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I am Back and I am Shouting from Rooftops

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by LindenSwole, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. LindenSwole

    LindenSwole Peer Supporter

    I've been actively involved in the TMS Community for about a year and a half but had no yet posted my recovery story. A lot of twists and turns along with some moments of doubt along the way.

    In a nutshell, I have had TMS symptoms going back to probably when I was 8 or so - the first one I can remember was frequent urination. I started getting knee pain when I was 12. Reflux showed up just before my 21st birthday. Throughout my mid and late 20's it was elbow problems, shoulder problems, knee problems and stomach problems. 2013 I had my first really severe symptom, I would say, with a terrible dairy intolerance that would, at best, make me constipated for several days and at worst would give me terrible nausea.

    In December of 2014 I developed flu-like symptoms that went away a couple of weeks later.

    In late 2015 I started having a lot of shoulder trouble. I was knee-deep as a competitive Weightlifter at the time and this really slowed me down. This was the beginning of me jumping from doctor-to-doctor and getting way too many opinions, images and explanations. I went ahead and had surgery in April of 2016 and had one of the smoothest recoveries the doctor and PT had ever seen. What was supposed to take 8-10 months ended up taking about 4.5 months. As I was inching towards full medical clearance I developed sciatica out of nowhere. Once that went away I developed severe knee pain. Then, the day before medical clearance for the shoulder I had my first back spasm. Later that year I developed really terrible flu-like symptoms; twice in the month of December I got the "flu" and was even put on medication to cure "c-diff" until the tests came back negative and I didn't have c-diff at all. Doctors shrugged their shoulders and couldn't figure it out.

    What followed was 10 months of absolute hell. I would spend 2x per week in doctor's offices, usually 1x per week at a chiropractor and another day at a PT. I was diagnosed with pinched nerves, thoracic outlet syndrome, upper crossed syndrome, lower crossed syndrome, IBS, tight muscles all over the place, brachial plexus compression, on and on, and on. In all, over the course of 10 months, I saw 25 doctors and specialists and walked away with new treatment plans each time. I even drove 20 hours roundtrip to have my neck worked on (not insured) with a nerve entrapment procedure. All-in, I probably paid about $15,000 out of pocket and I had insurance the whole time so who knows how much that really would have costed. I saw MD's, PT's, chiros, rolfers, acupuncturists, massage therapists, etc. At my worst I was sitting at work for 4-6 hours each day researching new symptoms and possible diagnosis’. By April I had even grown a half-a-golf-ball growth in the front of my neck that was said to not be a tumor but that they weren’t sure what it was.

    Then, I read about a doctor at the University of Washington (15 miles away) who was an expert in nerve entrapment procedures. I had positive imaging and tests for a variety of "nerve lesions" so I thought I would go and see the best in the field. She examined me, evaluated my imaging, and probably spent close to an hour with me. In a moment that at this point seems like a dream, she goes: "Tell me about the stress in your life." I assured her I wasn't stressed but she kept pressing for family issues, work, etc. Instead of the typical treatment planned I was handed, she gave me a referral to see a sports psychologist and out I went.

    I sat with this information for a few weeks. One night I was on my deck researching mobility tools on Amazon and saw "Healing Back Pain." I bought it and read it in two nights and my world was completely rocked.

    I sought out a therapist (not a TMS therapist). He was aware of Sarno but wasn't trained in psychosomatic specifically. However, the value of having another person to talk to that I felt I could trust 100% without any judgement was so critical.

    Since then, I have spent the last 1.5 years more or less dedicating my life to the legacy of Dr. Sarno. I have a podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and AudioBoom called "The Mind and Fitness Podcast" that gets somewhere between 5,500 and 7,500 listens per month in over 70 countries around the world. I interview some of the leading experts in TMS and deliver the message to the masses.

    I got back to full physical activity via CrossFit within a few days of finding Sarno's work, but this is not at all an overnight healing story. It took a long time - probably a year and a few months before I'd say the worst of my symptoms left me.

    All-in, the things that have been cured:

    - Asthma and Allergies; for 8 years I had been taking a daily cocktail of three prescriptions for these and stopped taking all of them cold turkey about 6 months ago with no problems
    - Dairy intolerance is gone
    - Oat allergy is gone
    - Chronic Back Pain is gone
    - Chronic Neck Pain is gone
    - IBS is gone
    - No more constipation
    - Knee pain is gone
    - No more sciatica
    - The limo in my throat disappeared first.

    I'd say the greatest gift by far has been the development and the capacity for me to process emotion and understand myself. I feel like I was running on autopilot for so many years. I was hugely successful in sales, making a ton of money, but always felt like the world was on my shoulders. I don't feel that way anymore and have recognized that I don't need to be Superman to be really, really happy. It's made me a better person, a better husband and a better father to my two girls.

    I could literally go on for days about this (you can hear it all on the podcast). But I'll spare you.

    Thanks so much for reading and best to you.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
    readytoheal, Ines, Ellen and 5 others like this.
  2. Andy B

    Andy B Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi LindenSwole,

    Thanks for posting, and thank you for the fine podcasts. I recently listened to a few, and you really asked great questions, and clarified questions from listeners. We're all spreading the word!!!!

    And I am so happy about your TMS work.

    This comes through in one of your podcasts, how the whole process changed you. I think this is the deepest gift for everyone involved in this process. I work with many people who never really looked deeply at their lives until they considered the TMS connection to their ailments. Life changing!

    You might like this post I made, about the long-term benefits of doing this work, including how so many other symptoms drop away.
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/ease-trust-success-and-positive-loops.19807/ (Ease, trust, success, and positive loops)

    Andy B
    HattieNC and LindenSwole like this.
  3. grapefruit

    grapefruit New Member

    This is such an amazing story! I am going to check out your podcasts.
    LindenSwole likes this.
  4. stradivarius

    stradivarius Peer Supporter

    Wow LindenSwole, congratulations on your amazing recovery! Thanks for sharing your story, I think it will give hope to a lot of people. Many of my symptoms are similar to yours, in particular I am suspecting that I have brachial plexus compression. I will check out your podcasts too.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @LindenSwole thank you for this fabulous post!

    There are so many things to like. Here are my favorites - the first two because they are so valuable to others who are experiencing frustration, and yearning for perfection in their process:

    This is much more the norm than the overnight "book cure". It takes work.

    Too many people want a strictly "TMS therapist" and are not open to the fact that many competent therapists are firm believers in, and perfectly capable of working with, the mindbody connection.

    I am in awe. You are really doing the work, 100%.

  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story. You will be an inspiration and resource to others. Congratulations!

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