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Day 1 Starting on the Road to Recovery

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Lepton, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Lepton

    Lepton New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m embarking on the SEP to get my life back. I have been suffering from TMS for about five years, though I’ve only become truly aware for 3 months or so that it is TMS that is afflicting me. I first started to experience pain when I began a running program back in 2007. I ran every day until I started to develop pain in my shins that wouldn’t go away without long periods of rest. This turned me off running, so I bought myself a new road bike and started cycling (an activity that I’ve always enjoyed). However, the day after my very first ride on my new bike I woke up with a terribly sore right knee. I expected my knee to get better but after 3 months and little improvement I saw my doctor. He sent me to an orthopaedic surgeon who had me get an MRI of my knee. The MRI showed no damage so I was prescribed PT . After about 8 weeks of PT I was able to start cycling again. My knee was generally ok but regularly I would pull up sore after a ride in random places in legs butt or hips. These pains were not serious but occasionally were bad enough to keep me off the bike for up to a week

    In mid-2009 my knees (both this time) started to hurt again to the point where I couldn’t ride, so back to PT I went. After another few months I was riding again but as soon as my knees felt ok I began to get persistent pain in my glutes – to the point that I couldn’t sit down for long periods. So I returned to PT, where the therapist told me he suspected, given my symptoms, that I had a bulging disc in my lumbar spine. I thought this was ridiculous because I had little to no pain in my lower back but I went along with the treatment. Looking back on that period now I realise that my back actually started to hurt a lot more after being told I had a bulging disc

    Anyway after a while I started to feel better and the glute pain subsided, only for my knees to start hurting again! I wondered why I couldn’t seem to catch a break. Something always hurt! (I didn’t know about TMS or the “symptom imperative” back then). Things got worse still when I started to experience numbness and tingling in my legs. A CT scan of my lumbar spine apparently showed bulging L4/L5 and L5/S1 discs, however an MRI ordered by a neurosurgeon show no problems (yep, two images, two different diagnoses). The neurosurgeon recommended more PT, which didn’t help of course, so my next stop was an orthopaedic surgeon. He ordered another MRI of my left sciatic nerve, from which he diagnosed me with piriformis syndrome. I had a cortisone injection that didn’t help, so the next in line was a neurologist to test the nerves in my legs. The test showed that my nerves were functioning normally.

    By this time I finally concluded that I was physically healthy, so I began my search for other causes for my symptoms. That led me to Dr Sarno and TMS. Since reading his books, plus “The Hidden Psychology of Pain” by Dr James Alexander and implementing some of the ideas they describe, my back and butt pain, plus the tingling and also stomach issues I’ve had have all reduced… but not completely. I’ve become more active lately after fearing any kind of physical activity. However I still have a long way to go as my knee pain is trying to make a comeback and my right should is now giving me some grief too. I’m starting this program to get my TMS under control so I can live my life the way I want to.

    PS Sorry about the long post!
     
  2. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Great post. As Sarno says, the pain moves around. I have had numerous physical symptoms just like you. Shin splints kept me from walking for years. I walk 4-6 miles each day now. On the wiki under TMS symptoms I wrote the testimonial about recovering from shin splints. You can too.

    Plus I have all the disc problems but now no back pain. It takes a lot of work. Everyone recovers in their own time frame. You will too.
     
  3. Lepton

    Lepton New Member

    Thanks Sandy. The main thing I need to work on is to get my brain to stop focusing on my body. All the years of being told I have structural and muscular problems have taken their toll. I still can't help but worry about the twinges of pain I feel. Thinking psychologically is hard work but I know eventually I'll get there.
     
  4. CMA

    CMA Peer Supporter

    goodluck in your healing process Lepton. I am sure you will find relief.
     
  5. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    You're absolutely right Lepton, you will get there and thinking psychologically is very hard work. Where I come from we're pretty much trained against doing anything close to thinking psychologically. That is probably why my brain generated my physical pain symptoms to begin with. What could be a more effective diversion for someone who is programmed to think that physical problems are "real", "ok", somehow "acceptable" but psychological issues are "imaginary" or somehow a "weakness"?

    You're not alone in your struggle to think psychologically, I fight to do it every day as well. I have to just keep reminding myself that there are years and years of programming that I'm trying to undo here - stands to reason it's not going to be undone over night. It's far easier to type than to actually do, but try and be patient with yourself. It is true that even the tiniest of steps will eventually get you to your destination.
     

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