Karen, hang in there! It's good that you're posting here, as back surgery recovery can be a very lonely road. I went through it myself 11 months ago. I'm wondering how much support you have at home. Are you getting any kind of home health visits? Make sure you are getting all the support that is offered by your doctor's office, your insurance plan, your health system. Depression will intensify your pain, and so will focusing on it. Your doctor may have over-sold the idea that your recovery would be slow and steady. There will be ups and downs as your body heals. There are a lot of factors that will affect this, some of which you can control (and some of which you can't). Even if you've never done it before, try some type of meditation (mindfulness) which will help you stay in the present in your own body. It may sound silly, but try to embrace what you're feeling and own it. Don't let it own you. Also, you can't really know what your friends did or didn't experience. If you asked me about my recovery, I would say I had immediate pain relief. However, I went through a pretty grueling intense 12 weeks of recovery (my surgery was more extensive than yours). You are determined to get your active life back, AND YOU WILL…just not right now. I wouldn't lift anything more than 5 lbs, and absolutely avoid ANY bending or twisting. Walking is great, outside if you can, but it's not a contest right now. Start with a very short walk and stop. Tomorrow, go a few steps farther but stop if it aggravates your back at all. You said it…you need to be more patient. Things look the darkest when you're in the middle of the recovery and don't yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's there…just don't put your own road traps in the way by rushing things. I would totally stay away from pain meds if you can. You might ask about a Pain Management referral. These are just my personal reflections from my life experience and back surgery experience, not in any way intended to be medical advice. You are not alone!