I’m doing well, thanks for asking!

I really appreciate all of the cards, texts, calls, visits, food and other expressions of care.  It’s been very reassuring to have so much support.  Lots of people have asked how I’m doing, so I thought I’d share a little update.

On the Monday after Easter (4/17), I had a 4-level vertebrae fusion (C4 to C7) in my neck. I am one of the fortunate people who inherited degenerative bones in my spine (Thanks Mom!).  In 2013, I had a severe herniation at C5-C6 and I had fusion surgery to correct it.  This year, we added more titanium and more screws, etc.  I am now the bionic man!

I am recovering well.  My pre-surgery symptoms and pain are almost entirely gone and I’m healing well from the procedure itself.  The worst part of the recovery is The Collar.  I put it in caps because it’s uncomfortable enough to deserve a proper noun for a name.  If I was a deep-cover operative of some foreign intelligence agency, I’d have a supply of these things to use as weapons of torture.  I’ll tell you anything if you will just let me out of The Collar!

Fortunately, short breaks are allowed.  Today’s promo video on Facebook was 2-minutes of paradise for me.  I took it off just before that broadcast started, and 120 seconds later I returned to prison (which I what I’ve taken to calling this thing!).

The worst part of the collar is that I have to sleep in it.  And, in case you’re wondering, there is NO good sleep to be found as long as I’m in The Collar.  Seriously, that has been the hardest part – I just can’t get comfortable enough to sleep.  And when you can’t sleep, you’re tired all the time.  And grumpy.  And when I’m grumpy, I think everyone around me ought to be grumpy, too.  Grumpy loves company.  Not the cheery kind.  But the miserable variety.

I returned to work this week at about half-speed.  I really am trying to take it slow and take the long-view so that I never have to have another neck surgery.  But it’s very hard for me to sit still.  As a movie-lover, it takes a lot for me to say that I AM TIRED OF WATCHING MOVIES!  Next week, I’m planning to return to work full time, and based on how I’ve done this week, I suspect that will work pretty well.

So thank you for your expressions of care.  They mean a lot. And thanks for praying for me.

See you at church!

12 Responses to “I’m doing well, thanks for asking!”

  1. Rodney gross

    Pray for your healing and mostly for the destruction of the COLLAR when time will allow it. GOD bless

  2. Teresa Farris

    Now everybody knows why I suffer the pain of 6 spine surgeries, knowing I am going to have to do the 7th eventually, but knowing THE COLLAR will be waiting, keeps me from doing it. 🙂 You’re welcome, son. 🙂

  3. Liz Puett

    I am glad you are doing well, following surgery. I hope it works. I also have degenerative disc disease. I am postponing surgery as long as possible.. I want you to know that, while we, your congregation, have missed you, you have an incredible team.

    The pastors and leaders and team members have done a wonderful job.

    See you soon.

  4. Angie Reardon

    Hi Brian!
    I am so sorry you had to enduring this procedure but “this too shall pass”.
    I pray that you are healed and never have this pain again or surgery again!
    Take care and take your time coming back to work. Take care of u first and enjoy this down time!
    Have a good week!

    The Reardons
    PCC Riverside peeps

  5. Darrell graham.

    Hello pastor Bryan.i know the sleeping part of having that collar on.I had c5&c6 fused in 2015.and on May 30 I’m having c6&c7 possibly c7&t1 fused.and they might have to put a cage on c5&c6 fusion.but I know I will b fine.prayer to u.and thank u for burning the best pastor in powhatan.

  6. Ralph Earnhardt

    Given earlier options of full time bed stay and traction, the bed is a slightly better choice! Know it is miserable BUT don’t come back too soon! Do you have a hospital style or adjustable asleep # style split bed. It is the ONLY way that Susanne(and I) have survived her surgeries and recoveries. And, she still has to put on the torture collar some days and some nights. Whatever it takes! We will continue praying for you AND Susan!


  7. Holly Wallace

    Praying for speedy recovery for you to include more sleep and less grumpiness!! Lol
    Also praying for your family to have patient caregiving skills as well. 🙂
    Had to keep it lighthearted and fun!! Much love to you all!
    Holly and Mike Wallace

  8. Tisha Booker

    Glad to see you are doing better. Praying for a speedy recovery.

  9. Michele Riner

    May God continue to bless you and shield you as you heal. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Always, The Riner’s

  10. Lynne Mayo

    Good to hear it! I know how it is when you feel bad and get grumpy…it’s hard being sweet when you feel terrible..but push on and we will be praying for you and your family.. Love to you all! I tell you what’s good..getting in the James river and letting that cool water run over the painful parts..lol..it works for my knees. God bless and see you soon!

  11. Anne Allen

    Glad your recovery is going well. I think you should have a Krispy Kreme party when you destroy The Collar!?!? Take care, and TRY not to do too much-

  12. Elaine Sargent

    I am so sorry to hear you are going through this again. I hope the worst is behind you and you can return to normalcy again soon. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.


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