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Two years today I had my coccyx removed and part of my sacrum. 5 years ago on the 3rd May, a day I remember so well, I fell on some stairs after touring a beautiful palace in Denpassar, Bali. I had broken my coccyx. This was the day my life ended and hell began. After seeing 23 doctors holding various qualifications, from Orthopaedic Surgeons, Chiropractors, General Practitioners, Herbalists, Physio Therapists, Rolfers, you name it, I've been there. Cat scans, M.R.I's, X-rays. All appropriately done of the hips, the spinal column ..... up to the last vertebrae (Not the coccyx) and the diagnosis .... wait for it- it's in my head. The one Specialist informed me that I fell in Bali and then the pain came, not in my bottom but in my head. I did however try to explain to him that the fall was first and then the pain, not visa versa. I spent more than 1 ½ vegetating; trying to lie down at 10 minute intervals. First the left side, then the right side, but never on the back. Eating a family meal was interesting. Me standing eating whilst the rest of the table sitting enjoying their meal. Walking, sitting, standing more the 15 minutes was also out of the question. I did try and remind myself that although the pain was unbearable there would be some doctor somewhere who would believe me if I told him it was a physical pain and not a psychological pain.
I found him, in Paris, France. Dr Jean-Yves Maigne (see Doctors and specialists in France) with adamant certainty after looking at my M.R.I scans saw that my coccyx was typical of his case history No. 8. He could help me. Alas, I could not afford the travel expenses from South Africa to France. I kept looking.
After finding no immediate solution, I hit rock bottom. You know, that place one goes to in desperation. It is dark and lonely there.
One evening a close friend phoned me and said, "quickly turn on the T.V. there is a Specialist in Cape Town who has done a miraculous operation on a little girl who was born with 3 extra vertebrae in her neck and after seeing over 20 doctors." She ended up being a patient of Dr. (now Prof.) Robert Dunn (see Doctors and specialists in South Africa). He works with children at the Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, but had recently performed an intricate back operation on a fellow who had fallen off a tall building and broke his back and ... his coccyx. There he was being interviewed all smiling, sitting up in hospital. That was my answer.
On the 8th August 2010, my life was given back to me by a trusting, sincere man who believed that I was not crazy. Thank you Dr. Robert Dunn.
I am now on a sailing boat with my husband doing the circumnavigation of our world. Our yacht is 37 foot and having crossed the Atlantic Ocean in stormy and calm seas. We have lived on board for 8 months and when I look back at the state I was in, I cannot believe that after so many pleas for help, only one doctor was there for me. As a result, I have decided to take all my research and my incredible story, put it into a book which will be out in the new year. I have called the book, "Please may I sit down". An apt title.
In closing I would like to share something with fellow sufferers. Out there, there are people who can help you. Never, never give up and remember I am with you in your quest.
I appreciate you reading this brief account of my fall and my search into the world of egotistical self-opinionated doctors and if you wish to contact me, please feel free through this wonderful and most helpful website which was the beginning of my research when no one was there for me. I have made special friends on the Tbone site where fellow sufferers have walked the walk with me. Thanks to all of you. You know who you are.
Good luck from the South African who is now a professional 'yachtie'