“I mean, I’ve been through doors where there are drug dealers and guns and, you know, I’ve worked undercover. I’ve done all that stuff. Obviously you were cautious, but I was never scared. This was total, total fear for me.”
After his job took a toll on his body, Jose ended up needing back surgery.
“I would get up at 5:00 in the morning, take two pain pills because I would have to hold onto the wall just to stand up so that I could take a shower,” Jose said. “And it got to a point where [I thought], ‘I can’t do this.’”
“I came in, literally bent over on a cane and said, ‘Help. I need help.’”
Jose ended up requiring a 7 ½ hour back surgery. Without that procedure, his excruciating pain would have worsened.
“They worked on me for 6 ½ hours just to remove the scar tissue and an hour to fix the bulging disc,” Jose said.
The pain Jose had felt before the surgery made him afraid he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
“I remember this nurse practitioner coming to me and saying, ‘We need you to walk,’” Jose said. “I said, ‘What? I’ve been in surgery for 7 ½ hours and you want me to walk?’ And she goes, ‘Yeah.’”
Within the first two steps, Jose knew there was a difference.
“I looked at her and she looked at me,” Jose said. “And she goes, ‘How do you feel?’ And I go, ‘I ain’t got no pain.’ She goes, ‘Exactly.’
“I go, ‘Can one person change somebody’s life within 7 ½ hours? Yeah. They can,’” Jose said. “Not only do I walk better, but I look like I have a better attitude. Yeah, because I’m not in that kind of pain. Back pain is a horrible pain. You won’t know how bad it is until you have it.”
To anyone who may be having significant back pain, Jose has a message.
“I want them to know it’s possible,” Jose said. “They can do it. They have the technology to do it. Let them do it and let them change your life like they did mine.”
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