My short story

John -

Hello all,

My name is John. I am a 28-year-old sailor that broke my tailbone about six years ago while playing a rugby game in Japan. I am still very active in sports and currently play in Italy. I am big guy at 6 feet 6 inches, 330 pounds and I had been living with the pain for too long and figured it was time to do something about it. I have a 2003 Harley that is my pride and joy, unfortunately I could only force myself to ride it for about 1 1/2 hours (even with a $550 "old-timer" seat).

I finally broke down and decided it was time to get some help. I was a little ashamed/embarrassed to go in to tell the doctor my "butt problem," and he sent me to see a Navy Ortho specialist. I had CAT scans, x-rays, MRI's on my bum and they were all inconclusive. Guess what that meant, the dreaded finger check was used. I of course required a small courting period between the doc and me before the procedure was allowed to start. It was pretty conclusive. A shot was then administered to make "for sure" that my tailbone was the cause of my problems and not something else. The shot made me feel great for about 5 or 6 hours then, wow, major pain.. I cursed the doc all the way home from a friend's house that night. I went in to see the doc the next week and told him the pain was gone after the shot and back full force the following few days.

We scheduled surgery for the next month. I was a little leery because he said that he had done just 2 similar procedures. Well I went for it anyway. I wanted to get the procedure done ASAP but because I have the shot the doc told me I couldn't have surgery for at least a month because of the steroids that was in the shot and that they promote infections. I had my surgery on a Thursday hoping I would feel good enough on Monday to go to my after work college class... he he..

Well I took the spinal for the procedure... wow... I am slightly different from the normal 330 pounder, my blood pressure is normal to low, normally. Worrying about this the guy that gave me the spinal pumped me full of extra fluids to help keep blood pressure up. I don't remember getting the spinal or the procedure (I requested this). Because I am a big guy they preferred to use the spinal vs. general so I would be able to move around for them. The procedure took about 35 mins (around 10 am). The only thing I remember about it is when the doc showed me the little bugger after he took it out. He said it was totally free and that he could move it with his finger after he cut me open. We had a small fight when the doctor would let me have my bone back. It would have been a interesting conversation piece.

Well anyway, I was wheeled back up to my room (I was admitted over night, my request). I was so thirsty, with these procedures you aren't supposed to eat from lunch the day before or drink after 8 pm the night before. The nurses gave me two small bottles of water and two apple juices. The drugs were great, didn't feel anything. The fluid drip and antibiotics continued to flow freely into my numb body. I got three frozen juice pop-sickles, and two more apple juices (1.30 pm). I was laying on my right side propped up by a long body pillow behind me. Coming in and out of reality, I watched some TV. I was hungry but I was on a strict water only diet for the next 24 hours. The nurses came in a checked on me every 30 mins or so. I was one of two patients on their ward.

Around 2.30 I started to get some feelings back into my lower body. After years of "being able to feel my privates" the lack of feelings and the deadness of my genital area was uncomforting. At 2.30 I still had no feeling there but in the back of my mind I released that with the amount of fluids being forced into me as well as my unquenchable thirst, I might need to pee pretty soon. Looking down at my lifeless member and then to the uninviting piss cup, I decided I would wait. 3.30 rolls around, feelings in my left leg are coming back, my foot was still unresponsive. I decided I would need to pee sooner or later.

Around 4.15 I decide that its time to make the trek to the bathroom and give my bladder some release, as I was trying to buzz the nurse for some help a rugby buddy of mine stops by to give me some company. This would have been great except that it was time to go to the bathroom. I pretty much kicked him out after about 10 mins and immediately rang my much-needed helpers. They helped me get to the bathroom. My right leg and foot was still unsteady (I was nauseous standing). I slowly lowered myself to one butt cheek. Life had started to come back to my penis, but not much. I wasn't sure how to start the process. I could feel me pee muscles to start the event. I didn't notice it until it hit the floor but my body released about a shot of pee. Talk about unnerving. I sat there until the nurses forced me to go back to bed (about 35 mins). The urge to pee was getting really strong. I felt like at a little kid doing the pee-pee dance.

By 5.30 I had feelings back to my legs and feet and was making frequent and uneventful trips to the bathroom. At 600 I was starting to get pissed-off at my inability to relieve myself. The nurses were getting worried because I was spending so much time sitting on the pot, they were worried I would rip some stitches.

Around 6.15 I had enough, I rung the nurse and told them that I needed to catheter, would they please give me one. Well the next 45 mins were the longest of my life. You have to imagine the discomfort I was in to ask another man to put a tube in my penis so I could pee. Well in order for them to do this they have to call all the doctors to make sure it ok. I am not a violent person by nature, actually my friends consider me to be one of the kindest people they know. I started yelling and throwing easily accessible items, and then I couldn't and wouldn't move at all. Finally the nurse came in and I was almost in tears. The whole process of getting a catheter isn't really fast. I was cussing the guy's slowness under my breath the whole time. The blue surgical gloves just weren't going on, the poor guy struggled for what seemed like 10 mins trying to get them on. The whole time I was preparing myself for the event. I was out of my gown, ready to go.

Well once the gloves were somewhat on he got tried to open the lubricant to put on the tube, I ended up taking it from him and opening it. I was starting to shake a little. I think the guy notice the desperation in my eyes and started moving a little quicker. He prepared the area of insertion and rammed the tube home. Not a pleasant feeling at all. About a cup of pee (50ml) came out the tube and was it. The urge was still very strong, He pushed the tube in some more but nothing was coming out. I was dumbfounded. The huge pressure was still there. We didn't release at the time, but sometimes when someone is laying on his or her side the tube isn't always effective. The plastic was removed, I was scared. I know I needed to pee, I could feel it. Did something go wrong from the surgery, that was in the back of my mind?

The nurse went to call the doctor again to get advice. I went to the bathroom. Sat on the toilet for about 15 mins, decided to try a different technique. I stood ignoring the dizziness and waited. Finally I got at little to come out. I still had no control of the muscles that keep the pee going though. Just little trickles of pee were coming out periodically. I was starting to feel relieved. After about 10 or 12 small samples I finally got the mother load. Almost 700 ml. I felt like a kid that just hit the game winning homerun in peewee league. At the time it was a big accomplishment for me, I wanted to show my prize to everyone. Everyone was happy again.

About every hour and half I would get up and make a similar deposit. I had no idea where it was all coming from. The stitch area was fine feelings to everything came back, It was like everything was oversensitive. The doctor came in the next morning with a smug little grin and apologized for the pain that I went through, I let him know that it was better the he wasn't there last night, it might have been ugly.

Went home around lunch the next day. Baby steps. Baby steps... My other rugby buddies wife said that I was walking like I was attacked from behind. Baby steps. I tried to sit in a chair, made it about 5 mins. Way too much pain.. I stood and eat my lunch. My girlfriend picked me up and took me home where I spent the weekend watching TV and being served food. I figure that I have a higher than average pain threshold but Percocet and lack of movement the pain was minimal.

I am at day number 11 now after the surgery and I have been sitting in a regular chair (no extra cushions, they don't seem to help that much) for the last 6 hours or so. I get up every hour or so to give my bum a rest but as long as I put my weight on either my legs (lean far forward) and use the armrest and back support I am fine.

My biggest worry so far hasn't been pressure on the area, but the spreading of the area. Extra care is giving moving on, in or out of the chair I'm in. Getting in and out of cars is such fun.... joy.. I drove 7 days after the surgery, this is probably way too early. It's not safe.

I had my 1st check up on the 5th day after (said I could take showers again). All was well. I used baby wipes and cotton gauze to keep my stitches clean and dry, alcohol feels real good in that area.

When you take Percocet they give you laxatives, you can't take too many laxatives when you use percocet. I didn't poo for 5 days, I named it. It felt like I gave birth to the little bugger. Girlfriend said she was worried about me from the noises I was making in the "birthing room." I say again you can't take too many laxatives, you will thank me on this one.

On day 15 I will get the stitches removed. Looking forward to that. Little guy's itch, and the actual stitches feel like they poke me when I move around on them.

Well if you got this far, I hope you were entertained and maybe learned or related to something. I am unsure when I can ride my motorcycle again. I hope soon. Well take care. One day in the distant future I will write again about how I'm doing.


Big John

Updated 2005-10-16

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