My runs this week have been governed by my uterus. That little internal nest has been the focus of the last 4 days and inspired this post (obviously).
I don’t think I was aware I even had a uterus until Grade 4 when I read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. While it remained silent for a few years after that, the weight of what my uterus held in store for me sat at the back of my mind. Once I had my first period (like why in the hell did I ever want that day to arrive?) I knew I was locked into a decades-long dysfunctional relationship.
Why the hell am I writing about this? What does it have to do with fitness and wellness? Well…as far as I’m aware all (except in rare cases) women have a uterus and all men know at least one person who have a uterus. I find there is so much mystery and silence surrounding gyno matters and I need to be able to talk about things openly to process them. If you run a gym or train clients or are a healthcare provider, chances are you will encounter a human being in possession of a uterus so get used to it.
My body has let me down again and I’m facing a hysterectomy in the near future and I’m going to need some support and encouragement. My uterus let me down in 2012 when I had a missed miscarriage at 11 weeks and I discovered how miscarriage is shrouded in secrecy and silence. I had to go searching for support so I’m using this platform to open the discussion or at least enhance understanding of what some women are experiencing.
Over the last year, I noticed bleeding after intense activity and my family doctor informed me I had a friable (Merriam Webster defines it as “easily crumbled or pulverized”) cervix. An ultrasound showed nothing. My pap test was clear. A colposcopy with biopsies and swabs came back clear. So what the eff is going on?
Well, your guess is as good as mine, but my miscarriage taught me that there’s not always an answer to “why?” So, my body is betraying me again and I have to plot my course through this bitch of a stormy sea. The biggest concern aside from the potential of a future prolapse (look it up, dudes…and ladies: do your Kegels STAT!) is how am I going to cope with the 4-6 NO RUN recovery period?
That’s right…I’m about to have my cervix and uterus removed and I’m wondering about my running! I’m on a training schedule which has me run Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays and this week has been all screwed up! Monday’s run was cancelled (my gynecologist surprised me with a uterine biopsy) so I ran on Tuesday instead which was a mistake. I felt like I had been kicked in the vagina, and kicked hard. I skipped Wednesday and am feeling like I’m myself again today (Thursday) after making it through a 5k without discomfort.
I am my best self when I’m running. It may not be fitness for everyone, but we all have something that makes us feel like a better version of ourselves and when that’s interrupted or restricted, it can seriously mess with your mojo. I have heard trainers and coaches say to take an ibuprofen and push through it, but after feeling that uncomfortable heaviness and ache for the last few days, I know I can’t push through my post-surgical recovery. So how the hell am I going to cope?
This is where I’m at folks.
I made the mistake of Googling “hysterectomy” and just freaked myself out with potential complications and the actual how of removing my inner goods so I ‘m choosing to focus on strengthening myself mentally and emotionally. I don’t even have a date for my surgery yet (don’t even get me started on the current state of our health care system), but I know myself well enough to know I’m gonna have more difficulty coping with not being able to run the roads than with any physical pain.
IDGAF if some troll thinks this is TMI, you’re all gonna hear about all of it over the coming months…join me as I get ready to lose the organs that have allowed me to bring life into this world and as I get ready not to lose my mind doing so.