Quick update to my post from a couple of weeks ago; I'm now up to walking 4+ miles at a time at my local Y (I love their flat indoor track, the rail it provides if I feel I need it, and of course the air conditioning for Atlanta heat and smog).
I feel better each day and am down to 2 percoset a day; one in the morning and 1 mid- afternoon. I am totally in love with my back braces (I ordered a second one, partially because they sent me home with one that was too big, and partially for convenience- have one to wear on the days the other is hand washed and drying). Without the brace I'm sure I'd be bending and twisting in lots of bad ways, but it keeps me taught and my mind aligned to caution and care.
Thank you for the encouragement you've been providing,