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Community Support - NSR Discuss Welcome! iSpine is online! in the Main forums forums; 11/17/-6 - sticking this thread to forum top to welcome new members. Melody will be at Zeegers party on ...

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Old 09-19-2006, 07:11 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default Welcome! iSpine is online!

11/17/-6 - sticking this thread to forum top to welcome new members. Melody will be at Zeegers party on Sunday. I just sent out a mass mailing about the new forum... and want all the new browser to see the first post!

__________________________________________________ __________________________________

Dear Friends,

September 19, 2006, what an incredible day to bring the new forums online:
  • September 19, 1984: Doctors Karin Buettner-Janz and Kurt Shellnack implanted the first truly viable artificial intervertebral disc, the SB-Charite'. This date marks the beginning of a new era as modern spine arthroplasty was born.
  • September 19, 2002: I've had 2 failed spine surgeries and have been disabled for 3 years. Fate finds me laying on the floor of a restaurant in Germany trying to explain to the frightened waiter that I'm OK, I just need to lay with my knees up for a few minutes then I'll be able to finish my dinner. My wife and I are taking our first trip overseas... not to enjoy Munich, but to have spine surgery. On September 20, 2002, I had a 2-level SB-Charite' implantation that restored my life!
  • September 18, 2006: Again, I'm in a restaurant, but this time I'm in NY. I'm 2 days short of 4 years post-op and I'm having dinner with Dr. Karin Buettner-Janz and Dr. Fabien Bitan. I've met Dr. Buettner-Janz at least a dozen times over the last few years and I always thank her for her part in restoring my life. However, today is special and I get to thank her in a more meaningful way.... read on...
I have a client named Melody Beattie. She has a new book out called The Grief Club - The secret to Getting Through All Kinds of Change. This book includes stories of people going through all kinds of life-altering ordeals: I have cancer, my mother has Alzheimer's, my child died, my spouse is an abusive alcoholic.... One of the chapters is about surviving debilitating back pain... both hers and mine. She had a 2-level Charite' surgery in April of 2005, so it seemed appropriate to give her a copy of Melody's book with the following inscription:
Dear Karin,

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the first implantation of the first Charite' total disc replacement. Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of my 2-level Charite' implantation that restored my life. Melody Beattie (the author of this book) also has a 2-level Charite' implantation and is still enjoying her new life at 1 1/2 years post-op.

Thank you so much for all your help with Global Patient Network. Thank you for your part bringing me, Melody and countless others back from the dead. For those of us who need disc replacement surgery, the work you have done has paved the way. For us it represents the difference between life, and no life!

With love and gratitude,


As many of you know, in my past life I was an active skydiver. So was Melody. We have often fantasized about skydiving again and hope that we may someday get to jump together. After I wrote the inscription in her book, I left a message for Melody. An hour later, I had a message back from her. It was funny, because when I called her back, she hadn't listened to my message and I hadn't listened to hers. I could not believe how serendipitous this all seemed that we were having this discussion minutes before I left for my dinner with the inventor of our discs, and with Melody's book in my hand.
  • Mark: "Isn't it great!"
  • Melody: "Isn't what great? I didn't listen to your message." I told her about my meeting with Dr. Buettner-Janz, the book, the inscription....
  • Melody: "Can you believe I did it? What did you think when you heard my message?"
  • Mark: "What did you do? I didn't listen to your message!"
  • Melody: "I'm at the DZ. I just got down, it was great!
For you whuffos (or people who don't skydive), the DZ is the drop zone or parachuting center. As we discussed what it was like for Melody to get her knees in the breeze again, tears of joy were shed on both coasts... me in my hotel room in NY, and Melody - still at the DZ in California. I couldn't believe the timing of all of this. It was an honor and a pleasure to share this with Dr. Buettner-Janz and Dr. Bitan.

We had a wonderful dinner - all spine, all the time. We discussed so many things that I'm anxious to tell you all about... complications, revisions, new technologies, opportunities for patients.... we even discussed many of YOUR cases. However since it's 3am in NY and I have to get up early, I'm going to call it a night.

I don't know if this was the best way to say Welcome to iSpine, but the forums are ready to come online and this was my day. It's not as important to the world as this day in 1984, when modern spine arthroplasty was born. It's not as important to me as in 2002 when I was about to have the surgery that transformed me from the empty shell of a completely disabled chronic pain patient back into an active, vital man. It's not as important to Melody as yesterday was when she returned to skydiving. September 19, 2006 is the day that the iSpine discussion forums were born. Welcome!

Come in and support one another, learn and share.

All the best,


PS. Melody's skydive video is online here. The presentation is a little difficult to get through, but it's great to see and hear.

Last edited by mmglobal; 04-07-2012 at 07:01 PM.
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