Not the Engine but the Undercarriage!

UndercarriageThere’s a parallel between doctors and mechanics. There are well-meaning doctors who will check out all of the more obvious aspects of our chassis (height, weight, blood pressure, temperature) and miss the glaring Undercarriage2but less well known foundational weaknesses. Our bodies are, with no doubt whatsoever, the finest examples of engineering and design on the planet. My bias might be showing a bit, but the potential that our bodies support is beyond phenomenal. Nevertheless, one must have a mechanic worthy of the vehicle. And, you know what? As the ‘consumer,’ I want to know what the bill’s for – an honest, informative conveyance of the state of the conveyance!

So… when the doc is pressing upon and manipulating our tummies, what’s the deal? I’d never heard of this one and wonder at having paid a monthly specialist’s fee to Comcast to learn of the following medical condition:

Diastasis recti (also known as abdominal separation): In men, the condition is caused by internal pressure on the front of your abdomen, around your belly button, causing the connective tissue in your abdomen to separate or weaken. If any of my wonderful family of men or guy friends were to encounter this problem (what with the work and play they engage in), me and mine would probably have thought: Yep, hernia. Not necessarily so!

In pregnant or postpartum women, the condition is caused by the stretching of the rectus abdominis by the growing uterus. Geez! Who’d have thought? I, myself, never heard of this from any doctor associated with my own pregnancies nor the pregnancies of any of my family members or friends. Looking for a postpartum exercise program, I feel profoundly grateful to have found Courtney Wykoff’s MommaStrong programs.

We drive our mechanical and biological vehicles every day, yet it’s unsettling to realize just how little we know about what makes them tick.  Doctors and mechanics could tell us stories about having tried to have an intelligent conversation around the ‘what’s it that does it’ only to have us look back at them with a blank or quizzical face. (Then there’s always the “Yeah.  I know exactly what you mean!” patient – the perceptive fixit person proceeds to fill the clueless in.) Still, we both have our bottom lines: I want to have my bill interpreted so that I’m informed, whether it’s with regard to my bio-vehicle or my motor vehicle. And given the importance of both to the quality of our lives, I’d like to know about potentials before a medical or mechanical incident occurs so that I am empowered to do something about it (and, hopefully, pay a little less out of pocket).


Here I am, heavin’ and grievin’ along with the latest in cardio and core strengthening exercises, and all the time I’m doing things that are counterproductive because healing is always first! I’m one of the lucky ones to have found out about my undercarriage before crashing. Remember, we’re partners with the fix-it folks – and the mark of a great fix-it professional is one that recognizes their due diligence to share with you as a full partner.