Received the bill for my spinal surgery yesterday afternoon.
Cost of procedure: $53,213.18
Responsible amount: $150.00
Thank God, sense of relief, +1 for insurance, and all that.
Now that we've that detail out of the way, on to better news. (Well, better in a certain sense, but to be sure, it was really good news to not be on the hook for 50 grand.)
But what might to me somehow be better than that? I had a follow up visit with my surgeon last week. During the visit, he indicated things are looking good, right on schedule, healing nicely, etc. They took an x-ray to check the installation's condition, which he said looks good. So he then told me I could start riding my bike again. Granted, it's in a limited fashion at this point, because we're still waiting for a more complete fusion of the two vertebrae and for the muscles to fully heal from the procedure. But anything is better than nothing, especially after not having ridden much at all over the last two years.
In my excitement, I forgot to even ask him if I was OK for lifting things of any greater weight than I'd been allowed up to that point. You know, like kids and stuff. I called the office back to get that detail sorted out whilst driving to the bike shop. (Parenthetical Insertion: I did roll my eyes at myself. Priorities, right? You should have seen the look my wife gave me. But I'm really quite grateful at how understanding she actually is regarding, well, lots of things, but my need for cycling specifically in this case.)
Anyway after the good news, I did immediately speed to the bike shop and buy full tune-up materials.
- new brake pads (kool stops all the way)
- new cables and housings- brakes and shifting
- cable lube
- drive train lube
- new bar tape
After reassembling all the bits, I had yet to tape the bars. This is one part that's as much a meditative ceremony as it is a maintenance procedure. Back into the house to scrub the grime, grease, and years of weariness off my hands and face. As the last wraps of tape were coiled on and taped into place, the fuller picture was revealed.
My noble steed was resplendent in its fresh cleanliness, just begging to go see places.
That first ride was rather a tenuous thing. At that point, my back muscles were still very tight from the surgery, still very sore, and I could only go down the street and back. I barely managed to get back over the lip at the bottom of the driveway. A pretty sad ride in most respects.
If felt like I'd learned how to fly.