Family and friends know that I’m undergoing surgery on Tuesday. It’s a minor procedure called fundoplication. Sounds like a possible video game title, doesn’t it? Well, not quite …
For about 15 years now, I’ve been battling to overcome gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD. At times I’ve had some success, but despite diet modifications, losing a lot of weight years ago, and even running a couple of half marathons, I simply can’t shake the disease.
As I learned more and more about the potential long-term effects of the GERD/acid reflux medication, I became increasingly convinced that surgery was a better solution for me. My GI specialist, Dr. Natin Davessar, has been a steady partner and an excellent guide for me as he’s helped me better understand GERD and its ramifications.
The surgical procedure isn’t lengthy or complicated, but the recuperation is both. So I’ll need to be a good patient and rely heavily on my sweet partner in life, Kathy Johnson Kerezy, as I recover.
John Kennedy was president when I had my last in-patient surgery for removal of my tonsils. My last “overnight” stay in the hospital was back in 1979 in Indiana. This wasn’t an easy decision. Faith and trust in the surgeon, Dr. Christopher Towe, the surgical unit at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, my family, and — of course — first and foremost in God, propelled my decision.
A guiding Bible verse for me these past two weeks is from Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” My friend Doug Back, my fellow “founding dads” of the Cuyahoga Valley Church Knights groups, and many others have me bathed in prayer right now.
I’m asking God to lead me through this minor surgery, and any other medical situations stemming afterward. I still have a lot of teaching at Cuyahoga Community College ahead. There is a great group of speech and debate students I’m coaching at Revere Schools. I hope to keep making a positive impact for others I encounter for as long as the Lord allows.
So mark me with the “feeling optimistic” emoji as I enter the final days of preparation for surgery. I close with the words which John Newton, slave ship captain turned advocate for the abolition of slavery, penned back in 1790: “Through many dangers toils and snares I have already come. ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”