They say if you want a job done right, you should do it yourself. But that isn’t always the best advice — just ask Sissy Falcon Johnson. Sissy, who lives on the Native American reservation in Tillamook, Oregon, was trying to move a piece of furniture up her basement stairs when she injured her back. “I was doing it alone, of course,” she remembers. Struggling to get the desk through the door at the top step, “I went around it, and I pulled on it,” Sissy recalls. “And when I did my back got angry. … I thought ‘Oh no, what did I do?'”
It turns out that she had a ruptured disc, and a nerve had become crushed between two of her vertebrae. “I tried to do physical therapy, too much pain. Any time I would try to even exercise or even do the stretches, my back swells,” Sissy says. She was losing feeling in her legs, causing her to lose her balance and fall. Before long, even basic tasks were too much for Sissy, and she says, “I just shut down.”
One day, her husband told her about one of his coworkers who had had laser surgery on his lower back with great results. Sissy started doing research, but “no one knew where there was any type of services like that in the area.” She started searching further away, but kept winding up stuck in automated response systems instead of getting any real help. “When I found this one I was amazed,” Sissy says. “I was so used to talking to robots! … You said, ‘Well, we can help you.’ It was like wow, I couldn’t believe it.'”
Soon after, Sissy traveled to Washington to have minimally invasive spine surgery with Dr. Kamson. “The staff were just phenomenal, and actually took time to, to visit with me, to care, to explain everything,” she remembers. “The Spine Institute Northwest is some of the finest medical people that I’ve ever seen. And I would not live in that pain, again.”
And Sissy doesn’t have to — her minimally invasive procedure relieved her pain, and now she says she can’t stop recommending Dr. Kamson and the Spine Institute Northwest.
Hear more of what Sissy has to say, in her own words: