Week 36: A pain in the butt

By Published On: March 18th, 2016

Last week, my school was on Spring Break. It was […]

FullSizeRenderLast week, my school was on Spring Break. It was glorious! I had all kinds of time to check items off my to-do list, such as getting the baby’s sleeping nook ready, organizing baby clothes (by color, of course), and preparing a set of lesson plans for my long-term substitute to use while I am on maternity leave. Plus, I was able to have a lot of one-on-one fun with my daughter before her little brother or sister arrives—storytime at the library, a trip to the zoo, bubbles in the backyard. It was marvelous!
But, I’m not sure if I either overdid it or the baby decided it was time to change seating arrangements—because on Friday I started to get an ache in my lower back. By Friday night, after a trip to the chiropractor and a stop at a consignment sale, I was ready for some ice. On Saturday, said pain seemed to migrate downward into my right buttocks, which is where it has decided to stay, camp out and build a village since then.
As the weekend wore on, the pain got worse and worse. It went from dull ache to searing pain with each step. I tried a warm bath, which was both lovely and relaxing; however, it only alleviated the pain while I was actually sitting in the tub. And it’s pretty difficult to grade papers in the tub. I tried more ice packs, interspersed with bags of frozen corn and mixed berries. I tried Tylenol, the only pain reliever that is deemed “safe” for pregnant women and does the equivalent of a saltine cracker for pain. Nothing worked and nothing helped. I was worried about Monday morning.
Monday came, and I could barely walk from our bedroom into the bathroom. I winced with each step and could not fathom how I would survive a day in a classroom. I tried one of my husband’s crutches from his recent ankle injury. (We’re quite the pair, let me tell you.) No go. I had to scoot down the stairs on my butt—it was that painful! My entire right side of my rear end was a mess of muscles or nerves, I don’t know. All I knew is I needed help.
So I called my mom, as any grown woman would do, and asked her to bring over the cane she used after knee surgery. Yes, that’s right. A 34-year-old asking for a cane. And then using it. All. Day. Long.
It’s true, using the cane was embarrassing, but it wasn’t just the cane itself that was the worst part. Sure, I got a lot of strange looks from the middle schoolers as they passed by my room. Yes, one of my teaching partners told me she got a glimpse into my life as an 85-year-old. But the worst part of using the cane was the sound effect that came with it. Click slow step. Click slow step. One of my colleagues said, “I heard you before I saw you. What happened?” The sound effect is what topped it all off.
An afternoon trip to the chiropractor and some time sitting on my stability ball allowed me to function mostly without my new accessory most of the day on Tuesday, but I still had a very distinct hobble as I moved around the classroom. At one point in the afternoon, I moved a weird way and winced. One of my boys jumped up and held out his arm to me, exclaiming, “Do you need your cane, Mrs. Phillips?” It was adorable and ever so slightly embarrassing.
I’m hoping that a few more visits to the chiropractor, one or two hot baths, and some special stretches will help work out this pain in my butt. I’m certain it would heal a lot faster if I was only able to have a nice glass of red wine … sigh.