Pre-January & health issues

Unfortunately I’ve started 2013 in worse shape than I was in when I set my qualifying total in November 2012. At the end of November I had some gynaecological surgery, which meant I had to stay off my core for at least a month. 

Recovering from my operation has been slow and unsure, as neither the powerlifting world is much equipped to deal with questions around gynaecological surgery, nor was my surgeon very well placed to advise me about how soon I could start lifting heavy again! As a result, I’ve possibly been over-cautious. But I suppose it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

The surgery I had was a laparoscopy & NovaSure ablation to treat my endometriosis. I’ve suffered from this since I was 15 or so, and before my operation I was in quite a bad way, periods-wise. To be honest, I’m quite impressed that I managed to train hard as much as I did; and I’m hoping that – assuming my surgery has worked! – I’ll be able to train harder once I’m fully recovered.

At my worst, I was having periods which lasted 2 weeks+ and was taking 11 prescription painkillers & antifibrinolytics a day during them. I was also very often exhausted (endometriosis can really sap your energy, even when you’re not menstruating). Since the surgery I’ve not had any pain at all, although I’ve not (yet) noticed much of a difference in my energy levels. It’s less than 2 months since, though, so hopefully that will change. 

Ever since I started lifting seriously (so, in the last 2 years or so) I’ve been curious about endometriosis and sportswomen/athletes. Quite often, the only thing you see mentioned about periods in relation to sportswomen are stories about amenorrhea (absence of periods, usually related to low body fat). I wonder if there are many athletes out there who suffer from similar conditions, and how that affects their training? 

I feel like endometriosis did affect my training, but I was still able to achieve quite a bit despite it. I’m hoping that now I won’t be in pain for so much of each month, I might be able to achieve even more!