In dealing with my gazillion medical ailments, I think one of the most important things to remember is quality of life. If it's not there, what's the point? Quality of life is important. This is why we have ice cream, pain medication, and trips to the beach. Its about the intangible things in life too - feeling good, getting enjoyment from things, etc.
When the cat was diagnosed with diabetes, Walter and I agreed that its important that his quality of life stays. He can't do a lot of thing he used to do - like his little psycho kitty routine - but he still likes to play with his catnip toys. He used to like to pretend he was an outdoor cat and escape. He can't do that any more - he can't move fast enough to get away from us. But we wanted to maintain his quality of life so when we have dinner in the back yard, he gets to come with us. Our back yard is fenced in and has a gate on one side and stairs that we block off on the other side.
Last night, we were eating dinner outside and kitty was lazing around the yard with us. Then he climbed up the stairs and started walking along the stone wall inside of the fence. Then he squished (his 15 lb body) underneath the 3" gap and headed for the front yard. We did not know he was that squishable (or that ambitious) but we retrieved him and upped the supervision level. But he was enjoying himself, which is the whole point. (I think he wanted to look for birds in the front yard.)
My quality of life in some ways is better these days. I work more from home, less pressure, and get to spend more time doing the things I like. But back pain is a major detriment. When I go to the doctor, they ask me on a scale of 1-10 what's my pain level, 10 being total agony. I usually live with about a 6-7 pain level, except the rare occasion where my back cooperates. Today is not one of those days. Its a 7... But I will suck it up, take a pill, go for a walk, and ice my back.