I had been living with spinal stenosis for 30 years, but it didn’t always bother me. For some time, I didn’t even know I had it. Over the years it got worse and then I herniated a disc. I felt numbness and pain all the time. By 2017, I couldn’t walk 50 feet without taking a break to stretch. I was a teacher and standing was difficult – I sat whenever I could. It got to the point where I couldn’t even stand in front of my class anymore. I had to lean on my desk or sit down. Going to parties was no longer enjoyable because I couldn’t stand and talk to my friends and family. Attending an event like a Met game or Broadway play involved so much walking and standing on lines that I didn’t look forward to them.
I started to miss out on all the things I enjoyed doing – I could no longer run half marathons or do triathlons. I play the drums in a band, which I could only continue doing because I was sitting, however, the lifting that was involved in setting up before a show was really tough. I always had pain, it never went away, and I could never forget about it.
When I started asking people for recommendations, I found out that my uncle had surgery with Dr. Cammisa 20 years ago. I saw how well he recovered and, at age 90, still does not have issues with his back! I knew he was the right surgeon for me. In 2018 I made an appointment with Dr. Cammisa and that’s when my life changed radically for the better.
The entire process was amazing. From the financials, to the medical, to all the arrangements and logistics. Even down to the guy who makes your eggs in the cafeteria. The entire staff is completely dialed in. They are so organized and on top of everything. If I had questions, it was never hard to speak with someone, whether on the phone or in person.
I had surgery in December of 2018 and a week later I was walking three quarters of a mile. At six weeks I started physical therapy and by 12 weeks I was considered fully recovered. A year later, I’m walking 10 miles a day. I’m back to doing everything that used to cause me pain – playing racquetball, swimming, running and playing the drums in my band. Most importantly, I’m able to pick up my grandson, something that would have been very painful for me a year ago.
If I could tell someone in the same situation that I was in a year ago one thing, it’s that you will immediately get the feeling that you’re in good hands. You just know that you’re working with dedicated, knowledgeable people who take pride in what they do and that was such a huge comfort to me.