Ahem. Okay, so I've been back in the gym for about two months now and back to heavy lifting for six weeks or so. In some ways I'm happy with my progress. My squats aren't back at pre-op levels, but they're coming along nicely. I hadn't dumbbell benched in six months or probably longer, but when I tried it the other day, I shocked myself at how much I didn't completely suck. My lat pulldowns are very close to being back to where they were in September. Because I haven't been able to deadlift much (more about that VERY SOON), I've been doing a lot of direct trap work I wasn't doing prior to surgery and my shrug and farmers walks weights keep increasing nicely. I've discovered a great new glute exercise--kneeling squats--and every single time I do those, I add weight to the bar. So, yeah, certain things are coming along nicely, and since my intestines haven't yet fallen out of my hooha in the middle of the gym floor, I'm getting less nervous about that possibility by the day.
But. (Of course there's a but.) Certain things are really fucked. Even though I had only the tiniest of external incisions, my abs still apparently took a beating. And not being able to lift anything heavier than my freaking purse for 5 1/2 weeks (and I wasn't even lifting that at first!) didn't help. Since I've been back to lifting, every time I've experimented with any deadlift-type movement, like RDLs or rack pulls, even with for-me baby weights, I've had the sensation that I was this close to effing my back up seriously or I was out of proportionately sore and wrecked for days after. All I can figure is that my core is so imbalanced right now, my back so much stronger than my abs, that the low back is completely taking over in stabilizing me during deadlifting as well as, y'know, doing the work it's supposed to. Apparently when I squat the fact that my low back is stabilizing my core disproportionately skates by because my low back isn't also doing most of the work of the lift. That's my theory anyway.
Oh, and I can't even do one chin up any more, when I used to be able to do 8 or 9 in a row and 4 or 5 pull ups. When I tried on the assisted pull up machine at the gym, I had to use 25lbs of assist. Which is just too demoralizing, yo. Since, as I mentioned, my lat pulldowns are almost where I was pre-op, it's not a lat issue. It's got to be my core. Or my fear of engaging my core that much? Feh.
It's not all of my ab/anterior core muscles though, either. I can still plank without much trouble. I went to a trx class last week just for shits n' giggles and I busted out a bunch of crunches in it without any trouble (which frankly surprised me) but then we did this other ab thing at the end that involved keep your legs up off the floor and after a couple, I just laid back down till everyone else was done. Lulz. So maybe it's a hip flexor weakness? Did my gyn do something to my psoas??!????! Horrors! (Lulz again.)
Which brings me back to our post title. Dear Mr Obama, can we get universal health care to cover post-hysterectomy physical therapy for old women who still want to powerlift? I really would like a professional who's smarter than me to do a shitload of tests on me and tell me exactly what muscle imbalance I have and how to fix it, but I can't afford to pay for one. Kthxbai.
Alright, if you suffered through all that whining and self-absorbed navel-gazing, here's my real navel and scars for your trouble. Pretty tiny, huh? Modern surgery is the ballz. Even if it did disrupt my psoas or something.
And here's my new favorite exercise!
See? Just like hip thrusts without all that embarrassing lying on your back on the gym floor humping the air business.