Surgery and Other Family News

Not my X-ray, but close to the real thing

Jay’s surgery

So I’m headed toward back surgery, scheduled for October 29. I’ll be out of commission for two to four weeks after that.

Three years ago, I had the same surgery — an L5-S1 fusion — and it has failed. My lowest vertebra is essentially sitting on top of my sacrum (tail bone) and out of alignment (a spondylolisthesis) by 16 or so millimeters.

This results in the nerves branching from my spinal cord having no place to exit the vertebra. It hurts quite a lot — and is causing hard muscle spasms that pinch my sciatic nerve.

(The pictured X-ray is what it would look like had it been done properly. I couldn’t find a picture of a failed surgery quite like mine. Imagine the bottom vertebra slid forward and nothing between it and the tail bone.)

I’ve done this all before, and so I know what the recovery will be like (not fun, but endurable). Oh, and except this time the surgeon will have to place screws in the L4 vertebra to hold everything in place.

For now, the biggest issue is that attending church is just too painful. Too much standing and walking. Yesterday proved to be pretty brutal on my back and spasming muscles. I may make Sunday school class some of the time (I can sit the whole 45 minutes). But class plus worship is unbearable. And I really like church.

So … it’s time to count my many blessings. (I always thought the tune was kind of corny, but I’m a big fan of the message. And I really like this a cappella arrangement.)

Report on children

So I’m the father of four sons. And I have nothing but good news. (I’m counting my many blessings.)

Chris has had a treatment for a possible TV show accepted. He’s working on a script for the pilot. It’s a long shot, but a great opportunity. (Can’t tell you what his idea is yet.)

Jonathan has moved from Ernst & Young in Boston to Tuscaloosa to join my law firm as a tax lawyer. Even better, he’s brought my only grandchild, Daniel, with him. Erin, his wife and my daughter-in-law, is pregnant with our first granddaughter — and this will be the first baby girl descended from Denise and me. (We’re very excited.)

Tyler is at Texas A&M working on his doctorate in chemical engineering. He’s been there a year and already has a patentable invention and will soon be published in a major journal. (I can’t tell you what he invented yet, but you’d be very impressed.) And his wife, Tara, has a great job as a graphics designer for the University.

(And if I can just manage the trip, I have tickets to the UA vs. Texas A&M football revenge match, and Tyler and Tara have a place for Denise and me to stay. Very exciting and very frustrating to have to deal with back issues during football season. But not many have tickets, and some who do have no place to stay.)

Philip is about to go to work as a game programmer for Sony Online Entertainment in San Diego. He’s always wanted to be a game programmer, and so this is a great opportunity for him. He’ll be working on something called an “MMORPG” called “Everquest Next.” (I don’t understand any of this, actually. But it sounds really cool.)

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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20 Responses to Surgery and Other Family News

  1. edwardfudge says:

    God bless you in upcoming surgery and recovery afterward. I am scheduled for L4-5 discectomy and fusion with screws and plates on Sept 24.This is same location of problems for which I have had two surgeries already in past15 months. We can pray for each other.

  2. laymond says:

    Bless you both, I know the pain you are going through. I was in a gas-well explosion in 1987, been in pain ever since. no fun at all .

  3. Price says:

    You indeed have many things to be grateful for including a wife that is likely to have to put up with your complaining.. So much whining you’d think you’d have already played A&M !! 🙂 Get better soon. And, you might get a few elders to lay hands on you and pray. I read somewhere that’s good medicine !

  4. Rose Marie says:

    So sorry that the physical overcomes the spirit sometimes. I so enjoy the lessons that you send our way……… fact I am a pretty shameless plagiarist as I pass on many of your ideas in classes that I teach. My husband had surgery last year at the cervical end of the spine. His symptoms were no pain but continued paralysis without surgery. But so scarey still. His recovery has been such a blessing for us. Trust in God and good orthopedic surgery. Those fellows have such blessings in their knives!!! We’ll wait to hear the good news after surgery.

  5. Hope your recovery is quite speedy. I thought of Edward Fudge too and I saw where he commented. I’ll pray for both of you. The writings of both of you has been a wonderful blessing to me. Thank You.

  6. JMF says:

    I, too, have been guilty of shameless plagiarizing! Ha!

    You have certainly sired some impressive boys. “Pain is just weakness leaving the body.” — Nick Saban

    Hope that helps.

  7. alreadybeen2 says:

    Dear Jay,

    Praying for a surgery releasing your pain. I had bone fusion surgery in 1996 and all my sciatica
    is gone. Thank the Lord. You get better now, you hear.


  8. Johnny says:

    if you cant use the tickets…………. I might could find a home for them 🙂
    assuming I can crash at your folks place

  9. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    I’m saving my pain pills — one large dose for making it to the stadium and another in case we lose. Not that it’s very likely to happen …

  10. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    Thanks for the note. I hear from many whose surgery did not go well. It’s nice to hear a success story — and I’m glad that things have gone so well for you.

  11. mark says:

    Ole miss and lsu are coming soon. Gotta wait all season to cap it off with auburn.

    Hope you got a good surgeon and he does you a good job.

  12. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Rose Marie and JMF,

    Plagiarizing is the sincerest form of flattery. None of this is about me getting credit. The goal is a better Church of Christ theology — and you are both more than welcome to rip me off in Bible class. I am nothing but complimented.

  13. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    Thanks, and hope things are going well in Andalusia.

  14. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    What me whine? About playing A&M? This is our chance to set things right, to restore the cosmic order of things. (And I just can’t bear the thought of that so-and-so QB beating us again.)

    Now, if we lose, that’s another matter. Then you’ll hear some serious whining. But that’s inconceivable.

  15. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    You have my sympathy and my prayers. I had no idea.

  16. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    I’ll definitely be in prayer for you. Sounds pretty rough to go through three surgeries in the same place. Yeesh.

  17. Having family in town will be a change! When does Phillip start? Good luck with the surgery.

  18. Bammers are paying over $750 a keyster to sit in Kyle Field Saturday. With Aggies. In College Station, Texas. What has happened to the educational system in Alabama? At least fire the Economics Department!

  19. Neal Roe says:

    Well, sounds like you’re covered in all kind of grace. Your love of God, faith in Christ and power in the Spirit has brought us all closer into His way. We’re praying for you, please share how God moves in all of this. Even with your pagan pig rituals, again so much grace.

  20. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    “Pagan pig rituals”? Our pagan rituals involve elephants.

    Are you thinking of Arkansas perhaps? Can’t imagine how you’d confuse Arkansas with a football team blessed with grace. (Couldn’t resist.)

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