(I think the title of this post dates me. Who out there is singing Irene Cara now? And, yes, I know, it's really Whitman.)
I had a revelation about my body today. Several, actually. It was my first physical therapy appointment. Ever. Since the babes, I've had abdominal and back aches, no doubt due to the various surgeries (2 hernia repairs, c-section with ovarectomy) and, well, carrying and carying for babes. It's been worse since Memorial Day, when I threw out my back while, get this, sitting down.
And today I found out why.
I had thought it was a weight problem. And of course it is, but I've lost more than 50 lbs (if you count from the moment before the babes were born), more like 35 of non-baby weight and I've felt worse than I did at my highest (even my highest pregnant) weight.
Turns out that losing some weight complicated all the muscles issues I'm having. In fact, losing the weight meant losing some of the support that was keeping my muscles from hurting. I have a diastasis, which means my abdominal wall is split down the middle at the linea alba. Mine is three fingers in width! Wow. This of course can cause more hernias. But it also adds to the weakness of all the other abdominal muscles. And my back.
But it also turns out that I am what you call hyper-flexible. Which means I can, with no warm up stretches or anything, lay my hands flat on the floor from a standing position, and other various loose muscle tricks. This is great for gymnasts and such, but not good when your muscles are weak and you have other issues. So, I'm a loose rubber band, with no real muscles to hold everything together.
Also my hips are not aligned properly. One is higher than the other, and not just in the way everyone is uneven. So, all that waddling that I've always done (so much for corrective shoes and walking around the backyard "heel-toe") that people think is a sore foot or a limp, is just the uneveness of it all. Which in turn leads to back trouble.
All in all, I need help and my PT can help me. And it doesn't sound like it will take too long to see some results. Though, I must say, even doing the two pretty minor exercises she gave me today has made me stiff and sore.
But I'm thrilled. It's like realizing I was a lesbian way back when and then watching all the disjointed pieces of my earlier life fall into place. Suddenly, body issues that go back decades suddenly make sense, have an explanation. And, in many ways, it is not my fault. Which is a huge relief. I don't waddle because I'm lazy but because I'm crooked. Fine. Great, even! No wonder I suck at P.E. No wonder I had so much ligament pain on my left side during my pregnancy. And how cool is it to be hyperflexible?! When I get this whole thing straightened out, I'm going to do more yoga!
And in the end, it's wonderful just knowing why.
"I sing the body electric. I celebrate the me yet to come."