Thank you both for your replies and thoughts... This is just such a hard call to make.
Over the past couple weeks I've done alot of looking into this subject and it just doesn't seem there's a "right" or "wrong" when it comes to this type of thing. Seems more or less like it's all just one big crap-shoot, if you ask me. I know it's pretty much a 50/50 chance of the injections working, but it I still tend to feel that surgery holds the better odds.
I'm weighing it out like this:
A. I'm not willing to continue in my current pain-ridden state while "trying" the ever painful injections, keeping fingers crossed that I get some relief from just one... and God-willing the pain not return within a few months, and God-willing I won't require another.... basically, the possibility of just dragging it out longer.
B. Based on other family members & friends who have long ago had the surgery successfully and without any further re-herniation, complications, or disc above/below damage... even 10, 15yrs later... I am willing to hope and pray for a similar outcome to my story. I realize that there are things that I personally can do to try to achieve this outcome as well - those being:
1. To lose weight. I'm not obese, but like many, I could stand to come closer to a more healthy weight
2. To, by the same token, exercise more... especially focusing on my stomach/ab muscles thereby strengthening my "core"
so that it might assist in carrying my upper-body load --> hence taking some of the stress off the discs
3. To try to better my posture & bending/lifting mechanics. I do notice that I tend to slouch quite often, especially while
sitting, and my ex-husband had constantly been telling me to "bend your knees!" when I would bend or lift
4. To quit smoking. Since going thru these past 8 weeks, I've heard from every healthcare professional that smoking aids in
the deterioration of discs, thereby making them weak and suseptible to injury
So again, I do thank you both for your thoughts as I had requested. 'Bionic', I'm sorry you ended up in worse shape - I can only hope I won't end up saying "I wish I had listened to her!". And 'Jaguar', I am in awe of stories like yours, of people having this constant pain for YEARS.. I have NO IDEA how you've managed and I really empathize - after just 8wks I'm wishing the pain gone already! However, it does sound like you had a bit more going on than I do at this point, plus the strenuous job surely didn't help your matters. But again, thanks to you both. I'm not an overly religous girl, but I'll definitely be saying my prayers as I take this step. I wish you both better health as well.