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Just one more switchback
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went home from work early on Thursday because I didn't feel well. That evening I went to the emergency room because I felt so bad and after some tests, they told me that my appendix had to be taken out. They took it out early Friday morning.

The doctor said that I can't do any heavy lifting for 3-4 weeks but that I could ride a trainer in about a week after two weeks, start hitting the road again very easy. Does anyone have experiences they can share due to an appendectomy? I want to get back on the bike as soon as possible but definetely do not want to take a chance hitting it too soon and setting myself back even further.
 

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Sounds like you got a break. After a similar surgery I was told not to lift for 6 weeks. So lay back a couple weeks, eat well. You may be amazed that you come back stronger after the rest. We are so used to overtraining. Works every time.
 

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Last spring, mine decided to go. I was told it would be six weeks to get back on the bike, but when I went back for a return check after 3 weeks, the doc said I was good to go. FWIW, my surgery was laproscopic--how was yours removed?
 

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Just one more switchback
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Open app

They cut me about 3" to remove it. The doctor said that he likes the open app more for people of my size (5'-4" 128#). He gave some reasons but I was in so much pain I really didn't listen. They took me to my room from the recovery room in a wheelchair. When they rolled me to the desk to check in, the nurses were surprised that I was in a chair instead of being wheeled up on a bed. They said it was a first. I figured that since I had already gotten up a few times to pee, why go through the hassle of a bed.

I was up walking about a bit today and feel pretty good. My wife and I went shopping for some stuff for our new house and she pushed me around in a wheelchair. I plan to stay in bed all day tomorrow and try to go to work Tuesday. I will definetely take it easy over the next few weeks, I just wanted to see what other peoples experience had been. When I had my vasectomy a few years ago, the doctor said I could ride when ever I wanted but that it would probably be a few weeks before I felt like it. I mountain biked 21 miles one week later. I should have waited two weeks because I did get a bit sore and swollen but after that, I was fine. I have friends that waited 6 months before riding after a vas.
 

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2-3 weeks sounds about right. The big concern is putting strain on the abdominal muscles as they are healing. It usually takes about 6 weeks for a surgical wound to reach close to maximum strength. However, with cycling one rarely has to "suck in the gut" or tighten up those abs, so given 2 weeks for the wound to heal should be OK. You definitely want to wait about 6 weeks before doing any heavy lifting though.
 

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Don't listen to any of these people. Your cycling fitness is more important. Duct tape that sucker shut and hit the intervals. If you don't you'll do more harm. I would also dose up on the blood thinners prior to riding. Your doctor is wrong. Please consult the board for all medical decisions.
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Get Well Soon

I had mine removed laproscopically and was amazed how quickly I healed. For me I attribute my quick recovery to getting up and moving around ASAP. I too was taking short walks in the hospital as soon as I could. Luckily my wife is a RN so I had my own private nurse with me the whole time. The trainer first is a good approach as it lets you get used to cycling without all the extra things like cars, squirels and other riders. After 2-3 weeks I did some shorter road rides with some good friends who I knew would take care of me, block the wind, make sure I didn't bonk, not take me out because they were inept riders.

Biggest problem for me working as well as riding was the exhaustion. I seemed to be physically drained and had to take naps. I think it was some of the anesthisea lingering in my system. I could work 6 hour days but an 8 hour day would exhaust me. I went from doing 70-80 mile rides to 25-30 mile rides. It seemed to take about a month to fully recover from the exhaustion and about 6 weeks to be fully recovered from the surgery.


Listen to your body (really listen) and listen to your doctor (a little).

Remember if you ride hard your body may have a high pain threshold so listen to it more carefully than usual. They kept checking my pain pump because I never used it and the hospital tech thought it was broken. The first few hours I kept thinking this hurts but I have had worse on a hard training session. After the first few times the tech checked it and asked if I needed anything for pain it became a pride thing and I didn't bother with the happy medicine button the rest of my stay. I wish they would have given my pain medicine to the whiny woman accross the hall "it hurts, it hurts..." The hospital still charged me for the pain medicine even though I did not use it. So listen to how your body feels.

Also remember that just like your coworkers, your doctor has no concept about riding. When I went back for my follow up checkup I asked my doctor about riding as we planned to go to Hilly 100 about four weeks after my surgery. I asked the doctor if it was okay to ride my bike and he replied, Well I wouldn't ride a 100 miles but 50 miles would be okay. Now I know he was thinking that no one would be stupid enough to go ride even 50 miles so soon after surgery or any other time for that matter. But lucky me, the Hilly 100 is two 50 mile days so basically I had clearance from my doctor. I took it pretty easy that year on the Hilly and did not break any land speed records up or down the hill but still had a good time and did not walk any hills.

No reason to wait to long to get back into cycling but remember it is a long summer so do not rush it too much. There will be plenty of the season left once you are back up to full speed.
 

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Hey Man, no riding advice here, but some "working soon after surgery" advice. Try not to do anything too important for the next few days. Don't design in bridges or make any important financial decisions. My brain was not right for a couple of weeks after the leg incident. I don't know if it's the anesthesia still in your system, or the pain killers, or just the stress of being in a lot of pain, but I could really tell (later) that I had been impaired.... Like when I re-did the work I did while I should have been home in bed, and when I threw away the stuff I bought while Jeff was amusing me by taking me shopping.

So does this mean you're not coming to Donaldson tonight? ;-)
 

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My Experience

I was 42 when my appendix went bad. It was removed via the open procedure. I started walking in my neighborhood on day 2, was back to work on day 7 and was going for easy rides at about day 10. After 3 weeks I was back in my whitewater kayak for a class 4 paddle ( probably a little early). Stay active, you'll recover more quickly. Just listen to your body and back off if you need to. A young, healthy person should be pretty close to full strength in 4 weeks.
 
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