Drew’s Back

Lots of questions about Drew’s back – thank you for your concern.  Here is a quick summary:

Drew broke his back (crushed three vertebrae) a couple years ago.  He learned that he had a condition called spondyliosisthesis (pictured above) that led to the injury.  He ruptured two discs in the process, broke a spindle, and tore his right hamstring as well.  That compromised his back and put him on crutches for months (his leg wasn’t healing because the nerves were pinched).  In sum, his back is permanently compromised and being unable to exercise, he gained quite a bit of weight.  In prayer, he felt impressed to start lifting weights to improve the problem.  It worked.  Months after starting his new weight lifting routine, his doctor informed him that he would have been crippled had he not regularly lifted weights because he would have suffered from degenerative disc disease and because of the spondyliosisthesis, the resulting burrs would have broken and resulted with debilitating pain, etc. 

Drew also learned that muscles in his back were 60% stronger on one side than the other so he started weight lifting one side of his back harder than the other.  Anyone who knows Drew won’t be surprised that he overdid it and reversed the situation – resulting in a 25% imbalance on the other side of his back (10% results in pain).  His doctor informed him that reversing this muscle imbalance not uncommonly results in herniated discs, which is what happened to Drew when he was correcting the imbalance on this second side.  On top of having two nearly absent discs and three crushed vertebrae, he also incurred two new herniated discs, which resulted in the pain you saw on TLC.

Drew may have permanent nerve damage from the injury (right leg from calf to foot) but he otherwise feels great.  He lifts six days a week and has lost 20 pounds since filming so he’s hoping to be in great shape by the time season 2 starts filming (if that happens at all).  Otherwise, at least he’ll have less back pain.



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6 thoughts on “Drew’s Back

  1. You will find a way to manage your pain and recover. I live with Crohn’s, Fibromyalgia, and arthritis and I understand the difficulties of being in chronic pain. Many blessing to your family.

  2. Drew, I suffered from a slipped disc (L5-S1) when I was appx 20 years old while working as a C-5 Jet Engine Mechanic. The Air Force was hesitant to allow me to undergo spinal fusion, so I had to wait appx 6 years, had 7 series of 3 each epidural steriod injections (21 total), physical therapy, acupuncture, you name it, I probably was forced to try it. After I was finally allowed to undergo spinal fusion, I was amazed (as was the medical staff) that within hours after surgery I walked the ward twice!
    I have a few reasons for sharing all this… first, I want to let you know how impressed I am at how you push through the pain to stay an active part of your large family’s life!!! Watching you set up camp on last week’s episode, playing with your beautiful children, and helping your lovely wives really put a smile on my face! You seem like a wonderful husband and father.
    I also wanted to say how appalled I am that your family has to live in hiding, and how horrendous it is that you and your wives are facing felony charges, all because of your religious beliefs. I personally am a monogamous woman, and I love my husband dearly…and we are undergoing IVF to try to start our family. I could not imagine facing serious prison time simply because I love my husband, and have my children sent to foster care, just because I chose to dedicate my life to him. I am now an AF retiree, and the reason I decided to join and continue re-enlisting every 4 years is because I thought it an honor to protect our nation, and every US citizens right to live with religious freedom.
    Finally, I want to thank you for allowing cameras in your home to show that not all of polygamists are like those that live in Short Creek. Your family, the Aldridges, the Browns, and the Williams opened MY eyes that not all poly families operate the way Warren Jeff’s compound does, with forced marriages, reassignment of wives and families, and child brides. Your family is beautiful. Thank you so much for showing that the Browns aren’t an anomaly, that there are many poly families that genuinely love each other. How our government allows polyamorous families to live the way they choose, and makes individuals who follow their religious convictions felons, I truly don’t understand.
    Sorry for the rant, but I do hope your back gets better soon, and I truly hope you guys will be able (if you’re willing) to air more seasons because I’d like to continue to watch your journey!!!
    Auralee, I adore the way you speak, and I cannot believe adults are actually making fun of you!
    Love in Christ from upstate NY <3

    1. Thank you for your support Jessica. I’ve often felt conflicting feelings about our country. While I love the ideals we were founded upon, I mourn over our continual loss of freedoms through our constant efforts to regulate one another’s lives. Our family feels that keenly because our fundamental beliefs about God and how we should raise our family are attacked but we are not alone. Many other people suffer regulations that bind them in other ways because other people don’t like something about how they live their lives.

      Best of wishes with IVF and growing your family. God bless!

  3. Your weight lifting to take control of your health says a lot about you Drew. Good listening to the Big Guy there! Even through your pain though you still did your best to take loving care of your family without complaining-very admirable in my book. I SO hope there is a season 2 because I love your show!

    1. Danke – no use living life as a victim – it’s hard enough without being powerless to change.

      Thank you for your encouragement. We’re not certain what’s happening with season 2 yet – will we be in it or will it happen or … but we’re hoping if we do, we’ll have less drama and more depictions of what our family life is really like.

      God bless

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