Welcome to the board Dave. At the top of this board there is a couple of threads pinned. One is post op tips - Post Surgery Tips
and there is another one called Less stress on your back around the house Less stress on your back around the house
that you may find helpful.
My biggest advice is to follow your doctors advice and do not lift, bend or twist after surgery because it will disrupt the fusion process.
You are undergoing major, major surgery and recovery time can vary for each individual based upon their current body condition, core strength, and complexity of their case. No two people will heal alike and some individuals heal faster than others. The key is to not compare your recovery to anyone elses and to listen to your body. If your body is in pain, slow down, cut back, and slowly build up.
Some individuals go back to work at 12 weeks, a few sooner, and then there are others that take up to 6 months to a year to recover. Unfortuately, not all the doctors are honest that this is a complex surgery that takes time to recover from. I guess if you think about it some people would never consider the surgery if they were told recovery can take up to 6 months to a year.
Good luck and I pray that things go well for you. Please feel free to post often and if you have any questions we will try to answer them.