I'm taking a leave of absence from work to deal head-on with this back issue. I just am not getting better and I know why. It's because I can't lie on my back for 6 hours a day with on-and-off icing, and intermittent gentle walking and PT exercises. It's as simple as that. It's really unfortunate, as I love my job, love going to work every day, have a great job atmosphere, people, challenges, everything - but I simply need to do this in order to improve. I simply will not improve, unless I take care of this in a very focused way. I accept it! Time to get down to business now..
I'll still be able to draw and paint a bit - NOT a lot, but a bit - and it is probably very good that I have something which I can do in little spurts such as drawing and painting - to help me feel a little bit normal, if nothing else. But only in very short spurts - - until this thing loosens it's grip and I can really start to heal from it. I'm going to be spending most of my actual time, at least for the foreseeable future, on my stomach, with an ice pack on my back. Tough but important decision. It's really hard. I love my job. But I am so lucky that it will still be here for me when I come back.