Something new: Each week for the next month, I’m going to give you a peek into my brains and life. I’ll talk about what my family is doing, what I’m reading, what Fit2B Studio members are discussing, etc. It will be random and fun and informative… I hope!
Our private members-only forum is always hopping and full of feedback, but my favorite from this week was when Christine G. wrote, “I am so excited because I was just ‘blessed and released’ from physiotherapy for my prolapse!! Yay! She thinks I have done beautifully and am ready for pelvic floor olympics. I couldn’t have done it without the support from fit2b. I now understand how important a strong core is and I feel that I can really maintain the work I have done in physio. Thank-you from the bottom of my pelvic floor, Beth! Thank you, also, ladies for your support.”
This somehow created a cascade of questions about surgical options for diastasis recti and pelvic floor troubles, which I realized I haven’t really written about. So when one member wrote, “I am in for prolapse surgery in a month, hoping this will help with the recovery, very glad it it is helping you, give me hope … not sure if physio would help with mine, no muscles where it has given way but I will certainly look into it.” I spent some time reading pages, seems that 3 types can be helped but alas I have the 2 that can’t. I learnt lots in the process I don’t have one of the I am going to lose an organ ones.” Well, after reading that and thinking back on so many articles I’ve read about how alignment and exercise play a HUGE role in prolapse, I whipped out a quick note to Julie Wiebe, a top physical therapist in this field. She’s in L.A. if anyone needs her, and this is what I commented back:
“I’ve been in touch with a top physical therapist this morning because from what I’ve read, it’s rare to have a prolapse that can’t be treated conservatively without surgery, but it sounds like you’ve already tried physical therapy? Julie Wiebe, PT is incredible, and I know you already have the surgery scheduled, but you never know… Here are just a couple more things to read from her (also for anyone who is reading and curious) Julie wrote to me and said, ‘Here is some conventional wisdom to the idea that once the organs have actually come out of the body that conservative management is no longer effective. But I treated one woman who did have some collapse outside the body, and she avoided surgery. I dunno, I always, always think that there wisdom in giving conservative management a shot before you choose surgery. The video on my home page also is about prolapse.’ Then she also cited this medical info. Just more food for thought. No judgement here; I just want my members to be as fully informed as possible.”
Okay, before I talk about the other surgery thread we had in our member forum, I have to share what I found on my pinterest sweeps: I learned how to make a solar light out of a mason jar (basically you buy the lid that has the solar cell on it and screw it to a cute jar, but – hey – it’s a great tutorial, and I didn’t know such a thing existed) which is an idea I plan to use because of the upcycling aspect. I also read THIS ARTICLE that was pinned by my friend across the drink, Lorraine Scapens of Pregnancy Exercise, about how bed rest might NOT be the bee’s knees for pregnant mums! I’ve always wondered if putting a woman flat on her back (lowering bone density, weakening pelvic floor and core, raising cholesterol, causing weight gain) carried more risks than benefits, and it’s good to know it’s being researched! Especially because someone in our online forum asked about doing our exercises at 33 weeks with preterm labor.
Okay so then another member piped up and said, “I started with a 3 finger wide distastes. I worked out with a different program, and went from a 3 to a 2.5 in over a month. I got bored of it and just stopped doing it. I started doing your tummy safe workouts a week ago. I continued your exercises in the car, grocery store, watching tv, wherever I was… They were so easy to transfer into, my daily routine of life. I decided to check my distastes this morning, not expecting to notice a change.. I am currently at a 1! A, 1!!” Awesome, right? But then later, she wrote, “My husband is a skeptic so, we checked my belly together last night. All the way up my belly is a 1, except when it comes to my belly button area. For some reason, I have never checked that. Although, he can tell a difference everywhere else, he is still asking me to get the opinion of a surgeon. I feel like their are 2 different worlds when it comes to your body. The natural/homeopathic, and the dr/hospital. They each believe very differently. My husband is somewhere in between there. I couldn’t find anything on the site about why surgery isn’t the way to go. And he would also like to see more before and after pics. Was I looking in the wrong place? Can you direct me where to look? He isn’t interested in testimonials. He is just looking out for me, and needs more facts.. Beth Learn anything you can give me would be great.”
I must admit a healthy snicker as I read this. She’s closed her gap without surgery, but her husband is a skeptic and still wants her to talk to a surgeon??? Huh? And I don’t have a lot of before/after pics to provide since I tend to attract uber-modest moms. I think I’ve been sent 4 including THIS ONE, but how are those trustworthy when there’s so much photo-doctoring done? Anyway, here is how I responded to her testimony-followed-by-spousal-doubt…
“Actually, I think you should go talk to a surgeon. And take your husband with you. No surgeon worth his salt will operate on you if your diastasis is closed. I guess I’ve never written about why one can/should avoid surgery because I figure it’s a no brainer: cost, recovery time, cost, the lady of the house going under the knife, cost, the fact that most other muscle issues are fixed with therapeutic exercises and binding/wrapping so why not this one, cost… LOL!!! Now, there is a time and place for surgery with VERY wide diastasis BUT the exercises are still crucial to keep pressure off those stitches, and those same exercises can help close the gap prior to surgery. There is a member who sent me her pictures of her surgery. I’ll ask if I can post them… Meanwhile, read these two pro-surgery sites
“Those make me mad by the way, because they don’t address what caused the bulge in the first place, they just do the surgery and turn the ladies loose! Gah! Then know two things: the two most popular ways to surgically fix DR is via stitching the two sides of the abs together (nothing but stitches holding your abs in) or stapling/stitching a mesh to your abs to hold it all in. Meshes are on their way to recalls because they CURL after 10-15 years! Blech! Read this from a Tupler instructor who went incognito to two surgeons… hehe!”
Okay, that’s a picture of my new windows to distract you from my “hehe” because it’s not funny. Is it? It’s not funny that there’s so little info out there for women who want to put their bodies back together. It’s not funny that surgery is almost always the first proposal to a person with this particular muscle issue. If it was any other muscle, insurance would insist on physical therapy before surgery. But here’s the catch, while prolapse surgery is usually covered and no physical therapy recommend (yet vaginal meshes are being recalled in Canada) surgery for diastasis is often not covered unless it’s misdiagnosed as hernia or coincides with hernia. Why? Because it’s considered a vanity issue. The pooch that relates to bigger health issues like bowel obstructions, incontinence, hernia, lower back pain (of which 50% of americans claim disability coverage for their lower backs – wonder if it’s actually diastasis?) is considered vanity?????? Don’t answer that until you read all the links highlighted like this. Okay, I’m done for this week. That’s long enough, right? There is so much for I could say and share, so until next week, you are blessed and released. -BL