Posted by: Rob | August 10, 2009


I had booked off the first two weeks of August for some holiday time.  The plan had been to drive down to Portland, Oregon so Ann could attend the Willamette Writers Conference this past weekend.  On the way back home we would have stopped in to see my Mom in Penticton.  Unfortunately, a here-to-fore unknown condition (at least to me), something called a “pilonidal sinus” which had become abscessed, resulted in an abrupt change in those plans.

I’d been suffering lower back pain, well, for a while now, and after the big girls and I returned from our memorial camping trip in Kananaskis, the pain moved a bit lower into the tail bone area.  I figured it was just more lower back muscle spasms and treated it with ice packs.  Once it became painful to actually sit down, I had Ann look at it which resulted in a) an internet search (yikes), and b) a trip to the doctor.  Antibiotics were prescribed and request made for a follow up check in several days.

During the check up, the doctor referred me to the local ER for surgery.  He (in my mind) alluded me to needing something like the “full treatment” which is termed “marsupialization”.  Look that up if you want to know what it is.  It’s a bit gross and also a bit scary.  He said I should go that night (a Friday).  I balked and waited until the next morning.

The attending ER physician saw me and after a brief discussion where I relayed what my GP had said (at this point, the ER doc rolled his eyes and muttered “the internet”) and informed me that it wouldn’t be quite so invasive.  A quick lancing (a surgical slice, really) and two new antibiotic scrips later and I was on the way home for bed rest for a couple of days.  Although painful, it was infinitely better than the minimum four weeks of off-work time and up to one year of healing time that follows the marsupialization process.

I went back to work after finishing my five day course of antibiotics, much to my boss’ relief as I had previously indicated I would be out for at least four weeks before heading in to the ER.  But, I was still in need of a break from work.  So I decided to maintain the first week, which contains a stat holiday and, hence, only cost me four vacation days, and catch up on some of the work that needs to be done in the yard if we are to potentially sell the house and move next year.

And so, there was removal of sidewalk slabs, digging of dirt and setting up of forms to finish the sidewalk (started last summer) to bring it from the front, around the side to the back.  We poured half on Wednesday afternoon and the second half on Thursday afternoon.  Two cubic metres of concrete in all.  And it looks pretty damned good, if I do say so myself.

There was more digging of dirt and construction of forms to complete a retaining wall along the back driveway.  The neighbours tore up their yard last year in order to put down paving stone patios and getting that done is a bit contingent upon having the retaining wall dividing our properties in place.  The forms are nearly done, just a bit more construction and then get them braced in place and then they can be filled with concrete.  I’ve estimated that will be another 1.5 cubic metres of concrete.  Hopefully, we can get that poured next Saturday.

And then it will be on to the faux stone we bought last summer.  That needs to be put onto the house, above the basement wall and below the vinyl siding.  As the old saying goes, “There’s no rest for the wicked.”

Today it’s back to work.  To rest up.


  1. Glad you’re back up and about, and that you avoided the ‘marsupialization’ – it looks nightmarish, you’re right [had to look]. I’ve got a courtyard that needs laying out when you’re done over if you like, there being no rest for the wicked etc 🙂

  2. Holy cow! You remove sidewalk slabs and I was stressing about a lousy Drano application?! I envy guys like you. I’m not worthy to tickle your ball sack.

    Why do men always wait until things reach critical mass before seeing a doctor? I’m that way, too.

  3. reminds me why i’m glad i’m done with yard work. not that i did much improvement to the home, i always felt like i should be doing it…

    learning to avoid WebMD myself. a couple weeks ago, i was quite certain i had some rather gnarly afflictions, which have been (mostly) ruled out by the docs. best to use it as a research tool, NOT for self-diagnostics…

  4. Having been married to a cop, I always thought there was no rest from the wicked, myself. Glad you healed well, and quickly.

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