’s the skin, then a layer of (subcutaneous) fat, then a thick layer of (thoracolumbar) fascia, then the muscle. I already knew all this because I’ve got an educational background in human anatomy and physiology, however, I just sit there and listen when medical people tell me these things. Sometimes, through the course of the conversation, they figure it out and have even asked me about my background. Anyway, the first lipoma was between the fascia and the muscle. Then–surprise!–there was a second, smaller one that was actually IN the muscle of the lower back, itself. I asked him if my case was typical and he said, “No.” Figures. There are already a few things about me that aren’t “typical”, so I wasn’t really surprised to hear of one more thing.
I’ll be curious to see how my lower back feels in terms of tightness and soreness once all the swelling goes down. I asked him how long that will take and he told me 2-3 months. Wow, I wasn’t expecting months, but the fluid takes a while to be absorbed by the body, apparently. Plus, I suppose with the infiltration of the muscle, it was a little bit messier than it would have been, otherwise. Regardless, all looks good, according to Dr. L, and continued happy healing to me. Meanwhile, I think I have another lipoma in my thigh. Right now, it’s only about the size of a pea and is not noticeable. Hopefully, it will stay that way, otherwise I may be seeing Dr. L again, in a few years.
I feel very fortunate, though, for many reasons. As I wrote in an earlier post on aging, my health concerns are relatively minimal for a middle-aged woman. I can’t believe that’s what I am. When did that happen? Anyway, after some of the stories I was told about lipomas, how common they are in the middle-aged, and how some people are covered with them (I looked up pictures on the interweb–it can be very deforming), I am happy that I only had this one big lump to be removed versus what some people go through, sometimes repeatedly, and am also thankful it was benign. Because of where the second one was located, I will have to put off doing dead-lifts in my weight-training routine and probably go easy on the stretching of my lower back for a little while. However, I will start walking again, and doing my other weight-training exercises. I haven’t worked out since before the surgery, but have tweaked my diet because of my cholesterol levels, and according to that horrible doctor’s scale, have lost about 6 pounds, already! That was a nice piece of good news!
From what I’ve been told and have seen, it’s a fairly downhill trip, this aging thing. However, I’m a fighter and while I plan to age somewhat gracefully, I’m going to try to keep this body and my health in the best shape I can and hopefully avoid some of the problems–and medications–that aging brings with it. I see so many people my age and even younger that have so many health issues, whether because of genetics, their health habits, or just some horrible disease. It really makes you take notice of mortality, whether your own or just in general, when you see all the illness and death that goes on. All we can do is try to take care of ourselves, help others do the same, and pray and hope for the best health and life possible.