Okay, I have read everyone's post twice and really appreciate the time taken to share your experience. I have learned some new facts that now arm me to speak more intelligently with my doctor.
I have done a total of about eight hours of PT this week and do notice a marked difference. So my current plan is three more weeks of dedication to the PT plan, to then be followed up with a diligent workout plan. I plan to research the injection procedure and will try to be well informed for my next visit with the doc.
I am feeling much more optimistic after hearing about your stories and injuries. If an L-5 can be busted into 32 pieces and recover then my situation should be a chip shot!