I started writing a ridiculously long introduction, detailing the history of everything up until right now. Then I realized not only is it too verbose, but most people have probably heard the entire thing before. So here's a summary of what I am going through. I have learned quite a lot about my ailment, as well as met others with similar or even the exact same predicament. I'm really glad I found this forum, as I've recently been looking for support communities.
It all began one day with my back starting to have excruciating pain. I've since discovered my predicament is actually crazily common. I had a microdiscectomy L5 S1 and I'm left with permanent nerve damage - not as a result of the surgery, but that I spent close to two years trying to find out what to do about it, having coverage problems, trying treatments with doctors, etc. - and I have constant pain all down my left leg.
I am seeing a pain management specialist - a terrific one! - treating me with pain medication and monthly consults. I was lucky enough to find a very, very good doctor in a good hospital who is not only an expert, but compassionate and unafraid to treat properly this condition. This is quite rare, and precious.
I take my medication precisely as directed, I see a therapist weekly to help with coping as well as adjusting the way I live, and what I expect of myself. I tried pretty much everything that could help, and I'm left with no success from gadgets or anything. I get epidurals a few times a year, and the rest of the time it is trying to take care of my body, and oxi, which actually helps quite a lot.
I will be getting married this coming fall to the most wonderful person I’ve ever known, and she is extremely supportive of me. I am self-employed, but I am nowhere near as capable as I was in past years. I do what I can, and we manage. I also have family to help me.
My biggest challenge is basically not being content; I am proud of the work I do, as well as a new organization I founded not too long ago. But both have taken a severe blow to productivity, and my therapist is working very hard to help me become okay with being a different person, capable of less physical and emotional strain. I am not giving up ever. I have a wonderful son as well, and he and my fiance are the entire world to me.
My life is extremely different, but not worse. I realize that during the times and days when my pain is well-managed, when I have accomplished things and feel productive and proud of myself. I have low periods though - when I am overwhelmed by my limitations. I am happy to have found this site - as well as /r/chronicpain on reddit.
I look forward to interacting with many of you in the future.