I'm currently 25 years old, but my back pain started in the summer of 2007 at the age of 22 when I was working as a temp employee (no health benefits there of course) for Georgia Pacific. It took a year to even figure out what was causing my pain even though I'd had tons of x-rays from chiropractors and my gp, neither of which had ever seen or mentioned I had two herniated discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1. I went through several different types of pain management trying epidurals, a series of epidurals, a discectomy, a dicogram, and finally had a spinal fusion at L5/S1 on June 23, 2009. Unfortunately, I was denied a disc replacement because my PARS were cracked. The fusion went well, but the pain and muscle tightness increased, especially in my left leg/hip/buttock/groin area. I feel the most tightness in the left groin area and left buttock. I have done physical therapy and didn't notice any difference, but my worst fear is turning 26 and losing my health insurance. I'm NOT legally disabled, but there are many jobs I cannot do (especially not having finished my college degree yet). Who is going to want to hire me...I can't stand on my feet for more than 15-30 minutes without searing pain! What can I do to so that I can keep seeing my pain management doctor? I can't afford the ridiculous costs of my heavy meds, but I also know it is hell for me not having any type of pain meds. I'm so afraid of buying a private health insurance plan or even whether I can qualify for one. By the time I lose my health insurance, I will have been in post-op for 1 year and 6 months. In my opinion, I will still need some type of maintenance painkiller and between now and Dec. 31, 2010 I don't think they will have fully weaned me off of my current painkillers. What can I do? PLEASE HELP ME!!!