It is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment my lower back officially prevented me from certain activities. The instance I remember most was eight years ago. After work I came home and sat on the couch to relax. When I stood up the pain was tremendous. I know things were different from that moment on, but I did not anticipate to continuously decline. Over the past eight years, my back hurt more and my activity levels were less. I pretty much gave up. My days consisted of going to work and then directly to bed. My back hurt and I felt exhausted. Depression set in. I was no longer spending time grooming my dogs, walking my dogs, swimming, hiking, hanging out with friends or traveling to visit family.
I tried stretching, physical therapy, cold therapy and simply sleeping. Nothing relieved the pain. It was then I was referred to Iowa Ortho and met with Dr. Trevor Schmitz. He advised me of my options. It was an epidural or surgery. I tried the epidural and thought I got some relief, however, it was short-lived. I tried a second epidural. That was even shorter-lived. I then decided it was time for surgery. I had the surgery on August 6th, 2021.
Within just a week I was walking about a half of a mile. By three weeks I was up to a mile. Now, about three months after surgery, I am walking two miles a day. I am not completely healed but I am able to remain active throughout my day. I am up to 7,500 steps per day consistently. My goal is a minimum of 10,000 steps per day consistently and I have plans to be there in a couple of weeks.
I can bathe my dogs again and look forward to next summer when I can swim with them again. I can take the dogs to trails and watch them run and sniff and walk with them! I feel like my life has been given another chance and thank Iowa Ortho and Dr. Schmitz for helping me get there. Everyone along the way was exceptional.