The future suddenly does not look so certain for Zach Roloff.
On this past Tuesday's Season 14 premiere of Little People, Big World, the beloved reality star faced the strong possibility that his parents might sell the family farm on which he was raised.
Zach seemed almost resigned to the likelihood of such a sale.
But while the possibility of losing this property must be very scary for Zach and his wife, Tori, it looks like they'll face an even scarier prospect on a future episode of this TLC hit.
In a trailer released this week for the upcoming season of the program, Roloff seeks professional assistance after he starts to experience severe back pain -- which a doctor reveals could potentially “lead to paralysis."
“I’ve been having a lot of pain in my back,” Zach says in the preview after Tori warns her husband from carrying their son, Jackson, down the stairs is a task he isn’t supposed to do.
Zach, of course, suffers from achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism.
This is same affliction that's been passed on to Jackson.
And while one can live a very normal and healthy life as a little person, there can also be potential dangers.
“People who have achondroplasia have abnormal bone growth that causes the following clinical symptoms: short stature with disproportionately short arms and legs, short fingers, a large head (macrocephaly) and specific facial features with a prominent forehead (frontal bossing) and mid-face hypoplasia,” according to the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Later in this same Little People, Big World preview, Zach, Tori, and Jackson are all seen at a doctor’s office after the reality star realizes he does need a medical opinion.
“If there’s compression of the spinal cord, then that could lead to paralysis,” the doctor tells Roloff.
This isn't the first time that Zach, who has no plans to leave his reality show, has faced a health scare.
Nor is it the first time the scare has been featured on television.
During an episode that aired in 2017, the father of one explained that he had been battling headaches and nausea for “many months.”
“I don’t really talk about it because there’s already so much happening,” said Roloff at the time, referencing Jackson's recent birth and adding:
“[But] something’s wrong here. I don’t know what it is, but it’s something…It’s like I’m on my deathbed!”
Amy told her son back then that the symptoms could be side effects of a shunt that was implanted in his head as a baby, something that was meant to help drain fluids from his brain.
Roloff sought medical help two years ago for this issue as well, but test results were inconclusive and the doctor advised him to keep a log of his symptoms.
The Little People, Big World star’s dwarfism has resulted in a few health problems, as listed here, but it's not something he really ever focuses on or complains about.
In fact, Tori recently dismissed the misconception that it’s a “limitation" at all, even joking about the only time it comes up in their marriage.
The biggest obstacle for her and Zach, she said, is that she's “asked to reach the high shelf a lot.”
Tori added that the height difference is not a challenge at all because she's "not trying to be shorter and he’s not trying to be taller" and she loves her husband "for his heart not his height."
We really adore these two as a couple.
We wish nothing but the best to Zach and hope the health problems cited above do not prove to be a big deal.