update on my body

Feb 10, 2014

I think it is time for an update on my general well-being…things are improving, but my body’s issues are fairly complex, so it is hard for me to give a simple answer when asked how I am doing.

Pubic Bone

The separation is healing and doing TONS better! There were several days last week with NO pubic bone pain. Jeremy gave me the go ahead on Friday to start bridging and ball-sitting-hula-dancing. They are the simple exercises we started back in November, but within a month I had progressed to far more difficult stuff, so I am hoping quick progress happens again.

Pelvic Floor Strength

Basically I have none. The muscles throughout my pelvic floor do not fire often or easily. Sometimes on the fourth or fifth try Jeremy can get an eensy-weensy response, but it takes all the brain power I have AND isolating all other muscles from firing to make the pelvic floor muscles fire. The rest of my body compensates for the lack of pelvic floor muscle strength and we are working on building the muscles and retraining my body to not compensate…my feet, IT band, and adductors especially love to compensate and they must learn to stop. However, if they stopped right now, I would fall right over. At the beginning of January, Jeremy asked me to get some Kegel Cones. I had never heard of them and asked him all sorts of questions. I said something like this, “If this product is to help me have better bladder control, I’m not really interested in spending the money or the time, because I have been peeing my pants my whole life and I don’t really care anymore. What I care about is my hip! Let’s focus all of our attention on my hip!” Jeremy chuckled to himself as he so often does at my ridiculous protestations and explained that the pelvic floor is the KEY to core strength. He said there is no way I will ever have the core strength necessary to hold my hip in place if I don’t have a SUPER STRONG pelvic floor. The core muscles are a giant interlocking web from the diaphragm to the pelvic floor and the attachment points for all the fascial layers are in the pelvic floor. Soooo, in short, I need to stop focusing on my hip and put all my efforts on my pelvic floor.

Needless to say, I decided to listen and order the Kegel Cones. They came back at the beginning of January and I started using them right away. You insert the lightest weight cone into the vagina and see if you can hold it in place for 2 minutes. If you can, you move up to the next heavier weight and see if you can hold that one in place for two minutes. You do this until you cannot hold a weight in place for two minutes and then you go back down to one lighter weight than the one you couldn’t hold. Then you work with that weight until you can hold it in place for 15 minutes at a time while you are walking, coughing, and laughing. Then you move up to the next weight. There are six weights in the set I got, ranging from 25 – 100 grams/1 – 3.5 ounces. I know I am dense, but I really didn’t understand how incredibly weak my pelvic floor is until I inserted the first cone. It took all my concentration to hold it in place and even with all that focus I lasted about ten seconds before it fell out. TEN! I didn’t get any better at it before the pubic bone separation and haven’t done it during the recovery because voluntary surrender to a torture chamber is not my cup of tea. So, now that the pubic symphysis is reattaching the two sides of my pelvis, it is time to try again.

I read several women’s reviews of these cones and they said they had noticeable results in just a few short weeks. I am hoping for that kind of success, but gearing myself up for the long haul. I don’t want to be disappointed if I am still on the lightest cone come March. Investing time and effort in my body is absolutely worth it and I need to know quick results might not be my reality.

Some may wonder why my pelvic floor is SO weak. Well, I don’t really have all the answers to that one. I do know that my core was incredibly strong all throughout my childhood and early adult years. I was a gymnast and did 200 crunches easily. I could lift grown men…including my husband…pretty easily. My body did anything I wanted it to do. In spite of that strength, I have always had laughter-induced incontinence. Once I start laughing it is pretty much a given that I will pee my pants. I don’t understand how my core could have been so strong and still have such poor bladder control. I know when I was in the car accident at 40 weeks pregnant with Fisher my pelvic floor was severely damaged. My uterine ligaments were torn and the connective tissue holding all my parts and pieces in place was thrashed. Since then, my pelvic floor has gotten weaker and weaker…and certainly, the labral tear, bedrest, and months of inactivity contributed greatly to my now non-firing pelvic floor muscles.

It is time to build them strong again. I have to work slowly and consistently and THAT my friends is the hardest part. Slowly and consistently has never been my way. I am more of an all-out, all-night-project kind of girl. Can’t I just procrastinate something for months at a time and then tackle it with gusto? Nope, not this time. The process of building muscles has to be slowly, methodically done so the existing muscles don’t fatigue too much and the hip or pubic bone aren’t yanked out of place by spasms. It is so, so hard for my brain to deal with this reality. It is an everyday, little spoonful at a time sort of deal, and my desire to hurry it along will only cause damage.

Outside of the cones, all my PT exercises are designed to strengthen my core and train my brain to fire the right muscles to do the job. My brain ignores me most of the time and does whatever it wants to do to get the job done, but Jeremy sees the compensating and makes me stop and try again and again and AGAIN until the right muscles fire.

Labral Tear

The tear is doing really well. It feels like the healing we accomplished with the Prolozone injections is holding strong. Our goal is to not do anything to open the tear back up…easier said than done…but I have figured out how to modify my movements quite well so as to not irritate it.

Sympathetic Nervous System

This is certainly improving, but we are not of the woods yet, not by a long shot. I haven’t had a full-blown episode for a while, but lots of mini-episodes happen all the time. It seems the tiniest of things can trigger the shaking, racing heart, numb hands, or passing out feelings…making a comment in Sunday School, disagreeing with someone (even if only in my mind!), not drinking enough water, not getting enough sleep, not eating enough protein, thinking of a stressful situation, dislocations/subluxations anywhere in my body, slipping on the ice, getting excited about something, touching or irritating the femoral nerve. All of these things tip my nervous system over the edge and my body goes into save-Tracy-mode. It happens all the time and I am so very tired of it. I feel like a wounded, fragile flower that can’t feel or do anything without triggering a response. At church yesterday in Relief Society, I asked a new girl who her father-in-law is and immediately my heart rate shot up to 130. I tried breathing exercises and thinking calm, happy thoughts, and finally, hobbled out of the room and held on to the wall till I reached the couch to lie down on before I passed out. Anytime my heart rate gets above 130ish, I collapse, so I know I have to get somewhere safe before that happens. It is so strange to me. My normal self is bouncy and spontaneous and loud and emotional and full of passion. Now I feel I have to be on guard all the time to prevent an episode from happening. It also seems episodes happen in certain places. For some reason, church is a big trigger for me. iFamily and Gym are not. Nothing has ever happened at those two places…they must feel like safe places to me because my body is able to step away from the ledge and relax. I don’t understand this whole thing completely. Jeremy says it is going to take time to help my body learn it is safe. He says the labral tear and resulting nerve pain trained my body to feel like it was like being electrocuted for months at a time. Now that the electrocutions are mostly stopped, my body is still on guard for the next electrocution. He says no one can know how long my body will be on guard, but with energy work, meditation, prayer, and consistently sending a message of safety to my body, it will calm down eventually…at least somewhat. The other piece of the puzzle is my systemic weak connective tissue. Because I am not held together very well, my nervous system is hit with a constant barrage of messages that body structures are not where they belong, this ligament is being stretched too much, that muscles is being pulled tonight, the bone is out of place, etc. So, my nervous system will probably always be at some level of red-alert. The goal is to bring that red-alert level down from the precipice so I don’t tip over the edge so easily.


My left foot is still healing. Most of the time it feels strong and capable and free of pain. Sometimes there are twinges of pain and sometimes there are big-time aches. It hurts to stand in one place so I am often seen pacing back and forth or walking in circles. I don’t know how much longer I will have to be in my special super-stiff running shoes and I don’t want to pay for an appointment with the podiatrist to find out, so I am trying to be patient and observant and figure out when my foot is all the way out of pain before I start looking for the next pair of shoes. It has been almost 17 weeks out of the boot and it was 16 books in the boot, so we are 33 weeks since the break.


I have never had a weight problem, never been super thin, just a nice muscle-y body. I have always eaten what I want to eat, gone up and down with my pregnancies, and generally been about a size 8. Sometimes as small as a 4 (when I was vegan for 2 years) and sometimes up to a 10, but generally an 8. During the last two years and especially the past 6 months or so, I have gained 25 lbs. None of my old clothes fit. I have a large double chin, a sizeable belly-roll, and saggy skin around my knees. I think most of it is due to a general lack of activity, a severe slowing of my metabolism, and poor food choices. I desperately want to turn this around, but I don’t know how. I can’t exercise and burn lots of calories. I can make better food choices, but I have been eating green smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch, and then usually some sort of chicken dish for dinner for the past 7 weeks, and it hasn’t made a lick of difference on my waist line. My body is not strong enough to do any sort of cleanse and I have to eat quite a bit of protein on a daily basis or I feel really weak, so I don’t really know what to do to solve this problem.


Overall, I think my mindset is pretty healthy. I have finally figured out that this is a long-term issue and have been making peace with the reality of a new life. Most days, I feel acceptance, courage to keep trying, and hope that my efforts will make a difference. There are really hard days when the pain is overwhelming or the long road ahead looks far too daunting, but for the most part I am resolved to keep on keeping on. I have made peace with how ridiculous I look most of the time, the fact that others don’t understand what is going on and I can’t explain it to them in a five second soundbite, and that I must learn to take care of myself in the way my body needs. I have learned that with God, I am strong and can do really hard things. I have learned God is with me each step of the way, teaching me and holding me up. I have learned to smile again.

Life is good. Really good. This is not AT ALL what I would have chosen and I certainly could not have foreseen any of this happening to my body, but I am grateful for these lessons.

My goals for the rest of this month are to do the following every day: get sufficient sleep, eat lots of protein, do my PT exercises, use the Kegel Cones, state ten things I am grateful for out loud, and send messages of safety and peace to my nervous system.

My friend, Cameron, just posted this on Facebook…it is the perfect thought for me to focus on:

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day! Habakkuk 2:3, LB

Related Posts


  1. Tracy, It is nice to read an update, to really know all that you are up to, especially since I’ve kind of been a hermit lately. You are amazingly strong.

  2. This indepth update was nice to read. I’m sure some has changed in the last few days.

    • tracy

      Yes, unfortunately my nervous system is on high alert, my right foot is super sore, and I have no idea when I will be able to do my exercises.