the smell of my desperation has become a stench

That decrepit old hag

This is quickly and steadily becoming A List of My Ailments Blog, and I’m just waiting for the email or comment that is all, UGH! You just had to go and get OLD on us. I liked you so much more when your bones weren’t brittle!

The things I have done to damage your expectations, I know. First, I got married. Then I had a baby. And now! NOW I’M TAKING CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS! Where is the dooce you used to know and love!

I had blood work done last week while getting a second x-ray on my tailbone, and today the results came back normal. Good news on top of the fact that my tailbone seems to be healing according to the x-ray. When I asked the doctor if it would be okay to travel again with this… this… broken butt? Isn’t that what it is, really? I broke my butt. There’s no getting around this. Not with Leta walking around going, “When is mom’s butt going to get better?”


The doctor said to take my butt pillow with me, and I’d be fine. Also, just curious, she was. What did I do for a living since I travel this much? Now, picture this, okay. She has just inspected me, taken a look at The Smallest Butt In The History Of The Universe, and this conversation is inevitably going to result in, “Oh, my friend told me about you. You’re that woman?” So before I told her, I said, um, the size of my butt falls under doctor/patient privilege, right? The Hippocratic Oath? And she was all, I will take knowledge of your tiny butt TO THE GRAVE.

Thank God no one will know about it now.

Anyway, I had to make an emergency appointment with my dentist this morning because one of the teeth on the right side of my mouth is making it so that I cannot chew food: the shooting, lightening-patterned pain! Straight up through my jaw, up into my eye, and bang into my forehead. And when my dentist sat down and asked what was going on, I was all, I’M FALLING APART! You think I’m kidding, but the odds are that you’ll lean over to take a look inside my mouth and suddenly my head will topple off right into your lap!

An x-ray and twenty minutes of prodding and hammering away proved that it has to be a sinus infection. It’s just that a certain nerve in a certain tooth sits inside my sinus cavity. Are you serious? It has nothing to do with my bones? I was prepared for surgery, and you’re giving me a prescription for an antibiotic? How can I possibly write about this in all caps, SIR?!

I can’t go back to the people with a sinus infection! They want DISEASE! They want LIFE-EXPECTANCY! Can I at least tell them you prescribed a cane? Because, let’s be honest. I have an image to uphold.

  • TwirlyGirlie

    2010/03/08 at 2:03 pm

    Dude, you’re kind of a mess.


  • susanruffin

    2010/03/08 at 2:03 pm

    The older you get the more falling apart takes place. Wait until you get up in the morning and have to glue yourself together to get across the room to the bathroom. I’m 57 and have been known to use a stapler.

  • TexasKatie

    2010/03/08 at 2:04 pm

    I feel you on that. It seems like when I turned 30, things started falling apart. 🙂 It’ll be okay, I promise.

    Hope you feel better soon!!!

  • kayakgrrl

    2010/03/08 at 2:09 pm

    I forgot what I was going to say when I saw the McNuggets ad. *sigh*

  • Daddy Scratches

    2010/03/08 at 2:12 pm

    My guess? You got it from standing next to me. Probably happened when I almost shoved the camera up your nose. Sorry ’bout that. 😉

    Seriously? Sinus infections are the WORST. I’ve only had one, and thought I was gonna die. My wife’s had a bunch, and dealt with every one of them better than I. Big surprise, right?

    Hope you feel better.

  • mommioandretti

    2010/03/08 at 2:14 pm

    glad your butt is better. i broke mine in college. COLLEGE! had to sit on the tube during every lecture, at the library, at work, etc… i feel your pain.

  • kimba

    2010/03/08 at 2:20 pm

    have you read the fun little children’s book, Parts? i think you might enjoy it, what with your body starting to fall apart. 🙂 it has a satisfying rhythm, and i love the illustrations.

    would a boppy work as a butt pillow? cause then you could totally blame hauling it everywhere on marlo. and she can’t correct you! genius!

  • JessicaP

    2010/03/08 at 2:29 pm

    This happened to me in high school. Raging headache and jaw pain for a week straight. I’m a hypochondriac so I was pretty much convinced it was my wisdom teeth… or a tumor… or maybe a demon.

    One quick trip to the dentist and after ten minutes he was writing the script and kicking me out of his office. My head orifices rejoiced when the amoxicillin kicked in. Good times.

  • KateH

    2010/03/08 at 2:39 pm

    Dude. I had a sinus infection last week and I thought I was going to DIE. Because in order to live, one must breathe; I felt I could not breathe therefore I was going to die (the SINUSES were all CLOGGED UP and DEATH WILL ENSUE).

    So help yerself to as many ALL CAPS as you like.

    I did.

  • Jayceekay

    2010/03/08 at 2:43 pm

    Ahhh dude, it doesn’t even have to be an infection, just clogged sinuses will do it. I get tootaches in places where I don’t have teeth haha.

    I barely knew I had sinuses until my 40s when I began to get susceptible sinuses… lovely. (Lots of new and interesting things happen as you age!) I’m telling you if you look at me crooked they get blocked. And I can tell you if it is going to rain….low pressure systems cause HAVOC with sinuses. Flying as well. I always take a decongestant if I’m going to fly.
    So I hope you have a sinus infection haha!

  • JustLinda

    2010/03/08 at 2:46 pm

    You’ll just have to do what the rest of us do – go find some young, hip blog and live vicariously through its bold and fearless HEALTHFULNESS.

    Sadly, it won’t be mine, though. I’m older than you and – dammit – that’s why I came HERE.

    Of course, it’s all relative, you’re still younger than me and I can still live vicariously through you.

    Plus, there is an aspect to it that’s like opposite-deju-vu… Stuff that hasn’t happened yet, but I know will happen and I just stick around to watch your entertaining spin. “Can’t wait until Heather needs GLASSES. Can’t wait for the post she will write about orthotics!”

    (I swear, it’s not schadenfreude — I just know that you’ll make life’s little trials very entertaining!)

  • nicholee

    2010/03/08 at 2:47 pm

    Are the teacups Silver Pine? If they are, shoot me an email. I’m pretty sure my in-laws have a bunch of them, and they’re in the antique-sellin’ business.

    (I’m glad to hear your tush is healing, and I’m sorry you’re falling to bits.)

  • mcgreedy

    2010/03/08 at 2:48 pm

    Your feet may have changed size (spread out a bit) due to a second pregnancy. That can happen and even a slightly bigger foot can add up to a ton of banging and stubbing. You may not be falling apart that much. You may just need some time to get used to a new proprioception.

    As for the tail bone and lack of bottom, I’d advise more Lil’ Donets.

  • haleyj

    2010/03/08 at 2:57 pm

    Sounds like Dooce and other readers should start using a Neti Pot, I had a sinus infection in May ’09 that turned into a double ear infection, after the antibiotics cleared me up I started using the Neti Pot regularly and I haven’t had a sinus infection or any cold/sickness since. *knock on wood*

  • Curiosity

    2010/03/08 at 3:04 pm

    Reputation untarnished. Sinus infections hurt like heck. Just think,…if all of this physical craziness continues, eventually you will be able to write about being healthy in all caps.


    Now that’s some good blog fodder.

  • msanth120

    2010/03/08 at 3:11 pm

    🙂 I remember the first time this happened to me (bare in mind that my mom is a dental hygienist and therefore has made me PARANOID) so yeah…”good news no cavity, just sinus pressure…” me: “surely you’re joking? don’t spare me. really, they all gotta come out don’t they?” poor student dentist at BU….

  • Figtron

    2010/03/08 at 3:11 pm


    Be glad you no longer live in the South where the sinus infections flow like wine, and allergies sometimes cause people’s heads to enlarge to the size of small weather balloons.

    If you ever want to become REALLY famous, we can be the first two humans to undergo a butt transplant operation. I have plenty to spare.

    Feel better.

  • dkmissie

    2010/03/08 at 3:19 pm

    duck tape.It works wonders 🙂

  • d3 voiceworks

    2010/03/08 at 3:24 pm

    d00d, i’m living your life in sugar house minus the #26, valedictorian, and–sadly–the dogs. i have that sinus infection, baby had that same cough, i was at the e r and had doppler done on a shin injury that might have clotted or become cellulitis or something (but it didn’t).

    i blame all of it, particularly the sinus infection, on mag corp.

  • LoveMeDaily

    2010/03/08 at 3:47 pm

    Ahh! Sinus infections are worse than the kids and the husband getting sick at the same time! Horrid.

    Old? No. You can blame this all on the season. It seems winter wants to get in one more kick in the ass before everyone can rejoice in the onslaught of puffy, itchy eyes and irritated noses all in the glorious name of spring! Then, ski injuries will be in the past and bicycle accidents will endure.

  • keithandjamie

    2010/03/08 at 4:07 pm

    This is random, but with the calcium supplements, make sure you take the kind that doesn’t give you kidney stones! Go with calcium citrate!

  • Wombat Central

    2010/03/08 at 4:13 pm

    I agree about the neti pot. Run and get thyself one. Wash that snot right outta your head…

    And if you do ride a bicyle (as mentioned above), you might consider getting yourself one of those three-wheeled jobbies. No need to invite more injuries.

  • BooBooGaLoo

    2010/03/08 at 4:19 pm

    Did you happen to have your D3 checked when they did bloodwork? D3 is a wonderful thing when you get your levels up.

  • charlene_crazedparent

    2010/03/08 at 4:29 pm

    Same thing happened to me over the holidays. I went to the dentist and was on the verge of telling them to just rip the tooth out because that would hurt less than the pure torture of anything brushing against the tooth causing the pain. but nope. sinus scan and everything else showed it to be a really bad sinus infection along the soft tissue (eww).

    i bow down to the neti pot, though. always helps with regular sinus issues.

  • cobaltblue

    2010/03/08 at 4:37 pm

    First, that is a truly stunning photo of you and Chuck. Second, I mourn the loss of those cups. Third, have you considered wrapping yourself in duct tape?

  • ehorn

    2010/03/08 at 4:39 pm

    You can still get one of those old lady walkers from walgreens. People will totally give you cuts in line if you have one of those. Putting tennis balls on the bottom will make you look for real. Just don’t get caught throwing it in the back of your car after you just used it to get ahead of 50 people at the movie theatre.
    If anyone says “you look too young for that” just start yelling unintelligible words and spraying spit. Nothing shuts people up faster than that!

  • beth m

    2010/03/08 at 5:46 pm

    wrong….I’m the one without a butt….seriously, I’m not sure your no butt can beat my no butt….just saying 🙂

  • c_kidman69

    2010/03/08 at 6:00 pm

    Well Heather I was raised with a grandmother that I totally love and who is old fashioned. So much so that you never see her without her full makeup and hair done every single day. She used to tell me that you ALWAYS feel better after doing your makeup and hair even if you are sick. So one day I had a killer sinus infection and I got up and did my hair and gingerly put my makeup on my sore face and it didn’t help. So I called my grandmother crying and told her that I didn’t feel better. I did what she said and I still feel like crap. She asked what was wrong and I told her I had a sinus infection and she said in her sweet grandmother voice “oh didn’t I tell you it doesn’t work for sinus infections dear?”

    Good luck with everything. And unlike other commenters I cannot relate to the no butt thing I have enough for about 4 of you…..just kidding, but I can share some though….maybe I will have the excess fat sucked out and implanted in my boobs to even them up….now that is an interesting thought and totally not related to anything you were talking about. Sorry.

  • mommica

    2010/03/08 at 6:03 pm

    Dude, I had the same thing. Aching tooth = sinus infection. Who knew? My dentist prescribed me a Z Pak or Zip Pak or some kind of pack that was supposed to heal me up real quick like. It did not work according to plan and I was on a plane to Guam with drippy nose AND hurty face.

  • Snarkmeister

    2010/03/08 at 6:10 pm

    It could be worse. At least your shooting tooth pain can be solved with antibiotics! My shooting tooth pain has resulted in a crown and will shortly be requiring a root canal, since the crown alone did not solve my problem (a cracked tooth). 🙁

  • Tricia

    2010/03/08 at 6:10 pm

    You need lots of hugs. And bourbon. But good for you for listening to the universe and starting calcium supplements! Do be sure that you’re taking the sort that won’t give you stones… no reason to tempt fate, esp. as she seems to have it out for you as it is.

    Also, so sorry about those gorgeous teacups. I hope you can find replacements.

  • KathyB

    2010/03/08 at 7:04 pm

    I know that you, Dooce, are just a child, a young mother with the lovely Leta and baby Marlo. One of my favorite Bette Midler statements is “After 30 your body develops a mind of its own.” Just makes one salivate in anticipation, huh.

    My friend, who turned sixty three or so years ago, said that at 60 parts just fall off. At least she was laughing.

    Maintenance is always a drag. Have a good trip.

  • sandi

    2010/03/08 at 7:10 pm

    So, I have your same butt…. It’s an unfortunate situation. I have contemplated butt implants for years, but I can’t imagine how they would feel to sit on. I can’t imagine sitting on my boobs. I think I would feel high centered or off balance…

    Anyway, I found a place here in LA that will do a brazilian butt augmentation. They use fat from my own body and stick it in my ass. (that sounds lovely doesn’t it?) I am going for a consult next week. I will happily share my findings with you because I am sure that if you had a rounder rump, you wouldn’t have cracked that tail bone.

    Not that any of this will help your sinuses, but I would stay away from the neti pot, it’s almost as bad as water boarding.

  • strippeddown-jenn

    2010/03/08 at 7:11 pm

    Hang in there, ma’am. It could be worse. At least you didn’t break your vagina.

  • JelliDonut

    2010/03/08 at 7:31 pm

    You think it’s bad now? Wait until your kids have their own kids. You’ll have to take the entire alphabet of vitamins and you will still feel like ten pounds of sh*t in a five pound bag. But you get offered the senior discount (even though you are five years away for getting it honestly) so HEY, it’s all good!

  • sparkyd

    2010/03/08 at 8:07 pm

    ‘Tis the season for sinus infections it seems. I’ve got one too. I had no idea your sinus’ could make your teeth hurt. But oh my, they certainly do. On day 4 of antibiotics and hoping the pain will stop for good soon. On the plus side, the antibiotics seem to be taking care of the pink eye that I got at the same time as the horrid cold that led to the sinus infection. Which, of course, both came from my 2.5 year old son via his 7 month old brother. Yeehaw.

  • MaryJoRs

    2010/03/08 at 8:47 pm

    Sorry about your sinus infection. What I really wanted to say though, is that I love love love the picture of you and Chuck. What a beautiful picture, and wonderful memory.

  • teya

    2010/03/08 at 9:18 pm

    You might want to check out today’s House episode, or at least a synopsis. The timing of the topic is hilarious.

  • Daily Cup of Jo

    2010/03/08 at 9:40 pm

    I’d like to offer a word of encouragement, since most of the comments have really bummed me out. Everything comes and goes in phases. Next month, you may feel young again, especially when your butt heals and the sinus infection is gone. Seems all things, good and bad, come in bunches. Your body is just in a “bad bunch” phase. You’re not getting older. Don’t let people feed you that crap, because if you start believing it, then the rest of us will have to believe we’re getting older. I’m not going there yet.

    Feel better.

  • JosieC

    2010/03/08 at 10:25 pm

    I’m with the other commenter who said you don’t need a sinus infection to feel the blinding tooth pain…any old sinus pressure will do. I get sinus toothaches regularly, and yea, they suck beyond all belief. I’m about 5 days into allergy season (here in southeast PA, that’s like March through November, give or take a couple of hours), and I’ve already had a toothache for about 3 days. Mucinex D might also help with clearing out the sinuses – I haven’t worked up the nerve to try a Neti Pot yet – although years ago I used this stuff called Ponaris. It’s peppermint, eucalyptus, pine and other oils you drop in your nose. Thoroughly disgusting, but worked wonders for sinus infections and other sinus issues. I haven’t been able to find it in ages, but if you can get your hands on some (and can stand snorting oil), it’s awesome.

    Anyway, good luck, and I feel your pain!

  • adventuregirl77

    2010/03/08 at 10:47 pm

    I normally don’t comment because it seems kind of pointless because there are so many comments. Sometimes it seems we are living slightly parallel lives except you have the sweet blog gig and I still have a day job, but you know, otherwise parallelish.

    We have a lot of common experiences because my first born is only a few weeks older than Marlo. But the sinus infection really threw me because I am currently dealing with my first one ever and my teeth hurt like crazy. I almost considered going to the dentist.

    Here’s to both of our sinus infections and sick kids getting better…lightning speed.

  • Sharon Simpson

    2010/03/09 at 12:29 am

    Heather, I’m so sorry about your broken butt and the sinus infection. Really! None of that is any fun at all.

    I have osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. I take calcium tablets daily, along with Celebrex for the pain, and Boniva once a month. I have had one knee replaced and need to have the other one done. Have had surgery for carpel-tunnel syndrome on both wrists.

    I am 67 years old, and beginning to feel like I’m really 120!

    But… you can make me laugh! I love reading your blog and seeing the pictures of your beautiful girls and the dogs. Keep on, girl. I NEED YOU!

  • twentysix11eighty

    2010/03/09 at 3:03 am

    just dropping in a hello to tell you i read your blog pretty regularly. its great! keep bringing the good stuff to us and feel better soon!:)

  • amyj

    2010/03/09 at 5:28 am

    I’m starting to think that the process of beginning to get old is worse than when you’re old and you continue falling apart.

    I had an unfortunate, scary, but ultimately damaging-only-to-me tumble yesterday with my 9-month-old in my arms. When I crashed to the ground full-force on my knees caps and my forearms caught the back of a chair, all I could think about was that the back-bend my back just did in an effort to cushion the baby was going to debilitate me. Like one of those back injuries from which you never, ever, ever recover. Wind knocked out of me and scared baby crying, we sat on the floor together with me frantically thinking about what I should be doing immediately to lessen the damage to my back (I knew the baby didn’t hit anything and was fine, because he saw a remote control and took off like a bat outta hell to get it. Nice kid, eh? Waits for Mum to be gravely injured and takes full advantage…). Thankfully I ended up being ok, and this morning when I got up I was fine, too, but man, all those worries about a back injury were awful.

  • filmlady11

    2010/03/09 at 6:30 am

    Don’t you worry. I used to have your tiny butt and complained mightily. Time, gravity (and peanut M&Ms) cures all.

  • Leslie_Yum

    2010/03/09 at 6:34 am

    Isn’t it SO annoying when your body won’t cooperate with the terrible things you want to write about yourself on the internet?
    Well, not everything can be SHINGLES (cue jazz hands)…

  • LuckyMama

    2010/03/09 at 8:25 am

    I’m so happy to hear that I’m not alone!! I’m a relatively healthy person, but seem to be going to the Dr all the time!! My husband doesn’t get it, and really, I don’t either!
    I brush and floss religiously, and yet I’m the one with all of the cavities. I can’t handle walking up or down the stairs without hurting myself! I don’t dare chew gum and walk at the same time!
    I managed to get pink eye this past weekend… I could live in a bubble and I’d still manage to cut myself on something, or catch some rare illness.

    Before we get too old, please open a nursing home for the Dooce Community. We could all reminisce about boobs, poop, and the good ol’ days together.

    PS: I have plenty of booty to share, just say the word and I’ll be happy to send some your way.

  • lovingthismomstuff

    2010/03/09 at 8:47 am

    Definitely falling apart! So, when are ya gonna go bald??


  • Amybele

    2010/03/09 at 11:09 am

    Seriously, I get it. Although I really have had a broken butt. You have no idea how much worse it could be… don’t google rectal abscess. I’m not even 35 yet and I swear I’m going to start backing into rooms I’ve had to show so many people my butt. My first rectal exam was to Prince coming from a speaker in the ceiling. Seriously. I’m scarred for life- “you don’t have to be rich” used to just be a verse to sing in the shower. My husband tries to make me feel better by saying mine is the cutest little hiney they’ve seen all day.
    Looking forward to the next hysterical updates. You keep me laughing. Hope it gets better soon. I was also told to sit on a donut- really? Bring it to my state job and put my sassy little butt on it during meetings? The need to explain, “it’s not hemmorhoids, just this terrible little thing known as an abscess.”
    Oh, and advice from someone with “broken butt” experience- don’t ever let anyone “distract” your tailbone.

  • girlplease

    2010/03/09 at 9:15 am

    Sorry can’t find the post where it says 100% that you busted your tailbone but I thougth I did too. Xrays galore. Nope. Giving birth to my son causes a trainwreck of tendons and pelvic floor muscles which felt like I busted my tailbone. Perhaps you should find a physical therapist who specializes in it. I was in pain for a year–couldn’t sit. After therapy–all better.

    Note though, for them to assess thigns properly, you’ll get “invaded” though. They gotta feel the tailbone/muscles from the inside.

    Good times.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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