Sitting is probably the most uncomfortable thing a person with the Tarlov cyst can do. Before surgery, each time you sit down you will feel a burn in the tail bone area. We commonly call it ‘sitting on hot rocks’. There are other sensations involved but those are for later. Even with all those cushions out there, you will feel it in a matter of moments. Hard surfaces, soft surfaces, squishy seats. All are very uncomfortable. The hard ones are self explanatory, and you think the soft ones would be nice, but no. The worst are the squishy ones, they find every crevice in your bottom to fill and then they start irritating. The pose that most of us use is the ‘reclining on the arm of the couch’, which I call “Cleopatra pose”. Never do we recline on our backs, nope, the hips are our bodies’ favorite support. If we are lucky we will have a pillow just the right thickness to put between the knees. I swear that my hips have gotten smaller from all the hip sitting. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I will take it.
Going out to a restaurant is like going for a mystery grab bag. Does the restaurant have padded booths, barely padded seats? If you haven’t been to that particular restaurant, you try to look over the area to see, without being too obvious, so you can warn the hostess what type you can sit in. Lord help you if their seating is only wooden benches. That might just make you turn around and go home. Even the padded booths can be a problem. If the padding dips down in the back and leaves an empty spot, you can count on your legs going numb. (When I say numb, there are several sensations that encompass the word.) The hips will feel like they are separating from your body.
I just cringe when faced with the idea of taking my cushion into a restaurant. What is it going to go home carrying? I sometimes carry a large purse, but these cushions are way too big for a purse. My ego does not allow me to go toting the thing in like a prized present. I mean have you seen what these things look like? They are a walking advertisement for ‘her butt hurts, bet she has hemorrhoids‘.
I even dread getting up from the table. If I was in a seat and did not have help up, I was always afraid of turning the table over on me. Getting out of the booths was a slow go, first you have to slide over gracefully without making faces. Then make sure your legs are able to hang over the edge of the seat in the aisle, then lift yourself up without looking like a drunk. Never, ever try pick up your left overs in the carry out container while you try to get up! After you finally get out of that seat you have to take your first step. I found myself grabbing my rear, right at that favorite spot at the bend below the buttock. I have no clue if it really helps me maneuver, but hopefully I look good doing it. After surgery, the getting up is a little easier. But I still do the ‘butt touch’. Truly, just by touching the area I think it gives the nerves something else to feel and helps them get off the thought that I had sat longer then I maybe should have. If I am tired and unsure of myself, or if I am meeting someone the walker goes in with me. If I feel I will have problems maneuvering I give my husband a warning.
Now that I have had the surgery, I can sit a little longer but I still do the scoping out. No, I don’t carry my cushion in with me. I have learned to wear slip off shoes so that my foot can be placed under me. There is no dessert ordered either. As soon as my meal is finished, I’m out of there, leaving the husband to pay the bill. Sometimes he can pay the bill and get to the car before me. For those who try and go back to work, you are a stronger breed than me. I have yet to find an office chair that is comfortable. The hospital in the area has one that is a very tight netting type of material. I could sit in it and it was the closest to ‘comfortable’ for a chair I have felt to date. So if you see someone squirming while sitting, be aware they may not be high, they may be in pain.