Surgery this morning . . . cancelled

Syrena -

Original posting:

It is Tuesday, August 17, 2004. I am scheduled for my coccygectomy this morning. In 2001, I was rear-ended in a car accident, and have had lots of pain! The pain is at the base of my spine, and I also have some pain slightly higher in the left sacro-iliac joint, radiating down my left leg.

I have seen three orthopedic surgeons since the accident, and see a chiropractor regularly. After having many MRIs and had only had a couple of x-rays in the initial stages after the accident, my broken tail-bone wasn't discovered until this April when I decided to try the third orthopedic surgeon, who found it right away, and took more x-rays. He took x-rays from a side angle, and the break was then very clearly there. My initial x-rays, in 2001, were only taken from the front angle. MRIs only go as low as the sacrum, so it is no wonder that the broken tail-bone wasn't discovered.

My tailbone is almost broken off, and is pushing right into the muscles of my rectum. I have been telling my doctors over these past couple of years, that I have pressure in my bowels, and that my muscles felt weaker in my rectum, but I was told that the accident had nothing to do with it. I knew that the pain started that day, and was annoyed to keep being patronized.

So, this is it. It will be removed, today. I will update as soon as I can get to the computer. Thank you, Jon, for having this site. It has been a huge help to me.


Update, 2004-08-22:

It is Friday, August 20, 2004, and my surgery was NOT done!

Let me begin by mentioning a couple of things that I didn't mention, previously. I am a 39 year old woman, who has a few medical issues. For one, I have a mitral valve prolapse, which is a heart condition in which a valve in my heart could get stuck open, occasionally, and it causes an extremely rapid heart rate. Attacks can last anywhere from a minute to an hour. When any type of surgery is performed, even a dental cleaning where my gums might bleed, I have to take antibiotics. I understand that bacteria going to the heart is dangerous in my condition. Therefore, antibiotics were going to be administered during this entire process of my coccygectomy.

I have another issue. Due to all of the antibiotics I have taken in my life, I have a systemic and chronic candida infection. Candida infections are an overgrowth of a fungus that is usually natural in your body, but with too many antibiotics, and too much sugar in my diet, I have the overgrowth in my digestive tract, in my intestines, vaginally, in my ears, and I'm told may even be in my nasal passages.

I have tried over and over to rid myself of this issue with multiple different treatments, including a regime of a non-sugar diet for six months while taking anti-fungals, acidophilus, garlic, and enzymes. During the time that I was on the regime, I noticed the candida decreased. I slowly worked my way back to a regular diet, but the candida came back, pronto. It was very frustrating after all I had done to get rid of it! So, after having the problem for 11 years, I give up on trying to get rid of it. I manage the symptoms by continuing with acidophilus, garlic and using vaginal creams when necessary.

I had told the hospital, during my pre-admission testing, that I had these problems. They told me that I would be having antibiotics for the surgery, and I told them that I had a problem with candida overgrowth from antibiotics. I told them which products I use to manage the problem, and I saw the nurse put the information on to the computer. That was two weeks prior to the operation date.

My gynecologist gave me a couple of refills on my vaginal medication when I told her I would be on antibiotics. She told me to start the medication a few days before the surgery, and after the surgery, if the surgeon agreed, I could continue with a couple of rounds of the medication. Candida infections can be very uncomfortable!

The day of the surgery was supposed to be August 17, 2004. First I was told to arrive at the hospital at 6:30 AM. Then, the doctor called me the night before, and said to come at 11:00 AM instead. I had been off of solid foods for two days at that point, when I arrived at the hospital, and hadn't had even a sip of anything for twelve hours when I arrived at the hospital. I had also been on Milk of Magnesia for the previous couple of days. So, I felt pretty empty, and also very lightheaded and may I mention VERY nervous.

I put on my johnny coat and slippers. Then the nurse came in and announced that I was bumped to the last surgery of the day. They moved me to my hospital room and gave me an IV drip. A half an hour later, I started having diarrhea, and it lasted through the rest of the day. The doctor was told of my dilemma, but he didn't want to stop it, as he wanted me to be 'cleaned out'. However, I kept telling them that it was nothing but fluid, and I didn't want to go into surgery with diarrhea, especially since the incision was going to be so close in proximity to the anus.

They didn't seem worried about that, but then my surgery was bumped to the morning of the 18th. They finally gave me an Immodium to stop the diarrhea, and let me have some fluids before midnight on the 17th.

They said I would be taken down for surgery at 8:00 AM. When the doctor came in to talk to me at 8:00AM, I told him that after all of the diarrhea I had the night before, I was very uncomfortable 'down below', and asked if it would be alright if I used some of my vaginal treatment for candida. He seemed surprised that I had this problem, and announced that I could not have the surgery!

He snapped at the nurse to send me home, and then told me (in an annoyed tone), that I would have to go see my gynocologist and get a letter of release from her before the surgery could be performed. He told me that if candida gets on a bone, it will eat away at the bones until I would have had no spine left. He added that it could be a potentially life threatening situation! Then he left my room in a hurry.

I felt very disappointed, but as I thought about it more, I was so grateful that things unfolded as they did! Had the time of the surgery not been bumped, and had I not had the diarrhea, I wouldn't have asked the doctor about the vaginal cream, and may have gone through the surgery. I'm very grateful I spoke up when I did!

So, now I am left with having to figure out how to manage my pain, and find a different treatment. Getting rid of the candida, especially in my digestive tract isn't an option. It doesn't work, and it takes too long, then comes back again. Having it in my digestive tract is probably more of an issue than it is vaginally.

I am not a good candidate for this surgery. I also don't think I could put myself through this all over again, with the fasting and cleansing, boarding my pet, and mostly having to get up my courage for the long recovery time that a coccygectomy has.

I am going to be investigating less invasive treatments for this. My problem with this is that broken tailbone is pressing on my rectal muscles, causing pressure and weakness in my bowels. Also, I have been on cortizone shots for the pain since 2001. I get a shot in my sacrum every six months as the pain comes back every six months. The cortizone shots reduce my pain a great deal. Instead of level 10 pain, the pain reduces to about a level 4, and I have adapted to that reduced pain. I am very concerned that I cannot take cortizone shots for the rest of my life. There has got to be another way!

The doctor who was going to do the surgery said that if I don't get the bone removed, the bone pushing into the rectal muscles will cause me possible muscle weakness in my bowels and I could end up wearing a diaper by the time I'm fifty years old. Could this be true?

He also added that adding cortizone shots in that area will weaken the muscles further.

So, now, I really don't know what I can do! Does anyone have any suggestions for other, non-invasive options for treating this?

Thank you!


Updated 2004-08-22

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