Over-Riding Obstacles of Back Pain
Rev. Lowell Delp of Line Lexington Mennonite Church could trace his experience with chronic back pain to working on the family farm as a boy. Over four decades Lowell tried various treatments including medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.
“It helped me to function,” says the 58-year-old, “but it was no lasting solution for my chronic pain.” The senior pastor occasionally missed sermons and some days lifting a gallon of milk could trigger intense pain. Still, “I just learned to live with it.”
Then one day, accepting the pain became no longer an option. Things changed when Lowell, a motorcycle enthusiast, was busy finalizing details of Biker Sunday. Each year he looked forward to the event complete with outdoor worship, motorcycle rides, a concert, and pig roast. “It was pouring rain and I noticed a motorcycle had fallen over in the backyard. I ran outside to stand it back up and when I lifted, pain cut through my body like a knife.” His back gave out and he dropped to the ground.
Lowell crawled to the house and called for his wife, who drove him to Upper Bucks Orthopaedics in Sellersville. An exam by orthopaedic surgeon Ernest Cope, III, MD, a specialist in spinal procedures, revealed a herniated disk in the lower back. They discussed treatment options. As steroid injections, physical therapy, and other treatment provided little and no lasting relief in the past, Lowell decided to have surgery as soon as possible. His procedure was scheduled for the next day at Grand View Hospital on condition that he could make it to Biker Sunday.
Following surgery, Lowell detected a marked difference while still in the recovery room. By afternoon he was walking the hospital hallway - finally free of his familiar pain.
Just two days following the operation, Lowell surprised hundreds of church members and guests by appearing at his favorite biking event. “Nobody expected me to be there,” he says. When he stepped on the platform to say a few words, the crowd responded with a round of applause. “I felt great the entire day.” Lowell credits the Grand View staff and Dr. Cope with providing excellent care and adds, “Faith was a big part of my process.”
Today, Lowell enjoys activities he was unable to enjoy in recent years including long motorcycle rides. Before surgery he was able to ride only 10 or 15 minutes at a time. “Now I’m riding 200 to 300 miles a day with no pain,” Lowell said. “I never thought I’d be able to do that. I’m happy the surgery proved me wrong.”
For more information on orthopaedic care at Grand View Hospital, please call 215-453-4162.