I wanted to share my story in hopes of helping others. I have dealt with severe Chronic sciatica in my left leg since at least 2010 maybe longer. I went to several different doctors and nurse practitioners and no one really seemed to want to find out what was wrong. The pain was so severe at times I couldn't walk and I had to take pain meds everyday just to keep the pain at a level that would allow me to function. In the summer of 2010 I had a very bad episode that lasted several months. I did PT which was excruciating, I ended up bawling in front of my therapist. The pain did subside after a while but I don't think it was because of the therapy. At this time I started nursing school and I lost my insurance because I wasn't working full time anymore. fortunately I didn't have too much trouble, a twinge here and there. When I finished school and began working the pain came back, first mild then gradually got worse, until it was worse than its ever been. I couldn't dress myself, I couldn't walk more than a few minutes without sitting down, I cried alot from the pain. I became depressed and hopeless that I would ever have a life without pain. I still didnt have health insurance. In October of 2012 I finally got health insurance, I had been dealing with the severe pain for several months by then. I found a doctor and went to see her. She did not seem to sympathize with me at all. She didn't want to order and MRI, she didn't even really want to prescribe anything for the pain, though she did end up giving me tramadol, which helped somewhat when the pain wasn't severe. She basically told me that there's nothing she can do and that it will go away on its on. I was so frustrated. Not long after that I was home one night in so much pain I couldn't walk. My fiance said "this is it, your going to the ER." I wasn't sure what they could do but I was so desperate. When we got there, I saw a physician assistant and she could see me crying and how much pain I was in. She asked if I had an MRI, I told her my dr didnt think it was necessary. She said that I needed an MRI but that she couldn't do it in the ER. However, she gave me some better meds to get me through and she wrote me a referral to an orthopaedic doctor who keeps special appointments available for ER referrals, she was a lifesaver. I went to the orthopaedic dr and he ordered an MRI right away. The results showed a large left sided herniation at the L5/S1 level with significant nerve impingement. It felt so good to finally have a diagnosis, even though I pretty much knew what it was just from my symptoms. He sent me to a neurosurgeon who took one look at the MRI and said that I needed surgery. This was December 6th 2012. We scheduled my surgery for January 4th 2013. I researched microdiscectomy and read many personal stories and was discouraged by all the stories of failed surgery and reherniation. I had the surgery and when I woke up from anesthesia I was expecting my leg pain to miraculously be gone but when the nurses helped me walk the pain seared down my leg worse than before surgery. They assured me it was normal. I went home that same day and the next week was pure hell. The pain was so bad I just cried and cried. I was so depressed and kept asking myself why I did this, I should have just dealt with the way it was. I couldn't do anything for myself, I couldn't even go to the bathroom by myself. My fiance helped me so much. Week two was slightly better but still bad, I began to be able to get around a little better by myself. The pain was still bad though. Week 3 seemed to be a step backward as the pain got very bad again and I needed more help to do things again like I had the first week. I was so scared I had reherniated or that the surgery failed. I was told by my Dr. to hang in there and it was still early. After all the nerve had been compressed for a long time and the disc fragment he removed was very large. Week 4 was the turning point. Suddenly the pain seemed to drastically improve, it wasn't going down my whole leg anymore, it was concentrated in my left hip and buttock only. I was so happy to finally be seeing some results. I was still in pain and taking my prescription pain meds but it was improving. Now I am 5 1/2 weeks post op and I feel great, two days ago i decided to stop taking my prescription pain meds and switched to OTC meds. So far I've been good and the pain has been minimal to slightly moderate at times, usually when i first get out of bed or after I've been sitting a while, but as long as im up walking i feel amazing. I have a doctors appointment later today to see about going back to work. Overall I'd say im about 75% recovered and better than before surgery. I still fear reherniation, especially when i go back to work but im going to be really careful. I want everyone who is facing this surgery to know that the results may not be immediate and it may get worse before it gets better but there is hope and i pray that everyone dealing with this or any other pain gets the help they need and gets on the road to a full recovery. I don't know if i will ever get there, my nerve may be permanently damaged to a point but i thank God that I've come this far and pray it only gets better. God bless you all and keep the faith!