The good advice was delivered by a slightly exasperated friend who's "in the business" - that is he's closely involved in these sorts of operations. His advice was simple: "you need to treat yourself like you've been in a major car accident with multiple injuries and you are now in the recovery phase". I think he and those around me felt like I was behaving as if I was recovering from a stubbed toe, and having the same expectations of myself. That really was the big issue - my expectations of myself.
So, taking that advice on board I've had a better week, particularly emotionally. Not perfect by any means, but certainly vastly improved. I've also continued to demonstrate to myself the things that I can't do yet. The main thing is sitting. The more I sit, the more pain I get and the longer it lasts. I also get pain if I walk too far and so I've limited that as well. Having said that I did 22.5 km for the week and a rather epic 5.5 km in one shot yesterday. That was a mistake!
I've also ditched the anti-spasmodic drug this week, with no apparent negative effect. So now it's just two tablets a day. That feels like an achievement in itself!
As for the sitting problem, I'm trialling a Bambach Saddle Seat, at the suggestion of my ever supportive physio. The verdict is very much open on this still. I like the position, but it causes soreness in my inner thighs and if I sit long enough an ache in my lower back. However it has doubled my capacity to sit, from around 5-10 minutes pain free to around 20-25 minutes pain free.
I am seriously keen to hear from others who might have had a lumbar fusion and have direct experience of this chair. Please leave your experiences in the comments.
So the summary is: a much better week/ However the team at work will just have to wait. I'm not ready to start working today guys and it's going to be some weeks yet in my view!