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Day 1

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Shane, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Shane

    Shane New Member

    Hi everyone. My name is Shane. I'm a 32/m. I have been dealing with back pain for nearly 5 months. I am a former athlete and considered myself to be in fairly good condition. My pain starts in my right buttock. It often migrates to the outside of my right calf and extends to my right ankle. Walking is when I experience the most pain. Sometimes it feels like I just sprained my ankle. Walking more than 30 yards or so and I begin to limp.
    After approx 2 months I went for an MRI where I was diagnosed with with a herniated disc (L4-5) with "disc material impinging the nerve root." I have tackled this head on from the beginning. My living room looks like a PT office. I bought every back device on Amazon (Sacro-Wedgy, Spinal-Worx realignment device, Back Magic, Body Stick massage rollers, foam roller), an inversion table, and have an exam table where a dining room table should be. I've been to multiple chiropractors, PT's, got massages, etc. I have a healthy diet, juice daily, don't smoke, take vitamins and supplements. To this day any progress I have made has been short-lived. I've read countless books but most recently, Healing Back Pain.
    I bought into everything Dr. Sarno was talking about. Each page seemed to be written specifically for me. I had recently went through a rough breakup (about a week before the symptoms started) and have a few family issues which are also likely to be contributing to my TMS.
    I had a microdiscectomy scheduled for the end of September. 3 days before the surgery I cancelled. My surgeon was Dr. Alexander Vaccaro of the Rothman Institute at Philly. When I went in for my initial appointment, surgery was the only option he discussed. He insisted it was their "bread and butter" procedure and it would only take 10 mins with a 95% recovery rate. I was skeptical of these claims and never had a good feeling from the start. I'm not opposed to surgery, but something wasn't sitting well. I have also been to a pain management Dr. and am thinking about getting the steroid injections. I have continued to postpone this as well.
    The only thing I haven't done that I can think of is going back to the gym and easing back into exercise. I guess I am fearful of getting to the gym and having a severe attack of pain. There isn't any other way I can think of to increase blood flow to the muscles. My leg and back muscles are exceptionally tight. Especially my hamstrings. Like others, my life basically revolves around finding a cure for my pain. It has consumed the majority of time from the onset.
    I am very optimistic about this diagnosis and am excited to get started with the educational program. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Welcome Shane. This is a wonderful supportive community. It sounds like you are following your intuition and making smart choices. Read my story for the full details, but I'm a TMSer with mostly foot (plantar fasciitis like) and some hand pain. I had my first bout in 2001-2003 (well really it started long before that, but that's another story), read Sarno's MINDBODY PRESCRIPTION and the pain was gone in 3 months. I did really well for several years after that, but about 5 years later I began to slip back into my "repression/mindbody tendencies," so I am pretty battling a relapse of some chronic pain, but I know what it is this time and I know it will go away. This time around I'm determined to take what I've learned and really apply it to my life, even after the pain is gone.

    All I can say is this website, and the follow TMSers on it, are a wealth of information, positivity and support. I'm not sure how I did it last time without them and I'm so grateful for all of them now. The site's Structured Educational Program, as well as all the introduction pages (on the left side of the wiki page) are chock filled with tips, tools, links and suggestions for wonderful CDs and reading material.

    I will say that overcoming this is not easy, in that it is a process...one that necessitates delving into your unconscious, digging up emotions we have long buried. Yet, what is so beautiful about this process is that you not only empower yourself to heal the physical pain, you begin to evolve as a whole human being...changing the way you think, shifting your negative patterns into more positive ones, and mostly learning to truly love, embrace and accept yourself...demons and all. So think of your pain as a gift (hard, I know)...but it is...b/c it is your mindbody's way of letting you there is sh*t to be dealt with and its reached a critical level.

    Take one day at a time, keep reading, keep posting. We are all here to hold you up on the really bad days and applaud you on all the wonderful steps you'll take as you move forward towards a being a happier human being.
     
  3. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    meant to say "presently battling," not "pretty battling," though this is an interesting choice of words to slip up on
     
    Shane likes this.
  4. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    i also wanted to add something i read from an older post by a member named , quert:

    "My recovery clicked when I realized how my past affected how I reacted to present situations. You need to understand how your personality type creates tension through worrying, obsessing, being perfectionsistic, pleasing, controlling, and how that represses your emotions. This is why understanding your personality is so key. Once you recognize when you are TMSing you can identify when you need to consciously switch to being more open and allowing."

    Also check out posts by Steven Ozanich (author of the book, THE GREAT PAIN DECEPTION, which is a great read once you are finished with Sarno's books)...especially this one: http://tmswiki.org/forum/threads/seeking-the-grail.529/#post-3927....really helped me have a deeper understanding of what I needed to do to really heal.
     
    Shane likes this.
  5. Shane

    Shane New Member

    Thank you so much, Lala. I have all the personality traits as well.
     
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Shane, I'm Walt.
    Hang in there, you're in a very large boat. The TSM forum helps a lot.
    Steve Ozanich is really helpful. He says our pain from suppressed emotions
    goes back to our childhood. I found that mine does. Now to convince my
    subconscious that I really do forgive those who gave me the repressed feelings.
     
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    It may be, Shane, that the very thorough, meticulous way you've attacked your pain problem is symptomatic of your TMS personality type - perfectionist, competitive and over-achieving. You did say you were a former athlete? There's also an obsessive component to your thoroughness so typical of the TMS personality. I think Dr Sarno says somewhere that back pain patients come to him after they've exhausted all the conventional remedies and there's no way out of trying the psychological approach. Sounds like you've reached that point after exploring all the other avenues available.

    Did your surgeon really say there was a 95% recovery rate with a microdiscectomy? That's not what I've heard. And we've seen recently in the papers what kind of danger you're putting yourself in with spinal injections, which likewise have a very poor rate of improvement. I've heard anecdotally that the first injection may work, but the second time or third time you go in for a steroid injection it won't eliminate the pain anymore. Of course, I'm not an MD and therefore cannot diagnose, so I'm assuming you've consulted a doctor to rule out any other associated medical condition that might be causing your problem. With all of the emotionally and stress-induced back pain, it's easy to forget that there are a host of real medical conditions that can cause pain in the lower lumbar region. You need to rule that out before launching on a TMS recovery course.

    You do seem to be starting to practice mindfulness because you can identify emotional triggers like your recent rough breakup that occurred a week before the onset of your lower lumbar pain and sciatica. One thing you begin to notice after you've been doing this awhile is that there are no coincidences. Once you've accepted the TMS diagnosis 100%, you've taken a step toward feeling the underlying repressed emotions in your unconscious from which the TMS pain is trying to distract you.

    I'd suggest beginning the 36-day Structured Education Program (SEP) on the TMS Wiki. You also might want to seriously consider getting rid of all those back-specific exercise and therapy tools you've acquired in your search for a cure. I'd venture to suggest that they reinforce the physical diagnosis and thereby perpetuate your TMS pain. Overcoming your fear of reinjury and venturing back into the gym and working out lightly sounds like a good idea also. Don't feed the TMS "beast" by starting some brutal workout routine too soon. Getting over the fear is an important part of undoing the programming that is perpetuating your TMS symptoms. Also, try dropping into the TMS chat group via the TMW Wiki page next Saturday to interact with other TMS patients at different stages of the recovery process. You'll learn a lot from seeing how other people have and are recovering from TMS.

    So best of luck to you and welcome aboard. Just remember to get checked out by a conventional doctor first before jumping to conclusions that you have TMS. However, the onset of your lower lumbar and sciatica a week after your romantic breakup seems, as you suggest yourself, highly suspicious. You're probably a nice guy, right, who'd never express just how angry this made him? In my case, I'd never had anything close to TMS in my life until my mother died 10 years ago and I inherited her house. Talk about unresolved issues left over from childhood and adolescence! Really obvious, but I didn't have a clue until I started doing the TMS recovery program on the Wiki.
     

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