It was absolutely my good fortune that the first doctor I contacted had just decided to limit his practice to the cervical spine. He referred me to Dr. Frank Schwab, describing him as the surgeon he would allow to operate on his own family. My diagnosis was severe lumbar stenosis and L4-L5 spondylolisthesis. All conservative treatments failed - medications, physical therapy and shots. My quality of life was quickly disappearing as my symptoms got worse. I read too many scary stories online to consider surgery, but to appease my family, I finally agreed to see a surgeon for a consultation ONLY.
Once I met Dr. Schwab it was a no-brainer. He treated me like a person not just a diagnosis. He explained my condition and his solution in language I understood. He patiently answered all of my questions. These things combined with his outstanding reputation, made me confident that I had found someone who could make me better. And I was soooo right.
On October 5, 2015, Dr. Schwab fused my L4-L5 vertebrae. My experience was nothing like the horrible stories I read online. I don't remember any pain in the hospital except in the area of my incision. The day after surgery I was standing STRAIGHT (it had been so long). I went home taking only Tylenol. A week later I did not even need that. Two weeks post-op I was able to drive. I bought a Fitbit to know that I was walking more each day. That has not been a problem because walking is fun again. Just over a month after surgery, I logged 3.7 miles one day in Manhattan.
Thank you, thank you, Dr. Schwab (and Debra and Natalia - his wonderful staff) for giving me an independent life back. Before surgery, I cried everyday because of the pain. I still cry a lot, but it is because I am so grateful to be Back in the Game!