Patricia’s journey toward wellness started in 2013 when she initially saw IBJI’s Dr. Gary Shapiro, a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, for her sciatica (radiculopathy) back pain.
At that time, Patricia decided not to continue care with Dr. Shapiro because she was convinced by someone that she should see a non-orthopedic surgeon. She ended up having spine surgery elsewhere that left her in excruciating pain.
“It was horrible,” Pat says. “I have 11 stairs in my home and I would have to sit on my butt and scoot down. I would literally crawl to get up the stairs. I was a mess.”
When the pain wasn’t subsiding, she decided to return to Dr. Shapiro. She visited him in June 2020 at IBJI’s Glenview Doctors’ Office.
Dr. Shapiro said, “When Patricia came in to see me, her sciatica was causing a lot of back pain and pain in her left leg. She explained to me that since I last saw her, she had surgery and was trying different pain medications but it was not getting better. I took a look at her X-rays and saw a lot of degenerative changes.”
Based on the findings, he prescribed a powerful anti-inflammatory and followed up with her the following week to administer an epidural steroid injection which didn’t last.
“I really didn’t want to go through another surgery,” Pat, who is now 83, said.
However, after trying injections for a couple of months with Dr. Shapiro, and additional injections with Kelli Gates, MD, an anesthesiologist and interventional pain management physician at IBJI, surgery was the only thing that would ultimately solve her chronic back pain problem.
“Kelli was marvelous and she gave me an injection, but it didn’t work,” Pat says. “I was just too far advanced in my back pain. She really tried, but no one could fix what I had except a surgeon.”
When Pat decided to return to Dr. Shapiro for surgery, she found that everyone, from the front desk staff to the medical assistant, was top-notch, kind, and on top of all of the details.
“They have really good people working there, and with Rainie, the administrative assistant, you couldn’t ask for a better person,” Pat says. “She really listens to you. I felt like I found my home at IBJI.”
In August of 2020, Pat underwent a double fusion surgery with Dr. Shapiro to correct the first surgery performed by a non-orthopedic surgeon.
“I haven’t had any problems since,” Pat says. “I walk now and I stand for hours and it doesn’t bother me. Now I brag on Dr. Shapiro constantly. I tell people, ‘if you want to be relieved of your pain, go see him.'”
Now Pat astounds her grown children with her busy, active lifestyle. In fact, she continues to work in her eighties at a department store where she has to be on her feet all day.
“My kids say, ‘How do you do it?'”
She also had the confidence to return to IBJI when she developed a bunion. She had foot surgery in March of 2022 with Douglas Solway, DPM.
“I really got lucky finding two great surgeons at IBJI,” Pat says. “My foot is fine now, I’m on my feet again, I’m at work, and I love it.”
Pat says going to IBJI was the best decision of her life.
“IBJI is marvelous and so professional, and the bedside manner was fabulous.”