7/18/17 UPDATE: I would like to express my deepest appreciation for all the support and concern expressed to Joan and me over the past few months. Summer classes from June through August were cancelled/postponed while I recover from back surgery. I had a fusion/decompression procedure at the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae in my lower back on May 30th. To be honest, the pre-surgical consultation was not encouraging: my back was a mess. One doctor described my spine as a “Jenga” game! The truth is that the fourth lumbar vertebrae (the bone, not the disc) had slipped considerably and the space that allows the nerves coming out of the spinal cord the room to breathe and work uninhibited was non-existent. The result was excruciating and debilitating pain. I could not walk from the class table to the door in the studio to greet students without pain. My surgeon stated frankly that he did not think he could move the bone back in place because it had moved too far and doubted he could squeeze a “spacer” between the compressed vertebrae to open the gap and relieve the pressure on the nerves. Well, he did both! I am 7 weeks post-surgery TODAY and he procedure was a huge success by all indications. The swelling has gone down, so I am in what I would call “Phase Two” of my recovery and there seriously has been NO serious pain at any point post-surgery. There has been an annoying level of soreness, especially as I begin a somewhat more vigorous return to “normal” activities. Normal activities mean driving longer distances and getting back on the bike (tricycle) for SHORT distances. I have also been testing my stamina for longer days/night classes by taking a Japanese language class two nights a week. “Phase Two” also means paying attention to how my body reacts to being “pushed.” I was hoping to re-open in mid-July, but unfortunately, neither my short bike rides nor my Japanese classes indicate that I am ready to resume classes this month. I think September is a realistic goal and I will begin to post a tentative/limited class schedule soon. Please keep checking back for updates and mahalo for your concern and patience. We WILL be back as soon as possible! In the meantime, check my blog for new posts.
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