Butt ache then surgery

Brandie Cobb - bloc@sc.rr.com

Posted 2006-06-18

Where do I begin? My coccyx pain started around June of 2005. It started for no apparent reason. I thought eventually it would go away but after a couple of months I was still in pain. I went to a family doctor and he gave me a cortisone injection, it didn't help, in fact it made the pain worse. So I wouldn't let them give me another one of those. He told me to sit on a doughnut and take Tylenol and it would heal on its own in a couple of months. I don't know about the doctors in your area, but the ones here are impossible to get pain medication from.

I waited another 6 months, still no relief. I went to another doctor. He said the same thing; give it a couple of months and it should heal on its own. Still having no relief after several more months I went back and he finally gave me a referral to see an orthopedic surgeon. I had x-rays taken and my coccyx was sitting at a 90 degree angle pushing into my rectum. The orthopedic surgeon had never done a coccyx surgery so I was sent to Charleston's MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) to Dr. John Glasier. I went and met with him and he scheduled my surgery for April 24th, 2006. So on that day 10 months after the initial pain began, I drove the 2 hours from my home in Myrtle Beach to Charleston.

Surgery Day: I checked in at 10:30 am, dressed for surgery, they hooked me to an IV and to sleep I went. When I awoke I was feeling some pain and had to go to the bathroom. They tried to get me to use a bed pan and that was very painful so I was up walking taking myself to the bathroom about 15 minutes after surgery. It was painful to squat to sit on the toilet, so I fussed at the doctor to get some raised toilet seats. I was on Morphine until about 3 am when I asked to be given something a little less strong. My goal being the sooner you are off the hard drugs, the sooner you get to go home. It wasn't as painful as I had imagined but it was way more uncomfortable than I could have imagined. Finally, I was released that very next day. I was still nauseous but I ran out of there as fast as possible. Its funny they asked if I wanted to use the wheelchair to leave, NO! What a stupid question.

Advice: Do not try to drive 2 hours home, get a hotel. I was vomiting and in extreme pain all the way home. But isn't home the best place to heal?

Post-op: It was a long, hard month of recovery. I took Oxycodone for 2 weeks then went back to Tylenol. There are not enough laxatives in the world as I didn't have a BM for 6 days and that was very unpleasant. I watched a lot of TV, read a lot, and walked as much as possible. I had 3 pound weights that I would walk around the living room pumping. I also did some Tai Chi for stretching. You lay so much your hips start to hurt more than your butt does. I was out of work for a month and needed every second of it.

June 1st I went back to work part-time the first week and after that, I was full-time. I still have to use my cushion but it is much better now than it was before surgery. I sit all 8 hours on my cushion without pain. I would definitely do it over again, but I will never do another surgery if I can at all help it. It has been almost 2 months and I am extremely happy with my progress. The doctor told me that it could take up to 2 years to heal completely. The doctor's most successful patient was able to ride his motorcycle at the end of 4 months.

Tips for surgery:

  1. Get an experienced doctor.
  2. Make sure you have as much knowledge about the procedure as possible.
  3. Write a list for the doctor including your pain level on a 1-10 scale and how it is affecting your life, the doctors laughed at me but it let them know that I was serious.
  4. Be prepared to be out of commission for a while.
  5. Sleep alone, your own movements hurt much less someone else's.
  6. Get a raised toilet seat; it is the best thing ever, worth every penny.
  7. Wear silk pajamas they make it easier to turn over.
  8. Take stool softener as long as you are on pain medication.
  9. Change your dressing and inspect your incision everyday.
  10. Walk as soon and as much as possible.
  11. Take it at your own pace, don't try to rush things.
  12. Stay positive.

I am very thankful for this website without it I would have lost hope. Most doctors don't know what to do about this problem so keep looking until you find one. If the doctor thinks you are a good candidate for surgery I would do it. I look at it as now I have the chance to heal where before surgery I didn't. That little bit of hope really makes a difference. I believe this is one of the hardest things you can go through because you don't realize how much you sit. If I can help anyone going through this please do not hesitate to write me at bloc@sc.rr.com and I wish everyone all the luck in healing.

Update, 2006-07-02

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still recovering and doing very well. I still have trouble sitting in cars for long periods of time, but it is better every day. I probably baby my butt a little too much, but I think it is worth it. I went out to eat last Saturday and sat the entire meal without my cushion, comfortably. I was so excited to finally feel somewhat normal.

I don't think about my butt all of the time, it doesn't consume my entire life anymore and if you have this problem you know how much it can consume your life. I am so glad I went with the surgery. I am not 100% but I am a lot closer than I was before, I would say I am now at a 90% recovery and getting better daily. If I can help anyone in anyway, please do not hesitate to contact me. I promise to keep updating as I get better.

Brandie Cobb

Update, 2006-09-17

Hello it's Brandie again. I promised myself that if I had a positive outcome with my surgery that I would continue to write. I hated that every time you would read about a surgery it was bad because the positive outcomes.

I have been so happy about my decision to have surgery. I am almost back to my normal self. Now if you are considering surgery don't be discouraged when you read that a person isn't at 100% recovery. This particular surgery takes a long time to heal and you have to be patient and hopeful. I now live my life without thinking about it every five seconds. I can eat, sleep, and ride in a car again. I am so happy with my results. I kept a positive attitude and I think that has made all the difference.

I am going to Jamaica in January and will write after that to let you know how I did on the plane ride and if I am able to do all of the activates there. I wish all the best for everyone in this horrible situation. Let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help.

Update, 2007-02-04

Hello again, I said I would write after I got back from Jamaica. So here goes: I had a 4 hour plane ride with no pain. I rode a bike that floats in the ocean no problem. I rode a bumpy bus for 5 hours no problem, and I actually kayaked although that did smart just a little because of the way you have to sit.

But I feel I am finally healed. I feel great. I am so happy about the outcome of my surgery. I wish everyone with this condition all the hope and help possible and I hope you all find yourselves saying that you also are finally healed. Thank you to this website, to my doctors, and to my close family and friends for getting me through this. Please keep a positive attitude no matter what action you take to solve this horrific condition and I know you will make it through.

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