It was a hot summer day, the day started like any other day. My husband and I had breakfast together before getting ready for the day ahead of us. During breakfast he began to complain about a sharp pain in his lower back. He shook it off and took some pain pills before heading off to work. About half way through the day he called me, his pain had now reached an unbearable stage and was having trouble walking and sitting. I panicked and advised him to call his doctor immediately. Well being the stubborn man he is, he decided to come home and tough it out. He took pain killers upon his arrival and was forced to lay face down in order to accommodate the pain. But it seemed like no matter what he did the pain would not subside. After a long night of tossing and turning the morning came and to our surprise the pain was still present. I began to worry and decided to make the executive decision and call his doctor. His doctor advised me to have him come into his office as soon as possible to make sure no damage was being done to his spinal cord. He mentioned things like Lou Gehrig’s disease and Myelopathy, they both sounded very serious. After the call with the doctor I called my husband to let him know what the Doctor had said. Before I could speak he began to explain that the section in which the pain was coming from had now turned into a giant bump. The first thing that popped into my head was tumor and cancer and many other horrible deceases. I had never heard my husband with such pain in his voice, and his stubbornness and fear was keeping him from seeking medical attention. After about 30 minutes of begging and pleading I finally convinced him to meet me at a nearby hospital. We sat in the emergency room in angst waiting for him to be seen and figure out what was causing him so much pain. When we were finally taken back and the doctor saw my husband, he quickly gave us his diagnosis. Pilonidal cyst, is what came out of his mouth, what in the world is that you might ask?
A pilonidal cyst, also referred to as a pilonidal abscess, pilonidal sinus or sacrococcygeal fistula, is a cyst or abssess near or on the natal cleft of the buttocks that often contains hair and skin debris. Pilonidal cysts are often very painful, affect men more frequently than women, and typically occur between the ages of 15 and 24. Although usually found near the coccyx, the condition can also affect the navel, armpit or penis, though these locations are much more rare. One proposed cause of pilonidal cysts is ingrown hair. Excessive sitting is thought to predispose people to the condition because they increase pressure on the coccyx region. Trauma is not believed to cause a pilonidal cyst; however, such an event may result in inflammation of an existing cyst. However there are cases where this can occur months after a localized injury to the area. Some researchers have proposed that pilonidal cysts may be the result of a congenital pilonidal dimple.Excessive sweating can also contribute to the cause of a pilonidal cyst.The condition was widespread in the United States Army during World War II. More than eighty thousand soldiers having the condition required hospitalization. It was termed "jeep seat or "Jeep riders' disease", because a large portion of people who were being hospitalized for it rode in jeeps, and prolonged rides in the bumpy vehicles were believed to have caused the condition due to irritation and pressure on the coccyx. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilonidal_cyst]
So he ended up walking out of the hospital alive and well. His treatment included antibiotic therapy, hot compresses and drainage of the cyst. The doctor advised him that it was possible the cyst would be reoccurring and only a surgical removal of the entire cyst would prevent its return. My husband learned a valuable lesson that day: Wives always know best.