Mitchell Piorkowski, a 57-year-old product engineer, didn’t know the exact sources of his aches and pains — he just knew that they hurt. The constant pain not only radiated through his body, but reached out into every waking hour of his day.
“It took me an hour to straighten out in the morning. I couldn’t bend up, I couldn’t even bend straight up when I got out of bed,” he remembers. And the end of the day was no better. “I would lie in my bed trying to get to sleep and you could never find a position,” Mitchell recalls. He could not find comfort no matter what he did.
“The pain felt like, it would feel electricity,” he explains. “Like a nine-volt battery, if you put it to your tongue and closed the circuit. Well a lot of that would literally shoot around, and it would just whoosh right into your back.”
Mitchell found himself adjusting every aspect of his daily life to try to manage his pain, which he describes as “atrocious.” He remembers, “You’re always worried because you don’t want to move too much because it’s gonna hurt. You don’t wanna move too much.” Limiting his movements, and walking around stooped, helped Mitchell avoid flare-ups as much as possible — but it was no way to live.
Luckily, he found the Spine Institute Northwest. With laser spine surgery to alleviate the pressure on the nerves sending pain signals out from his spine radiating through his body, Mitchell says that today his pain is gone. After his outpatient procedure, “Relief was immediate,” Mitchell says. Though he figured that at first it was due to postoperative medications, he soon stopped taking the pills — and the pain was still gone. “So yeah, am I satisfied with it?” he concludes. “Extremely.”
Hear more of Mitchell’s story in his own words: