Upcoming surgery - now recovering nicely

Donna - ismilie@aol.com and ismilie@adelphia.net

Original posting, 2004-02-29:

Hi all. Being in the medical field myself, I thought this would be an easy fix . . . boy was I mistaken. I am 42 years old and have been battling coccyx pain for almost 4-years. I have experienced steroid injections from an orthopedic surgeon, which worked at first, but then failed to help. I continued to have them, until I had "maxed" out. I tried oral steroids as well but no relief. I then resorted to chiropractic treatments (never been before), everything from electrical stimulation, ultrasound, acupuncture, and internal manipulation. The coccyx only got worse, to the point that I sleep poorly at night, can't sit for more than 5-minutes, have immense pain while driving, and the like.

So, last resort, surgery. It has been a battle locating a surgeon to perform the procedure. The one I see, has only performed one once and was extremely reluctant to do it (I greatly appreciated his honesty) so he referred me to some surgeons in Boston. After 2-3 months of searching, we could not locate any in Boston that would do the procedure. I began to think I would have to go to the Carolina's....

But, I have found one :))) A surgeon at Dartmouth Medical Center, in Hanover NH, a mere 2-hour ride for me. Dr. Bernini, I have found to be extremely empathetic to my cause. He has performed this surgery before, does about 12/year and chooses his cases very carefully. I am one of this years lucky 12! I was finally relieved at the thought of someone looking at the newest x-rays and seeing the area of difficulty. The surgery seems very straight forward, limited blood loss, recovery time and outcome look good.

Although, nervous about the impending surgery (2-weeks away), my biggest fear is the 2-hour drive home in the car.

Update, 2004-04-04:

Hi there. Here it is 3-weeks since my surgery.....wanted to update everyone. My surgery was outpatient. I had my husband with me so he drove me home. I layed down in the back seat and was a little nauseous but did ok for the 2-hour drive home. All-in-all the surgery went well. I am not one to just hang out & do nothing so it has been difficult from that stand point. The first week was harder than I thought but I think I expected to bounce right back.

I don't have any of the pain I had before :))) Now it is all incisional pain. My only problem is I am not recovering as fast as I would like. The doctor thinks I'm doing great. The normal recovery time is 4 weeks to 4 months, but I feel ready to go back to work. And I've been cleared but have to take it easy. As an emergency room and training nurse, all I can do is take it easy :)

Do I still have pain...yes. But not the same pain. It gets better every day. Sleeping is much better than before the surgery too. The incision is healing nicely. I have had no complications.

The most difficult part is driving...the position of the seat causes a lot of friction & is still pretty uncomfortable.

My only regret is that I didn't have the surgery sooner!!!!!

Donna

I am in the process of changing over my e-mail account from AOL to Adelphia. If you send me e-mail, please respond to this new account (BUT ALSO cc to my regular AOL account) until I know it's all set....I'll let you know when that is and before I cancel it.

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