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Location: Stevens Point, Wisconsin, United States

Saturday, June 10, 2006

BACK REPORT

As some of you know, I underwent spinal surgery 15 Mar, receiving a fusion-repair of the lowest set of lumbar vertebrae (3-5). Yesterday I received the good news from my 12wk xrays that all is well and I begin to resume workouts. I'm authorized to start easy swim efforts (no flip turns) and road biking (no hard climbing). I'm elated.

Having been confined to walking and a small amount of stationary biking, I'm looking forward to getting my heartrate back in the zone twice a day again. Maybe now that I'll be expending a few hundred more calories daily, I can have some ice cream occasionally. Even some Bearitos organic blue chips. (If you haven't tried these, don't start. I can report they're addictive.) If you want to see what L 3-5 TLIF ("transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion") looks like in place, I can send you the xray images. Basically, those verterbrae are re-aligned (correcting my congenital scoliosis, the origin of my spinal problems) with a pair of 5mm titanium rods anchored to the vertebrae with eight 6mm screws.

I don't normally set of the electronic gate when boarding, but if I get pulled out of the airport security line to be wanded, I carry a card to inform the surprised TSA employee when checking
my lower back produces a signal indicating metal consistent with a small-calibre weapon. I appreciate the concern and support you've expressed in case you knew about the procedure. See you on the roads...jb

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