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Dear People of Zumbro,
You may be aware that I’ve had a herniated disc in my cervical spine since August. I’ve tried a variety of conservative treatment approaches, including physical therapy and cortisone injections. Unfortunately, these approaches have been unsuccessful in fully relieving the pain I’m experiencing in my neck and subsequent nerve pain in my arm.
On Monday, Apr. 29, I will have surgery on my spine. For those of you in the medical field, this will be an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at C5-6. Dr. Ahmed Nassr will be my surgeon.
The first question that many ask is if this was caused by my car accident back in July of 2017. It is unlikely. My doctor notes quite a bit of stenosis, bone spurs, and age-related wear and tear of the cervical discs. Unfortunately, it is fairly likely that the extensive biking I did last summer exasperated my symptoms.
I expect to spend a night or two in the hospital and be on medical leave for 6-8 weeks. I will have to wear a cervical collar for several weeks and will need to abide by a variety of restrictions to do my part to help the fusion work.
While I’m not looking forward to surgery or being away for so long, I am looking forward to taking the next step toward relieving the chronic pain I’ve been dealing with for the past 8 months. It will be a hard time to be away from Zumbro. We are in the midst of exciting times and new ministry initiatives. I hate to miss out! I am also acutely aware of the extra burden my absence creates for both my colleagues and ministry team leaders. To each of them I offer my deep gratitude.
I covet your prayers and look forward to my return to ministry with you.