My coccyx nightmare


I know from the title of this post that it sounds like I have a problem with my coccyx, but you would be wrong. What I have a lot of pain, emotional pain, from the coccyx problem of a very dear friend of mine. She is a very strong and beautiful, but she is suffering the worst pain of her lifetime and she quite frequently says she wants to die just so the pain will stop. Because of the pain, the amount of pain medication she has to take, and the psychological effects of how the injury occurred (she was assaulted), she will become very irritated at times and her mood swings are totally unpredictable. Since I am the only person that has remained to help care for her and make sure she is able to function at some level, I have quite frequently been the target of her frustration and pain when she has a mood swing. She has recently made some progress in controlling the outcome of the mood swings, meaning she has learned to direct her anger away from me – in fact, she tells me when she is feeling it happen and I will leave her alone until she feels better and comes to me. It works quite well.

She originally thought it was just a fractured coccyx, which she has had before, and that it would heal a couple of weeks. But, after a month or so it was obvious that it was not going away anytime soon. Her doctor looked at the x-rays and told her he thought it would only be fixed with surgery. I began doing research, which is how I came upon your wonderful site.

The situation is complicated by the fact that she is unemployed and does not have insurance. She cannot bear the pain enough to find a job to make any money, so I have been supporting her and her apartment the best I can, but it is very difficult. We are using the Goldcard system in Texas to get her treatment, but everything moves slowly and it takes months to get appointments with any type of doctors. She was able to express to them how much pain she is in and the orthopedic specialist's nurse has moved her appointment up six weeks. I am hoping she has success with this route, but I am afraid the specialist may not be a specialist on the coccyx and we cannot afford another setback. I have tried to no avail to contact several orthopedic specialists to find out if they would just look at her situation and possibly help her on a delayed payment plan or even pro bono. We would have not problem paying the orthopedic specialist back over time, but that cannot happen until her problem is fixed and she is able to get a job.

Also, she would like to apply for SSI benefits, but we don't know where to begin. If anyone knows of an attorney or anything about applying for these or other benefits that would help her get medical treatment and financial support, please contact her at

It has been about six months now and she is waiting for her appointment with an orthopedic specialist tomorrow. We will update you further as our journey continues.

Gary (Houston, Texas)

Updated 2004-10-10

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