A good deed, the ER and a breweryOctober 8, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C
What an eventful day today! It started off with a big breakfast at Zac's. We took it slowly as we only had an 80km tour ahead of us. Herbert had contacted a local brewery, nicely situated in the forest and by coincidence halfway in between Greenville and Truckee, our next stop. Susan and Rich, the owners, had replied straight away, that we are welcome to pitch our tent on their property. So we left Greenville around 10am, so we could get to the brewery early afternoon.
However, sometimes you can't really plan things. About 10km after Greenville we saw a tricycle rider in a dark, shady turnout next to the highway. He waved for help so we stopped. He was disabled and only had one arm and one leg left and had accidentally driven his remodelled trike on log, so that he was stuck and couldn't get it out. The cars didn't see him as he was kind of hidden in the shade behind a corner of the highway. And as he couldn't really walk, he was lucky that we passed on our bikes and actually heard and saw him. So Herbert and me tried to lift the trike while, at the same time, moving the log away. I then heard my back crack and felt a strong pain - it was definitely not a smart idea to lift a trike! So we stopped the efforts and I decided to stop a car instead. Luckily, a lady with a pickup stopped and also happened to have some straps in the back, so we could toe the trike out of where it got stuck. One problem solved 👍
So now, I still had to solve my aching back. Quincy was another 30km away, but it had a hospital and some chiropractors, so we decided I'd try to cycle. The road was actually quite pretty as it led through a canyon, however, I couldn't really enjoy it with my back pain. In Quincy, people recommended to go to the ER (emergency room) for having it checked, so we went to the hospital. For checking in, I had to answer many questions about my ethnicity, skin colour, religion and if I am confronted with domestic violence. The lady also took my temperature and stated that I didn't have any fever (what a surprise...). We had a bit of a discussion if travelling on a bike and sleeping in a tent is considered as "homeless", but agreed that it is not as we are doing it by choice. (Homeless people have to get treated differently by law she explained) I was then checked in and could wait in the waiting room. They had free wifi, water, coffee and tea, so it wasn't too bad.
After 3 hours of waiting, it was my turn to see the doctor. But first I had to sign that they are allowed to bill me. Having a travel insurance, I shouldn't bother too much. But having heard about the US health system, I wanted to at least know how much I have to expect. The lady told me that it's about 2600$ (!!!!) to get examined. I was shocked and thought she was kidding, but she was dead serious. I decided that my self-diagnosis skills are not too bad and diagnosed that nothing serious has happened and I just need to massage my back and keep it quiet (actually something that I did during my waiting time and which had already released some of the pain). So I walked out of the ER without signing or getting examined. Funnily, the doctor came out and told me outside of the hospital - inofficially - that he couldn't have done much except telling me to take Ibuprofen, put ice on my back and have a break from cycling for a couple of days. So my self-diagnosis skills aren't actually not too bad and saved me (the insurance company) some $ 😉
I followed his advice to take an Ibu and then we finished the 40km cycling to The Brewing Lair. They welcomed us with their excellent craft beers and also had icebags I could use to cool my back. As it was already late, we were too lazy to cook but ordered pizza instead. Now, lieing in the tent, I also keep my back quiet - so I followed all the doc's recommendations 😊Read more