I would like to say that I am new to pain, but if that were true I probably wouldn't be here. I know that this is long, but this is the Cliff's Notes version. I was 14 years old when I was diagnosed with grade 1 spondylolisthesis at L5-S1 and the most frustrating thing at that point was that no one could tell me why. I was a year-round multi-sport athlete so that is what they decided did it, but my doctors were never happy with that answer. I had pain meds, but I rarely used them. I did, however, live in my kinesiologist's office so that I could continue playing sports. Fast forward several years and after a year of boxing for exercise my back pain kept increasing. At this point I am 26 years old and praying that I just irriated my back, but when I started having pain and tingling down into my legs I knew that I could no longer ignore the problem. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc and spinal stenosis to top off the spondylolisthesis. After 2 years of "controlling" my pain with meds I had my first surgery. I learned my lesson the hard way that when a surgeon says that your pain will be at least 75% better, he's lying. I had fusion from L3-S1, a laminectomy, and 6 screws put in. My pain didn't get better, but it did get worse. I learned about the high percentage of people who have low fusions who develop SI Joint issues. After 9 months I had an RFA on both sides and it was fantastic. I had no SI Joint pain for 13 months. I went to have it done again only to find out that my insurance company has decided that RFA's are experimental. I have at least had a little more luck than others because physical therapy has lessened my SI Joint pain. Within 8 months after my back surgery I discovered that 2 of my screws were broken. I ended up having a second surgery 2 years to the day after my first. None of my xrays show fusion, which is why I had surgery. The plan was to replace my screws with bigger screws and to fuse my discs again. When this surgeon opened me up he found that I was in fact, fused. All he did was take out my screws in hopes that they were what was causing my pain. Nope. I had a new CT done last month and found things just getting worse. My spondylolisthesis is now at grade 2 borderline on grade 3, the bottom 2 fusions are very thin, a bulging disc, degenerative disc at L1-L2, and spinal and foraminal stenosis. Since the first onset 5 years I have done epidural steroid shots, round after round of pt, more scans than I can count (PS If you are told you have to have a discogram, fight with everything you have. It will be the single most painful thing with results that you can get from a Myelogram), acupuncture, e-stim, chiro/kinesio, yoga, and pool therapy. I love my family, but they don't get it and I don't want them to get it because I don't wish chronic pain on anyone. It is a very isolating thing and that is why I am here. I know that everyone in my life is tired of hearing me complain about how bad I hurt and having to duck out of things that I would like to do because of my pain. It is hard having this one thing dictate my life, but it is even harder having no one who understands.