About five or six years ago, my mother was rear-ended at a red light. She was in a big SUV and was hit by a small sedan. Her car was undamaged, but the front end of the sedan was crushed. The drivers exchanged insurance information, made sure everyone was okay, and went on their respective ways. No one was in any pain at the time, and all passengers and both drivers had on their seat belts. Several weeks after the accident, however, my mother started to have pretty serious lower back pain. Her general practitioner tried a few different diagnostic tests but nothing came up, so he finally sent her to a neurosurgeon. She found a respectable one in Boulder who was able to fit her into an otherwise busy schedule pretty quickly, and set up an appointment for the next week.
Several more tests were performed by the neurosurgeon, ultimately leading him to recommend an MRI review for my mother. She was still in a considerable amount of pain and nothing provided by either her regular doctor or the neurosurgeon seemed to help. As a relatively young woman who was still in her forties, our whole family started to become very concerned about what seemed to be chronic back pain. Several days later, the results of the MRI showed that my mother not only had a pinched nerve in her back, she would likely be in a significant amount of pain until she could receive laser spine surgery, which was still several months away. Without a surgical fix, her condition would only worsen and could even possibly lead to spinal stenosis.
The neurosurgeon recommended the surgery take place as soon as possible, but even with his recommendation, it was proving difficult to get her on the schedule any time soon. We were getting more and more worried, as her pain persisted and made it difficult for her to work, exercise, or in general live a comfortable life. She was finally able to get onto the surgical schedule for four months later, which would ultimately mean she had been in pain for nearly a year by the time it was over, and that did not even include recovery time.
Then, finally, she had a stroke of luck in her unfortunate solution. There was a cancellation in the surgeon’s schedule, and she was first on the waiting list. So within a few weeks, instead of a few months, my mother was finally able to go in for her laser spine surgery. The procedure was minimally invasive, and she was in and out in less time than we expected. Her hospital stay was shorter than imagined too, and in a few days, she was ready to come home and finish her recovery there with some assistance.
Had she known what that one seemingly small accident would lead to, my mother would have been far more concerned at the time. Luckily she was able to make the best of it, and her spine surgery produced excellent results. Once fully recovered, she was able to do return to everything she used to do – with no pain! Ultimately the procedure was worth the wait.