Last option - fingers crossed!

Emma - missspeed2003@yahoo.co.uk

Posted 2006-06-18

Hello my name is Emma and I am 26 years old.

I fell down a staircase in Jan 2004 ( 2 years, 4 months ago) and damaged my coccyx bone. Although the pain was excruciating I never realised how serious it was and tried my best to carry on as normal. I had just began my first year at university training as a Dental Hygienist and id worked so hard to get on the course, I couldn't face not being able to study and work so I battled on with the help of pain killers and a coccyx wedge.

I visited my GP 2 weeks after the fall when I realised the pain wasn't getting any better. Here begins the long, frustrating, painful road to possible recovery.

Brief history of treatment:-

  1. 2 weeks- visited my GP. Told I'd probably fell on my tailbone and I was prescribed Ibuprofen and rest
  2. 2 months- No improvement, visited my GP who referred me to an Orthopaedic surgeon (6 month NHS waiting list)
  3. 6 months - Orthopaedic surgeon confirms coccydemia due to possible fracture and puts me on waiting list for Steroid injections
  4. 1 year - Steroid injections under GA very short effect about 2 weeks
  5. 1 year, 6 months - Tried steroid injections again this time with a private consultant for a 2nd opinion the only relief was from the lignocain anaesthetic which wore off within 3 hours. Was told my only options were to live with pain, try manipulation under sedation and only try surgery as a last option.
  6. 2 years - RV with NHS orthopaedic surgeon. Discussed option of surgery and decided to have it on 24th May 2006

The past 2 years really have been a nightmare. I ended up suffering depression as a result of living with chronic pain. I never thought that I would ever feel so low, I have always been so happy, worked and studied hard to get into university, lived life to the full and then boom my life comes crashing down, and why me I haven't a bad bone in my body (pardon the pun) always looked out for others, I was gutted.

Before I received a date for surgery I became very concerned about my depression and visited my GP for advice. She referred me to a pain management specialist department which I had to wait 3 months for an appointment. I began seeing a Health psychologist who explained that it was totally normal to feel so low when suffering from chronic pain and I was so relieved to know that I wasn't going mad! I have continued with my counselling and think that it has definitely helped me prepare for surgery and deal with my depression, although I do know it will take time for me to recover mentally and physically.

Surgery

I had a coccygectomy on 24th May 2006 and I am now 3 weeks post surgery. I must say that the surgery was certainly not as bad as alot of people experienced on this site. The first week post surgery was very painful but frustrating more than anything as you obviously cannot put any pressure on the area so alot of lying on your side and very sore hips. I took morphine, codeine, diclofenac and laxatives for the first 7 days then managed on codeine and diclofenac once I had some bowel movement, I also had to use a raised toilet seat for first 10 days but now I'm fine without. My wound has healed well its approx 3 cm long and it didn't hurt at all getting the stitches removed. I cant sit comfortably just yet but I am moving about alot more, can manage short car journeys sitting on my coccyx wedge and shifting the wait on my bum cheeks but cannot put any direct pressure around the wound.

Will keep you posted. If you have any questions or advice please get in touch

Emma

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