Recently, I had to drive back and forth repeatedly between my hometown of Andover, MA, out to Western Massachusetts, where I grew up, to deal with a family situation. Over the course of a week and a half, I drove at least 1,000 miles. That may not sound like a lot of drive-time to those of you who commute hundreds of miles on a daily basis, but to those of us with irritable bottoms, it's an epic odyssey that can have disastrous consequences.
Unless of course you have this simple, yet tremendous device: the butt pillow.
You may know this "medical" equipment by another name, like The Donut, Ergonomic Seat Cushion, Pressure Relief Seat, Coccyx Cushion, and, a fan favorite, The Contour Kabooti.
Call it by whatever moniker you want; the main benefit is the same. My beloved butt pillow provides cushioning for my tender behind while I'm in the sitting position, whether at my desk, in a car, on a plane, and more.
My first--and only--butt pillow was purchased out of extreme necessity when I suffered my first--not last--anal fissure.
In case you're conflicted about anal fissures, let me clear something up for you. It is not something that you ever want to have. It is as horrendous as it sounds. Come to think of it, it's way more terrible than it sounds. Now I know you're dying to learn more about anal fissures, so I promise to go into more details in a future blog. This post, though, is solely focused on the power of the pillow, so let's get back to how it has literally saved my butt.
After getting through an excruciating month of recovering from that first anal fissure, I needed to attempt to reenter normal daily life again, which meant venturing back to work and sitting up for periods of time. The problem was that sitting up put a lot of pressure on the areas of my bum-bum that were still not fully 100% and the pain would worsen as I remained upright. In addition, anything that vibrated, like the car seat as a drove, tended to inflame my issues.
The butt pillow was suggested to me as a mode for relieving this pressure.
Even the process of buying a butt pillow was mortifying for me. There was neither Amazon nor online shopping options at the time, so I had to go physically in all my humility to a medical device store in Atlanta, GA, and ask to be shown where the donut cushions were. Ugh!
These are the same types of stores that carry mobility scooters, lift chairs, wheelchairs, hospital beds, compression stockings, Lymphedema pumps, and the like. Not exactly the type of store a young, single gal in the ATL typically hangs out at, or wants to get caught dead at.
But the embarrassment of buying a butt pillow didn't even come close to the concept of bringing this thing (see picture) to work with me and dragging it around to every meeting. It doesn't exactly fit discreetly in your purse or back pocket.
However, when you're in the type of pain I was experiencing, you get over your modesty pretty quickly.
For many, many months I didn't go anywhere without my butt pillow. It was ever-present in my car, it came to every meeting at work with me, and it even came on a vacation to Puerto Vallarta.
Imagine seeing a 30-something woman in the airport, moving more like an 80-something because of my lingering fissure pain, clutching a navy blue butt pillow to her chest. I'm not sure what they thought it was at security check, but they were kind enough not to stop me and search it.
I'm sure I received some curious, some concerned, some side-eyed, and possibly some disgusted glances from colleagues at work, from fellow airplane passengers, and even from friends when I picked them up in my car. Out of respect for my privacy or, more likely, because they wanted to know as little as possible about my butt issues, nobody questioned me about my new bestie that was always under my butt cheeks.
Apparently, there is a tad bit of controversy over the donut-style pillow that I purchased at that Atlanta medical. Essentially, the technology of butt pillows has come a long way and the cushion I chose might not be the optimal one for relieving pressure down below. Today, there are lots of choices for those who might require a similar cushiony throne to the one my butt has enjoyed. They come in all shapes--squares, triangles, double-o shaped, and even in the shape of a tooth--and are made of all different materials, including memory foam, rubber, and spiky tactile. And just wait until you see all the available colors. These seat cushions are a lot more accepted and welcome in the workplace, in vehicles, and wherever you want to use them, as they are known to support the spine and be posture correctors. But, remember, the original intent was to relieve the pressure and pain that contributes to hemorrhoids, coccyx pain, ulcers, and the dreaded anal fissure! So, if you ever have any of those or other similar butt problems, a butt pillow should be one of the tools in your toolbox for healing.
To this day, I have the same exact butt pillow I got over a decade ago--don't worry, the cover is washable my OCD friends-- and it has served me well. It has helped me from re-aggravating many of the butt issues that have plagued me. And when a tush symptom has reared its ugly head, it has helped me recover more quickly.