The older I get the more quirks I find out about the body I was born with. I share some of my issues, such as Ehlers-Danlos with the rest of my family, some however are uniquely my own.
When I was 14 I had a tobogganing accident that required an ambulance, a spinal x-ray, and a few days hospital stay. When they did the x-ray they discovered a fresh crack in a vertebrae (thus the hospital stay), a few healed cracks, and something called spinal bifida occulta affecting my fifth lumbar vertebrae. This put a halt to my further tobogganing adventures.
At the time the spina bifida occulta was a curiosity. In the grand scheme of things the fact that I kept dislocating knees, spraining ankles, etcetera was more important. The spina bifida occulta did cause some interesting issues when I had to have spinal anesthetic a few years ago. Apparently that is the preferred spot, after the anesthesiologist tried three times he complained he couldn’t get it in. When I asked where he was trying and explained the problem he got a little pissy. How the hell was I supposed to know where they put it? I now know to warn them. Anyways, it never seemed like a big deal.
What does this have to do with puppies? I am getting there.
I also have another little spinal defect, something called a “sacral dimple” Mine is located in the “natal cleft” also known as the top of the crack of your ass. Some people with sacral dimples have a problem with occasional abscesses, I am one of them. I have dealt with them every year or two for as long as I can remember. I was never too concerned about them, just allowed them to run their course and took lots of hot baths. In the last three months however, I have had two of them. So I figured it was time to get it checked. The conversation with the doctor went something like this.
Doc: ” You have a pilonidal cyst in your sacral dimple, by the way, what is the surgical scar from”
Me: ” What surgical scar? I haven’t had surgery there that I can remember.”
Doc: “Hmmm, interesting. It looks like a surgical scar. Anyways, if the cysts keep occuring we are going to have to operate on it.”
Me: “Í’ll ask my mother about the scar, as for surgery I would rather not. It sounds painful and with all my drug intolerance’s I would rather avoid it.”
So, I went home and sent my mother a text message. She is currently in Vancouver with my grandmother.
Me: “The doctor says I have a surgical scar on my tailbone. Weird huh?”
Mom: “That is weird. Your grandmother is driving me crazy.”
So later I talked to her on the phone and asked her if she remembered anything. She vaguely remembered something about a cyst or tumour being removed when I was a baby. Keep in mind that my mother was only 17 at the time, dealing with my 18 month old brother, and a newborn me, in a time when young unwed mothers were frowned on.
So then we get to my doctor’s appointment today.
Me: “So I asked my mother about the scar. She said they removed a cyst or a tumour from there when I was a baby.”
Doc: “Really? Did you have it when you were born?”
Me: “She can’t remember. Just that I was very young.”
Doc: “Were you the first child?”
Me: “Nope, second, and she was only 17 when she had me.”
Doc: “I was a second child too. There are hardly any pictures of me, the first one is the one they remember. Give me a minute.”
He disappeared for a few minutes. I was beginning to wonder if he forgot about me and was curled up in a corner reliving childhood trauma.
Doc: “So, I checked your medical records, you had a tail.”
Me: “I what?”
Doc: “You had a tail. It was just tissue, no bone or anything. They are rare, and they usually remove them for testing.”
Me: “So they cut off my tail? I didn’t even get any say? Why didn’t my mother know?”
Doc: “I dunno, maybe they didn’t explain it clearly.”
Me: “Does this have anything to do with the spina bifida occulta?”
Doc: “Possibley, hard to say. The tail, spina bifida and sacral dimple are all spinal defects.”
Me: “My body hates me.”
Doc: “No it doesn’t. You just are one of my more interesting patients.”
So, there you have it. I had a tail and they cut it off shortly after I was born. So then of course I had to call my mother and tell her.
Me: “So remember that cyst or tumour they removed? It was a tail, a vestigial tail.”
Mom: “Really? Wow, I wonder why they never told me? Hold it, you mean I could have had a puppy?”
Mom: “Well that explains why you crawled until you were almost two.”
Me: “I think that had more to do with the hip defect from the Ehlers-Danlos”
Mom: “Well, maybe. Still that is pretty cool.”
So, I had a tail, my mother wanted a puppy, and both of us got screwed out of it by the medical establishment. I would show you a picture, but it’s my ass.