Haven't posted for awhile, as I've been busy getting on with my life.
I had fusion surgery on L3-5 on 9/24/07. It's been a long road. I went back to work (as a middle school teacher) on 1/2/08. It was hard, but all the walking seemed to really help. I stopped PT after I went back to work, b/c by the time I got home, there was NO WAY I was up for another 1 1/2 - 2 hours of more physical work.
So anyway, in the past week, I have beaten both my 12 yo. daughter and my 13 yo. nephew in swimming races. Last year at this time, I couldn't even swim a single stroke, b/c it hurt so bad to kick. Today I cleaned my entire kitchen, including walls, ceiling, and ceiling fan. Yes, it hurts, but it feels SO good to finally be able to contribute to household needs.
So fear not! Your life WILL improve. Like I told my PCP, I'll never be 20 yo. again (will be 45 yo. in 2 weeks), but I am able to do so much more than I could a year ago. Each time I push myself, I find that I am able to even more.
So hang in there! This place has been a lifesaver for me during my recovery period and beyond. Don't hesitate to post any questions or concerns, as the folks here are among the most knowledgable and compassionate as I've ever known. You're in great company!