I was diagnose with DDD when I was 16 years old. I had my first discetomy(not even sure if I spelled that right) when I was 17, my second one when I was 18 (although it was 1 week away from my 19th). I am currently 22 going on 23 in a little bit and I have had another huge what I like to call a 'flare up.' It started in the middle of June. I have been on medical leave from work since. In the mean time, I tried physical therapy (which made it 10x worse), numorous medications (relieves some pain but not very much), have had 2 of the epidural injections (the 1st lasted a total of 2 days and the 2nd one about a week and a half). The sad thing is, my surgeon that I have had since I was 16 gave up on me in July and referred me to his pain management doctor (my pain management doctor is the one who tried everything) and now my pain management doctor is referring me to another surgeon for a second opinion on doing a third surgery.There were a few things that my pain management doctor told me that really just made me feel like a hopeless case. He said: You are going to be in pain for the rest of your life. I'm not going to put you on disability because you are just too young. I would just quit your job and become a secretary. Considering that I can't sit comfortably for more than 30 mins, how am I going to become a secretary? I love my job (I'm a cashier - I know it doesn't sound like fun, but it really is. It also pays my bills. which oh yeah I forgot to mention, I'm on unpaid medical leave). That's my story. I'm just unsure about the possibility of having a third surgery and being 22 years old. I have met a few older people who have DDD but they have only had 1 surgery. Are there any other ways to be semi-pain free? I feel like I have been doing all of this trial and error stuff that isn't working and is becoming very expensive on me when I don't have any income coming in anymore. So, what should I do?