Long story short, I fell 5 years ago and herniated S1-L5. I have used PT, Crossfit/Weightlifiting, injections, and meloxican to "survive" the past 5 years. I get an updated MRI every 18 months or so and my injury is progressivley getting worse. I was offered ALIF when I was first injured and put it off as long as I could (including 2 full term pregnancies). My disc is completely gone and I have stenosis. I think compared to some people that suffer with chronic pain I am doing okay. I am really strong, workout 3-4 times per week, can work with no issues, and manage taking care of my 3 small kiddos. On the other hand, at my last MRI the Doctor was surprised I was walking and functioning. Mornings are hard. I struggle doing basic things like getting dressed, shaving my legs, getting my 20 month old out of his crib, doing laundry, and have had to move away from early morning workouts. As the day progresses, my pain improves but it starts all over again every morning. As of right now I am going to go through with surgery on 2/7/2018. Most things I read are not the most pleasant stories as people are looking for support and empathy. I would love to hear positive stories and any tips people have from day 1 and all the way through recovery. My goal is to go back to my active lifestyle after several months recovering and to have more pain free time with my family. I also will have my husband home with me for one month, but he will return to 24 hour shifts as a firefighter after a month. I will be solo with the kids those days. I will take 4-8 weeks off of work from my fairly demanding corporate management job. Just looking for positive and upliftng stories (mainly so I don't back out of this in the next 2 weeks ).