| While discussing paddle induced tailbone injuries a woman revealed that she had suffered many severe medical effects from just such an injury—although paddling did not cause hers. What her case does show is the difficulty doctors can have in finding and treating tailbone injuries and also some of the severe medical side effects that can seem unrelated. As the chiropractors so often tell us every nerve in our body passes through narrow passageways in our spine. Any spinal injury can harm the nerves, and thus the functionality, of any organ those damaged nerves feed. Here is a portion of her letter. She notes that teachers who withheld bathroom availability caused her medical disorders to deteriorate as well:|
I would be happy to help in anyway that I can, and I am committed enough to this cause to want to use my identity.
I had a few serious tailbone injuries as a young child and then as an adolescent (a total of four) that exacerbated a severe intestinal disorder that I was born with. The tailbone's interference was not discovered and diagnosed until 2000. Last November, it was required that I have the damaged tailbone amputated due it contributing to bowel obstructions. Because of the pressure caused from years and years of obstructions (in part from the tailbone), I may require one more surgery to correct a rupture in my rectum.
You do not have to worry about deleting my name because my spinal injuries are not a result of corporal punishment. My intestinal disorder is a result of a deformity of both my Illium and later, the coccyx injuries. The intestinal disorder was definitely exacerbated by schoolteachers who denied/delayed toilet use in all grade levels.
In New England, where I lived all of my life, it is illegal for teachers to hit, strike or physically abuse students, so I never experienced paddling in school, luckily. In fact, when I became a child advocate, I was mortified to find out that paddling was actually legal in many states! However, as I mentioned, the practice of what I have termed in my research as "forced bodily waste retention" is commonplace.
In a nutshell, at age three, I suffered a severe bowel obstruction, which reoccurred chronically thereafter until the age of 17. Despite years of tests, no doctor realized it was a bowel obstruction. At the age of 11, the ER docs would just assume I was overreacting to a simple "tummy ache." When I was 14, my parents took me to Children's Hospital, where the attacks of pain were taken very seriously. At 17, the problem was diagnosed, found, and a surgery performed. In my early 20's I was still having small obstructions. This same Doc along with another doc performed several tests, and last year noted by accident, the broken coccyx as a cause of further obstructions. A coccyxectomy was performed last November. A follow up test found more unsettling news: as a result of 27 years of bowel obstructions, I developed a recticeal- a rupture in the rectum- as a result of years of pressure in the small and large intestines. I will find out in a week whether or not I will require one more surgery. Thankfully, I have two wonderful docs, but it took 14 years to find them. This life long problem affects every day of my life. I suffer almost constant intestinal cramping, at least once per month. Prior to my last surgery, the cramps could signal a full-blown obstruction- intensely, all-consumingly painful- requiring hospitalization.
School teacher's inhumane, disrespectful bathroom policies encourage children to deny the needs of the body. For a child with an undiagnosed case of bowel obstructions, their policy could have literally been deadly. To me, forcing a child to retain urine and feces, which are poisonous bodily wastes, is not only physically abusive, but also sadistic and torturous. I have a personal joke that such schoolteachers must all be latent "water sports enthusiasts." I once did a small study to find out how many urolagnia-enthusiasts suffered this form of abuse in childhood, and I found that all had. As a Mental Health Counselor for children and adolescents, child advocate and former social worker, and pre-school teacher, I am proud to put my name to all of this and hope that if you choose to use any of my commentary that you will honor my request. Thanks.
Laurie A. Couture, M.Ed.
| Sadly, with millions of paddling cases every year to hundreds of thousands of students, there may be many thousands of people suffering, perhaps undiagnosed, with similar diseases that are a direct result of being beaten with a board in school as a child. As with Laurie they may find it takes decades to even document the problem properly, let alone get it treated.|