1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 1 Where I am now...

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by needs_caffeine, Nov 7, 2022.

  1. needs_caffeine

    needs_caffeine Newcomer

    Write a short post about the level of acceptance you have of the TMS diagnosis, and of any doubts or worries you may have at this point.

    Hi everyone! In my mid-20s, I had an acute bout with sciatica. I could barely stand up. After a couple weeks of physical therapy, I was mobile again. I do believe this was a physical injury.

    When I was 30, I was running on uneven ground. I slipped a little in a low spot and felt stabbing pain. I had to walk home hunched over. I went to multiple doctors over the next few years (because of moving) and was told I had a dysfunctional SI joint, after having disclosed that the first doctor had diagnosed as dysfunctional SI. Multiple rounds of physical therapy ensued. One of the physical therapists was able to do something with my leg that would make it "pop" back, ending in instant relief, but I was never able to replicate that myself at home even with the techniques she showed me. I always ended up in the same place, mostly mobile, but not able to bend at the waist without pain and really good at using my toes to pick things up off the floor! Sitting for a long time such as driving would leave me stiff for several days. I gained a fair bit of weight in part because any exercise that involved bending hurt so much. I blamed this for the pain also.

    I'm 42 now, and a few months ago I went to help my estranged spouse, who is severely disabled with rheumatoid arthritis, put down some vinyl floor planks because he couldn't get down on the ground to do them. I spent about six hours on the floor, and by the end I was pretty much just sliding myself around on my belly like a bizarre land seal because I couldn't stand to keep getting up and bending back over, the stabbing pains were so bad. The next day I could barely stand up. Some of it was muscle soreness from unused muscles, but I had to walk at a weird angle. It did get better within a few days, but I went back to my current PCP who wanted an x-ray. He said I had bone spurs and disk degeneration but couldn't tell me if that's normal for my age. It also didn't explain that my pain mostly is centered on where my hip bone and back bone meet, just like it was with the sacroilliac joint injury, and just radiates out from there. He wanted me to do physical therapy again. I haven't because physical therapists here don't have evening hours.

    I was looking for books to do physical therapy at home thinking maybe that would be better, and I came across Dr. Sarno's books. They weren't expensive, so even though my skepticism was high, after watching a few videos--by people who stood no financial gain from the sale of Dr. Sarno's works--sharing their experiences, I ordered one. It has been a few months since I read it.

    I'm not sure where I am at in my acceptance of TMS. Sometimes it makes a lot of sense. Sometimes I question the proposed mechanism of action. I am worried that accepting it may be hard or impossible for me to do.

    What would a life without TMS mean to you?
    It would mean being able to do active things with my friends and family and things I need to do at home without being crippled for days afterwards. It would mean being able to exercise more and getting healthier generally, especially as I am now definitely middle-aged and would like to go into my older years stronger and healthier than I feel right now.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome to the forum @needs_caffeine! Your story has TMS written all over it, so I feel like you're in the right place, and I hope you hang in there. Doing this work is beneficial in so many ways, as long as you keep an open mind and do the self-discovery exercises with honesty, which is not easy, because our fearful negative brains are really good at keeping our deepest emotions in the dark and repressed.

    Having doubt is your brain on TMS.

    For inspiration, visit the Thank You Dr Sarno website, and be sure to read stories on our Success Stories Subforum. One a day along with your SEP day is a great boost for belief.

    Good luck!

  3. needs_caffeine

    needs_caffeine Newcomer

    Thank you so much for your kindness in taking time to welcome me and providing reassurance! I feel hopeful, which is a nice thing to feel!

    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. Xara

    Xara Peer Supporter

    @needs_caffeine it took me more than a year to fully accept that there is nothing wrong with my body( even now I feel fear sometimes)... And it took me many tests, doctors etc, who gave me contradictive or mysterious diagnosis or, happily, insinuated that there is some connection between a symptom ( pain etc) and feelings.
    Take your time, visit doctors so you won't have any doubt and at first place when you have a symptom, ask immediately: what am I feeling right now? It needs much time, even to learn to understand what you are feeling or even what you are thinking!!!! ( I am talking based on my experience, some people have faster results).
    If your symptoms shift to other, you are at the right place!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. gabrielxz

    gabrielxz Newcomer

    Hi @needs_caffeine , I hope I'm not out of line with giving you my take, but I was in a similar mindset to you when I started reading. To this day, I remain skeptical about some of the specific explanation for the nature of TMS and Dr Sarno's proposed mechanisms. However, I can say that I have done my best to follow all the recommendations & activities of his book and this forum and it has been a great success. I've gone from back pain controlling my whole life to being 99% pain free. It's given me my life back and I'm doing things I would have thought impossible a month ago.

    So, all I'm saying is I recommend keeping an open mind and I wouldn't let your worry about being able to convince yourself of all the specifics of TMS. In my case it hasn't been necessary to uncritically believe everything. Best wishes on your journey.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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