Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Can it really happen a second time?

Well yes it can happen a second time - because I fractured my coccyx for the second time in 30 years last November. How could such a silly thing happen? It all started when I was walking around my swimming pool during a late Saturday afternoon. Of course I had to be home alone!! I stopped at the edge of the pool, then I leaned down to dip my finger in the water to see if it was warm enough, then I lost my balance, and my left foot slipped into the water. I tried to save myself, and then I went backwards, slamming into the corner concrete edge of the swimming pool. The pain was excruciating, and I knew in an instant that I had managed to do a serious injury.

Somehow I managed to drive myself to the medical centre, where my doctor was on duty, and he checked me over, but thought it might be just a soft tissue injury. So, the following week, after the application of ice to my injured spot, I ended up with a bruise that was worth a photograph (sadly I have no record of such a noteworthy bruise). There were many signs that pointed to the possibility that this injury was not a bruise, but was another fracture. I had a hard time getting up the stairs, sitting down, and lying down on my back. So what did I do the following week? I slipped down the stairs at home - a repeat performance.

I know from experience that a coccyx injury can take a long time to heal, or at least the soft tissue portion of the injury can take a long time to heal. What I can conclude is that a regimen of exercise, especially walking, can help the injury to heal a lot faster than if nothing is being done at all. This time around I had the advantage because I am attending hydrotherapy and I spent time in the pool doing my stretches that have helped my butt and lower back to cope with the stress of a fracture. I have been doing a lot of butt squeezes since this helps to strengthen the gluteal muscles, and yes, it is working. Since I have not been working I have spent a lot of time clocking up totals on my pedometer over 10,000 steps, and have achieved these totals up to 5 times per week. I had a hard time climbing stairs and was constantly going "ouch". At first I had difficulty walking out of the hydrotherapy pool, but this has improved in recent weeks.

I have learned a lot from this experience because I am the one who is in control of the situation. If I start hurting then I get up and walk. I am very happy with my improvement to date, but there is a long way to go before the soft tissue has healed properly.