Friday, September 29, 2017

Working on my health/What if....???

A year ago I was struggling with some postpartum health issues, and here's a little update. Okay, it got a bit longer than intended...


It's probably no secret that I'm not really into "fitness." I like certain recreational sports, or movement as a way of achieving a goal, but really can't get very hardcore or competitive about it. I have too many other hobbies that I'm trying to make time for, and I don't get a rush from pushing my body to its physical limit.

Of course, I never needed fitness to feel good about my body and never felt like I needed to lose weight or tone up...

2 babies later, I'm picking up the pieces. It turns out fitness is about being healthy so you can be strong for everyday movement, not just beating a personal time. And this summer, I did some PT.

Diagrams to follow...
I haven't been able to locate a women's health PT in Russia. There is massage therapy in some form, but given that it's hard to find a good pelvic health practitioner in the U.S., it's even harder in Russia. And I didn't find that any women's health specialists were willing to refer to PT or even suggest it as a way to get better. The medicine in Russia is more conventional and that doesn't work well for women's health in general, I've found. I'm not picking on Russia on purpose...most of the forums I've visited are frequented by UK women suffering damage after forceps births, etc. Some of them wish they had just been given a C-section to escape the problems they ended up with. Really, those are the only options? Seems to be a global issue. Although, I know that in France, for example, all women are referred to PT after giving birth. It might not be cutting edge PT, but it's better than nothing. Basically, this field is developing, if slowly...

As for my PT results:


 I've seen progress thanks in part to my online preparation. Due to diastasis recti, I've been doing online rehab through Fit2B studio and the Tummy Team. So when I did PT in person in my hometown, they were impressed at how well I could pick up on the exercises and connect with my muscles the right way. Hmmm, maybe they tell everyone that....no, they definitely said I was more clued in than many clients when they first start out.

The good thing about hands-on PT was that they looked at my alignment and gait and areas of asymmetry, etc. And gave me a personalized program. And once I knew what to pay more attention to, I started making progress. They did tell me to keep wearing the abdominal binder, though. While I know I should get strong enough to wean from it, they said to keep wearing it while I'm nursing since the abdominal gap could open right back up again. Also, I found out that I have joint hypermobility! Which leads to laxity...so, that works against me, too. I'm rambling here...

If you've been diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse, you may have been told that you could NEVER do anything strenuous again. Imagine how the first time mothers in their 20s must feel. That's what I'm talking about with women's health being somewhat slow to advance. It isn't true that you have to live the life of an invalid. As for me, I'm building strength for everyday life, and I'm okay with asking for help with the heavy stuff. I do NOT move furniture. I do NOT lift heavy bags/objects...and that includes David. I do NOT run to catch the bus.

I can do most things without becoming symptomatic. Of course, some chores are more strenuous than you'd think. I can draw my abs in nice and tight and open a heavy door...but I can't scrub the bathtub. It used to really hurt to do something like open a sealed jar, but I've actually noticed improvement recently! I have built endurance too and can stand and walk for longer periods without feeling horrible.

In many ways it's possible to put up with limitations, just like anyone does who has a handicap of some sort. It's not like I had secret plans to run a marathon (but I should say that there is actually a community of women with childbirth injury who DO partake in competitive sports at high levels).

So in general my goals are modest and I hesitate to expect too much.  BUT at the same time....

I also think:

What if I suddenly needed to pick up/carry my 5 yr old?

What if I needed to suddenly lift the stroller, with the baby in it?

What if I needed to sprint away from danger or towards my child to offer assistance?

What if my husband or another adult was injured and I needed to move them?

What if, when traveling, I needed to carry more than expected?

These are not reasons to be anxious, but motivation to push myself further and try to be stronger for unexpected situations in life! Even some more in-between goals, like rough-housing with kids! So that my son jumping on me doesn't leave me in pain for a week. We all do what we can with the bodies we've been given, and in an emergency we do what we have to do. But it could be the difference between a minor injury and putting ourselves out of commission for a longer period.

That was my mini-rant.



2 comments:

  1. I've had a few of those last thoughts myself lately....too much listening to true crime podcasts! My own issues relate to feet, and I REALLY wish could get some PT and some HELP. That could be a blog post for me, I guess.

    I am slightly surprised that you can't find help in Russia. After a Russian friend told me about the two weeks of PT her son got after getting a cast off his broken leg, I was REALLY impressed! Nothing like that here, for sure. Just a good-bye and good luck.

    Thank you for going into more detail about your actual issues; I didn't understand that you were really experiencing pain, so much as just weakness.... Well, I hope you are more diligent with your exercises than I am! (I know simply walking helps a lot, but......)

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    1. Forgot to reply. I hope you can get some PT. I'm so in favor of being proactive and holistic. It's terrible that medicine is so fragmented and we get symptomatic treatment instead of treating underlying factors.

      I've had massage therapy done in Russia, but I've never had anyone take a look at me and say that this part of me hurts because that muscle group is too weak, and here's what I should do in daily life to fix that. Maybe that's even getting close to occupational therapy. I do think some of these practices are either cutting edge or just forgotten as medicine divides into narrow fields.

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