Kim Uselman jokes that she has a “punchcard” with Dr. Jatana, who has performed five neck and back surgeries on Kim in the past 16 years. A lumbar micro discectomy in 1999, another one in 2001 after a re-injury, an L4-5 microdiscectomy in 2003, a C5-7 cervical discectomy in 2007 and a C4-5 fusion in 2014.
A systems engineer for spacecraft, Kim graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and has worked for Lockheed Martin since moving here in 1996. Kim is small and athletic – waterskiing, soccer, downhill skiing, hurdles, golf, and running all filled her youth. But as strong as she was, she lacked core strength, and that, coupled with the birth of her son in 1995, contributed to her back and neck issues. But her love of home improvement has caused her the most problems.
A “home remodeling junkie,” Kim has suffered several injuries fixing up her home and garden. She fell off a stool causing a bulging disc; she painted a ceiling causing shoulder and neck pain and numbness; she slipped while moving equipment in her garage, which earned her a trip to the hospital in an ambulance, and she carried a heavy bag of mulch in the backyard leading a disc to re-rupture.
Kim says she gets “first-class service” with Dr. Jatana, and would never go to anyone else. She and her husband immediately liked Dr. Jatana’s easy and caring manner, his steady hands and his confidence. All of Kim’s surgeries have successfully eliminated her pain and symptoms. Aside from the fact that she “never wants to see a neck collar brace ever again” she feels very fondly toward Dr. Jatana and his team.
Kim is now happily back to building her Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R), and in her spare time is still an active home improvement do-it-yourselfer. But now she takes precautions to protect the hardware inside her spine as well as out.