All that jibber jabber can be scary when you get those reports back. I'm not a doctor but it sounds to me like you may have some degenerative disc disease going on with the disc drying out. As the disc dries out it is less pliable which can cause the tears and also allows them to bulge out past the vertebra. This can be from normal aging or it could be a hereditary thing like mine. The annulus tears, which is the outer lining of the disc, can be very painful in itself. This leaves an open area on the disc and anything that may be touching that area can cause pain. My first annular tear was found in 2002 and caused me problems for years until it finally herniated or blew out and I had fusion surgery in 2006, having the disc removed and metal plates inserted. Your bulging disc at L/4-S-/1 are probably pushing on the nerves leading from the spine causing alot of your pain also.
A good thing is I don't see mentioned are any osteophytes or bone spurs in other words arthritis of the spine, which can make things even worse. I'd wait and see what your doctor has to say at your next visit. A discectomy (sp?) may be in order. This is where they surgically shave off the disc that is protruding or bulging to stop the nerve impingement. SE, mentioned his sister having fusion completed to open up the disc space and this may be another option.
Hopefully you and your doctor can come up with a plan to alleviate some of your pain. There are alot of options besides surgery out there so try to be rather open minded to other things. Normally, surgery is the last step. Let us know what you find out at your next visit!
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica