My pain

Molly Gillogly Azar

This site is interesting. I wish I had seen one like this in 1996 before I had my tailbone removed.

My pain started during my 5th month of pregnancy with my first child. (I think I injured my tailbone while sledding when I was 13). As usual, no doctor took me seriously. My delivery was awful. The baby had a hard time getting through the birth canal because the coccyx was too bent to allow his head to get through. (I am an American living abroad and was living in Jakarta at the time but gave birth in Singapore). Anyhow, after the birth it hurt just the same as before. I thought that the baby was sitting funny and with him out I'd get some relief. No chance. It hurt like hell to breastfeed the baby sitting down, etc. etc. I was quite depressed about it. It was not a way to welcome a child into this world. I tried chiropractors, physical therapy, reflexology, and accupunture. Nothing worked. After 8 months I saw a specialist in New York who barely examined me and ordered a bone scan. My xrays showed a "bent coccyx." Then I saw a pain specialist in Chicago who gave me steroids. They helped for a while. However, about 3 months afterwards, I started to get a squishy inflamed feeling everytime I sat down. Almost like there was fluid collecting in my anus region.

I was back in Singapore (I had moved there in 1996) and saw my gynecologist who referred me to an insensitive orthopedic *****. He didn't even exam me and told me that I just better get over this thing. (I wanted to have another baby but the thought of using a doughnut-hole cushion the entire pregnancy and possible complications during delivery was too much to bare!) Nevertheless, I persevered and found a very nice pain specialist who believed my story and gave me plenty of tissues to clear up my tears. (I felt that up until then the cultural differences were hindering effective treatment. It was terrible being a foreigner with severe pain and no one to talk to.) The Singaporean pain doctor did a lot of research on Med-line and was optimistic about surgery. He got a surgeon to reluctantly agree. The surgeon really didn't want to perform the operation and I think had only performed one such operation before.

I felt no different after the operation. In fact, I didn't feel much pain resulting from the operation. Nevertheless, I got pregnant again and felt very little pain during the pregnancy and during delivery. It was a very positive experience. However, 6 weeks after delivery, I got that swelling feeling and more and more pain. I can't say that the pain is the same as before the operation, but I still get a "squishy" feeling when I sit down and sometimes a "crunching" sound. The doctors in Singapore say that is because I am now sitting on the soft tissue of my rectum. They say that because I have no tailbone to protect the rectum I am having pain in my rectum. Hmm. Also, I tend to get a burning sensation sometimes when I exercise or squeeze my buttocks together. Yoga helps. I think it firms up the muscles and keeps everything tight.

I went back to my pain specialist in Chicago after the birth of my second child and he couldn't explain my pain. He gave me steroids which made the pain worse.

Perhaps I should have had the surgery performed in the U.S. by a doctor who had done more of these types of things.

Can anyone explain this "rectum" problem? Are there others experiencing this after surgery? It has been three years since the surgery. Some days I feel quite sorry for myself and other days I'm just thankful that I have two sweet boys. Yeah, I've experienced more pain than the average person, but I do have a lot of other great things about my life. I really miss bike riding and being able to sit in any restaurant without pain.

Molly in Singapore

Updated 1999-07-26