For two and a half years I was in pain every moment of every day. I cried every single day. It started one day with a pain in my low back that went down both of my legs and got worse and worse everyday.
My husband and I thought I had normal back pains that most people get as they get older. We just thought I'd been lucky up until then. He, like a lot of people has an aching back quite a bit so I just thought it finally caught up with me and I was just a wimp and couldn't handle it like other people.
Then it got to the point where I could barely make it up stairs at night to go to bed and I would get stuck sitting in chairs. When I would try to stand up the pain was so bad I couldn't move. I saw several doctors starting with my family physician who chalked it up to arthritis and gave me some exercises to do at home. Then I went to a chiropractor who was wonderful and did everything to try to help me. If him and his wife could have they would have made that pain go away but after a few months they recommended that get X-rays and after reviewing them suggested I see a surgeon for an opinion. I went to a surgeon in my area who told me what was going on in my back. I had spondylolythesis and stenosis at L4-L5 and I would probably need surgery but to start with an epidural because if that worked I could put off surgery for awhile. I had two epidurals. The first lasted one month and the second one barely made the pain go away at all. I met with the surgeon again and he said I'd need surgery. This doctor may have done a good job on my surgery but I was positive of that. Each time I met with him he was in and out of the office and just seemed to not be focusing on me and my appointment. That made me very nervous to have him perform major spinal surgery on me so I left that final appointment with him knowing I was on a search for the best.
I was on my computer quite a lot after that and so was my Mom who had double knee replacement at Hospital for Special Surgery 2 years before this. She suggested I look there also. I searched and met with several surgeons, some very good but didn't take my insurance, and didn't think Hospital for Special Surgery would take my insurance either, but my Mom said to just call and find out. She gave me a list of about 5 spinal surgeons at HSS and from the beginning thought Dr. Cunningham sounded like a great match. He specialized in both of the problems that I had and he was both an adult surgeon and a pediatric surgeon. And since I am a big baby and scared of everything a pediatric surgeon would be perfect for me.
And wow was he! It turned out HSS and Dr. Cunningham both took my insurance and from my first visit with him I knew I could trust him with me. He spent so much time going over what had happened to my back and what the surgery and recovery would be like. His focus was completely on me and answered every question I had. I even had questions once I was back home again and he had me fax them to him and he called me after hours to answer every one of them. He is a great doctor! I can't speak highly enough about him. I will recommend him to everyone forever. He and his staff, especially his office manager, Tina, treat me so good every time I go there and the staff at HSS were all amazing! Before and after my surgery I was taken care of so well, I will forever be thankful to every person I came across there! Thank you Dr. Cunningham and Hospital for Special Surgery for taking my pain away, taking such good care of me and getting me back in the game!! Thanks from the bottom of my heart and hugs to everyone of you!!
The picture is of me a few months after my surgery at my happy place, Ocean City, NJ. My family and I go there every summer (even the years I was in pain) and I wanted to go back with my feet in the sand and no pain in my legs. It was a wonderful moment.