As I sit back and re-read the below post, I think I really enjoyed writing it. As you read it you get to know my personality a bit. Yep, I can be one sarcastic person, and fully enjoy being that way.
Sitting, Before and After 9/1/2015
Sitting is probably the most uncomfortable thing a person with these Tarlov Cysts 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 to 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 must 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 to 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.
Has anything changed in the three plus years? Sure, several things have changed. Mind you I said “changed” not gone away. I no longer take that fanny pillow into restaurants, I have a pretty “neck” pillow that has owls on it. It stays in the car just in-case the husband needs to get it for me. I have voluntarily carried it in myself, several times. And boy can people be nosy. Besides the neck pillow is much smaller and looks stylish hooked to my purse. Sarcasm! Then let us discuss the getting out of booths as we leave the restaurant. I still must make sure the legs are functioning as they should. I still get pulled out on occasion. I still have my husband or anyone else eating out with me to stand guard while I stand. I do not need to become some stranger’s meal.
Then the lovely couch may need replace within a year. I think all my Cleopatra sitting is wearing certain spots out in its leather. The thing is about 20 years old. We went looking a month or so ago and that ended up a trip of “causing yourself pain.” What has happened in the furniture world? They are either made for someone who has giant legs or so saggy that you might as well call it a bean bag. Though I think bean bags had more stability in them. I am only five feet tall, not seven thank you very much. When you sit down on a couch you should have the ability to show some grace and not plop down. Well from what we saw they are so low that it was painful trying to put my rear on them. Then the arm rest were not conducive to the Cleopatra pose or using them to help yourself up off the seat. Then the matching chairs. Oh, do not get me started. Well, I will share anyway. The chairs on offer were so long in the seat area that you had to find pillows so you can lean back without causing pain. In one I know I looked like a very pregnant whale leaning back and then I just rolled out of that chair to the floor and got up from there.
I know all you inquiring minds want to know how long I can last in a restaurant with real chairs. You know, the wooden ones with the pleather seats that are just a disguise to the wood frame. I can sit long enough to get a meal if the staff is on the ball and they wait on us promptly; and add if the chef is working on my food timely. Yes, I will squirm and maybe get up to walk around. But we all need a meal that we do not cook ourselves every now and then. Therefore, enduring the car ride to get somewhere and then standing while we wait for a table instead of setting in the wait area. I guess you can say that it has improved. Car ride is 30 to 45 minutes, walk around for maybe 5 minutes, sit to eat maybe 40 minutes and then walking around before getting back into the car to make the trip home. Before surgery, the car ride would not have happened. If it did, I would drive myself and get out of the car to walk around half way to where I was going. Same for the return trip. Then if I ate dinner and did not cry, or just leave and head to my car to cry, it meant it was the fast food restaurant. Yum, said no one.