hi everyone. I'm new to the forums- posted about a week ago but didn't show up, maybe user error. Anyway I'm struggling in my recovery and looking to vent and possibly some words of wisdom. My history ( I'll try to be brief )- Injured back in my teens lifting dock on uneven ground. nothing more than a couple days off my feet. Fast forward to early twenties, new job, manual labor. Start experiencing occasional bouts of lower back pain/stiffness. I tried back belts, nsaids, heat wraps with some relief. Ocurrences increased with several rounds of pt and muscle relaxers per my PCP. My insurance would not authorize MRI until I was 33. MRI showed beginnings of DDD with slight bulge at l4-l5. More pt and muscle relaxers and the rest of what I mentioned every time it flared up. Started to be in everyday pain but was manageable. This all continued with increased pain levels and less relief until 7/2014. I was 42. Stepped out of vehicle, felt a strong twinge in my back, and was visibly crooked from the waist up and in extreme pain. PCP referred me to Neurosurgeon. New MRI showed herniated l4-l5-s1 with progressed DDD. More pt, ESI's and trigger point injections. Limited relief. This happened (lumbar shift?) 2 more times in the next 6 months. Prescribed Norco 7.5/325 which helped and in 2/2015 NS said " do you want to keep putting a band aid on, or fix the problem?" I opted for surgery and in 04/2015 had 2 level anterior/posterior fusion with rod,screws,cage. No complications. Sent home with 2 week supply of oxycodone 30mg 4-6x day. Medications have gone down to oxycodone 20mg, then to Percocet 10/325, then 5/325 and my last script was for hydrocodone 10/325. Flexeril 5mg all along. Here is my main issue: pre-surgery, all my pain was in lower back and left leg. Since my 2 week follow up, I have told whoever will listen I now have little to no pre-op symptoms on my left side. What I do have since almost day 1 post-op is varying intensities of pain in my tailbone, right hip and right glute areas. DR said ct scan @ 3 months looked good, I was fusing. Started pt @ 3 months. Therapists, DR, and PA's said it is all normal, part of the healing process, and it,s going to be like this for a while. I just cant stop thinking somethings wrong. Since 3 month mark, Ive had 4 separate days of little to no pain at all. I'm very aware of those days because they are rare. The other days, the pain varies from manageable/tolerable to pre-surgery levels. Theres no rhyme or reason to it. I try to use all pain relief techniques; ice, heat, walking, stretching, meds. I have not taken any opiods in almost two weeks. I have my 6 month f/u in a couple of days and am reluctant to bring up pain meds to him, although they've been good about it to this point. I feel they work well when I'm having a bad stretch and cant get on top of the pain. I also want to revisit the whole opposite side pain issue again. The frequency of bad days is getting less, but the pain on those days is not. I'm sorry for ranting and I hope someone can relate and maybe respond.