If you think singing is not an athletic activity, just ask Amy Lloyd, singer and independent recording artist in Southern Maryland. Similar to a sport, singing requires endurance and strength. Singing without engaging your core muscles is like trying to walk without using your quadriceps. Amy’s abdominal pain hindered her ability to perform, and eventually forced her to stop singing. After a long journey, her pain was diagnosed as a core muscle injury. Her path to recovery took her all the way to her recently released a single, “What Child is This?”

We asked Amy a few questions about her journey…

When did you first have pain and how did it affect your everyday life?

My pain started as something that bothered me sporadically but over time became a hindrance to my daily activities as a mother and my music. Dr. Meyers was the fifteenth doctor I saw in my quest to finding a diagnoses. The journey was difficult going from doctor to doctor with no answers. During that time, I tried to focus on other ways I could give attention to my children and because singing was causing pain, I took a music theory class and guitar lessons. I probably would not have learned to play the guitar had it not been for my pain.

What was your treatment?

Before arriving at Vincera, I had tried just about everything. Dr. Meyers even confirmed that. I tried several months of physical therapy, laser therapy, acupuncture, nerve block injections and even total rest from any activities that caused the pain. In the end, Dr. Meyers performed a pelvic floor repair, as well as removed multiple areas of scar tissue and repaired a several-inch split of my rectus abdominis. I started physical therapy 24 hours later. Yoga has also been a significant contributor to my recovery.

How long until you were back to activity?

I remember in my three week follow-up visit, Dr. Meyers had to tell me it was time that I start singing. I had been too afraid to try. I did some on my own but got really serious at about six weeks after surgery and returned to voice lessons. At about 10 weeks after surgery, I returned to two-hour choral rehearsals. I returned to most of my activities of daily living that care for my family during that time, as well.

My recovery as a singer may have been different than athletes because I had to balance the recovery of my core muscle repair with the recovery of my voice from a long voice rest. I didn’t want to damage my voice by singing too much too soon. I also had the demands of keeping up with two elementary school-aged children.

What motivated you to get through recovery?

There were definitely some rough patches along the way, but my faith and belief that God had a plan for my life and that He could heal me was my biggest motivation. Another huge motivation was knowing that I would return to caring for my family and to music. I’m thankful that my husband, Matt, reminded me of these motivators during the difficult times. As a result, I was recently able to perform in a local production of The Nutcracker with my daughter and record a single that’s now available on iTunes.

Single cover art: Photography and artwork by Christopher Apperson