I think I broke my ass on Monday, Sept. 18. I’m not going to label it as broken because I haven’t gotten an X-Ray to confirm a fracture, nor has there been a sufficient amount of bruising to have reasonable suspicion of a broken tailbone. But I know for damn sure, it’s either bruised or broken. A set of unfortunate circumstances has led me to purchase one of those mini pool floats so I can bring it to each of my classes for a preferred level of comfort. The old man and I that were reaching for the same product at Walmart are currently on the same path of rehabilitation, maybe. I don’t know his story, but what I do know is that I’m in it for the long haul.
The “how/why/where” isn’t a very interesting story; it’s more embarrassing if anything. I was going to do my laundry, which is in a separate building and meant that I had to go outside while it was misting. Wet shoes and my track record of clumsiness don’t mix, or they do mix and the result is slipping on the stairs and hitting the lip of the stair, the pointest part of the stair, right on the keester. That’s where the HUUUUH HAAAA breathing kicked in as a fellow tenant of the dorm was ignoring the distress sounds of someone who had clearly fucked up. Now this ain’t my first rodeo; I am a master faller. I trip on anything. Hiking with me is scary. So, when I fell and the pain settled in and did not go away after five minutes or walking it off didn’t help either, that bone is bruised.
The “when” isn’t any better. There’s not much you can do with a broken/bruised tailbone. In either situation, the healing process is extensive. With a bruised tailbone, it can be up to four weeks. Broken tailbone? 8 to 12 weeks. It is a lot like a broken rib. It hurts to laugh, oh god it hurts to sneeze (happy pollen season). Squatting down hurts, bending over hurts, and these are movements I can’t avoid doing. You can’t exercise. You don’t realize how much something has an effect on your life until you can’t use it anymore. I’m aware that sounds cliche, but that’s the best way I can describe it.
The “who” of the story is where it gets funny. Everyone I’ve told has been incredibly supportive, albeit slightly bewildered. It’s an interesting injury, no doubt. You don’t really receive any pity looks because there is no cast or sling to hold your ass in place, but you do get a lot of tips and personal stories to make you feel somewhat better. One of my professors said that her husband is a physical therapist. He now works mainly with children, but he spent time with older adults and learned that the most common injury amongst that demographic was laundry related. Moral of the story? Don’t do your laundry.
My roommates have found this time to be incredibly hilarious, and I don’t blame them. It’s ridiculous! I don’t have a heating pad, but my roommate has one that is an avocado with a face on it. That thing gets turned around when it has to go on my butt. I did not think I would reach this low of a moment so early into the school year.
But I think the “what if” is the worse part. Pain in that part of the body sucks. Pain in general sucks. It’s definitely affected my mental health. I’m just ready for it to be over. Then I remember that it could be worse. There are people who deal with chronic pain from an accident or something that they now have to deal with for the rest of their lives. They fall into the cycle of yoga, turmeric, Marijuana, crystals, cupping, lasers, cryotherapy, friends, family and strangers telling you how to properly remedy the pain. The list goes on, but all of this is to try and feel some momentary bliss.
My landing could have been worse, and I could have been immobile for weeks or even paralyzed. I could have gotten surgery and been out for longer. I could have fallen down the same unfortunate path as many individuals with chronic pain and many individuals in the United States of being addicted to opiates. But I’m none of those things. I just have to bring an inflatable butt pillow everywhere I go and take a few pain killers here and there, and many people will think that I am lucky.