Thursday, June 20, 2013

Starting Over

Having sports hernia plus a 'pre' stress fractrue for an injury has really been very frustrating. It took a little while to figure out what exactly was wrong with me, because for the longest time I thought it was just a groin/adductor strain. After about a month of the pain getting worse and worse - I knew it was something other than just a strain. An MRI revealed that I had a tear in my abdominal wall. As a result of trying to train through this hernia, I put too much stress on my pelvis, so that created a stress reaction in my bone as well. I want to write a little bit about my experience with sports hernia though, because as far as I can tell, it is a very uncommon injury especially among female athletes.

So the symptoms included pain in my groin area mostly, but some pain and tightness into my adductor and up through my lower left abdomen. From what I understand, this injury is most prevalent in hockey players and football players and people that move aggressively from side to side. My injury presented itself when I was doing flip turns off of the wall while swimming and using a pull buoy at the same time. I guess I can see how this may have happened. My pain did progress up to my abdominal area especially one night in the middle of my sleep, I awoke with dull achy pain in my lower left abdominal. This was scary because it hurt so bad for a few days until I could get in to see a specialist. I walked with a big limp. Also, it terribly hurt to cough, sneeze, laugh, and cry, and that made me cry even more. This was the absolute worse pain that I have experienced compared to any other injury that I have had in the past. (Clavicle break/tendonitis/ITBand/etc.) During this time, I did a lot of crying, because it would hurt every time I would try to move. I felt like I couldn't escape pain for a good month of time. You don't realize how much you use your abdominal muscles in everything you do until you have a tear in them, and it hurts every time you move. When I did get in to see the doctor, he gave me a nerve block that helped almost immediately and got even better over a few days.  At this time, the Doctor told me that these injuries rarely heal on their own, so I decided that surgery would be my only option. For the first time in about 6 weeks, I felt like I could finally get over this injury now that I knew exactly what I had to do. I had laprascopic surgery to repair my tear on Monday and the doctor said the tear was actually a lot bigger than he expected to see. The surgeon inserted mesh into my lower abdomen/groin area under my lowest layer of transverse abdominal muscle layer. A few days post surgery my lower abdominal/groin area is swollen and it hurts a little more than I expected, but I am just happy that I am moving forward hopefully.
Definitely bloated and swollen - Looking like a marshmallow.

So now I am at the point where I am starting over completely. At this point, I think I have lost all of my fitness, strength, durability, everything fitness wise. I was really sad and very frustrated for a little while during this whole ordeal, but I finally got to a point where I accepted this injury and put everything into perspective that this injury is not that bad. I would read articles about the Boston Bombing Survivors and how they plan to move on. These people inspired me more than they will ever know. I was touched deeply with their perseverance and determination to get better. I can't even imagine being in that situation and then rebounding with the positive mind set that they have. But each and everyone of those survivors serve as inspiration to stay positive and take challenges and face them head on, and that is what I plan to do.

So now while I am healing and recovering, I have taken up knitting, painting our whole house, and spending lots of time with family and friends. I am lucky to have great support and a plan to get moving again. I have my heart set on doing a race late fall, but I have to listen to my body. Until then, I might become a pro-knitter (just kidding - I am pretty awful!)

Not very good knitter! Xtra skinny scarf maybe?

Jeremy starting our painting/laying down floor project that we have been putting off for 3 years!


  1. Wishing you a speedy recovery!!

  2. yea!!! knitting! just like triathlon, practice makes you better! i think your skinny scarf is adorable. Did the doctor mention anything about having babies and whether this area is susceptible to future tearing?? Just curious?

    1. Thanks s! Yes I am susceptible to more tears which is why core work will be a daily thing! As for the babies - I have to ask doc about that one - hope not!!!!