Michael, do make sure to contact your insurance company to verify that your surgery has been precertified. It is normally the doctors office that does this but it is still your responsibility that it is completed. Maybe your insurance doesn't require this but most do. Also, do you have to wear a back brace after your surgery? I did and that needed a pre-cert too.
You have some strange set up at your employers. I didn't set up anything for FMLA before my surgeries because I was eligible for short & long term disability through my employer. Why do you have to file paperwork for FMLA? Guess maybe the FMLA is for your wife so she can take care of you if need be.
You think you've been busy today just wait until after your surgery when all the bills start rolling in. Between the hospital, radiologist, anesthesiologist, hospital, and whoever else tries to get a piece of the action, I needed a full time secretary. Keep a close eye on things and keep every piece of paper sent to you. There were instances where I could have been overcharged if I hadn't stayed on top of things.
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3