At first glance, this xray doesn't look too much different fromt this one, but if you look closely, you can see that the fused area is filling in a bit more with bone.
Right after I was shown into an exam room, one of the interns came in to see me. Last visit Dr. B. brought this kid in to see my progress and introduced him, saying that he had "scrubbed in" on my surgery. (Thanks to Grey's Anatomy, I now know what that means.) So this kid (I kid you not, he was like 12 years old) comes in and asks me a bunch of questions about pain, activities, etc. He examined the scars and said they looked "good," whatever that means, and took some notes. I asked him about the slight sciatica feeling pain I was getting when I lean forward sometimes and his answer was basically, don't lean forward like that. *rim shot* Who is this guy, Jackie Vernon?
Dr. Balderston came in a few minutes later and said it looked "absolutely beautiful," and was healing exactly as it should, which of course is great to hear. I joked with him that usually when someone says I look beautiful, they are looking at my face, but I'd take the compliment however it came. He joked back (unusual for him, he's usually all business)that for him, face, back, whatever, it was all the same. It felt so good to joke around with him, after all the seriousness in the past year or so. What a relief! I'm now allowed to start swimming again, and can use any of the elliptical machines in the gym, as well as the stationary bike. This will give some much needed variety to my workouts, and help to redevelop my leg muscles. I still can't believe how much walking still hurts my legs (and feet!).
My next follow up appointment isn't until June (three months from now!) and I joked to Dr. Balderston that if at the three month follow up had the intern coming in first, I wondered who would be coming at the six month visit, the janitor? *rim shot*
But seriously folks, everything is going just like it should, and that's no joke!