*This was BEFORE surgery.
There are certain things you should wait to do a while after your surgery. I'm going to answer some of the questions I've gotten in emails from others who watched my video (which, by the way, if you haven't seen, you should check it out).
I'm thankful I have protective parents, because I wanted to go back to driving before I was ready to. It was about 4 and a half months later that I could, and even then it was difficult. At first, it's good to have someone with you, so they can help look behind you. After all, you can't twist your body. And I don't know about you, but my head only turns so far. But in time, driving won't be a problem at all. The only problem for me now is that since I'm so tall and can't bend, I can barely get in and out of my car!
That's usually a good thing. Walking is a must. But any more than that, at first, you'll want to be careful. Most importantly, obey your doctor. It was a number of months before I was allowed to jog or anything. But I started lightly working my way back into things. A few push-ups were all I could handle after several months. Elliptical machines are excellent, because they don't really require back muscle. Say good-bye to crunches! I guess they're possible, but definitely not while you're healing. But don't worry, there's another exercise that's just as good. Lie on your back and do slow leg lifts. This can be strenuous on the back, though, so I would recommend that you wait to do this one, too.
Oh, wow, studying. Yeah, not going to happen. That would be horrible on your back. Just explain to your teachers, and they'll understand.
(In case there was any doubt, #3 was sarcasm. But go ahead and try it.)
4. Lifting objects
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how much you can lift. It will be a while. Don't get discouraged. It was hard for me to hold a toothbrush for a little while, but it gets better. Trust me. Soon enough, your doctor will tell you that you can do things like vacuum, and then you'll regret it! Almost a year later (last semester), I took percussion class, and I discovered that cymbals are a lot heavier than they look. I realized that the next day, when my back was extremely sore. But sometimes it just takes experience. You'll find out what you can or can't do. I speak from experience- listen to your parents and doctor. Don't over do it.
Oh, how I hated that phrase... And now I'm using it.