For a living, I am a phys. ed. teacher for [00:16][inaudible] County Public Schools – 15 years. I teach K through five. I coach girls’ soccer and then boys’ soccer and boys’ baseball.
Hobbies – I was a golf instructor and golf professional for five years. I gave a lot of lessons, things like that. Now my interests are basically golf and two kids, so I’m doing a lot of coaching.
During the day, as soon as my classes come in, I am the demonstrator. If you want to teach kids how to do something, you have to demonstrate it. I need to be able to participate in my job. I’ve got to be active constantly.
How I injured my neck was I was actually painting my house, and I had to spackle a certain hole. I was sandpapering it down, and was constantly up in the air, up in the corner. I constantly had my neck up, looking, and I was there for hours. The next day, I woke up to a sharp pain in my neck.
Once the pain started, it was a total numbing down my left arm and my right arm. It just felt like a constant burn. It wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t comfortable at all.
Once my neck was injured, there were a lot of things I could not do at school. For instance, I could no longer carry the equipment. I could no longer set up the gymnasium or the fields for the kids to participate, so I had to go and find some kids to help me out.
At home, I couldn’t really play with my kids anymore. I could be out there, but as far as lifting them up and playing Wiffle ball and things like that, it was something I could no longer do. I was just Dad on the spot, but not Dad who could play.
My wife totally understood what was going on. She stopped doing the honey-do list, which was a good thing for me. As far as affecting my daily life with my activities, driving was almost impossible. I needed to be able to turn my neck, look through the windows, and it’s just something I could no longer do. Sleeping – up all night. I learned to sleep by sitting up in a corner. I couldn’t lay down. It was constant, constant pain.
At school, not being able to participate was a big thing. It was the hardest thing for me. Not being able to show them – it was frustrating for me, and I know it was sad for them.
I went to my primary care physician after that. He sent me out to get some X-rays and get an MRI on my neck. After my primary care doctor realized through the X-rays and the MRI that I did rupture a couple of my discs, he sent me to a spine doctor. Then I went down there and they started talking about what my options were.
My spine surgeon placed two Mobi-Cs in my neck. I woke up – it was just an amazing feeling. I could pretty much do anything I wanted, going over my right shoulder, over my left shoulder. It was down, up, looking at the sky – it was just an amazing feeling, because I didn’t know exactly what to feel. The moment I woke up, I had absolutely zero pain. It was wonderful when I woke up. It was absolutely painless.
This totally changed my life, because I was back to how it was before any of this happened. I can just move around anywhere I want. I knew I could go and play with my kids, and that’s the biggest thing – just getting back out there.
My surgery was in April of ’07, so it’s been six years, and six years of no issues at all – no pain, nothing. I’m very happy for that. I’m back to my regular life, back to playing with my kids, and it’s just been a godsend.
I’m thrilled to be a two-level Mobi C patient. It’s changed my life. I’m very fortunate to go through everything that I have gone. I can’t wait to tell my story.