I'm 34 and have had an ALIF of L5-S1 2 weeks ago and while reading this site it seems like there are those that talk down to younger people as if we aren't supposed to have chronic pain or we should be able to just bounce back. This is just not the case and I know there are more than a couple of doctors who would agree with me. I have experienced some negativity (dare I even say prejudice) myself and it can be very disheartening. I have been dealing with pain for over 3 years now but the problem actually began 6 years ago. I went to my GP because one day my knee went numb and I was quite concerned. They did an MRI and found that I had a herniated disc, no big deal I wasn't hurting so it didn't bother me and the numbness went away. Then 3 1/2 years ago I started having this terrible pain in my back and hips and down through my legs that would not go away. I went to an OS and he did an x-ray and MRI and said that my back definately had problems and I needed to have a fusion.I had spondylolisthesis, DDD and osteoarthritis. I cried in his office because it really scared me. I couldn't believe what he was telling me. I refused that idea and told him I would like to try other options. So I did physical therapy which didn't work. My friend suggested a NS so I decided to get a second opinion. He said we can try other things. I did injections many times only to have them last a week or two (They are supposed to last longer) Meanwhile we tried some medications, muscle relaxers and hydrocodone 7.5 and Cymbalta (terrible side effects from me). Then we tried a rhizotomy (deadening the nerves) which is supposed to provide relief up to a year it lasted 2 months. I begged him for surgery. He said that he would like to wait longer and sent me to PM. I was treated poorly there. I would go in they would grill me and give me medication, Hydrocodone 7.5 (1-2 a day) and a muscle relaxer and sent me on my way. There was no talk to something that was extended release or any other type of medications Believe me I understand there are those out there who lie to get medication but if a NS sends you there and they obviously have notes and your MRI then don't treat me like a liar! I decided to go to my friends NS and they said yes I need the surgery and it's ridiculous that I should wait for it to get worse. She was amazing and I am currently recovering patiently waiting to see the results. Sorry if I rambled but my point is don't assume because we are young that we are looking to get high. I have a full time job and a family to take care of and I can't afford to miss out on life due to back pain. No one should have to go through what we all go through. If this fusion doesn't work I guess I will just have to try to find a new solution just like everyone on here dealing with pain. Just my 2 cents.