I'm 23 years old and 6 months ago after silently suffering for 8 months learned I had ddd along with spinal stenosis. I ended up in the er from passing out from the pain. I had issues with pinched nerves in my past that I kind of self diagnosed myself. The first I remember feeling the unexplained pain was when I was 16. At first I believed it to just be a pulled muscle or something. Lasted a few months then when I was about 19 the pain came back more severe. I ended up seeing a doctor who prescribed me lyrica after only 2 days of taking it I felt no pain. After that I didn't think much of it. With a little research I came to the conclusion I must have ruptured a disc at my old job. I delivered semi truck parts which required a lot of heavy lifting. Last year in may/June I started feeling the familiar nerve pain in my butt when I would stand but would go away after a few steps. I tried my hardest to watch my movements and try to fix it on my own. At first I hadn't noticed anymore nerve damage as I already had some numbness from before. Around Christmas time I however started feeling more area of my leg numb as well as the pain increased and became constant. I never had much back pain except for when ide "air hump" as my friend would call it. I would literally have to keep my back on the right side to walk but left to sit. Which when I adjusted looked like I was humping the air from my sudden jerk when it would "pop" to the other side. The pain in be back got so intense from doing that I stayed on the left side and walked hunched over to keep it from slipping. The way I describe it sounds funny but I'm sure at least someone will understand. The nerve pain and back pain steadily increased until one day I threw up. I remember feeling like the pain was going to kill me and passing out. After coming to I had to give in and see a doctor. Since I had no insurance the er doc gave me fentanyl and sent me home with delaudid. Neither really eased my pain. I was scheduled for an MRI the next morning thanks to the er doc whom I feel I owe my life to. I saw the neurosurgeon only hours later. He informed me I had a severe case of ddd and spinal stenosis. He also scared me by telling me he hadn't saw anyone under 60 with a back as messed up as mine is. Every disc between my l2 and s1 were degenerating. Three were ruptured and pressing on nerves. Three days later I went into surgery where I had a microdiscectomy on those three discs. I have no insurance so he gave me a discount and told me to get insurance and was pretty confident I won't make it to 25 before having to get pins and rods put in. I have no clue if that's the fusion surgery I've heard people talk about. I'm not sure how to feel about all this. I'm so scared to live my life in fear of the pain. At the same time though I'm in denial and act as if nothings ever wrong. Since my surgery 6 months ago I've only had the occasion nerve pain. My back usually only hurts in the morning unless I've been on my feet a few hours but its nothing I can't handle now. I'm not sure to think. I don't know if I'm overly scared or not scared enough. I'm so lost when it comes to my back and not sure what to think. I'm very secretive about it and refuse to talk about it. I think that's why I decided to join the forum so I could actually say what's on my mind. So thanks for reading and I'm sorry about any errors in this post I'm typing this on my phone and its quite difficult to proof read it.