Sean, first off, you can beat this. Stay positive and look for humor. Secondly this is going to sound like a crazy idea but have you heard of the "Magic Bag"? My wife has back problems and the silly thing really works. You just pop it in the microwave for a minute on both sides and it warms whatever is in it perfectly. They are cheap and very durable. If you cannot get 1 in N.Z. but want to try 1, I will be more than happy to send you one from Canada. I have broken many bones in my body and I use it all the time for my arthritus. No drugs or anything else intrusive. Just email me if you would like me to get one for you.
You run a great site and I am sincerely offering to help in any way I can.