A bit desperate and need advice.
I am a 36yo male and the only bread earner. Office job. Do not ask me why my wife cannot find a job. Have a daughter of 4.5 yo.
-- 2012.5: diagnosis, L5-S1 protrusion, L4-L5 bulge
-- 2016.3: microdiscectomy: L5-S1
-- 2016.11: MRI shows relapse at the same location L5-S1
I kind of desperate to hear it relapsed. Actually I had continuous pain after the microdiscectomy, however both the surgery and the physical therapist told me its just residue pain and asked me to continue rehab exercise, which I listened. They won't let me do MRI until six months after the surgery, saying the wound won;t heal well to give a good MRI picture. (Wonder if I should disclose the clinic and doctor's name... one of the two best clinics nearby and a doctor with very good reviews... maybe just my bad luck...) So I exercise and ignore/tolerate the pains, and go back to work. The pain lingers after six months now I got the relapse on image; I thought it relapsed much earlier, if I had the MRI done earlier. Sorry my mind still collapsed a bit one day after knowing this news... with so much hope in this surgery, in this doctor, for myself, for the family... and it relapsed. If I become disabled and cannot work, will lost income, (don't ask me why my wife cannot find a job), SS disability claim seems can take 2+ year to get approval... and the SS money seems quite little... desperate...
But the point is not just complaining, though there is no one can shoulder my burden and I do need a way out, emotionally.
I do not want to do another surgery/microdiscectomy; have heard several stories that the second surgery has very high failure rate and will lead to fusion and accelerate the disability process. So the question is, can I continue exercise, rehab like nothing went wrong, and be able to continue work and live properly? Intuitively I do not think its possible, but there seems no other way... Has anyone actually gone through similar path and be successful? One story would be a big encouragement to me now... with appreciation in advance...
Can the exercise train the nerve to withstand the pinch and become tougher? Before the MRI I was doing exercise and ignoring the pain, and being doing such for 3-4 months. There is pain and uncomfortness, but I cope with it. I do not know if I should continue? or reduce the work load? or try something else? I asked the doctors/therapist and their answers more diplomatic than helpful: such as "yes the herniation may shrink, but chance is not big", "it may not progress, but cannot guarantee", "try block, if not work, then try another micro surgery", etc. And my wife, no ideas, cannot work, cannot take good care of family, I wont have this issue without her, now its too late and meaningless to complain ... Sorry for the negative emotions... my choice anyway...
Thank you for reading this, and apologize for the negative words, and hope there is a way... any suggestions are appreciated.