Yesterday, August 1st, I had my final follow-up call with my surgeon: 121 days (3 months and 3 weeks exactly) since going under the knife. The call lasted about a two minutes at most. He asked how I was feeling, and I told him that I was great except for some lingering numbness in my left big toe. He reminded me that the sensation in my toe could take as long as six months to come back, or it might never fully come back. I happily reassured him that if I never felt that toe again for the rest of my life I would still be happy.

In less than four months I have become stronger than ever, and am at my leanest since my early twenties. Nicole had to go back to basics with me as I built up confidence to move more freely. The first workout we had together, I had been too scared to run since surgery and hadn’t lifting anything heavier than my seven pound dog for fear that I’d re-injure myself. After gradually working my way up to jumping jacks (ew!), burpees (yuck!) and then downward dog (a major fear of mine due to back sensitivity), I feel better than I have in years.

I am back to traveling twice a month (or more) for work, and hitting the gym regularly. Our household now eats ground turkey(!) and we go for walks together with the dog at night. While there is still the little part of me that will always worry about being hurt again, I feel so lucky to have an incredible life that was just waiting for me to come back and claim it.

I owe a huge amount of thanks to everyone (including people I didn’t know very well) who continually ask/ed me how I am/was doing. And extra special thanks to my Mom, Marina, and my employer for being so exceptionally supportive during a time when I really needed to lean on others.