I had my last follow up with my spine surgeon Dr Frisch yesterday. He has referred me to pain management since I still have enough pain to interfere with my life. My appointment is January 30th so he gave me RX refills to last until then. I have mixed feelings about that since I had hoped to no longer need pain relief this far after surgery. In a way it makes me feel like I am not strong enough or do not have enough willpower to push through the pain. I am sincerely hoping it will not be a long term thing. I stopped wearing the brace a month ago so my core muscles are getting stronger without the support of the brace. The scar continues to improve, I was really worried right after because it was a shocking sight to me. It continues to appear thinner and lighter and I know that is something that will take months to see the final result of. I am planning to start Mederma scar treatment gel, I worked in dermatology for 10 years and that is the only product that has been proven to work in clinical trials. I continue to use the spinalogic bone growth stimulator every day. It the easiest to remember if I do it when I get home from work, it takes 30 minutes to finish. To my knowledge I will need to do this for 6 months. I am seriously trying to do everything I can do to promote complete healing so that I can have a better chance at a more pain free life after all is said is done. He told me yesterday to be patient and that it can take me up to a year to feel the full effect and feel like myself again and that gave me hope. All in all I feel that having the ALIF surgery was one of the best things I ever did for myself even with the complications I had, it was the only way to have a chance at a future with less pain. My level is between 3-6 at some point every day which is better than the 8-9 I was for so many years especially this past one. Also my company changed insurance companies as of 1-1-13 so it was a good thing I did it when I did or I wouldn’t have been able to afford it. I was lucky to have such a good insurance policy, in the end I only had to pay $1500 total out of pocket this year for everything that was done for me and for that I am grateful. Here’s to a positive 2013! Happy New Year!