Little has changed since my last post in terms of pain. There is a tiny bit of sciatica every once in a while (about once a day for about 2 seconds), and sometimes I feel some pain when bending forward, focused on the vertebrae. It's very minimal, but it reminds me to keep taking it easy.
On the other hand, I feel better than ever. I can lift heavier things (like gallons, etc) comfortably. I can bend forward a little more now (about 40% of my bending limit, and I don't want to go further than this yet).
I am drinking like I used to (socially) without any pain the next day. I am sitting comfortably for very extended periods of time without any of the old pain!
Everything is pointing to a 100% success. Let's wait for the 3-month mark. Let's also wait for the nerves to settle down and heal.