I bet you think I’m talking about a person, don’t you? Nope. I am, literally, talking about a pain in my ass. To be precise: my piriformis muscle. Yeah, I never heard of it either, but it sounds a lot better to be talking about the pain in my piriformis than the pain in my ass.
I can’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about this before, but I’ve been having back pain for a long time. I’d say, oh, 6 years or so. Right after my son was born, almost 4 years ago, I finally went to see my doctor about it. She sent me to an Osteopathic Physician. At the age of 34, I was told, after a series of x-rays, that one of my legs is longer than the other. And that walking and running (thank you, navy) without a lift to equalize the length of my legs had caused my spine to curve in order to compensate, and had pushed the top of my tailbone toward my spine which caused it to press on 3 discs in my lower back. Which are now arthritic. I have also worn out the outsides of my kneecaps because of the awkward gait I’ve had since taking my first steps.
What does this have to do with a pain in my piriformis, you ask? For the last year, I’ve been telling my Osteopath, while she was adjusting my back, that my left hip hurt. The pain has continued and now is so bad that I can’t even sleep on my left side. She believes that a trigger point in my butt is to blame. She thinks I should get a cortisone shot right in the old keister to get the muscles to release. I’m guessing this means I have a tight ass. And not in the complimentary way, either. Too bad. I always wanted a JLo booty.
The Piriformis Revealed, or Everything you didn’t want to know about my ass. (Note: this is not an actual image of said ass.)
For some reason, the idea of a needle being injected in such a vulnerable place is unsettling. I’m not afraid of needles. I don’t like shots, per se, but I don’t have an irrational fear of them either. This spot, however, is making me have some Navy bootcamp flashbacks and I’m thinking maybe I was slightly traumatized by one little incident there.
In the first few weeks of basic, my division had to go down to the medical facility and we all had to get a massive round of shots. It was pretty standard military medical care. We rushed on over there, waited for a really long time, and then had to line up and walk through what felt like the bottle conveyor belt from the opening theme of Laverne and Shirley. We walked down a line, stopped when told, and a nurse on either side of us would give us a shot in the arms. Then we’d take a few more steps, stop, and two more nurses would give us two more shots in our arms again. I don’t remember how many I got; I wasn’t all that concerned. Then came time for the penicillin shot. They separated the girls from the guys and marched about 20 girls into a room at a time. They must have been coming out a different door because we wouldn’t see them again until we too had bandaids on our butts. When my turn came around, I marched into this big sterile room that had a long table in the center with no chairs. Ten of us lined up facing the table on one side and the other ten on the other side. We stood there looking across at the other girls while we were told to drop our drawers, bend over, place our forearms on the table top and wait for our shot. Once the shot had been administered, we were allowed to pull up our pants and wait until we were all ready to march out of the room. I wasn’t all that nervous, although it’s kind of weird leaning over a table bare-assed with strangers (both male and female nurses) hanging around behind you. But then the girls across the table from us started getting their shots. And we could see each pained expression, every tear escaping every eye and each poignant gasp as the giant (I kid you not, it was gianormous) needle was plunged into their backsides. To make matters even more horrific (yes, it’s possible, wait for it…) one of the girls in my line jumped or twitched or something and the needle snapped off in her ass cheek. Blood and penicillin were spurting, nurses (they were actually nursing students, I later discovered) were scrambling around, shouting commenced and there I was, leaned over a table, cold air on my cheeks, in a horrified eye-lock with the girl across the table. Our telepathic conversation sounded like this:
Are you fucking kidding me? We’re dreaming this right now, right?
No, it’s really happening. This is a goddamn nightmare. Can you believe we actually signed up for this voluntarily?
My ass is so cold right now that I’m shivering.
Don’t do it! I’ll bet that’s what happened with the girl currently sporting a giant needle in her ass. You shiver and that shit’s gonna spurt!
Oh. My. God. I can’t bend over this table another second or I’m going to scream, scream I tell you!
You take out the Petty Officer on the left and I’ll take out the one guarding the exit. Ready, set…
I’m next! Holy sh- Ow! Ouch, ohmygodthat’sagiantneedleinmyass!
Thank God that’s over. Let’s never speak of this again. In fact, I’ve already forgotten your name for all time.
Can you blame me for not wanting a cortisone shot in the keister? I’m scarred for life when it comes to shots in that region. Instead, I went for a trigger point therapeutic massage this morning. It was both relaxing and painful. Now all I have to do is convince my husband that its beneficial to my health to become a member at Massage Envy and get a massage once a month so I can avoid the dreaded butt shot. I’m not so sure my penicillin shot story will move him to part with the money. Maybe if I act it out for him….