RSS Feed
Aug 19

An embarrassing post about abscesses that I probably shouldn’t post.

Posted on Monday, August 19, 2013 in Jobs, Little known facts, Strange and Unusual

This is an hiatus.

I realise that blog posts here are thin on the ground, that’s because they’re all on scraps of paper in drawers and in notebooks in random handbags. I write better in hand-writing, but can never seem to find them when I finally get a chance to sit at a laptop. Scraps of paper everywhere… scraps that friends find and can make head nor tail of… scraps that end up in the bin, or in pockets that get washed to be found in shreds, they just end up as silly words that I’m kind of glad were never published.

I was on a roll, of sorts, about a TV documentary I was lucky enough to be involved in, but the next phase was washed and tumble-dried… please be patient with me.

This is different. This is from the soul. I have a spare few minutes here with you and I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this for a long time but obviously it’s a squeamish subject and you might not want to read about it but given the subject line perhaps you have an interest, I’m not sure. Either way, please be sure you don’t read this with a full stomach, for it is quite gruesome.

When I was seventeen I found a lump on the base of my spine, at the tailbone. Of course I thought it was Cancer and it stopped my life, in so far as I found it hard to walk, or sit, or lie down. And of course, because I thought it was the end of my life.

But, it wasn’t. Eventually it burst as the doctor said that it would. After a month or so of extreme pain it erupted into a predictable goo of built-up unreasonableness and then I could live my life again.

I wondered if this meant something for me. Maybe my immune system was to blame, maybe it was something to do with the illnesses my great-great-great-great grandparents had passed on to me, who knows? Either way, of course when nasty things go away, you forget about them.

Until it came back.

And come back it did, time and time again. Sometimes these abscesses appear in the same tailbone area, sometimes they appear in the groin, and disappear. Sometimes dangerously close to the anal zone which means ultimate discomfort for obvious reasons, sometimes it appears in random other groinal areas. Groinal. Did I just coin a new word? How happy am I to be the inventor! Not much, I can tell you. It does make yoga somewhat challenging though, and I’ve told my instructor and she is ever-loving and ever understanding even though the gorey details weren’t shared and I love her for that. I’m sharing them here with you though because maybe you understand, maybe you’re here because of gruesome fascination… that’s good too.

Either way, I wonder why I was chosen for such things.

Obviously abscesses in these sensitive areas are much better than cancer, but I wonder still if the two aren’t related.

Because sometimes when you have a headache you wonder if it’s a tumour.

We all do it.


It begins as a solid lump that hurts. That’s what I shall begin with.

Cancer lumps rarely hurt. This is comforting to most.

Abscess hurting solid mass grows. And grows. It will form eventually into a sort of bubble that is unbearable to touch. Then it will grow bigger. Then it will REALLY start to hurt. From zero to ten, you’re talking about an eight.

Nature seems to be a cruel being. These things never seem to appear on one’s midriff, or on one’s arm. They usually appear in vulnerable areas that are either on show to the public, or in places where sitting is involved. The face. The anus. The armpit. PLACES WHERE IT MATTERS MOST.

Abscesses are a cruel invention no matter where they are.


Obviously you can have an operation. This involves you going under the knife… scary procedures that are the advised way to go, more power to you if you can brave it. I’ve never done this. I think that the underlying problem rarely wants to be cut away.

I went the homoeopathy route, several years ago. If you go by homoeopathy, you’re addressing the problem at its base. This is by all means by personal opinion the BEST way to go, if you can afford it. This is the healing method that figures out why your body is doing this in the first place, and it fixes you at the core. When I went the homoeopathic route, my abscesses stopped evolving into horrible golf-balls, and remained passive.

When I say passive, I mean the abscesses were manageable… they don’t interrupt day-to-day life, but they’re still there. This is because I haven’t followed up on the holistic healing.

Maybe I should have surgery.

Maybe I could get more homoeopathic help, seeing as it was so helpful in the first place.

I’m leaning towards the latter.

People don’t give holistic healing the time it deserves. When I mean people, I mean me. Cut it out, or heal it at its source?

Either way, if you have abscesses, you’re not alone, my dear.


Yours, undecided





Bring on the comments

  1. Celine O' Connor says:

    Off with it, in one fell swoop, after having Babies we can go for an ickle bit of knifery!Golly that’s a new word.

  2. Celine O' Connor says:

    It is just a sign that you are run down. A blood test will show if you are lacking iron or aught!! Rest too, is what you may need.

  3. Grannymar says:

    Pilonidal cyst. Yes, it is called a Pilonidal cyst, usually found near the coccyx, the condition can also affect the navel, armpit or genital region. More common in dark haired people and caused by an ingrowing hair.

    Extremely painful!

    Elly was a victim while studying in France and had urgent surgery over there. Talk to her if you are looking for advice.

    If you have trouble ‘sitting’ get yourself one of those neck cushions suggested for resting while flying. Sit on it with the opening at the back. Elly found it very useful in the car.

    Virtual healing hugs, GM

  4. Celine O' Connor says:

    That is good news, Poor Elle off in a strange country and having surgery and pain. Granddad has had problems in that area but the hairs on his leg and face would turn septic, if he got at the offending hair with a tweezers they were no problem. Your Cousin the Nephew O’C had a problem with them on the cocyx too. Twenty minutes surgery??? In the meantime I do have a neck cushion if sitting is a problem.

  5. Grandad says:

    We need a photograph to provide a conclusive diagnosis……

  6. K8 says:

    Thanks for the offer of special cushions Grannymar, that’s so sweet and yes I have exactly that, pilonidal sinus. I’m interested to hear sge had surgery, how did it go, did her symptoms ever return?

    Howya Celine; that’s the gas thing, since taking the homoeopathy course 8 years ago, the problem has never gotten out of hand. It’s still there, but discomfort is rare. It’s the messyness that annoys me as it’s constantly open so infection worries me. I fear I’m passed the point of operation, putting pressure on the wound in efforts to rupture it has damaged the surrounding area. If only I’d known not to do that when it mattered. Yuk.

  7. K8 says:

    Grandad I really don’t think you mean that! I can point you towards some really excellent youtube videos of rupturing abscesses though, if you’re in to that sort of thing.

  8. Brianf says:

    Cut it out! Go under the knife. When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer I was given all kinds of options. It’s slow growing. You can shrink it this way or that way. I said no. I said cut it out of me and it can do no more harm. Now I have all kinds of complications because of the surgury but I knew about them before having it done. I accepted the drawbacks. It’s better than having the bad stuff still inside me. Cut the bad stuff out!

  9. Elly says:

    K8, Only getting a chance to reply now. I was 20 when the pilonidal sinus came up. I only had a few “warning lumps” in the same spot that went back down, and then it came up with a vengeance. Being in a strange country only a few months, and with still shaky language skills, I went to the doc and was referred straight to the hospital consultant that day.

    I was allowed to go home to get clothes and toiletries and then was admitted that night for emergency surgery the next day – thank goodness for the health insurance I had got for the year abroad!

    This will be graphic, but it gives you a good understanding of how the surgery goes. The cut the entire sinus out, including some of the surrounding tissue, as they can go very deep. My was right at the top of my “arse crack”. The cut they made was about 4-5 cm tall, and about 2-3 cm wide. This would differ per person, per cyst. They cannot sew you up, the flesh has to re-grow.

    I think I was in hospital for 3 days or so. It took me about 28 days for the majority of the re-growth to happen and for me to get back to normal activities (including rugby training). The entire area took 45 days to close completely.

    For 2 weeks after the op I moved in with my friend in France, so that I could sleep downstairs and she had a bathroom and shower on the ground floor. Climbing stairs for the first week or sitting in car are quite painful – but it’s better if you are the driver as you then are braced off the steering wheel and moving with the car.

    I had an unfortunate complication after surgery, I was allergic to one of the antibiotics that I was given pre-surgery, and this manifested through my digestive system, so I had a few days of feeling like I was passing cacti through my anus. This is rare and you’re more likely to know what antibiotics you can take safely.

    I’ve never had a medical issue with the area since, but the scar has an unfortunate habit of “going to sleep” if I stay seated in the same position for a long time. Aside from that and the healing time, I would recommend the surgery as it does put an end to it once and for all.

    I hadn’t realised that the abscesses in the groin were related to this – I get those occasionally, but nothing too bad.

    If you would like any more info, please let me know.

  10. Kirk M says:

    It seems to me it’s not a matter of either/or but rather both. Surgery first, get all remnants of the thing out of you and then work the homeopathy in order to (hopefully) prevent a recurrence. And rest too, of course, plus a blood test to check for any deficiencies, especially iron.

    So what’s icky about the post again? ;-)

  11. Grannymar says:

    K8, check your spam bucket, Elly left sa long comment for you yesterday!

  12. I’d have to agree with everyone here, Kate. Cut it out. That is, if they can assure you that it won’t come back or if it does that it will be mimmized. Also, I’m with you on the holistic remedies. While I think that the Eastern approach of ground up antler and the like is a bit much, I do believe that there is a cure in nature for every ailment. We just haven’t found them all yet. I’m glad that Western medicine is showing at least a modest interest in natural remedies again.

    When I was younger, a lump popped up on my arm close to the ol’ elbow. It grew to the point that I couldn’t bend my arm. The doctor said it could be cancer, but he wanted to do more test. My mother freaked out. At the time, I was fine with it. We waited a long weekend and found out on the following Monday that it was Cat Scratch Fever!! Very funny. I had forgotten about the cat scratching me. :)

  13. K8 says:

    Brian; Thanks for your advice, it makes sense to get rid of a threat to your overall health like that. This feels different though, it feels less like a threat and more like something that needs to be lived with, like it’s my lot. To go through surgery would cost more than it’s worth, it seems. This isn’t cancer (they tested the gunge and thank goodness there was nothing there)so it’s more like a shadow and less like a ghost that must be exorcised. For now. I’m trying to live every day to its fullest for that reason, but even that is hard.

    Elly; Thanks a million for your comment, yeah it’s fairly graphic but it’s something that a lot of us go through without saying so I really appreciate your honesty. Especially because it deals with an area of the body that nobody wants to talk about… and you did it in a foreign country with little knowledge of the system and an outsider’s ability with language, I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been. Maybe I should have done just that, cut it out at the start. But, maybe you understand when I say that when an abscess gets out of hand, all you want to do is to make it burst and go away. I chose to squeeze the bejeezus out of it and that is what made the problem worse. It has spread now, so if I had surgery it would mean a deaddening of an area that is pretty fucking vital so I am afraid. Very afraid. Besides, it seems like it’s not worth it now. The pain is now never as serious as it was before homoeopathy… it’s now just a minor annoyance, less the catastrophic life-stopper that it was before. I wrote this post out of curiosity to see how many others suffer and I’m so happy that people like you have stepped up. Thanks so much Elly :)

    Kirk M; Nail on the head. It’s not so much what should be cut out, but what the body is lacking in the first place. I think that is a far more important subject to address, not just for me, not just for abscesses, but for everybody with every ailment. Sometimes cutting things out can be avoided, y’know? ‘Tis why I love homoeopathy, it’s why I’d be more inclined that way in the future. This post is icky because it speaks about arses and pus and gick and scabs and things. Personally I love all of the above but some can be squiffy. Not you obviously, that’s why I love you.

    Jefferson; You are wise. Cutting it out seems obvious but I love my ability to control my umm.. functions. If I was to surgerize then I would lose them and in my line of work with this amount of children, recuperation time is just not an option. The problem would have to be a serious pain in the ass (s’cuse the pun!) to warrant total stoppage of function but it’s not! So I just close my eyes and hope that it goes away which it does usually. Famous last words and all that. I think sometimes these things are put in our path to make us appreciate how tender life is. Which it is. And I get that. And I dislike cats. (But don’t tell TAT.)

  14. Elly says:

    K8, in the end it’s all about personal choice and what a person can live with. I was pretty young when it happened, and didn’t really have access to as much medical advice as we have at our fingertips today. The medical professionals I spoke with didn’t give me other choices either…

    When mine got really bad, precipitating the interventions, the cyst/abscess was quite deep under the skin, so I really don’t know if it would have been able to burst externally.

    Whichever path you choose, I hope it works out well for you!

  15. K8 says:

    Thanks Elly x

  16. I had one cut out when I was around 20. Suffered for years with the damn thing because I was too embarrassed to ask anyones advice until one day when it got really irritating, out of frustration I asked my mother. When she was finished giving out to me for not saying something sooner she said that it was common in her family and a doc could have it sorted in no time at all. I went to the GP that day and two weeks later I was under the knife. It took a few weeks before life could get back to normal but the pain during the recovery wasn’t half as bad as the pain of having it for years.

  17. K8 says:

    You had one too! I had a fhope that this post might trigger honesty about the subject so I’m so delighted you’ve commented Darragh, thank you! How is the problem now? Did the surgery get rid of the abscess entirely or did it return? The human body can be cruelly persistent sometimes, but not with everybody so I’m really curious.

Leave a Reply

Gravityscan Badge