Having surgery on April 17th

Mary - MaryNajd@AOL.com

Posted 2006-03-19

I am a 58 year old woman from Minnesota, the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. I've been having tailbone pain for a little over 2 years. It becomes worse the more I sit or if I lie on my back. I have fallen several times in my life, but I believe the injury may have started with a fall about 6 1/2 years ago when I fell right on my tailbone when slipping on the step of a camper when it had rained and the step was slippery.

I didn't hurt until 2 1/2 years ago after losing a good amount of weight. Now I have pain when ever I sit for any length of time. It is especially bad when I ride in a vehicle. I need a "tush cush" at all times when riding and frequently when I'm at work. It feels worse whenever I go to get up, then the pain rushes into the tailbone area. I've tried to get help here in the Twin Cities, but through my health providers I have found that nobody here even wants to see a person for tailbone pain. The referral nurse tried several offices, but each one said they didn't have anyone to see at their offices.

We finally lied and I did see a Dr. back in Oct. of 2005. He did x-rays and didn't see anything much so he sent me to therapy for 6-8 sessions, there the therapist saw me for 6 sessions of heat and some very gentle movements of my legs. She was as helpful as she could be, but said I was probably wasting my time and money, she didn't think she could help me.

That's when I investigated tailbone pain for myself and found this wonderful web-site. Here I found the Dr. I have now gone to see up in Duluth, Mn. His name is Dr. Joel Zamzow MD at the Duluth Orthopaedic Clinic (see Doctors and specialists in the USA. I saw him and after his exam he said I will never get relief with therapy, but he feels he can help me by doing a surgery to remove my tailbone. We've set up the surgery for April 17th, 2006.

I am so relieved to have found Dr. Zamzow, I have every confidence in him. He was very positive that the surgery will help me and I am so tired of this daily pain that I am ready, a little fearful, but ready to have the surgery and get out of this pain.. I will write again and let you know how I do after surgery.

Thank you for this wonderful web-site and for all the personal stories, it has been more helpful than any other thing or Dr. that I've been able to find. Wish me luck

Update, 2006-04-30

I had my surgery on April 17 2006 in Duluth, MN, Dr. was Joel Zamaow M.D. I highly recommend him. I stayed in the hospital till April 20 2006. I was there that long only because he believes in the antibiotics for a full 6 doses, hung with the IV.

I was not too comfortable that first night, but the next day I was up and walking, the first time with a walker, then just walked beside my husband, as he pulled along the IV. Luckily of me I was able to ride the 125 mile trip home in luxury, in my son's motorhome. That way I could lie on my side all the way home in relative comfort. You gotta go that way after surgery if you have a long ride.

I'm doing pretty good at home. Must say it is boring lying around and the old hips get pretty sore. I also don't like to take the pain pills so much, but I do take Darvocet N 100 every 6-10 hours. The pain just kinda sneaks up on you and you feel so much better after you take the pain pill.

The most important thing for me is to keep the bowels moving, gets really uncomfortable if it gets too long in between. Take something for that if you have to, maybe it isn't a problem for others, but it is something I've learned helps me be more comfortable. Of course you are aware that your bum is uncomfortable, but am anxiously awaiting to see how it will be to sit at some point, can't do that anytime soon, but someday!?

Will up-date again, Thanks to all the good wishes and thoughts from all of you out there.

Mary Najdek

Update, 2006-07-09

Hi to all, I'm nearly 12 weeks post-op, some days up, others not so good. I still cannot "sit normal", cannot put weight onto my old "tailbone area". Of course tailbone is gone, but have feeling of fullness and of swelling in that area. Can now sit forward on my thighs. Cannot sit on my old "tush cush", with the tailbone cutout, the cutout area is too small and I feel too swollen to sit on it. I use a "neck roll", obviously I use it for my behind, using the pointed ends toward my back, then I can spread the pointed ends as far apart as I need. Does that make sense? Started to sit at about 8 weeks in this fashion to eat. What a joy to sit instead of standing for all meals etc.

When in the car I lie in the back seat with pillows under my shoulders and head. Started driving at about 9 weeks, only short distance, but I'm mobile again!! Also working nearly full time. Very lucky to work in family business, can go out to truck and lie down in the back seat a couple times a day, you do tire very easily.

Taking a couple of Aleve each day, won't take Darvocet-N as it is too constipating, have to be careful to not get constipated, makes life miserable if that area is sore. Too many nerves down there, and all are effected by the swelling from this surgery.

Will update again and let all know if I ever do "sit" normally again. Thanks to all the wonderful caring people that I've met on this web-site and for all the help, it has been so valuable, couldn't imagine how to cope without this web-site.

Thanks again, Mary in Minnesota

Update, 2006-11-26

Well it is now just over 7 months since my surgery. I am sitting more all the time, but not entirely on my bum. More on the thighs, but getting closer to normal sitting all the time. Still using a tush cush most all the time. Can sit on my thighs without cush tush on certain chairs. All vehicles are the worst for me, but on the upside I am able to sit for much longer times now and can drive much further. It still lets me know if I sit too long. The down side is the low backache you can have if you sit too long and in a compromising position due to the surgical area. I tend to lean into my desk at work staying off the old tailbone area as much as possible, this gives me a backache.

Another problem I've learned to overcome is the bowel problem! You may not have this problem, but I need to keep regular more than ever now and Metamucil is what works for me. Too many nerves in this area to let this get out of control.

I am doing much better than most I think. Looking forward to being even more pain free in the future. One more thought, this takes a long, long time to recuperate, you must be patient and not over due. You only hurt yourself and a quicker recovery. You may also find you are easily tired after this surgery, it takes a lot out of you. But it is worth it if you feel better and in less pain as I have found in my case.

Good luck to all who are suffering.

Mary in Minnesota

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