Earlier I'd posted that I'd put up a picture of my spine when I got the MRI disc back from my doctor. Well, here it is!
The top arrow is pointing to the L4-L5 disc, which is bulging (you can kind of see how it is pushing on the white spinal cord), and those two little dots at the tip of the arrow are pointing at the fluid leaking out of the tear on that disc (the tear is what was causing a lot of the pain, but hopefully it is healing quickly with the cortisone and steroids it received 3 1/2 weeks ago! It's not bothering me anyway...). The bracket underneath is the protrusion between the L5 and S1 vertebrae. The other thing you can see in this scan is how nice and full and light all the discs are above these two poor babies, and how dark the hurt ones are- that is because the fluid has leaked out and I'm not getting the support my spine needs... Kinda scary. And gross looking. :) But I am feeling SO much better and have been taking it easy- doing my stretches and exercises, plus walking and swimming almost every day.