Went to see the dr. today for the 4-month post-op appointment. He said everything was coming along very well and I could take the brace off. :O) The x-ray showed "puffy stuff" where the bone graft was put in and he said that this was the beginning of the fusion. Told me to come back in Jan. and I should be fused nicely. #:S He also told me I could bend over as long as I kept the arch in my back...in other words not to round my back. He also said to pay particular attention to my posture.
I am estatic!!! I still hurt (mostly muscular) but not like before. I really thought, after reading so many posts here, that with being so overweight, a smoker and old as dirt that I wouldn't be so far along in the healing process. Thank you, God!!!
BTW, I asked about PT and he said no...not necessary. I will call him back, however, and ask about some stretching exercises just to get them stretched out again.
Hip, hip, hooray!!!