and just thought I would share since I know there's always room (and a need) for positive stories.
When my OS walked into the room today he just started at me for a minute smiling, and actually almost long enough to be awkward hehe and when I said "hi" he said that quite literally he had expected to see me lying on the exam table when he walked in (as he had several times during my pre-surgery visits). And actually he said it 3 more times before I left, ha.
Of course not only was I sitting in the regular chairs comfortably, but I have been without any pain for close to 2 months and completely off pain meds for several weeks. Once we went over how I was feeling, pain levels - or lack there of, etc., he told me he could hardly believe how well I was doing, that he couldn't even have hoped for such great results so quickly, that for the procedure I had, I probably had the best recovery/progress of any of his patients, and that so few people do as well as I have that he just felt in awe.
Other good news was that fusion had already started, but of course he gave me the usual wait 6 mo before going back to sports, still no NSAIDs etc. Surprisingly he totally passed on PT because not only did I "not look like I needed it", but after hearing and seeing my "routine" (of stretches, walking, etc.) it was pointless.
So basically I just had a great follow-up and am doing better than I or anyone else (including my OS) could've hoped, much less expected! I owe a lot to this forum for all of the great info, and all of the wonderful people I've spoken with! I sure wish more people had experiences like mine!