Update on Surgical Consult in South Africa…

As most of you that follow our blog are aware, I (Jamie) went down to South Africa this past week for an operation on my low back. I have been dealing with issues since a sports injury 5 years ago. I have managed it with physio, but over the last year it has been a steady decline. I was advised by my Doctor that surgery was now the only option remaining and that I should go see Dr. Hahnle, a spine specialist, in Johannesburg. After a physical exam and a more in depth study of my MRI scans he determined that disc-replacement surgery was indeed necessary and would alleviate all of the instability, pain and weakness that I have been dealing with. However, he was unable to identify where the neurological pain…the numbness and burning….in my legs was coming from as it was not being caused by the degenerated disc. He decided that it would be best to postpone the back operation until we determine the cause of the other symptoms. So he referred me to a neurologist who conducted a nerve conduction study. It was determined that I have peripheral neuropathy. This is typically an indicator of a separate issue (diabetes, thyroid conditions, etc). Once treated these symptoms typically resolve. However, 30% of the time these symptoms have no direct cause, and are just managed. We did read that people that have suffered multiple sports-related injuries are often more susceptible to peripheral neuropathy, which wold make sense in my case. For now, several tests are being run to rule out the major diseases, and once it is determined whether there is a cause or if I am in the 30%, we will know what we are dealing with. I decided to come back to Kenya while we await the test results, and we will go back down to SA once we have all of the results.

We have peace that all of this will work out. We know our Lord is greater than our circumstances. We believe God is our healer, but even if he chooses not to heal, his grace is sufficient. He is our strength and our hope. We have a passion for the work He has called us to do and He will equip us to continue doing it. Thank you to all of you that have been praying for, and thinking of, us.

Melissa and I also enjoyed exploring Johannesburg in between appointments, but that can wait for another post.

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