John Blascak, Jr. – Spine Surgery

Physician: Dr. Carlson
John P. Blasak Jr.
My name is John Blascak and I am from Newport News, Virginia. I am 35 years old, going to Riverside School of health careers to start a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant, and my hobby is weight-lifting. I was seen by Dr. Carlson for severe neck and shoulder pain. Dr. Carlson discovered, thru an MRI, that I had three bad discs bulging on my spinal cord. The bulge was huge and involved discs C5, C6 and C7. Dr. Carlson was excellent at listening and addressing all my concerns.

Dr. Carlson knew how much pain I was in, and that I only had a month off before returning to school, so he made room in his busy schedule to help me. His nurse, Kay Dame, went over everything I needed to set up and answered all my questions. I was scheduled for a cervical discectomy on August 12, 2013. Dr. Carlson was there to visit with me before surgery and took his time going over the procedure and once again addressing all my concerns.
After my surgery, I was surprised at how fast I was up and moving. I was sitting up in bed and standing, even pacing the hospital room floor. Only two hours out and I was eating a burrito from the cafeteria. I was able to walk down the hospital hallway and while out walking, Dr. Carlson walked up as he was coming to check on me. I was doing so well, I did not have to stay the night at the hospital. My throat only had mild pain; I was eating my normal diet that same night.

While I was in my six week recovery, I had no problems. I was even going to the gym and walking on the treadmill only two weeks out of surgery. I even took a trip to Baltimore MD on 9/7/2013, less than four weeks post-op. If I had any questions, Dr. Carlson’s nurse, Kay Dame, was only a phone call away to aid me in my questions. And she would even call to check up on me. I went through the six week healing process with no problems, and the scar is hardly noticeable. People do not notice it until I point it out.

I was cleared to go back to everyday living on 9/27/2013, and I have a full range of motion in my neck. I can freely look up, down, left, right and check blind spots while driving. I was cleared on 9/27/2013 and on 9/28/2013, I was in the gym bench pressing 225 lbs. for 10 reps with no pain or soreness.

Dr. Carlson gave my life back to me and made me 100% again. I am no stranger to surgeries, but this by far was the best surgical experience I have ever had. This surgery was also the first to restore me to my complete prior level of function. Before having the surgery, everyone said that Dr. Carlson was the best, and now I am walking proof to what he can do. Thank you Dr. Carlson for giving me my life back!