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Foot Pain Remarkable Recovery

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Andy B, May 5, 2013.

  1. Andy B

    Andy B Beloved Grand Eagle

    Introducing myself with my success story:

    Healthy active 40's backcountry skier, canoer, hiker, worked as wilderness ranger...then:

    3 years worsening foot pain, in the arch of the foot. 14 doctors, blood platelet injections, 3 sets of orthodics, low dye taping, physical therapy, sports medicine, etc etc. MRI, emg (nerve testing), ultrasound imaging, Dr Dellon's pressure sensory device testing for neuropathy.

    Diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, then neuropathy and tarsal tunnel (nerve entrapment). Pain so bad that I could barely stand more than 15 minutes, minimum walking, wheel chairs and crutches for stores, lost all my former life of activity.

    I became a chronic pain "shut in" since all activity hurt me. I became increasingly isolated, fearful of more pain, and worked very hard to find the solution (14 doctors!!). It is a hell of a downward spiral, this aspect. I felt like I aged about 20 years.

    Got from many podiatrists suggestions for "plantar fasciitis surgery," but I was opting for the "better diagnosis" of nerve entrapment surgery. Two weeks from "tarsal tunnel" surgery I began Sarno's practices, thank goodness.

    2 months into it, my first overnight hike (8 miles round trip), and my first backcountry skiing in 4 years. Yes, that's right!!! Pain 70% to 90% gone. Trying to be patient with the remaining pain. I have my life back. I'm getting physical. The 20 years of premature aging is falling away. I am alive again, and young.

    It is hard to even believe I am writing this. I have my life back. The big breakthroughs all happened in the last couple of weeks.

    The Sarno method works. It is mind blowing for me. I know that Sarno understands something about chronic pain that no else did. What a gift.

    Other sufferers take heart. It will work, it takes effort. I am still learning to refine and practice that effort (as in think psychological and talk to my mind body to stop the pain). I get that right about one out of 30 times the pain arises. Even so, the results are remarkable.

    The hardest part was accepting my TMS diagnosis (especially after the 14 highly paid and trained Dr.s told me I had something physically wrong), but it all fit so well. And Dr. Sopher was invaluable for me there. I also inquired into my resistance about the diagnosis in the beginning, with generous Ken Malloy, a TMS coach. This opened my way.

    Thank you Dr. Sarno, Ken Malloy, Dr. Sopher, and thanks to members of this forum.
     
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for sharing this amazing recovery story! I had that same feeling like I was aged and disabled when my symptoms were at their worst. There is nothing worse than feeling like you can't do anything. When I found out about Dr. Sarno's work, it felt like I got my life back. Thanks for posting this inspiring story.
     
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  3. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Thank you Andy B for sharing your remarkable story. I am so happy you shared your story. It really helps us fellow TMSers to have more confidence that our own TMS symptoms are indeed TMS. Believing is the hardest and most important ingredient.
     
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  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Man Andy an 8 mile hike, that's awesome- this story is so full of inspiration im ready to go hiking
    I too felt like an old beaten soul at 40 yrs- id watch folks on T.V. thirty years older than me out cutting the grass
    and walking there pets, living in the now and enjoying life while I was trapped in my bedroom unable
    to get out of bed.
    I was told surgery was the only option and I knew In my heart there was something more out there
    id studied mind and body for so long I almost gave up till I noticed a YouTube video by Dr.Sarno and Howard Stern.
    I listened intensely hoping this was it- why would Howard Stern lie I reasoned, he had no reason to

    Then I watched more videos and it grew on me. I knew there was hope- there was some way others were still
    living and enjoying life. I learned the secret and learned more and more ,
    pulled out all my older books that id given up on and it clicked
    I was so excited the day I noticed the pain had resided and I could move and walk and work again.
    I had some fall backs but I knew it was only temporary and here I am today with a smile on my face and
    thanking god everyday for a man that decided to stand up against the status quo -
    Dr. Sarno and I have been friends for quit some time now and ive never even met him.

    I got my life back and I haven't been silenced since- your story is truly amazing Andy B. would love to hear more from you
    and your exciting life.....
    you have a great time and enjoy every minute of it..... young man
     
    Shine4me, Lavender, Sienna and 3 others like this.
  5. capegirl

    capegirl New Member

    Thanks for writing. I'm looking at 16, SIXTEEN years of foot pain, since I've been 16 (half my life) and am just now finding out about TMS. I can identify with the "I've tried everything short of surgery" and now I hope I can get this all figured out. Can't wait to share my own success story and run again. I need some time to understand all of this, and I pretty much have zero free time. I hope I can do it.
     
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    capegirl- Thanks for writing. I'm looking at 16, SIXTEEN years of foot pain, since I've been 16 (half my life) and am just now finding out about TMS.

    Eric)- Im glad you found out about tms and that were a sight full of tms healing knowledge and success stories
    You landed in the right area, now go and read other stories that you see yourself in like this one. Theirs a lot of good folks here ready to give some great advice to help you along too capegirl- nice to see you aboard.Sorry to hear you been in pain so long, the good news is you'll have some good advancements now as you grow in knowledge about tms healing. Were all here to help as I said and I would like to see your success story in our success forum hopefully sooner than later- it will be your dedication and belief that will be the tools to begin the journey, good to know your ready to heal from the pain.

    capegirl - I can identify with the "I've tried everything short of surgery" and now I hope I can get this all figured out. Can't wait to share my own success story and run again. I need some time to understand all of this, and I pretty much have zero free time. I hope I can do it.

    Eric- Spend about 15- 20 minuets in the morning and about 15 minutes at night learning 1 page at a time from Dr. Sarnos Healing back pain book and you will come along just fine- Do you have other material that you might be reading? Let me know and I can lay you out a journey through Tmswiki that will be very beneficial on your rd to recovery. Best of wishes, you will make your luck.
    God Bless
     
    Sienna likes this.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Andy B,
    Such an inspiring story! Thanks so much for posting it. I also still have some residual pain 10-20% what is was before Sarno. But every time I'm able to get it to leave using Sarno's techniques reaffirms that I'm on the right path.
     
    Laudisco likes this.
  8. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Andy, your story makes me want to shout. My history sounds very similar to yours except I was dealing with debilitating shin splints and achilles tendonitis. Yesterday, I walked about five miles for the first time in probably 10 years. I am beyond excited. And like you...I still have a ways to go before I'm 100% but for the first time I feel like I'm getting my life back.

    It is exhilarating. And hearing your story only adds to my hope. THANK YOU!
     
  9. capegirl

    capegirl New Member

    I'm the 16 year "plantar fasciitis" girl. I have gone ahead and started upping my "pain inducing" activities. Wore "cute" shoes out on a date (still way more supportive than most girl's shoes) AND walked around in them, went for a 20 minute walk/run--which turned in to a HOUR and twenty minute walk/run because I dropped my key and did another short a few days later. I'm already starting to feel better. It's so exciting! I will consider myself rehabilitated when I can wake up in the morning and be pain free AND go for a good long run without pain. I can't wait to share my own story when I get there.
     
  10. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    You go, girl! But don't wait to share the total recovery...keep sharing your successes along the way!
    Blessings on the journey.
     
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love this capegirl, bound and determined as we say in the south
    that's dedication, a new look in someone eye.
    You can do what you believe you can, its true
    So stay with the program, like a new hobby you don't get tired of
    cause this is for your health, a good attitude in the right direction
    Love it, keep us updated
     
  12. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    MontanaMom I believe you can do anything you want
    5 miles for the first time in 10 years is sheer persistence
    You have the winners attitude, that's what it takes.
    Just remember to love yourself unconditionally,
    let go always, and never judge, always practice love
    and laugh more than you ever had. Yea its like becoming a kid again
    Except now we know when to stay out of trouble.
     
    Sienna likes this.
  13. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    That is fabulous advice, Herbie. Thank you! Yesterday, I did another first....taking the day off, as outlined in the SEP. THAT felt really weird....but wonderful. I do tend to be driven and truly it is a two-edge sword.
    Thanks for your encouragement. :)
     
    Sienna likes this.
  14. capegirl

    capegirl New Member

    MontanaMom, Your kids must be in school, right??? I'm trying to "hold it together" a little less, but it's tough with a 2 and 4 year old at home and working part-time from home too! Us moms especially have to stick together, so I'd love to hear more about your recovery process. Today I met my brother at a park and ran and played soccer with him while the kids climbed trees. It was so nice. I woke up in pain, sat through Bible study in pain, but then had a great time running around. This TMS stuff is fascinating and I just wish I found out about it SOONer. What is SEP? I just got Dr. Schubiner's "Unlearn Your Pain" book. I can't wait to get through it.
     
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Capegirl, my kids are older...just one left in High School. I homeschooled my other two kids through high school. I'm sure that that the pressures of homeschooling and life fast tracked my TMS. Especially since my oldest had autism spectrum issues. Those early years were very difficult. And yes, I wish I learned about TMS earlier. Oh, the money and frustration I could have saved seeking medical advice!
    SEP is the Structured Education Program that is here...and it's FREE! It's very, very good; I highly recommend it.
    One thing I did learn when my kids were little....the word NO! I had to stop a lot of activities just to survive. If I had to do it over again, I would have stopped sooner WITHOUT the guilt. Folks just had no clue of how I was struggling with three little ones, one with special needs. Throw in chronic pain and....well, some days were hell.
    It's all been good though....I am a much calmer person than I've ever been. Much more at peace and living more mindfully. Not sure if I would have learned that without TMS, given my driven nature. :) And besides, it's all in the past.
    It IS very tough with little ones when you're not feeling well. But I'll say what so many moms told (and I wanted to slap them!) that season really does pass through quickly. Enjoy them. Play with them when you can. I was too darn busy and regret not playing "Polly Pockets" more with my sweet (now young adult) daughter. Actually, I don't regret it anymore, just mindful that NOW is all we ever have.
    Hope that helps. I hope I don't sound preachy or babbling! (Maybe I shouldn't be typing; I'm fatigued tonight!) :)
     
  16. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yea the off days were like well what do I do now days.
    But soon I learned those off days were to teach me to have some me time.

    I don't remember taking some time for just me since I was a teen ager.
    I didn't think they had it right at first because im so hard driven.

    That's when I started to pick up that even the lord took a day off to rest
    Id learned enough that week and by reading all sarnos books that id be ok.

    I learned most of all that my personality trait was always in a hurry to get things done
    id rushed and rushed till life wasn't fun anymore, and I didn't know why? Alabama song.

    I know now its cause I didn't know the power of the id- ego -super ego , over my thought patterns of Health
    After learning that and about 10 other disciplines I finally got it on the ropes for the knockout.
     
    MontanaMom likes this.
  17. capegirl

    capegirl New Member


    Thanks, Montana Mom. I'm also homeschooling my 4 year-old and I do think that this may be the best educational option for her at least through kindergarten (my son is 2). She has an extremely strong will, which is wonderful, but also exhausting. Good for you and your three kids.
    I needed to paint my bedroom yesterday (we are replacing floors this weekend) and I was really thinking how this is NOT part of my "slowing down" and enjoying life prescription. SO, I did a FIRST! While waiting for my paint to be mixed, I met a very nice painter, he gave me his number, and 2 minutes after leaving the store I called him and he painted the room for me for a great price. I usually never would have called him, but it was so wonderful to "buy" back my day and enjoy my children more.

    Last night the pastor and deacons from my church came over and prayed over me for healing. It was so nice to have these men of God call out to him on my behalf, as I get tired of asking myself. I'm excited to see what God is doing in my life and how all this will eventually change my life for the better. I've already seen improvements in my life as I "take back" little things like going for walk/jogs in the woods and wearing prettier shoes when I feel like it. Thanks for the support!
     
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  18. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good for you for hiring out the painting! I KNOW that part of my TMS has been my resentment over all the home renovations we've done....read: LOTS of painting! I would keep saying "this is the last house I'm painting," and then we move again....and I pull out the paint brushes. ;)
     
  19. Andy B

    Andy B Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have been hiking all summer, every day in the mountains. My foot is still a little stiff, but the main practice of “continuing my life and not making a big deal out of it” continues to help me improve… Albeit, this only works because the pain is reduced enough not to freak me out every step. Below are some specific notes about what worked for me.


    The first thing I did with a helper/counselor was inquire into my resistance about Sarno's work applying to me. It was helpful to see, and disengage the inner critic voices telling me that I'd been 1) an idiot to not have tried this earlier and 2)I should never have gotten TMS since I have done loads of in-depth psycho spiritual work. You can see the perfectionistic pieces there... So it was helpful for me to see my resistance to the diagnosis and not believe it.

    Another big piece for me was to, with every step I'd take (as I began to increase walking to say 100 yards and up) was to say to my mind body, like a mantra: "I am willing to feel my inner emotions. Stop the foot pain." With each step. I also thank my mind-body when the pain isn't there.

    Another thing that helped happened by accident: I was peddling my bike out in the desert at night, and got lost and ended up in a whole lot of mud. I had to walk my bike with the wheels locked up in 6 inches of mud. I was so afraid of the straining I was doing, pushing the bike as hard as I could. All the fears of how my foot would feel then or that night or the next day arose, of course. And I just witnessed my belief system, and thought about Sarno's discovery of the power of "conditioning." Was I only conditioned to hurt the next day? And if so, what if I saw through that conditioned response?? What if I didn’t believe it? My feet were fine the next day, and this was a big step forward. Similarly I took out my orthodic footbeds another day and went for a long hike--challenging the conditioning---and my feet were fine. These were both huge steps in the process.

    I also had a hypnosis teacher make a tape for me. This was simply to invite my inner most self to support me, and reveal what needed to be seen in this process of healing the TMS. I listened to it almost every night for a month or so. She runs a school, and was very tuned into what I wanted in my tape.

    My ongoing challenge is to every time I feel the pain, "think psychological." The fear and the 14 doctors' diagnosis, and pain, and the habits of mind all conspire to keep me in a pattern that takes courage and fortitude to work against. The gift to me is seeing, despite many years of doing inner work prior to the TMS practices, my normal running away from what I am really feeling. It is habitual and subtle, this avoidance. And I now see it more clearly. This awareness of avoidance/pretension/delusion/numbing is itself very educational to me, because it is evidence of the defense structures' (which Sarno considers pain to be) relentless activity, fueled by the desire to not feel and not be aware of feelings.

    I'll say that for me, and my rigid personality, just being physically active, perhaps hurting a little, and not doing Sarno's work "perfectly" is the path I have chosen. I don't want to beat myself up for not already being in perfect "cure" state. I think I do well when I recognize the progress, thank my body-mind, and move on with life, questioning the catastrophic thinking and fear as they come up, as best I can.

    Sarno says more than once that it is the act of connecting the emotional to the physical that is the heart of the cure, not stopping the emotional life in any way, or the stress. He also says that you may not even be right about the emotional semi-conscious specifics---that it is enough to use the connecting technique without perfect "accuracy," without perfect "A-hah" insights about the connections. This looseness in approach is helpful to my perfectionistic nature. I don't have to find the perfect "emotional reason" for the pain distraction. Awareness of sadness, hurt, anger, frustration, tension, fear are not that hard to access for me, and they all apply.

    Related: I read all of Sarno's books, listened to his narration of one of his books (good), read Steve Ozanich's book, bought Monte Heffle's program and here's what I think, that Steve put into words. Each person's journey is unique, because it is a journey of the soul. More practically put: I don't think any one of the practitioners, including Sarno, has all of this figured out. It is essentially a new field. Which gives me room to find my own way.
     
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  20. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    What a great thread, Andy!

    I like that you mentioned the resistance you had to TMS. We all go through a resistance stage. SteveO wrote about in the chapter about John Stossell's brother. For the goodist and perfectionist, the TMS diagnosis threatens who we believe we are at our very core. We are resistant to any thought that suggests we are not perfect, good people, and that is exactly what recognizing we have deep rage does. Understanding how and why each of us are resistant to TMS is very helpful to recovering.

    And here is the kicker, this resistance does not go away simply because the symptoms do. There are so many people who have a relapse and think this can't be TMS, I already recovered from that. This is something that I do from time to time as well. Anytime we have a chronic symptom that we think can't possibly be TMS, is a time when we need to look inward and ask those meaningful questions of am I resistant to the TMS diagnosis.

    I see a lot of similarities between your story to my own. Like you, I was able to become active again by slowly testing myself and the diagnosis. I started out by walking small distances and using the computer for short time-frames. When my symptoms did not get completely out of hand, I decided to be more and more active. This helped me increase my confidence in both the approach and, more importantly, myself.

    It is great to see the progress you are making. Keep it up!
     
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