I went into my doctor one day and said, "What can we do?" And he, you know, just basically said, "You're too old. There's nothing that can be done."
Cindy G's Story
I was very discouraged and thought that I would have to live with this pain for the rest of my life. And I had numbness in my right leg, and I was starting to have numbness in my right arm. Never could sleep the night through, ever. Always in pain. And angry. Very discouraged.
You're not a nice person when you're in pain
So I changed doctors. I got on the Web and e-mailed Dr. Shelokov on a Tuesday, and Tuesday night he called me at home. And we had a great talk and he said, "Come on in. I bet you've been told your whole life nothing can be done for you. Let me give you a look. Let's see what we can do."
So I saw Dr. Shelokov. And when he took the x-rays the very first visit, I really was not prepared for what I was going to see or hear from him. I didn't realize I was that bad because even my family doctor taking x-rays every year for ten years, you just didn't get the full effect, you know. So that was an eye-opener, to say the least. I really realized how deformed my spine was when I saw a full x-ray from him. but then I also saw that there was a light at the end of the tunnel just hearing him, you know, "I bet you've been told nothing can be done for you. Let me tell you what we're going to do for you."
I was totally relieved and ready to go. I was not ever apprehensive about the treatment he was going do because I knew the alternative. If I didn't have something done, my life expectancy was either going to be cut short or it was going to be, the quality of life in my older age was just going to be horrible.
It was wonderful -- finally somebody said, "Yeah, I can do something for you." Finally I had some hope after 15 years of being told and looking into the future thinking "I'm going to be in a wheelchair one of these days
I had surgery on Monday. And on Tuesday they stood me up for the first time, which I was totally shocked that I could stand up after having back surgery. And on Friday of the very first week they moved me to another hospital. I don't ever remember hurting. I don't ever remember having an unpleasant nurse. And my therapy was great. They're really very sympathetic to what you've had done, but at the same time they expect you to get in there and do your rehab.
I didn't even have any problems with insurance. That was the neatest thing about Dr. Shelokov, because just before I had the surgery our insurance company changed, and my heart just sank. I thought, "Oh, great. I finally found this person that do my surgery and we have new insurance. And I can remember calling the office and his receptionist saying, "I am sure that yours is on there." And of course, it was, so she took care of that. I don't ever remember having an insurance issue at all.
Before the surgery I didn't ever sleep the whole night through without pain. Now I'm just like a normal person that sleeps in their bed every night. Imagine that without pain. And I can breathe again. And I sit up straight and my clothes fit better, and I lost that tummy roll that he told me I had. I think I was the most excited about that.
Quality of life is definitely a lot better
I've had several patients call me since , and I tell them pretty much, you know, it's no piece of cake. It's going to involve some therapy. It's going to involve some downtime, a lot of support from your family, but the outlook is just unbelievable compared to what your quality of life was before.
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