Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coccyxitis or How I Broke My Bottom

Ok, so first off, my bottom is NOT actually broken.  Inflamed, yes, broken probably not.  Starting last night I had really strong pain in my tail bone (coccyx).  Apparently it's the last bone of your spinal column and back when we were creatures with tails, if that ever was, this is the bone that would make up the end of the tail.  Oh, and when this little bone is in pain, you cannot sit at all.  I'm not joking, it is incredibly painful to put a lot of pressure on my tush.  After large doses of Excedrin, which taken late at night do nothing for your ability to sleep (each pill contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee) and a cute little homemade rice heating pad, I could finally lie in bed and fall asleep.  Unfortunately, I have class at 10:30 on Tuesday mornings so going to Emergency wasn't going to be a realistic option unless I was willing to ditch class, and frankly I wasn't.  I was pretty glad I stuck it out, we toured the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) Lab for my Polymer class, and it was so cool.  Yes, this makes me ridiculously nerdy, but wow it was impressive.  After my last class ended around 2 I darted over to the medical clinic here on campus.  That was also pretty darn impressive.  I'm really grateful to have good medical insurance here.  Even though I went to emergency because I didn't have an appointment and honestly wasn't going to go through the trouble of scheduling one, it was still quick, relatively efficient, and free.  I've heard horror stories about how people wait all day in emergency rooms in the US and I'm so glad that wasn't the case here.  Unfortunately, since it's my tail bone that is the problem, there is very little they can do to help me.  So after a couple of prescriptions for pain and anti-inflammatorys, we were done.  Since sitting down is a major issue, most people with tail bone problems use a doughnut  pillow to sit.  But, they don't have any here.  So I'm going to be doing a lot of standing in the next week or so because the only other option is lying down and it is really quite hard to get anything done when lying down (big surprise).

Since I'll be working standing up for awhile, Steve improvised me a workstation!  It's pretty clever, just one of the small end tables stacked on top of the coffee table and it's the right height for working and computing!  Thank goodness for small wins.


  1. Sooooooo How did you do it???????

  2. Heh, I wish I knew. The doctor asked if I had fallen or lifted anything really heavy, which I haven't so the best guess is from biking. I bike to and from class everyday plus an occasional trip to the grocery and what not, so that's probably what caused it. But we did get a new bike seat that is wider and more cushy, so hopefully that will help when I do get back on the bike.

  3. um ouch is right. Now since I can't sit down, I'm standing through 90 minute classes, and 8 hour days. So along with tail bone pain, my feet and calves are killing me! It's interesting to see how much I miss something as simple as sitting down.

  4. I had a bilateral knee replacement 8 weeks ago with a general. Afterwards I had an epidural which I had removed after a couple of days.
    Since then, and now, I have a numb patch the size of my hand immediately below my belt at the base of my spine. It aches to sit on and sometimes stings. It feels like I am constipated (I'm not). Sitting is very uncomfortable and so I try to stand as much as possible _ which is contrary to what my knees want. Am I alone?

  5. Anon,

    The numbness, aches, and stinging are pretty similar to what I have felt (and still sometimes feel). Best bet it to talk to your doc! If it is similar to what I had, hopefully they can get you a special doughnut pillow to sit on as I've heard they help.