I've got my life back!!

Moya - moyanic@gmail.com

Posted 2011-09-18

On Monday, a year to the day after I had my coccyx removed in Paris and a week after my 44th birthday, I will cycle (yes cycle!!) to Art college to start a four year degree course.

This time last year I would never have thought I would be where I am now, relatively pain free and about to start a new life. I even went horse riding for an hour with my kids during the summer and suffered no ill effects!! The only place where I am guaranteed to have pain is at the cinema, and it is uncomfortable lounging for any length on a sofa. This all started when I was rear-ended in a car accident in November 2006 and I spent the next 4 years unable to sit down properly unless I'd just had a cortisone injection, which helped a little.

I rediscovered my love of drawing while in the Apartment next to Hopital St Antoin where I spent two weeks recuperating after a week in hospital under the care of Professor Levon Doursounian, of whom I cannot speak highly enough. It was his expertise that made my operation so free of complications and my recovery so fast and so complete. Within 3 weeks I flew back to Ireland, within 6 weeks I was driving and swimming and doing all my usual activities.

Prof. Doursounian is a most kind and caring doctor and he looked after me personally, changing my dressings and taking out my stitches, himself. His colleague, Dr Jean-Yves Maigne who diagnosed me initially and injected my coccyx on numerous occasions, was also fantastic, answering e-mails by return as does Prof Doursounian. This is unheard of in Ireland where consultants are virtually un-contactable!!

My story is one of hope for those who have a posterior luxation or basically a broken/dislocated coccyx that has slipped backwards. However if possible, go to the best people; Maigne and Doursounian (see Doctors and specialists in France), for the best possible result!! I cannot thank them enough.

Update, 2016-03-06 - 6 years on.....what's a coccyx again? ?

I last posted in September 2011, a year after my op in France and a few days before starting art college. I now have a Hons BA in Fine Art (Painting) and would have forgotten all about my coccygeal experience were it not for the fact that people write to me so often for advice or updates after reading my story. I have also joined a Brass and Reed Band playing Clarinet (I was a piano player-clarinet is new!!) and am really excited because we travelling all the way from Limerick to lead the Manchester St Patrick's Day Parade this year!! My life is even better after my traumatic experience because my time out in France after the operation made me take stock and start doing stuff for me as well as for my kids and husband.

So the update is that my coccyx is no longer an issue except if I go to a concert in a church with hard seats or sit in an old theatre with bad seats for a lengthy period. Then it becomes uncomfortable; as does the intact coccyx of the person beside me, most likely!!

I was back doing all activities including driving within 6 weeks. My car was an Opel Zafira and so quite upright. It took longer in my husbands car. A year out, long journeys were still a bit uncomfortable and the cinema would hurt after an hour or so but after 2 years or less, all of this was in the past. I still occasionally think of the wonderful Messrs Doursounian and Maigne and how I would call in to see them if I was ever back in Paris-just to thank them!!

If you want to see what I've been up to art-wise, my website is www.moyanicheallaigh.com. Professor Doursounian found me drawing when he came over to dress my wound. We had a big chat about art and drawing and he told me he had wanted to go to art college way back in Senegal but it wasn't the thing one did and so he chose medicine which he also thought he'd like. He was quite critical of my work - constructively so, and the conversation made me think about how I had always wanted to study art but ended up a teacher which I loved too until narcolepsy put an end to my teaching career. I gave it up so I could have energy for my own children and a year after my coccygectomy it was time to do something for myself no small thanks to Prof D!!

I unreservedly say if you can get to see these two wonderful doctors in Paris before they retire-do it!!

My coccyx now lives in a specimen jar by the way! !


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