I have a guess now: I think I ripped, pulled, tore, or otherwise did injury to a gluteal muscle, not the obvious maximus but one of the smaller ones that anchors directly to the pelvic bone, possibly the gluteus minimus or the piriformis.
Paul thinks I did it while moving furniture and it took a couple of weeks to start giving trouble. I don’t know about that. I do know it seemed to start on Tuesday a week ago, when I was reaching off the back porch for the cat dish that was just a liiittle bit beyond the end of the fingertips of my right hand. Just a little more — knk. Oh, that didn’t feel so good.
So I was kinda sore for the rest of the week, getting steadily more obvious and severe. I had to do yoga in “ow my back” mode. On Saturday I thought I was getting better. Then we went to Seattle for the weekend — long car ride, sleeping on something other than my precious futon, sitting for hours at a baseball game and then with Paul’s family at the Owl and Thistle.
During the car ride back to Bellingham early Monday morning, my back/upper butt was killing me. The car seat seemed to be constructed exactly perfectly torturously wrong for whatever my deal was. It hurt oh-my-God badly for pretty much the entire 90 minute ride. I burst into tears a couple of times. I turned off the radio because NPR was too boring and complaining about stupid people seemed like a better distraction. Being in pain made me angry. I think I understand old people better now.
Getting out of the car once we arrived in Bellingham was a nightmare of tortured screaming and weird contortions. Briefly, standing up and being still didn’t hurt. Then I took a step and everything hurt again. I didn’t go to work because I couldn’t sit at a desk.
The things that caused excruciating pain included: Standing. Sitting. Lying down. Walking. Getting up from a chair. Getting up from the floor. Getting out of bed. Coughing. Sneezing. Laughing. Turning my head. Taking a deep breath. Bending forward. Bending backward.
Standing up seemed to cause less pain than most things, except for sometimes when I shift the weight to my right leg and OH MY GOD CLUTCH THE WALL PANT PANT PANT OW!!!!!!! So after being both bored and in pain on Monday I went to work on Tuesday, where they had set up my desk at standing height. That seemed to work okay. So at home I set up my writing computer to be at standing height and I could get a little work done.
It’s weird, though. Even in those moments when I’m not actually, technically in pain, I have a diminished performance capacity. I can concentrate, but not on anything boring or frustrating. Other people annoy me more than usual. I feel perpetually whiny and peevish, and sometimes depressed.
When I get tired of standing up, I kneel or sit seiza (Japanese-style-sitting). It can hurt getting into and out of those positions, but they don’t tend to hurt while I’m there.
Based on my scientific study of shady Internet sites and Wikipedia, I am pretty sure that what I have is soft tissue damage with no sciatica. My guess is injury to the piriformis on the right side, because in diagrams it looks like just exactly where the pain is coming from. But I know that sort of thing can be deceiving.
No, I have not been to a doctor. I am one of those umpity-million of Americans with no health insurance, and anyway as far as I can tell the only thing a doctor could really do for me right now is prescribe opiates.
So, that’s the deal with me right now. My butt is broken. It’s probably going to heal itself in time. How much time? Who knows? And if I grimace at you it’s probably the pain.
If any of you have useful information or experiences, feel free to share.