Sometimes I'm tempted to take a physical therapist's or someone else's word as true and vital, because some of them have seen much.
The very first PT, when I was first diagnosed, said several things that stay with me:
Hold your stomach in.
People don't do their exercises, so they end up back in here.
That last remark sent me right to my floor mat. Like my favorite mystery fiction heroes, I finally started doing the exercises before breakfast, so there would be no excuses later.
Now floor work is NOT advised, and I can do some routines standing up or sitting
She even wrote a letter to my employer admonishing no twisting, no heavy pulling, no lifting over eight pounds, no strenuous activity.
I still try to stick with this in everyday life, and try to stand my ground with people whose are sure I am now Good As New.
My daughter warned me away from a certain airline where she had needed to twist even to get out of her aisle seat.
In the hospital, two therapists mentioned my big fear:
Yes, you will need to be careful from now on to protect the rest of your spine from the fused part.
The surgeon had handed me a huge-looking plastic-y thing with some bolts. When the shock wore off, I knew the adjoining verebrae would be working overtime.
In another hospital, a PT or nurse dropped into the conversation:
Well, it's better to push yourself up than pull yourself up.
This one is hard to abide by, since the grab bars in bathrooms are so high that only an NBA star would be pushing down on the bar to get up. The arms of my chair are the only place I can push myself up.
My friend got a stool to help me get into his Jeep, so I could stop pulling myself up.
The thing that I count on daily is my "posture chair," the light weight chair my daughter bought me at IKEA. Its back is nearly flat (no funny lumps like dentist chairs and airline seats.) I can get some rest there. Moving, I had to abandon it and I was really worried about my back
With a lot of effort, the daughters made sure the identical chair was in my new room when I got here. Bless them both.