Just a little pick-me-up for those of you out there wondering if you can get your life back.
I've had a diskectomy at L4-L5 in January of '02 (which re-herniated just a couple months later on the other side), followed by a fusion at the same level in December of '03. Life has sucked serious butt from 2000 until 2004, and the Scrooges at Social Security can go take a flying leap. (Yeah, thanks for nothing, now that I've been unable to work for 3 years and my wife gave up on me because I couldn't find a job I could do....)
Okay, anyway, here's the good news:
I was released to return to work in June. Since then, I've been back out on the golf course twice. I've been swimming. I've moved furniture. I wrestle around on the floor with the kids. I jump with them on the trampoline. I go bowling (with a 14 pound ball -- and can still break 200).
The key is moderation. Those muscles will NEVER AGAIN withstand the punishment they were once used to enduring. Once you feel it strain, take a break. For me, some things -- which you would think are out of the question, like those above -- come easy. Then again, I can't stay bent over the sink long enough to shave or brush my teeth.
Oh, well. A lot of bowlers wear full beards.