Mary Lou - firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Mary Lou, and I'm a 57 year-old artist from Edmond, Oklahoma.
Two years ago, December 2008, I was leaning over to put a heavy pan of lasagna into the oven when I got a firey tazer to the tailbone. We were having a party, and there was no place to run. I thought it was my lower back, so I got pill after pill. I just hoped no one noticed I was stoned.
I went from my family doctor to various other doctors with injections in between each one has cost me approximately $2000, by the way). The injections worked for a few months, but then the pain would return.
My life was ruined. I could hardly sit, even in church. Fortunately I am a part-time homemaker, so I can get off of my bottom at home. But I couldn't travel, could hardly stand to drive to work as an art therapist. Three MRIs showed nothing. X-rays showed a very long tailbone, possibly dislocated.
I did get in with a pain management specialist, and at the worst I've been on 30 mg. of morphine 3 times a day and 5 30 mg. percocet, plus neurontin. After an injection I could drop down to three half-percocets a day.
Recently I've begun asking God for a miracle, because I knew that's what it would take. I may have found one yesterday when I saw the newer posts about doing squats (see Exercise for coccyx pain). I tried them and the other gluteal exercises, and did them every time the agony would start. Instead of reaching for a pill I did every butt crunch I know how to do, and I never took another pill the rest of the day!
I have a ray of hope! The physical therapist told me two days ago that my bottom was in knots all around my tailbone. She showed me a picture of the web of ligaments around the tailbone and said mine were all contracted. I have been totally broken, emotionally, since Friday, but then I read about the squats and leg lifts yesterday. I think this might work for me! I'm horribly sore, but who cares?
I am better!! I am about 65-75% better in the 5 weeks I've been seeing Lora Smith, PT., in Oklahoma City (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Oklahoma). I can hardly believe it!! She has me using a tennis ball on the the muscles around the tailbone that are contracted, and I hold it in different spots, on different muscles, wherever it feels good, until the spasm stops, which takes about 1 minute or less. I move it along the muscle and sit on it, in every spot where it feels fantastic! It's just like when the massage therapist, or a friend, massages that "crunchy" spot on your "wing" on your back!
I also sit on a heating pad every time I sit on the sofa. I've been up on one hip or the other for two years and two months. Now I can sit on my whole bottom, though I don't lean back onto my tailbone! She has me doing piriformis stretches also (see photo of stretches at drbackman.com/piriformis-muscle-stretch).
This is the first, and only, improvement I've ever had without a steroid injection, in two years of hell! I was on six 15 mg. morphine tablets, plus five 30 mg. Percocet tablets per day, plus Neurontin, Celebrex and muscle relaxers and it was not killing the pain. Now I am weaned down to one morphine tablet and three Percocet. I am ready to start breaking the Percocets in half. Soon I will be off the morphine alltogether!!
The piriformis muscles around my tailbone are "contracted." Flex your bicep: that's contracted. Imagine our poor bottom muscles being contracted for years!! It's like being locked in a box!! No wonder we are in agony! But Jon, I have been able to sit on my bottom since the first week of physical therapy with the tennis ball. I use it up to 4 times a day. It got pretty sore at first, but the pain showed some improvement at about 10 days. She also adjusts and massages it a little, too, rectally, like my old PT did, but I don't know if it helps.
My tailbone x-rays show it is dislocated. I don't know what the future holds because of that. It's also extra long, so the chances of reinjury are certainly possible. But I have HOPE for the first time in two years of torturous pain, deep emotional sorrow over the loss of my life, as I knew it, and hopelessness after consulting a dozen medical professionals. I've spent thousands of dollars trying to get help. (My "injury" happened while leaning over to put a pan of lasagna into the oven. Something started burning in my tailbone. Though the burning decreased over time, especially when I got off of Provigil, the deep, deep agonizing ache, like a continuous hammer to the tailbone, only let up at night.
Please let people know this can help! The pirformis muscle attaches to your hipbones, on both sides, and attaches again at the sacrum/tailbone area. The nerves involved are at L5, S1 and S2. THANK YOU DEAR JON!!!!! Mary Lou in Oklahoma, USA. Anyone who wants to reach me can call me at 405-478-0515.
(P.S. I'm so much better I'm flying to Germany in a few months!)
Jon, I am well, or almost! I'm at 90% at my worst right now, and 100% a lot of the time! It's almost over, Jon! I'm getting WELL after 2 years, 2 months and 22 days of torture. THANK YOU for all you do for all of us!! BLESSINGS! Mary Lou in Oklahoma!