The NS nurse said the first x-rays to check for fusion are at 6weeks, so I can certainly understand your doc's recommendation. I would fill out the paperwork for the full recommended length. Easier to go back early than it is to do the paperwork for an extension. An acquaintance of mine went back to work within the week, but it was her/her husband's business so she felt she had to. She could set her own hours at least. The other thing with her was that her NS didn't require her to use a collar at all; said her plate was enough. So different recommendations by doc and by person - I guess. (She was in such extreme agony pre-op that she felt 110% better afterwards so she was very happy to be functional again.)
I don't work outside the home, but am going back to college and had two heavy summer school classes. I came home from hosp on Tues. and went back to classes on Thrs. (My son had to drive me.) Even desk work / typing - writing, etc. can be a chore with a collar on! It (understandably) changes your body mechanics. Think about how you tip your head to write... no can do with the collar on. Well, at least I couldn't. I either had to scoot back from my desk, or move my papers forward to write.
Computer was/is a chore too. Best "work" environment for me is
-Propped up against a tall stack of pillows against my headboard
-2 pillows on my lap - that I put my laptop on (to raise it to eye level)
-Then, for my studies - I would prop a book holder (like a recipe book holder) up next to me on 3 pillows - also to raise it to eye level. I was glad to get out and get to my classes but I was miserable the entire time.
I had some other tricks for in the recliner, but just wanted to say that even the smallest things such as reading or writing can be changed while recovering from this.
--- The other thing I would suggest... I don't know what type of collar you will be getting (if you're getting one) but the NS said before you leave the hospital to ask for an extra one, so you always have one clean or dry. Nurse said I "wouldn't need" an additional soft collar, since the phili could be easily wiped dry after a shower, or worn while my soft one was drying from being washed, etc. I wanted an additional soft one anyway, - so picked one up at the drug store and it was awful compared to the one the hospital gave me.
The hospital soft was tall (more supportive) and more comfortable. The OTC one was too short so it didn't give me any support, plus it was scratchy and just nowhere near the same quality.
- Have lots of cool, soft foods waiting for you at home. Watermelon, applesause, icecream, freeze pops, etc. were all felt very soothing to my throat.
My homegoing instructions from the hospital said not to lift anything more than 5 lbs. << which isn't very much! So stock up on all your heavy groceries now and make sure you have some help for a while.
Oh, one more thing.... with the collar (especially when I was in the philadelphia) ~~~ I got lots of stares. It was embarrassing at first, but we humans are naturally curious. Some would look away, some would ask - but you know 'all' were probably curious. I realized that I felt better when people would ask me rather than stare or look away. So, I decided it was easier on everybody (if it seemed appropriate) for me to just casually mention that I had a disk removed & was wearing the collar while a bone graft fused. In the soft collar most lookers seem to assume it's whiplash, the hard collars are more indicative of something more involved, I think, ...but both get lots of looks.
Didn't intend to ramble... sorry for the long post. Good luck with your surgery.