As for pain, it has diminished greatly in the last two months. That is not to say I'm pain free, but what I feel now doesn't even compare to those first weeks. Mostly, I am like a human barometer. I get pain in my head and/or back before the rain and on really hot days (almost every other day in July!). The doctor assured me that would diminish over the next three months, hopefully to nothing.
Aside from that, it's a question of stamina. I am increasing my activities, kind of testing the waters and pushing myself to get back to a "normal" level of activity. I've been stretching and walking daily since the second day after surgery. Now, I'm picking up the pace and lengthening my stride and distance. I'm also doing more errands and housework, but I consistently find that I have to take rest for my neck midday.
I'm now off of prescription pain relievers, but I frequently take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain, sometimes enhanced with a low dose of aspirin. This week, I also went back to taking a muscle relaxer called skelaxin before the rain or when the forecast is over 100 degrees. I don't really understand why, but it worked for me before surgery, and I decided to give it a try to avoid taking any more codeine. With it, I'm able to function through the bad days.
In an effort to leave behind all the drugs, prescription or over the counter, I'm seeking some alternative health care treatments:
So far, I've got homeopathic treatments along with monthly cranial-sacral manipulation. Right now, I'm taking homeopathic treatments for headache and nausea. The nausea is much better since surgery, but returns frequently. It turns out, getting rid of the nausea reduces my urge to snack significantly. I sure hope this bodes well for weight loss!
I'm also beginning acupuncture. I got my first treatment a couple of weeks ago, and slept for most of the following two days. I begin bi-weekly treatments on Tuesday, so we'll see how it goes.
I went only to an initial visit with the Reflexologist/Reiki practitioner for Reflexology. I definitely noticed an immediate effect, and this may be effective going forward. However, I may be getting overwhelmed with all the poking and prodding. I think I'll put this one on the back burner until the jury is in on acupuncture.