Hello everybody! I've been reading posts for a few months and decided to finally officially join in order to have the pleasure of suffering along with y'all. I'm a 51 year old male who has had chronic pain due to lower back issues for almost nine years. I've jumped through the usual hoops of PT, acupuncture, epidurals, nerve blocks/freezes, chiro, etc for not much else than just a progression of my problems. A disk bulge would eventually turn into a herniation...eventually on to DDD and a present day L4-L5 collapse. I also have had from about six months ago a progression of nerve related issues in my right leg, but not severe enough for another RX. I had an IDET in 2005 for an annular tear of the L5-S1, and that seemed to have been successful in repairing that tear. Years ago, I started with a couple of hydrocodones a day to oxycodone to the Fentanyl patch for a few years to Oxycontin to my present day 30mg of morphine sulphate ER 3 times/day with 2-10mg Percocets/day for breakthrough pain. I just had my pre-op visit at the hospital yesterday along with my final meeting with my neurosurgeon to prepare for my Jan 5, 2009 fusion at the L4-L5 level. The neurosurgeon wants to take care of it before my nerve problems become permanent. So, I'll take it from there and hope for the best...what will be will be and hoping for the best. I'm lucky to have my wonderful wife (who unfortunately has her own cervical issues) working from home, so I'll at least be able to rely on her generous helping hand through my recovery. I look forward to enjoying everyone's company, encouragement and advice while hopefully being able to offer my support.