1 Year, 5 months post op

So I’m now 1 year 5 months post op and thought I’d update how I’m doing now. I think honestly things have been pretty constant which is why I’ve not updated for a while. 
Last month my physio referred me to an exercise on the NHS scheme, as I still needed physio but there was nothing more she could do for me herself as she didnt have the right equipment. I still have problems with my lower back feeling weak and painful, especially if I’ve been walking alot. 
So I’ve been referred to a local council gym where a qualified fitness instructor has designed a programme for me to help strengthen my lower back muscles and my shoulder. 
This is all free for 3 months which I think is pretty good! It’s all low impact stuff, basically using resistance machines on low resistance levels, walking on a treadmill or cycling for 30 mins, and various exercises on a pilates ball and with 1kg weights which I need to do 3-4 times a week. 
To start with I was quite cautious using the machines at the gym as it felt strange and I was worried about doing damage to my fusion or metalwork. This has been tough for me as I’m constantly worried about everything I do causing damage – I think because I was never really told what I could or couldn’t do after surgery. 
Anyway, the fitness instructor was saying that I’m actually behind in my recovery and I should have been doing these things much sooner to help my muscles and recovery. The reason why I didnt though was because I wasn’t sure if this was ok and you just don’t know what to do for the best half of the time. At least I’ve started now though and I have to say even after 4 weeks of going I HAVE noticed an improvement. 
My back muscles feel stronger and I’m able to do things I havent since before surgery like rolling onto my side to sleep and I also find it easier getting in and out of the car. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m now 1 year 5 months post op and it all just takes time, or it’s because of the physio or a bit of both but my back DOES feel stronger and I’m starting to feel more like my old self at long last. 
Although certain things (like wrapping Xmas presents, as I discovered the other night!!!) are still tough and I don’t think I was prepared before my surgery just how long this recovery takes and how frustrating it would be. 
I just need to remember how far I’ve come, this time last year I was still in my brace and on 8 tramadol tablets a day. Now I work full time and hardly take painkillers, maybe 1 tramadol now and again if I’ve had a long day walking.
Determination is the key… onwards and upwards!!
Louise xx

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