Here’s a bit of information about me… I’m 47 years old and other than the usual illnesses encountered in life, I have been relatively healthy. Back in 2011, after attending my husband’s grandmother’s funeral, I noticed a sharp pain down my right leg when I stood up. I brushed it off thinking it was just from sitting on wooden church pews for too long and didn’t give it a second thought. As the days and months passed, the pain was becoming more intense and more constant and I ended up seeing my primary care doctor. He did a few tests, pushed around on my back and leg and referred me to an orthopedic specialist. After a round of PT and two failed cortisone injections, I was in intense pain more often than not. An MRI revealed a herniated disc resulting from spondylolisthesis between L4/L5 that had compressed the nerve root. My specialist was a spine surgeon and recommended decompression surgery to “snip off” the herniated part of the disc, freeing up the compressed nerve. Really, I don’t remember much of that surgery other than being in such incredible pain the week before (and not being able to take anything for the pain) that I could barely walk. I recall waking up from surgery being pain free and going home that night. I was off narcotics within two days and was managing the post-op pain with Ibuprofen and muscle relaxers….. For eight glorious years I had virtually zero problems! In May of 2018 I noticed a twinge here and there of the same nerve pain in my right leg/hip area with began to gradually increase. Another round of PT, cortisone injections and a trip back to the spine surgeon for an MRI ensued and whelp, here I am getting ready to face a TLIF of the L4/L5. What was left of the disc after the decompression surgery is virtually gone, the L4 has has additional slippage and is now compressing the nerve root fully on the right side and partially on the left. Unfortunately, I knew this time would likely come (my doc warned me about it in 2011 because of the spondylolisthesis), but I have to be honest, I was realllllllly hoping it would still be years down the road. But it isn’t and I’m too young to feel so damn old! My purpose of starting this blog is not only to help myself through the process by journaling, but to hopefully help others in the same situation. I will be honest, which might not always be a good thing, but it will be the truth. No holds barred on this journey….. You’ll get the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, the tears, the triumphs and the downfalls…. And hopefully, some insight.