My heart goes out to you... I had a serious herniated disc last year and could barely walk. The doctor recommended swimming; I don't know if he understood how much I swam.
I would recommend staying away from short-axis strokes for a while and focusing on freestyle and backstroke. Staying streamlined really helps. And out of the pool, try to sit less and stand and walk more, if that makes sense with the injury you have.
The frustration is there and there's not much that can be done. Perhaps picking up something new to do until your back improves? Something like writing short stories or crocheting or baking?
The frustration monster is an old frenemy of mine. Remember, long-axis strokes are a disc's best friends.
How about including some play in the shorter workouts? Like a long-axis combo, or like swimming backstroke while balancing a water bottle on your forehead?
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