Re: Back problems
Are any of the kids old enough to load/unload dishwasher? That is so hard on your back. That and vacuuming are two things I can only do in short spurts. For the most part, my husband loads the dishwasher...and I vacuum one room at a time.
If you didn't have sciatic pain right after surgery and it came back after that point, it may mean the disc has reherniated. If you do need fusion at some point, you will need to be prepared that it takes a good year to fully recover, for the new bone to set up strong. Once the bone cells have fully formed and set, after this point stress and exercise actually makes the bone stronger. But if you do too much too soon, you can get into trouble.
My last surgery was my third and I and my surgeon both really felt it was my last chance to get it right. He was extremely conservative with my recovery and made sure I did nothing that would cause sciatic nerve flare. I began and stopped physical therapy at least three times. My surgeon followed me for three years after surgery. It was worth it. I can do pretty much everything I want now. However, I am cautious as I don't want to ever go back to the way I was.
My surgeon never thought I would be completely rid of sciatic pain. He was afraid that the nerve itself was scarred, and that surgery would not completely resolve my pain. So we are both pleased with my outcome.
This is not to say that I am "good as new." Back surgery never returns the person to the way they were prior to onset of injury or disease/degeneration.
I have a feeling you are doing too much too soon. It may not seem like a lot to you, and you are eager to get back into all your daily activities, but it is more than your body can handle. Between now and when you see the surgeon, try to avoid bending and twisting at the waist and lifting anything heavier than about ten pounds to see if this helps to resolve your pain.