Hello - I have only posted a few times on the old message boards, but I read the forums pretty regularly for everything from pain management to alternative treatments, surgeries... just nice to know I'm not alone.
My story, the condensed version: herniated L5/S1, discectomy Jan 2007, re-herniated Dec 2007, in phys therapy and trying a cocktail of meds to keep the pain at bay (current menu is 800mg ibuprofen at breakfast, Amitriptyline at dinner, started vicodin in the evenings this week as well for leg pain). Amitriptyline seemed to be giving me pockets of pain-free time, but it has not lasted, pain is returning more frequently.
I'm trying everything to avoid surgery; ALIF fusion discussed with my doctor, more interested in artificial disc, which I have not discussed with my doctor. L4/L5 is starting to bulge, I'm concerned the fusion will add to the stress and it will herniate.
So, sometimes I really fight it, certain I can feel better if I am disciplined with exercise and keeping stress levels low, maybe try acupuncture. And sometimes I want to just give in and have the surgery, eliminate the nerve pain and move on...