In my post I tore my Quadratus Lumborum, I wrote about how I really jacked up my back from working on my motorcycle and doing a hard workout on the same day. I clearly overdid it because my lower back was very stiff and in a lot of pain for a long time. It felt like I tore my Quadratus Lumborum, and I still believe I did. Even though I did a lot of re-hab work on my lower back, it still was stiff and painful. I was never able to get over a certain point of healing. No problem, I figured. I will just keep re-habbing it and dealing with it as best as I can. I was not going to stop exercising, that was for sure!
It turns out that a torn Quadratus Lumborum was not all I had. About four months later I started to notice a bulge around my groin. I did not pay it much attention at first, but then it started to get bigger. Additionally, I noticed a bulge on the other side of my groin. I realized that I had better figure out what is going on and fast, so I did what we all do: I googled my symptoms. As near as I could tell I was developing an inguinal hernia that extended to both sides. I knew it would be better to get it taken care of sooner rather than later, but still there was a bit of procrastination on my part. I still did my workouts, but it was getting more painful to keep training hard. I also had constant pain whenever I had to stand for any length of time, mostly in my lower back.
I decided to get the surgery done at the end of a road trip to Florida. I was invited to speak about fitness at a conference and I was looking forward to the whole trip…the surgery included. I had the surgery done at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma on the way back home for a couple of reasons. The first one is that my brother lives there and he was willing to put me up for as long as I needed to heal. The second reason…and the main reason is that I did some research some years ago about where to go if I ever needed surgery done without insurance. What intrigued me about the Surgery Center of Oklahoma was that they had the prices listed for all the surgeries that they do in the website. All inclusive. No hidden fees and they had financing options if you needed that. I thought the prices were reasonable when I did my research, so I bookmarked the page just in case. And yes, the prices were still reasonable several years later.
I had the surgery on Monday morning. It didn’t take very long and I was back at my brother’s house late afternoon. I was actually feeling pretty good, moving around with no pain. I even raised my leg over the chair to sit down without giving it a second thought. I went to bed that night and slept well. However, I underestimated how well the pain meds the doctor gave me worked the night before because I really felt it the next day. I felt the stitches around my groin and it hurt to sit up, much less stand up. My wife insisted that we stay an extra day so I can heal, and I was in no mood to argue. Thus, we extended our trip another day.
We both also talked it over and decided to take a bit of a different strategy about the medications that the doctor recommended. He prescribed pain, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, of course. I did not want to use the pain medications because I did not like how I felt using them in the past, and I wanted to be more aware of the pain level I would feel when moving around. I believe that if I feel what the true pain level is, I would not over do it and regress in my healing. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a masochist by any means. Remember, I am a hedonist. I like the pleasures of life, so I was not planning to go completely without pain meds. I chose to have ibuprofen on hand if the pain became intolerable.
The other, more controversial thing that Sharon and I discussed to do differently was to not take the anti biotics I was prescribed due of the problem of anti-biotic resistance, which is a real problem these days, and opted to take colloidal silver instead. The use of colloidal silver is controversial and unconventional, but it does have a history of use as a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal medication(1). So, I took a calculated risk and gave it a shot. Once again, I would not be foolish about it and stick to my guns if I did develop a problem. I would have called my doctor right away and addressed whatever issue came up. If I were to have any issues such as infection, it would have become noticeable within the first two weeks. As of this writing, it has been over a month and it has been smooth sailing. I feel like I made the right call on this one.
After the surgery and while I was out, the doctor gave instructions to my wife about what to do as I was recovering. Sharon told me that he said the inguinal hernia was not that bad, and as a matter of fact he could have simply stitched it up and I would be fine. It was a big surprise hearing this because it was feeling really bad for a few months to me, and I had it on both sides! From what he said, I speculated that most people put off getting the surgery far longer than I was willing to let it go. The example close to home for me is the conversation I had with my brother when I hit him up for lodging with my surgery. That was when he told me about his inguinal hernia that he had a few years earlier. He told me that he put it off for about two, maybe three years before he had his surgery. He also told me that I will always feel it in one way or another, and that I would never be able to do deadlifts or squats again. Damn.
But I digress. Back to what my doctor told my wife. He went ahead and put in the mesh he was planning to do all along, and I am glad he did. I want to be as structurally sound as possible because I do want to continue to train hard in spite of what my brother said. He also told her that I was in such good shape that I would heal very quickly. He also said that I could start exercising after only a few days if I felt like it, and that I could pace myself according to how I feel. He really gave me no restrictions on my timeline nor any limitations on the intensity of my workouts. Just that I needed to listen to my body and go with it.
It has been about five weeks since I had the surgery, and I would have to say my doctor was spot on. The first couple of days were tough, but I was able to train my clients by the third day. I could spot on almost all of the lifts without incident. I could even lift the 45lb weights off the floor for the leg press, but I did refrain from trying to lift the 100lb weight for the first week. I was feeling better by the day, and I was able to do light workouts by the second week after the surgery. I kept my exercise routine on the light side for the next three weeks, slowly increasing my weights but making sure my rep range stayed between 15 to 20, and I stayed away from core work for a month. Yesterday was my first hard workout taking my sets close to failure. I did between 8 to 10 reps on all of my sets, and I was a bit more aggressive on my core exercises. I did feel it a little more than I wanted to on my incision, so I backed off a little bit. I will go little lighter on my next workout and keep it at that for a week. Then I will try to go full bore again.
As for my lower back, it has not felt this good in a long time. A couple of years, maybe longer. I can’t help but wonder if I was starting to have problems with my abdominal wall for some time without knowing it. It is quite possible because I had an appendectomy several years ago, and that may have weakened it.
In any event, I feel amazing now. I have no reservations to training with full intensity when the time is right.
I have to give my doctor kudos. He did a remarkable job.