I am ready to have the operation (now had it)

Elizabeth, USA - elizabethgiraldi@gmail.com

Posted 2018-03-11

I had just given birth to a baby girl and was finally ready leave my daughter alone with her grandparents and joined my husband's boat on this beautiful day in Ocean City, Maryland on labor day weekend in 2014. My bum was relaxed onto the hard seat and I was enjoying the view and all of a sudden, the boat went over a wave and I slammed my bum onto the seat.. HARD... My husband looked at me and he felt horrible. He tried to warn me but me being deaf, I wouldn't be able to hear him anyway... (we communicate in American Sign Language) besides, I was mesmerized with the view since I was cooped up in the city life (Washington DC) during my maternity leave. I knew something went wrong. Something snapped... The pain was AWFUL, worse than anything, even childbearing!

I went to this general practitioner and told her that I believed I broke my tailbone. She literally laughed at me and said that there is a very slight chance that it was broken (yes, I stopped seeing her!). I insisted on an X-Ray and I was right... it was dislocated. It was dislocated towards my back which is difficult because if it was the other way (towards stomach), I could easily get a manipulation. I asked around and all of the doctors turned me down for trying to push my tailbone back in place from the outside. I finally found a chiropractor who attempted to push it back in place but failed. He believes the scar tissue was built up. I finally decided to see an orthopedic surgeon to see if there are any options. I checked VA and MD but really wanted to find someone in Washington DC as I wanted it to be local. Based on word of mouth and reviews, this surgeon, Dr. Warren Yu (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Washington DC) is one of the best in DC. As soon as he saw my x-ray, he said.. "this needs to GO!".. I freaked. I did not want an operation. I ran out of that office. I had an infant that time so the last thing I want to do is to deal with an operation and a long recovery period. I joined two Facebook support groups (one for dealing with the pain and one for the surgery), read several coccyx stories on here. All of the stories has been so helpful knowing that I am not alone dealing with this pain...

After 3 years, I decided that I am ready to have the operation. I am READY to get that little evil thing OUT of me. I shamelessly went back to Dr. Yu and said.. "You're right... this needs to go!" My surgery date is on April 2nd which is 3 weeks from now. I am now 33 (the dislocation happened when I was 30), a mother of two girls (4 and 2), work full time job (sitting job!), is always driving (commute to pick/drop off the girls and drive about an hour to/from work), driving to our beach house (3 hours) and have tons of out of town relatives so... this is why I kept on pushing the operation. I wanted to see my girls grow... but now I am so sick of not being able to do things with my girls such as going down the slide, riding a bike, sitting on the floor with them, having them to sit on my lap for long period of time, horseback riding, and many more. So.. I am READY for this operation.. of course, I'm nervous but.. it's time... I will share my updates after the surgery.

Update, 2018-06-02

So, I had my operation on April 2nd so that makes me about 2 months post op. I'm doing so well! Better than I thought, actually! I am so HAPPY that I did my operation. I had my surgery at George Washington University in Washington DC by Dr. Yu (orthopedic). The operation itself took about 45 minutes. I woke up feeling like crap due to anesthesia. I woke up on my back and felt some pain, I then asked the nurse to turn me on my side and the pain reduced.

I went home about 2 hours after I woke up. Took my dressing off and took my 1 shower at Day 4. The incision (glued) was only about 1 inches, maybe 1.5" long. I stopped taking pain meds at day 7 and took Advil when needed. About Day 3 and 4 was when I felt most pain but then that reduced at Day 7. Day 7 was when I started to feel restless and wanted to walk more than being on my bed all day long. My hips hurt from laying on my sides too long. I mostly slept on my stomach. People have asked me if the pain I was having is the same kind of pain I had before the operation, it was hard to tell at the time because I was still feeling a lot of pain from the operation itself.

I watch Netflix majority of the time the first few weeks. I heavily rely on my pick-up stick for picking up my kid's toys, clothes, etc. It made me felt productive. I was able to do a lot of things at a standing level like washing the dishes at Day 2 and 3. At my check up appointment (2 weeks), the doctor said that the incision looks GREAT. I had some openings but it closed a week after (week 3). At week 3, I did a LOT of walking, I actually did 2 miles one day that week with a bulky double stroller and felt great afterwards. I still use the pick-up stick at week 3. I avoid picking up heavy stuff except my toddlers for short period of time. I iced the area 3x a day (or more) for about 5 weeks. I've done 3 sitz bath to soften up the glue.

Now being 2 months post op, I can finally tell the difference! I can no longer feel the "sticking/stinging" pain from my dislocated tailbone... I can only feel the "wound" pain and it reduces over time. I am able to sit on a chair for maybe 30 mins without cushion and about an hour with cushion. I'm able to drive (with cushions) for 2 hours.. it does hurt the most when I drive because all of the weight is angled towards your tailbone area... I started running and working out (standing up for now). I know I need more time to recover as I am not recovered 100% yet but I have a feeling that I'm on the right path to recovery... :) . I'll update once more when I'm 100% recovered!!! I'm looking forward to be able to ride on a bike again!

Update, 2018-10-07

6 months post op

Earlier, I mentioned that I was unable to go on a slide with my girls or sit on the floor like a regular person with a dislocated tailbone... well guess what!? Last weekend, I went to a harvest farm with my family and had the best time with my girls going down those 140 feet long fun slides with NO pain at all.

I also caught myself sitting down on the floor with my girls for long period of time and that was amazing. I would let the girls sit on my lap for short period of time as I'm still recovering but I would say I'm about 90% recovered... maybe 95%!!!!! I'm SO excited!!!!!! I started doing a lot more things like trail running, lifting weights... even on those sitting machines... I rode a bike (short trip) and it wasn't so bad. I'm so glad that I did this operation! :)

Update, 2019-04-14


I'm 98% better!!!!!! I no longer need cushions. I'm able to do v-sit ups!!!! Of course, there will be days when I over-did it and it'll be sore for maybe like 5 minutes... it's obviously healing pain but it lessens overtime. I'm 100% happy that I did this surgery, my life is so much better now. I'm no longer this miserable mom/wife who is a grouch all day long because she's in constant pain.

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