I actually went home with a walker. I used it for the first couple of post-op visits then switched to a cane. I wore a back brace for a few months.
Yes, grippers are a great idea! Also have some ice packs and heading pads available. I don't want to scare you, but the first couple of months can be difficult.
As far as what you can and can't do, don't rush anything. As a matter of fact, do NOT do any of the things you know can reinjure your back. I believe that the reason some back surgeries are NOT successful is NOT because of the type of procedure or even the surgeon. I believe it is because people do too much, too soon.
I was told that even though the surgical area can look good, it can take a full year for a cervical surgery to be healed and 18-24 months for a lumbar to be completely healed.
I fell several months after my lumbar surgery.
I was 'healed' according to my f/u xrays.
Because of issues I am having, an MRI was taken.
Although I don't have pain, they can see that the spine moved at the fusion site.
Things are just so delicate and the older you are, the longer it takes.
I was 63 yo.