My Spinal Fusion Story – Ages 12 – 24

It was during this developmental periods—ages 12-24—that my back problems first manifested. This was the beginning. And, man oh man: would they ever get worse!

The first back pain I ever remember experiencing was during my earliest adolescence: age 12.

I was at a party, and believe it or not…this was some sort of rich girl’s birthday party, and it was actually held at a hotel. I know…it sounds strange, but it’s true.

So, this allowed us to go swimming in the hotel pool. And, better yet…all of the boys were running around the hotel like crazy.

You know, pain really cements memories in your mind because I remember that night so well. I remember what I was wearing. God, I thought my nerdy get-up was so cool.


We were running through the hallways. And, I was running right on the heels of Tom Peltier…and, then something happened that I wasn’t expecting…

My left foot went down…my heel pressed into the hard carpet and an electric jolt went zoom-zinging from my heel up my entire leg and buried itself into my lower (lumbar) back region. And, I stopped running. And, Tom Peltier ran off into the distance. And, I wouldn’t be running much more that night. Or for a while.

I limped down the hallway.

What happened? What the hell just happened?

I had never experienced pain of such severity. It’s a real eye-opening experience. There’s something oddly enlightening about it.

And, I limped down the hallway.

And, what the hell happened?

I still don’t know.

I can take a guess.

I think maybe I cracked a disk.

When I finally went under the surgeon’s knife, in addition to my other problems, I had two herniated disks. I think maybe this injury was the origin point of one of these later herniations. And, the subsequent stress of playing football and skateboard slams and barbacking etc. made everything worse.

But, I do believe genetically speaking I was sort of “destined” to have spinal problems.

I’ll never know for certain if that adolescent night so many years ago was the starting point of my lumbar misery, but I’d say it seems likely.

Continue reading my spinal fusion story and when things steadily worsened: ages 25 -40.