It's been nearly three week's since The Rob took a medical leave of absence from the station to have major surgery on his lower back, and he has graciously allowed us to share a photo of his surgically repaired spine.

For those that are a bit late to the party, Rob was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, a disease in which one of the discs in his spinal column slid out of place, back in 1996. Over time, as the condition worsened, simple tasks such as standing or sitting became incredibly painful and uncomfortable, leading him to finally see a doctor, which eventually led to the surgery on January 27th.

Rob wrote about his situation in late-January, and included photos of x-ray's showing what his spine looked like on the inside (SPOILER ALERT! It didn't look like what a normal spine should look like).

Rob called me on Monday to check in and see how things were going at the station, and I asked him how the recovery was going. He said he was still in quite a bit of pain, but getting better. The doctor had told him during a visit last week that the procedure was healing nicely, and challenged him to get up and move around his apartment more than just to use the bathroom and take a shower.

He also sent me this photo.

(The Rob / Deaconess Hospital)

What looks like the result of falling on an open box of nails at a construction site is actually two screws inserted into the vertebrae that had separated over time to draw them back to their natural positions.

After seeing this on my phone, I can understand why Rob is still in a major amount of pain.

As for his return to work, he did admit that his original plan of coming back on February 24th (next Wednesday) may have been a bit premature, and in all likelihood, it will be a little past that before he feels up to getting back in the groove.

How long that will be depends on how quickly he continues to heal, and how pain he'll be able to tolerate to effectively do his job, which by the way requires either sitting or standing, both of which are incredibly painful for him right now.

In the meantime, Kat and I will continue to hold down the fort weekday mornings until he gets to that point.

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