I know exactly where your coming from.I have 5 bad disc's, three are torn and leaking, among other things. I need a three level disc replacement and insurance won't pay for it. We're now waiting for the FDA to approve 2 level and will fuse the lowest disc. I know I'll never be pain free, I only want to be able to tolerate the pain and live a somewhat "normal" life. Getting there is the big question.. How much can a person take? I count myself lucky because I can work from home but as you know sleep disruption, and depression takes a toll. I'd feel like a total looser if I go on disability so I keep doing whatever it takes to continue working. This means taking the pain meds. My advice to you is do the same. the doctors are so afraid to prescribe you'll only get enough to make a few hours of the day tolerable so you may get physically dependent but being a "zombie" won't be an issue.I too am waiting for the Pro Discs. I need three in my c spine. I have BCBS and they refuse to cover it. So, I wait. Anyway.........I have had several of the cervical epidurals and I suppose different folks get different results. It took about 48 hours for the epidurals to kick in and work on me..........and then they lasted approximately one week. They are quite costly also, especially not to get longer relief than that. They may help others better though. They are just pain and inflammation relief though, so won't last forever on anyone.
I am anti-drug, but after suffering through this ordeal, I can truly see now how some people get addicted to pain medication. I probably would too, but I have a two year old and a teenager anddon't want to be a zombie and miss out on them. Does anyone else that is waiting for surgery have a problem concentrating on anything else because the pain takes almost your entire mind? Sometimes I get to the point where I don't think that I can take it anymoe.
Good luck to you.