The pain in my ass

Marcel - Marcel.Tietze@Shaw.ca

I want to start out by telling you a little bit about what has happened to me. It is not really a sign of hope or help. Hopefully many of you can relate and give input or feedback.

About 5 years ago, my problems became apparent and steadily got worse. My issues started while I was living in Fort McMurray and the town had little resources to help me figure out why sitting became a problem, an especially bad time as I was just about to start college. After a few tests and basic insight, my family doctor referred me to a general surgeon. After yet another x-ray, the surgeon pointed out that it looked like something in the medical terms called a "Pilonidal Sinus". So the surgery was booked, and it looked like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. When the surgery was completed, and the recovery, albeit rough, and in many terms a nightmare, I still had the same pain, if not a touch worse. How is that for luck?

During the five years there after, I endured various body form charges. I went from a rather muscular 175 lbs, to an ultimate low of approximately 129 lbs. Eating was an issue, but that would be yet another essay to yet another topic. We'll just skip that part. Anyway, that was said to be one cause of my pain, although it started when I weighed 175 lbs, how heavy must one be to NOT endure pain??

During my time in Fort McMurray I was referred to many specialists and had numerous tests - Bone Scan, x-rays, Cortisone shots, Etc – were completed and none of these tests however gave the doctors/specialists further knowledge to the cause of my pain, and I started to take Tylenol 3 and 4 to release the pain.

Up to about year 2003 I had no answers, and was starting to glow due to all the tests I have taken It wasn't until I moved to Calgary and found a new family doctor that the light at the end of the tunnel was slowly brightening again. I was referred to a general surgeon. Tests and more tests, with the same results were done until I finally hooked up with an orthopedic surgeon. I had to do yet another… Can you guess..? X-RAY! However, after this photo session, my portrait produced an immediate possible cause to my pain. "It looks like what we would refer to as "coccydynia". Since I have already gone through all the post surgery tests (Bone Scans, MRIs, Cortisone, etc), I was recommended to have a surgery. At the end of October 2003, I had my first surgery to remove my coccyx. The surgeon removed two segments of my coccyx because they were quite out of alignment. Right after surgery, I was released and sent home from the hospital bleeding. After four days of continuous bleeding and two visits to two emergencies, I was continually sent home with some clean bandages, and a bag of Percocet. When I finally went to see my surgeon again, after a weekend of continued blood loss, I was informed that the stitches had in fact let go. I had to return for a minor surgery to get re-stitched and got a nice drain put into the wound. A new tail??

After this second surgery, I continued on my path to tremendous pain and bleeding. A week later I once again went to see my surgeon, who explained that I have gotten an infection in the wound area, and had to go through surgery number three for a thorough cleaning of the surgery wound. I got re-stitching and another drain was inserted at the wound. A week later I had the stitches removed and thought that I was on my journey to the land of recovery and wellbeing. The completion of my 4 year battle YEAH!

After taking much of November off and coming back to work in December, I could only work half day until March 2004. During which time I went to yet another family doctor for pain control. During this time of bi-weekly visits, I was given multiple forms of pain killers. Initially Percocet, however after nearly six months on it, my body became immune to it. Not a good thing in my books. Oxycocet and Supeudol were my next alternatives. Oxycocet 10 mg proved unless and a time release medication. There after Supeudol 10 mg was tried at a continuous rate of 1 every 6 hours. This proved useful, but after about 3 hours the pain persisted after a short intermission. I was given a new prescription of Supeudol 10 mg at a NEW rate of 1 every 4 hours… Ahhh better.

This was continued for a short period, in which time I also revisited my orthopedic surgeon to see why my HELL has not ended. Apparently the final section of my coccyx was continuing to cause issues, so my last surgery on April 29, 2004 was to have this removed and leave me with only a sacrum.

After my last string of hope, the final surgery was complete I was sent home the next day as the wound was in good shape. The ride home however proved more painful then I imagined. I sat on my tailbone cushion during the ride home. When I got home, I started bleeding quite heavily. Therefore the next day which was Saturday, I went to the Emergency as per the surgeon's instructions. At the Emergency, I had to endure a two hour wait before being sent home with a Demerol shot and fresh bandage. I was ok for the day. However Saturday night till Sunday night the pain persisted. I woke up Monday morning about 3:00 am with continuous pain. The pain was different then before. It was a continuous throbbing/piercing pain and quite intolerable. After barely making it through the mid morning, I tried to see my family doctor or surgeon, well actually ANYONE and it was impossible and the pain started causing tears in my eyes. I finally decided to go back to the Emergency.

With the level of pain that I was enduring, the wait was not that extremely long. I was sent back and instructed to lay down. I was injected with morphine and my surgeon was contacted. Apparently I had gotten a Hematoma in the wound site. I was re-admitted to the hospital for 4 days 3 of which were attempts at pain control and questions of how to fix this problem. Given Demerol, Percocet, and Oxycocet the pain gradually went from a 10 to a 2, and I was sent home on the 6th. So now the first night has gone by, not too bad, but the pain is still there. I am currently on Oxycocet 40 mg twice a day until I visit the surgeon again. The bleeding has stopped so far.

Well that is the story, although not with a complete and happy ending yet. If you can relate or have insight, please feel free to advise…

Thanks

Updated 2004-05-16

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