Surgery after two years of suffering

Jo - jo.verde@sympatico.ca

I am a 56 year young female who had suffered all the pain and debilitation that problems with the coccyx can create. I am also a very strong believer that recovery rests with the individual and strength of mind and willingness to push a little further each day. I have had more surgery than the average person so I can intelligently offer some comparisons and yet recognize that everyone both deals with pain and recovers at their individual pace. I have not taken any pain medications for 3 weeks now. Don't freak out when you see the bruising. . . it goes away in the first couple of weeks.

That having been said, I suffered almost 2 years, going through all of the possible treatments just like your other readers. When pain in my legs affected my ability to drive the decision for me was easy. My family doctor referred me to Dr Bernard Woolford Toronto, Canada. An absolute saviour! His mix of personal and professional presence instilled confidence in me from the get go.

On February 1st, a Tuesday, I entered the hospital and came home on Saturday February 5th came home. To be honest, I have lost those 5 days. . . What I can honestly say is for me, this was a tough surgery in that for the first couple of weeks not being able to take care of myself and having to depend on others to ensure the surgery site was kept clean was tough. I believe it is important to know yourself, your type of personality and how you deal with loss of independence albeit for a short time. This was my biggest problem post surgery. This speaks to my personality type!

It is now 5 weeks later and all is well. I can walk, take stairs, sit at my computer to work for 45 minutes at a time. Yesterday I tried to sit in the car with my buddy, the coccyx cushion and go for a short drive as a passenger. Not the most comfortable but a start. I think I may have to wait a bit for any client visits.

Also I have not yet slept through the night. The physiotherapist suggested an afternoon nap but this is not something I do. I get to sleep nicely but when I roll over and hit that one spot I awake. She has suggested an "egg crate" but I haven't bought one yet. Something to consider.

My advice to anyone considering the surgery.

a. You will know in yourself when enough is enough!

b. Make sure you have all the medical stuff you will need when you come home, alcohol, swabs, gloves etc

c. Consider a toilet seat elevator. Best thing I purchased ahead of time, but you can rent them.

d. I had extra shopping for household stuff in the house ahead of time. This was a good thing.

e. Have someone lift those heavy things from the bottom cupboards up for you ie pots and pans cuz you are not going to be able to bend initially.

f. Be patient with yourself. If you are a clean freak, know that if you drop something it stays there unless someone else picks it up for you.

g. Get yourself a good heating pad. SOOO much comfort from the heat.

h. BBQ tongs work wonders for reaching some things and also for pulling on socks. I could get one on really well but not the other!

i. Make sure you have Metamucil or other stool softener and take it. I made that mistake only once. Absolute terror.

h. Stay positive and know that each day is a little better and tomorrow will be better still.

I will keep you posted as I recover. I hope I have helped someone who may be considering the surgery by providing some helpful hints.

Please add Dr Bernard Woolford (see Doctors and specialists in Canada) to your list of doctors performing this surgery. I did a lot of research beforehand, including visiting and reading on this site. When I went to visit him I was armed with a host of questions, all of which were answered with truth and integrity .

Good luck to those considering. I would do this again in a heartbreak cuz the bottom line is now all I have is the ache that will eventually get better. The incapacitating pain in the "butt" is gone!

Jo

Updated 2005-03-13

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