Well since so many members say they don't see nearly enough success stories, I figured I would share the next milestone in my little journey. I had my 6 mo (technically 23 week) follow-up today and everything went wonderfully. My OS was very happy with m X-rays, said I am fully fused (though of course it won't be completely solid for about 6 more months), and that I can basically do just about anything I want, including playing softball again. Which I won't be doing for my other disc's sake! Apparently I am also his first-ever surgical patient that scored a zero on the oswestry disability scale - because I have no pain! He did however harass me a bit about that "trying to determine if it was my abnormally high pain tolerance or that I just really had no pain..."
He also said he couldn't be more pleased with my progress, and "could never have dreamed I would do so well".
All in all I couldn't ask for better results, a better doc, or better news!