Hello everyone, first post here (obviously), but I have lurked over the years.
I am a 31 year old male, and I have a herniated disk at L4-L5 causing pretty bad sciatic pain. I was originally diagnosed about 6-7 years ago after an injury, but the pain was intermittent and not problematic as it only came on for 2-3 days per month. The first diagnosis was stenosis with DDD and small hernia at L4-L5. The original pain passed, and aside from the intermittent pain, I could still rock climb, play softball, work construction, and do whatever I wanted basically. When I would have a tough day or a hard climbing session, I would always be in pain afterwards, but it passed quickly and I simply learned to live with it.
Fast forward to this November. I was bringing a sheet of drywall down the stairs, and didn't feel anything pop or any immediate pain, but after I did that, I knew that I had tweaked my back, and it just got worse from then. Because I had a lot of pain in my hip, my doctor originally had me screened for ankylosing spondylitis, which it turns out I don't have. She sent me for 3 months of physio, which didn't help, a CT scan, 2 MRI's and now I'm pretty much on pills all day (vimovo - taking more than what was prescribed to me, and Lyrica, 150 mgs, which is basically making me... let's just say not as sharp as I usually am).
After the MRI results, I was referred to the neurosurgeon, which I met on May 10. To be honest, he was not very personable and didn't really answer any of my questions or put any of my worries to rest. To be brutally honest, I don't really care if he's nice or not - I just want him to fix me if he can.
I am now going to the hospital next wedneseday to do all the pre-op stuff, and am expected to have my surgery at the end of july or early august. I made a profile here to touch base with people who have been through it or are going through it, to hopefully find some kinds of reassurance (I'm mostly afraid of ending up in a wheelchair - back surgeries are serious stuff), and I'm also hoping to simply touch base and go in to it with reasonable expectations.
Thanks for having me!