Just found your site and joined. I thought an intro would be the best way to jump in, as I don't currently have any burning questions.
I am a 46 yo mother of 2. I've had lower pain for several years. I'm currently unable to work (last 9 months) and taking oxycodone to help manage pain. I'm considering trying marijuana, as others have found relief that way.
How I got here: First I worked with a chiropractor on and off with no success. I talked my doctor into an x-ray because I was convinced there was something wrong. Doctor said I was fine.
Next, I took the x-ray to orthopedic surgeon who said I needed to build up my core muscles, as the pronounced arch in my back put a lot of stress on the L5/S1 joint. About a month into PT to strengthen, I herniated the disc at that same location. First tried mega does of Prednisone, Percocet and strict bed rest for 3 weeks. Felt better and went back to work (office, heavy computer/desk time).
Two months later, I took a longer than usual walk, about 1 1/2 miles. I was miserable thereafter for days. Back on Prednisone, Percocet and bed rest for 2 weeks. Returned to work.
Three weeks later, I was in too much pain to get out of bed.
Ortho ordered MRI, confirming herniated disc; sent me to neurosurgeon. I had a microdiscetomy at L5/S1 a month later. Recovery was slow, complicated by the fact that the disc re-herniated 2 weeks post-op (confirmed by MRI). Neurosurgeon said give it time and PT. Finally started PT at 12 weeks. Made it much worse. Went back to neurosurgeon and decided on spinal fusion. I have 5 weeks until surgery.
Like I said, I don't have a question now. I just wanted to connect with others in similar situations. The pain, the limitations, the depression and isolation is understood best by those who've experienced it. I hope to both find and give encouragement to others. Thanks for the forum.