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May 14, 2009

A Pain in the Ass

A Pain in the Ass

by Nancy                Go to fullsize image

It all started when I began falling over every time I stood up from this desk.  And then I developed a limp.  And on vacation, I kept stumbling off the rides at Disney World. 

Let me give you the mental picture:  Me taking a sprawling dive getting off the Safari Cruise boat in front of several hundred tourists waiting in line (including the geeks from the Show Choir of Eisenhower High School in some state like Oklahoma, judging by the accents as they sang the complete score of Phantom of the Fucking Opera, which all sounds like one big long screech to me anyway.)  Judging by the mass disapproval everyone gave me (and the glances of sympathy for my husband) the whole mob assumed I was loaded. And a large middle-aged lady in big white sneakers, a sun visor and fanny pack does not make an attractive drunk.

Then the pain started.  I am talking about agonizing, shooting, electrical-zap-down-the-legs PAIN that made me yelp like a dog getting run over by a pickup truck.

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Diagnosis? I have ischial bursitis. Which I can't even pronounce.

Translation:  A colossal pain in my butt.

Stop laughing!  I can hear you, dammit!

Technically, it's an inflammation of the bursae (the connective tissue between bone and tendon) and this particular version is also known by the delightful terms "tinker's bottom" or "weaver's bottom," but I'm betting the tinkers and weavers of the last century (because are there even any tinkers and weavers in existence anymore?) didn't have as much padding as I do, so how come I caught their damn disease??

The cure is to stop sitting. Great! How is that supposed to happen? I'm also ordered to take anti-inflammatories, but mainly I'm supposed to stay off my butt, which, in case you haven't guessed by now, is damn difficult for a writer on deadline!

Didn't I already tell you to stop laughing?? 

Somehow, I've got to finish revising this book.  And then I've got to get cracking on the next one, which is due December 1, so I don't have time for this!

Plus I'm a teensy bit cranky.

Yes, we're trying to rig a way for me to stand at this computer.  No, it's not going well. Am I getting sympathy from anybody? No.  Even the preacher who lives down the street is making puns about my buns. I am the laughingstock of my neighborhood!  My dearest friends are hanging up on me because they're laughing too hard!

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And now I can't sit in this chair anymore. So go ahead.  Feel free to make--uh--wiseass remarks at my expense. Just be warned that I'm sending Her, Margie to beat up the worst of you. Yeesh.


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Oh my gosh, Nancy! Butt really, I'm so sorry. Sore butts aren't a laughing matter. Fat asses, maybe, butt not sore butts.

So get well soon! We're having withdrawals from your books. The sooner your butt is better, the quicker we'll get new reads.

Nancy, have you ever seen the kneeling chair? That might be your answer. Do a search for "kneeling chair"; there are all kinds. The one you want will adjust so you are almost upright, with all your weight on your knees.

Having had sciatica with both my last two pregnancies, I feel for you. Ouch. Hope you get relief, ASAP.

There is also a desk that attaches to a treadmill so you can walk and work at the same time. (I can SO SEE that happening!)

I found that going to a massage therapist and having him massage my butt muscles really did help the pain. Yes, yes..I can hear all the jokes now but those beat the pain the ass I had! :)

Nancy - I am so sad to hear you were in pain in Disney World. The Happiest Place on Earth is no place for a painful heinie.
I think Karen has the right idea to try the kneeling chair.
I am not laughing at all. I have been to 4 different first aid stations at Disney World. Yes I nearly took a header down a flight of stairs, no alcohol was involved, just not paying attention. Got to leave Epcot in a wheelchair.
Tigger sends his love and says don't bounce right now . . .

I'm sorry, Nancy. I had bursitis in my hip a while ago, and it was no fun. I hope it gets better soon.ny

But make the best of this time, where you can justifiably declare everyone and everything a huge pain in the ass.

Here's some suggestions:

Write on your bed, lying on your stomach, with your hair up in curlers and your pink Princess(r) phone by your side, your legs bent at the knee with your feet swaying to and fro. Think, Patty Duke (not Cathy, dear god!), or Annette Funicello. Downside: Richard Harrison (Wayback Machine test, here) or Frankie Avalon might call and ask you on a date, the One Date That You Absolutely Must Go Out On.

Get a standup writing desk from an office supply catalog. I worked with a lawyer who had had back problems, and he did quite a bit of work at a stand up desk. Downside: I don't know how long I could stand in one place typing on a keyboard, because my feet would start to expand; I think it's something that happens to me due to some medical condition I have or used to have.

When the weather gets a little warmer, get a pool chair, have your husband add a desk to it (say, a plastic serving tray), and lounge in the pool while you write. I would think that floating in the pool would make it easier on your tush, and it would make naptime simpler, what with not having to move. Downside: drying out the laptop, losing data (you could get automatic online backup, so you wouldn't lose more than a minute's worth of material, though).

Stoke yourself up on pain killers. Really, did you ever notice a difference in Rush Limbaugh when he was doped and when he wasn't? Downside: addiction is a bitch for your family.

I am not laughing. Not. laughing.

That is because I learned about this a couple of days ago and got it all out of my system. Because having an actual pain in the ass to bitch about, rather than a metaphorical one, is just too good to pass up.

They have those kneeling chairs (and stand up desks, I think) at the Save Your Back Store (or something like that) next to Trader Joe's. I used the kneeling chair when I was pregnant and it really helped the pain in my butt. Now I just ignore him.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

I have it in my hip, too, though mine comes and goes. (Mostly goes.) But you know when you are nursing and you are sore and when the baby latches on, there is a horrible moment of slashing pain? It's like that. Not funny.

However, if you get one of these, I would laugh. Especially the green mesh one. That looks like a chia chair.


I use a kneeling chair, and I really do think it might help. You could also get one of those teensy baby laptops - the ones with the 7-inch screen - and work standing up. I find a kitchen counter is just the right height for standing with a laptop. Or you could prop yourself semi-upright in bed or on the sofa and work like that. Those suckers are so light that it wouldn't be as bad as balancing a full laptop on your tummy. Put the baby laptop on a lapdesk, recline on the sofa, and away you go. Don't forget the bowl of peeled grapes and the loincloth-clad hunk waving palm fronds.

I do hope this eases soon. Of course, now when you tell folks to kiss your ass, you can say it's to make your boo-boo all better ...

Oh, and there's a Spongebob Squarepants episode in which he hurts his butt. You might want to watch it, so you'd know you're not alone.

Now, see? I figured this would be a boring blog and nobody would comment today. Butt, no, Becky is the first to start making wisecracks.

I HAD a kneeling chair and sold it at a yard sale when we moved. Serves me right, huh?

Ramona The Unholy, I think Margie has one of those chairs around here somewhere, but I am afraid of what she has done with it. Or on it.

Josh, the Annette Funicello mental picture will stay with me all day. Thanks a heap. And I'm too young to remember whoever the hell the Harrison guy is. So there.

Kris, I was all set to go off on you for the Sponge Bob suggestion, but I like the kiss my ass thing, so you can stick around today.

See? I'm not any more cheerful this morning. I think I'll go back to my heating pad for a while and let you jokesters get your giggles.

Nancy, I shan't be the one to harASS you about this. BUTT, I have one question unrelated to the matter: personally, I've never seen an opera actually fuck, (I've seen a few that sucked, but different metaphor) and I'm curious as to how operas do it.

Get a copy of FANNY Hill, and relax.

Ass talk, best way to kneel.... yep, SOP at the TLC....

Richard Harrison was the name of Patty Duke's boyfriend on The Patty Duke Show. I looked it up on Wikipedia before I posted.

Just as an aside, and completely OT, I see from an article in the Times this morning that the First Officer of that flight to Buffalo that crashed a few months ago was making $23,900 per year. This sounds like a chicken Michael wrote about coming home to roost. Twenty Three Thousand Nine Hundred Dollars? To fly a commercial passenger airliner? This, after she had commuted to Newark from Seattle on a couple of red-eyes the night before. I love deregulation.

Oh, and I'm glad I could paint a picture with that Annette Funicello bit that you could see. Do you also have fluffy pink slippers?


Don't worry. On Saturday, I'll make the other crime fiction panelists stand, too. And maybe the audience. I can do that, right?

So that's what that was. It sure hurt like hell when I had it. Hello, my job was illustrating educational computer programs, I kinda had to be on a computer. I worked for a bigish corporation and they got in an ergonomics dominatrix to change my computer, desk and chair to something that was more friendly and I went to a Physical Therapist. The exercises were not hard, just boring and repetitive. But the pain went away.

Now I know that if I'm starting to feel some pain in my butt/hips that I've gotten into some bad posture habits.

Nancy the best change I made was using an exercise ball for a chair. Not the chairs built with the ball as a seat cushion, but a very large ball. It's wonderful.

I feel your pain, literally. Ever since I've heard about your problem, my muscles on my left side have begun to hurt. Thanks.

Hollygee. That exercise ball seems like a great idea. Fun, too. Any workout benefits?

Oh, Nancy, I'm so sorry . . . wish I had some nugget of advice, but I've got nuthin'. Although the kneeler chair and exercise ball sound like good ideas. I hope you get some relief soon!

Puns about your buns: LOL!!!!

Not laughing about your pain, though. And I hope you can rig up some sort of kneeling chair so you can stay on deadline.

That workout ball idea sounds pretty great. I may try that, just for better posture.

I also have one of those zero gravity chairs to relax in when I watch TV. Incredibly comfortable and redistributes your weight all over. If you get tired of standing, this might be a solution because you can put a laptop in your lap while reclining.

The bouncy ball sounds like a fun seat. And I guess it would help redistribute your weight. Butt Toni, what's a zero-gravity chair?

Hey Kathy S. Did you see my note to you yesterday? Look on last blogback page.

Nancy, this seems like more of a guy thing, but I've heard if you keep your wallet in your back pocket and sit for extended periods, it can lead to all sorts of health issues. Something about the asymetrical buttocks misaligning the spine?

Reminds me of an old airline joke: Why does a 747 have that big hump on the top? So the Captain can sit on his wallet. (Of course that joke was from the pre Deregulation era)

Josh, 24k? She must have been on 2nd year pay and gotten her big raise.....

It's really hard for me to keep up the cranky mood when you're all being so nice, dammit.

Michael, I thought of you when I heard that $24K. Ye gods.

Perfect timing for Me, Margie.

Nancy - that chair is very special and Steve got it directly from an old Chinese school, so do not touch it. I'm moving it out of the office today. With your ass issues, we could end up having to take you and the chair in the ambulance. Plus, it's not made for pain, so you'd totally fuck up the karma just saying.

At least now I'm not the only pain in your ass around here.

Did you know that Laura Hillenbrand wrote the book "Seabiscuit" while lying in bed? Yep, the entire thing. She had some sort of auto-immune disease like chronic fatigue syndrome, and could not get out of bed, so she wrote lying on her back.

Somehow I can't picture Nancy having a big wad of wallet stuck in her hip pocket. That mental image just will not come through for me!

I used an exercise ball as an office chair for awhile, until I switched to using an antique desk. Then the ball was too small, and I began using a piano chair (hard seat, no arms, no wheels, hinged lid under which to store sheet music.) I like it better. The exercise ball wouldn't solve the issue of pressure on the lumbar/sciatica regions, I don't think.

Back problems are the worst, and it seems everyone has one at least sometime in their life. Kick it in the tail, Nancy!

The exercise ball is WAY fun -- and how often can you say that about an office chair? I put on (bouncy) music and dance on it (seated). It's fab for doing back-healthy crunches or holding it against a wall to lean your back into while doing squats.

I'm from OK - but don't hold it against me. I'm way past high school, and I don't like opera.

Bursitis is one big pain. Until I heard your story, I wasn't ever thankful about having the Bursitis in my shoulder, but the alternative, well, it sounds much worse. Nothing like that shooting pain that starts in your joints and shoots all the way down and out your digits. I swear, I should have seen lightning or something.

Maybe you could work at one of those raised bistro/bar type tables that has the tall stools. You could do a standing lean instead of a full sit.

Good luck!

Oh, Nancy, I feel your pain. No pun and no jokes from me, having had my share of injuries.

I had my first bout of sciatica a couple years ago, after Hurricane Katrina, when I was collecting books to be sent down there. My knees are already so bad, that I forgot to worry about the back.

As y'all have mentioned alternative chairs, I have used the kneeling chair in the past. But those exercise ball chair-types? Mwahaha, my brain went straight to the hippity-hop of my childhood. :)

Which is nice, as I am having a down moment. My cousin, after a four year fight against cancer, passed away yesterday. She was only 44.

Soooo....Nancy poor Nancy! All I can wonder is are you allowed to sit down to go to the bathroom? Now that could be tricky.
Or you could get one of those big cushy seats and make it into a stool. (pun intended)
Kneeling chair? Sounds like the next physical problem would be knee related to me. Mine are a mess from all those dancing years. Kneeling all day? Ouch! I have trouble at the communion rail!
And I guess sex is out of the question...although it is not a sitting posture most of the time...right Me, Margie?
Keep the Karma! Motrin-Motrin-Motrin
Just saying.

I am not laughing. Really. I am not. Mostly because I have had bursitis and it hurts like crazy (though I had it in my right shoulder). You've got some great suggestions...particularly the Annette Funicello one. Then you could change your author photo to one of you writing that way.

OKay, I was SEVEN MINUTES LATE paying off my credit card balance at 5pm yesterday, and guess who just called? The credit card company, assuming I wasn't going to pay at all. Didn't they bother to look at the transaction SEVEN MINUTES later??

Plus I went to the pool for my workout and I forgot to pack my underwear. I bet Annette Funicello never forgot her Cross Your Heart.

I think it's time to pour myself some lunch.

Becky - just saw the message - see you on June 5th!!

We need to figure out a way to find eachother in that madhouse.

My 'boys' who are graduating are Christian (CJ) Eng and Louis Webb.

I just had to check on IMDb, but the late John Spenser, beloved of West Wing, was in the Patty Duke Show. Only two episodes and I don't remember who his character, Henry Anderson , was. At least as important as Richard Harrison.

Is anyone else going to see Harley in Lincoln tonight?

Debby, I'm sorry to hear about your sister. Much too soon.

Hope you're with friends and family today.

Egads, Nancy! Seven lousy minutes?

Oddly enough, I just got a call from my Macy's Visa today. We decided to make some contributions to the girls' colleges, and I accidentally tried to donate more than my credit limit, so it was denied. However, it shouldn't be over the credit limit, since I'm positive I set that card up to be paid before we left for graduation last week. However, their site does not show a pending payment, and they can't tell me if there is one, until it hits. What is the point of using technology if you aren't going to really use it fully, I ask you?

Rant over. So sorry.

William said:

"Personally, I've never seen an opera actually fuck, (I've seen a few that sucked, but different metaphor) and I'm curious as to how operas do it."

William, contact me offline for experiential details. But in brief (or out of them): rehearsals and backstage are like a Romantic Times set to music, day and night, for weeks. Lots of breathing in, breathing out, and chest expansion.

Opera, after all, is the plural, 'works' of 'opus.'

After the infamous fall at the police station, my angry hip wouldn't let me sit, so I walked (stair were surprisingly good for me) and then would lie down when too tired to walk. Flying was a challenge; I promised to sit when required for seat belt compliance (with cushions and magazine to make the seat more level) if I could walk the aisles the rest of the flight.
I found a low-cost z-grav chair to help with the temperamental swelling left foot. there are very expensive fancy ones available, but this serves the purpose on my trying-to-sell-the-condo limited budget.
-- Lafuma responded that the laces are the only things on their chairs with latex, so any chair without laces should work for you. Those chairs would be the Clipper or Evolution models.

This information is provided by Lafuma and we cannot be responsible for any errors within the information.
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Y'all have put my angst over the long wait for the Sears repairman right back in perspective. OTOH, if he doesn't come soon, I'm leaving for the Readers and Stitchers' meeting at the library anyway. I can live without a microwave if I have to. I gave the poor woman at Sears an earful, though, about poor quality merchandise, inconsiderate scheduling -- and "you know, I didn't buy this at KMart for a reason -- my daddy used to swear by Sears quality." Merciless. . .

Debbie, my condolences on the loss of your cousin -- just NOT FAIR!

Nancy, one more thought. the thing that really helped my angry hip was a PT who used myo-fascial release -- not magic, but it surely felt as if it were. Good luck!

You know, that myofascialrelease is what the massage therapist did for me. It really does help.

{{HUGS}} I am no one cast laughter at a sore hip/buttocks injury/ailment. I had to have hip replacement after the birth of my daughter, Lady K. Youngest patient the ortho surgeon had done this for....Denial and pain for a year, then another year of pain after getting it diagnosed before getting the replacement. I can empathize. I used to burst into tears some nights when I had to walk the half mile between the building I worked in and the turnstile and parking lot.

OT, sorry...

Kathy -- Was having lunch with Carmen and the prom breakfast comm chair when a lockdown was called at Annapolis High. A student had a pellet gun. We were at the nearby Subway and Carmen went to the different table of students to let them know they had to stay at Subway. What was really funny, Carmen is the attendance guru and some of the students didn't have permission to go out to lunch! LOL (School's back open and all's well, BTW.)

Using an exercise ball for an office chair is supposed to do wonderful things for your core. I must give it a try. I do have one, love using it for the squats, and lying back while doing arm exercises with small weights.

Debby, so sorry to hear about your too-young cousin's demise. Damn cancer. Two of my oldest daughter's friends are battling different kinds right now, and she calls me sobbing at least four times a week with grief for them.

My wonderful massage therapist also used myofascial release. It's miraculous! Weird as hell, but it works.

Maybe your husband can help with the PT, like with a gentle massage. When my wife has needed help for physical ailments, I was usually willing to help, and how could I say no to tush rubbing?

Debby, so sorry about your loss. I don't have any jokes that would even be inappropriate.

Must be karma, Nancy, but my friend Eleanor posted this on her blog today:


Another OT -- I just noticed that typepad has a new little logo...a P inside a circle. Is there a way to put your kissing lips as a little logo for your revised website?

Thanks, all! I am at work today, as I will be tomorrow....the day of her memorial service. She was already cremated, as she didn't want anybody to see the aftershocks of all the chemo & radiation that she had tried.

For a little thing, she amazed the doctors as they had only given her an estimated six months.

As with my brother, you know what is coming, all the while you are praying for that one special miracle. Never wanting to acknowledge that the miracle may be getting to heaven so young. So, you sort of prepare, but are never truely ready....

So, all of this funny stuff is good for me. I am quieter today, but everybody is understanding and careful not to push any of the wrong buttons.

And thank you....it is always friends who manage to help keep you in balance when things are bringing you down.

Nancy, how about a manual inversion table...or a power one. You could even type upside down! Now that would be a sight to see!


Debby, I'm SO sorry to hear about your cousin. That is way too young.

Poor Nancy! I vote with those recommending lots of massage. And whirlpools too. And while you're at it, a mud wrap with cucumbers over the eyes and a pumpkin facial. As the Obama people said, why waste a good crisis?

Yeah! What Michele said!

Nancy, what an awful thing to have to face.

Sarah S.

There are some good suggestions on this list. E-mail me off list, should you wish, and I'll give you some more. I've been doing bodywork for 26 years, and have also suffered from a sore tookas.

A zero gravity chair:


Extremely comfortable.

Oh, and Pammy D above me is a dear friend of mine and is utterly fantastic at what she does. So she's the go-to-woman for pain relief.

Oh Toni - that chair looks soooo comfortable. Maybe it will be the new recliner chair for us boomers.

Beautiful chair! . . . (but I could afford mine . . ;-)
The treadmill desk looks promising also, and maybe I could find one of the balls NOT made of rubber?

Well I decided to look you up because I am so in need of a Blackbird sister fix. I miss all of them so much. Now I hear about
this pain in the bum. OUCH! Try something,
anything. How about you just lay around and
dictate to someone. I really need that next
book. Get well soon.

Wow,great content and your blog design is just gorgeous. Is this template free or not. If so, would you please share this template? if not, Where can i purchase it? Thanks a bunch!

Lucky to your blog! I want to ask you, Do you like romantic life? Any ideas? I'll heed your answer!

sympathetic character, really makes me laugh lots with sympathetic friends this fable is great with their follies and their occurrences, while the original feel very good the other blog.

there is a pain in the ass is unbearable you can not make any activity that annoys the pain, suffering one time I could not carry out any activity

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