ProDisc-C with fusion
Germany - January 2006
AnnC's mother Barbara, Kim's husband Dan and
Kim RS at Oberalteich
I’m not as good as I once was (as Toby Keith sings
in his Country tune); but, I’m better than I thought
I’d be. With Mark’s intervention, I had ADR surgery
at C5 with Dr. Bertagnoli in Bogen Germany in January, 2006.
Since the surgery, I take less medication, can walk for
longer periods, and have increased range of motion at C5.
I attend physical therapy, yoga therapy and occasionally
have acupuncture. For the first time in nearly 2 years I
have hope that I will continue to make progress. I have accepted
a new normal and am grateful for things I previously took
for granted. I continue to battle my own impatience, lack
of moderation, the long term disability carrier, and the
Social Security Administration.
Let me back up for a moment to explain my
story. Prior to a being diagnosed with degenerative disc
disease at C6 and
C 7 in 2004, I was in a leadership role for a Fortune 20
Company. I worked long hours in a frenetic environment easily
spending 55-60 hours per week sitting at a computer, on the
phone, or in meetings. Six months of physical therapy, epidural
injections, and drug therapy failed to alleviate the symptoms
or the problem. My neurosurgeon gave me one option, Anterior
Cervical Discectomy with Fusion of C 6 & 7 which was
performed in August 2004.
Some problems were alleviated, other significant
ones were created. I wouldn’t know for 1 ½ years
the original surgeon placed the end plate improperly resulting
rupture of an adjacent disc. Various specialists in the US
could not find the source of the clonus or pain which developed
post surgically. I was just another malingerer.
When I finally contacted Mark through Global
Patient Network, I was relieved to find someone who believed
my story. Mark’s
advocacy, experience, knowledge, extensive network of care
givers, and sincere desire to help were instrumental in my
story of healing. He facilitated immediate turn- around from
his contacts in Germany and helped put useful details on
my medical profile. When I talked with him and couldn’t
remember the conversation due to medication, he patiently
spoke with my husband to explain the details.
My husband the engineer, fact finder, and
skeptic grilled Mark on one particular occasion when I
was trying to convince
him to pay for Mark’s in person help in Germany. My
husband couldn’t understand the need or worth of having
a stranger involved on our journey. He was convinced Mark
was probably taking kick-backs from the doctors, which of
course, he is not, did not, and would not.
was only when Mark met my husband in person at the hospital
that he began to appreciate Mark’s capability. Mark
ably explained my problem, drew pictures, talked physics,
mechanics, and mobility. Once surgery was completed, with
Mark having scrubbed in, my husband was a total convert.
Mark described in detail the unanticipated problems Dr. Bertagnoli
encountered and was able to overcome with the skill of a
master artisan. Additionally, Mark ran interference with
the other docs on my behalf relating to pain, comfort, and
condition. During recovery, I asked my husband whether
he thought the fee for Mark’s services was worth it.
He sheepishly agreed.
continues to stay in touch and monitors my progress. He
has been a gift to our family and regardless
of what the
future brings; we will hold him close to our hearts.
10/14/06 - I just bumped into this picture and absolutely had
to add it to Kim's page. Here she is with Alphonse. He works
for Dr. Bertagnoli as a scrub-tech and physical therapist.
If you had surgery in Bogen or Straubing in the last couple
of years, he probably was in on your surgery. The patients
I think Kim wins the award for best post-op
smile! ....... Mark
PS. I couldn't resist calling
Kim. She's 10 months out and her neck is doing great.
She's doing yoga for PT and says, "You wouldn't believe
the positions that I can get into. It's not that they
positions are so incredible, it's the process of going
from being unable, to being able!" She's returned to
a more normal life and is attending classes and studying
for a test now. She promises that after her test, she'll
provide more of an update!
is an amazing help for spine patients traveling
to Straubing or Bogen. He's much
more than a cab driver, he's like a concierge.
He'll help you with so many details that you can't
imagine. If you let him help you, by the time you
leave, you'll consider him to be a dear friend! She told
me how much she treasured this picture. Kim, I hope it's
OK for me to put it here.