GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Rainy Christopherson isn’t looking to run marathons.

“Getting back to everyday living,” she said. “Going for walks down the road.”

She enjoys life’s simple pleasures.

“I like to garden and take care of flowers and herbs,” Christopherson said.

Even things that may seem mundane, become pretty appealing after you’ve been unable to do even the simplest tasks without excruciating pain.

“M leg pain, it was getting unbearable,” Christopherson explained. “I was unable to stand. Doing everyday things like brushing your teeth, doing dishes, standing at the stove, things like that.”

Christopherson tried chiropractic, steroid injections and physical therapy. Nothing worked.

” I just couldn’t stand living like that anymore,” she said.

Fortunately, she didn’t have to; thanks to Dr. Richard Harrison, a neurosurgeon with Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

“In her case what I had to do was I had to take off some overgrown bone that was pinching the nerve canal from the back,” Harrison explained. “She was having back pain from the joint being very loose and the leg pain from the nerves being pinched.”

Harrison described the lumbar fusion method he used to finally relieve Christopherson’s pain using a model of the spinal column.

“I took out most all of this disc and I put a device to kind of jack it up to it’s normal height and also have some bone in there,” Harrison said.

In fact, that type of thorough explanation is one of the things Christopherson says made her so comfortable going into surgery.

“Spine class. They educate you , they give you a presentation, they answer any questions you could possibly have and they explain everything in layman’s terms.” Christopherson recalled. “I could understand exactly what the doctor was going in to do and what to expect afterward.”

What came afterward, though, actually exceeded her expectations

“It was like being in heaven.”

Christopherson said when she opened her eyes. The pain was gone.

“I couldn’t believe it. I had been like that for so many years. I just couldn’t believe it,” Christopherson explained.

Christopherson said she was up and walking the same day as her operation…

“It was immediate relief for me,” she shared.

…and ready to get back to the life her previous pain had taken away.

“I’m looking forward to just doing activities I couldn’t do, like cleaning my house, getting back to a normal life,” Christopherson said.

Despite her operation taking place in the midst of a pandemic, Christopherson said she felt completely safe in the hospital and during aftercare visits because of all the safety measures she saw in place. She advises anyone who may be experiencing similar pain to hers, not to wait to get it checked out.

“You don’t have to live like that,” Christopherson said.