Inhaling helium made me pass out

Ammon Lovell - ammon@empowernet.com

Original posting, 2003-08-17:

When I was 13 I did something really stupid. I was at a friend's house and I sucked almost an entire balloon of helium. Well I passed out and WHAM! I landed right on my tailbone. I'm a big guy and at the time I probably weighed 180-200 pounds. When I woke up I found myself in excruciating pain. I couldn't walk straight for weeks. I hit my head on a brick too, but the tailbone pain just drowned it out.

Then little by little the pain went away. For almost 10 years I haven't had hardly any discomfort. Yeah when I sit with a lot of pressure on my tailbone it starts to get sore, but never for long, the next day I feel great. But for the last week I have been in so much pain. I have no idea where it came from. I didn't do anything to disturb it. It doesn't hurt to walk or sit down as much, but when I stand up or sit down, it's a killer.

From what I've read on this website I've gained a lot of knowledge. I thought that I would just tough it out, but it's not worth it. I can't do anything. I finally decided to call a doctor or chiropractor. Thanks for all your helpful insight and tell your kids to stay away from helium!

Update, 2003-08-31:

Since I last wrote I have met three times with Dr. Grant Shapiro of Tempe, AZ. I first met with him on a Friday and the pain was almost unbearable. He took some x-rays and found that my coccyx was pulled back (I think it's called the posterior direction or something like that). Needless to say, I was happy that there would probably be no need for internal manipulation.

Dr. Shapiro adjusted me several times and at first I felt a little better, but not much. He also recommended that I keep it iced and that I purchase a coccyx support cushion. I looked everywhere and I couldn't find one. I had to sit in the foyer at church practically on my side so as not to disturb it too much.

Little by little I had gotten better. By the time I went back to Dr. Shapiro on Monday, I was feeling much better. The pain was bearable and I could actually sit up straight without too much pain or discomfort. I told him that I couldn't find a cushion and he got me one that he had at the office. He massaged the tissue around the coccyx, which hurt a little but made me feel a lot better. I think that was the step that made me feel the best.

The coccyx cushion helped, but I had to pull the slit open a little bit more than it was. It was aggravating the muscles around the coccyx. I actually hurt more when I sat on soft surfaces than on hard ones because with soft surfaces there's no support and the pressure was distributed over the entire area.

That Friday I was probably up to a 7 or 8 out of 10. We met, he adjusted me some more to relieve the tension from my spine and he said that we would meet on the next Wednesday.

Now we are meeting again tomorrow and I am feeling fine. I am not where I was before, but slowly I am getting there. I am very thankful that I came to this website, found out that I needed to do something and found Dr. Shapiro's name.

Ammon Lovell

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