1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 1 1

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by mirepoix, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. mirepoix

    mirepoix Peer Supporter

    It has been about a year now since my back first "went out."

    I had pain before that, but not like this. This was the first time it was bad enough to take over my entire life. I could do nothing but just be in pain. It was about 3 days before I could walk without horrible spasming.

    I have not truly been out of pain since. I have good days and bad, but that day I learned to be in pain. I subconsciously adopted it and let it become a part of me.

    Before that, I have always struggled with depression and anxiety. So adding this to the pile really just sucked whatever joy I previously took in life right out of me. Every day, I just survive and that's pretty much it. I have no hopes for my future, I have no plans that excite me. I just want to get through this somehow.
  2. dusty67

    dusty67 Peer Supporter

    mirepoix I read your post and thought.....this could have very easily been written by me. My back "went out" about a year ago as well. It happened 3 years before but not as bad as this time and seemed to "heal" after a couple of weeks. NOT this time. I spent 7 weeks lying on my living room floor. Then an additional 4 in a bed made with a piece of plywood and thin memory foam on top. I only moved when I HAD to. I lost a lot of muscle. Tried Physio, Chiro, Acupuncture, Laser therapy, Bowen Therapy, Massage Therapy. I too would have the odd "good" day but the pins & needles and numbness/burning in my legs was constant. It was horrible. So excrutiating at times it was unbearable....I had no Idea Nerve pain could be so horrific!!! Lower Back & Upper back pain switched between the two. At one point it started to travel into my neck and then down my arms into my hands. Then I developed tendonitis in my elbow (still there) and pain in the front and back of both knees. Quit my job, went on disability, hired a cleaning lady, sister had to do all the shopping, husband worked 6 days a week and came home and cooked and looked after the kids. I was a useless Mother and Wife. Just a lump of painful nothingness. I honestly thought my future was done. I would try to watch TV but would end up in tears watching people living normal lives running around, traveling etc etc I spent most days in a very dark place and could not dig myself out of my pity party. I have anxiety and have developed depression because of my situation this last year. Every time the pain would come I would panic and that would feed my pain fire. I ended up reaching for Ativan (which I only used for flying before) That would stop it. Before I knew it I was taking one a day....NOT a good idea with Benzos. Now Im on it twice a day (very low dose) and hope to wean off of it very soon (although Im fearful of that and that's another book in itself) I told my husband I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up again. I had no joy left in life. (Even though I have so many things going for me I just could NOT see past my pain and the fact that life as I knew it had changed forever) I would look at the clock in the morning and cry, thinking.....Oh my God.....its only 9am....How am I going to make it another 12 hours until bedtime??? Anyway...my point in all of this rambling about my experience is to let you know that I felt exactly as you did. But, I started to push myself to go to the pool. Wouldn't do much at first...just float. But slowly after a few months I started to get stronger and also realized that I felt the best when I was in the pool or hot tub. A lot of it might have just been the distraction but whatever it helped and I knew I needed to build back some muscle. Then I learned about Dr Sarno. I read healing back pain and took it back to the library thinking...this is hogwash. It doesn't apply to me. I have scoliosis, Herniated discs, Bulging dics, protruding discs, osteoarthritis, bone spurs....my MRI said so. But I got worse. didn't want to wake up in the morning. Then I decided to read The Mind Body Prescription and saw myself on every page. Slowly I started to try a few things that I was scared to do and found I had little to no pain! As I made my Evidence list with each accomplishment I started to believe. I started the structured education program and began journaling....like magic some of my pain started to lessen. I have stuck with it and although Im having some bad flare ups now and then Im managing the pain so much better. My attitude has completely changed. The anxiety is worse at times but normal apparently. I know somehow I will conquer this as well. Im SURE you can too! Honestly a month ago I would have never thought Id be driving, swimming laps, doing chin ups at the pool, dancing in my living room, doing housework, cooking,shopping. I even ran from my car into the pool building today. Minimal to NO pain!!!!! Please try the program, journal, read Dr sarnos (and others) books, watch lots of youtube videos on TMS and Mindbody Syndrome and keep reading the success stories. Sorry my post is so long but I am still in shock and amazed that Im healing and I want everyone who is in pain & suffering to know its real! You CAN overcome this. You WILL have a life again! OK I will step down off of my podium now. Ha! I will just say please don't give up...as long as you are breathing...there is always hope. You can do it :)
    cishealing, Lizzy and mirepoix like this.
  3. mirepoix

    mirepoix Peer Supporter

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. It means so much to me.

    I relate to much of what you are saying. I have also tried PT, chiro, acupuncture and massage therapy.

    I also get the most relief from ativan, which I originally had prescribed only for flying. Luckily, I am well aware of the horrible withdrawal of benzos, otherwise I would take them like candy. I have past experience with withdrawal from years ago before I even had pain (opiates, not benzos) and I have no interest in reliving that sort of experience. As it is, I try to keep it down to 1-2 pills per week, which does not really do a lot of good. In fact, I consider the effectiveness of the ativan part of the evidence that I have TMS; why would a low dose of an anxiolytic have such a profound effect on my pain if it were structural? The drug affects the anxiety in my brain, not the supposed inflammation in my spine, and that is why it helps. Of course, I want to learn to do it without pills.

    I read Healing Back Pain about 6 months ago, and I wanted to accept it so badly. But I sort of half assed my approach, and I was not able to get much relief. I want to try more earnestly this time, so I am going to try the SEP complete with journaling and actually speaking with others about it.

    I have gotten lumbar MRIs and X rays, and have little structural damage (one slight bulge, slight L5 degeneration, slight facet arthrosis) but my big fear is that I have arthritis. My mother has bad rheumatoid arthritis, and I've always been afraid of it. I should probably see a rheumatologist just to get peace of mind and whole heartedly accept TMS rather than holding onto the fear of my shifting bones. I am only 33 and my hands and feet feel fine (which is apparently where it usually starts) but I can't shake the nagging fear that my bones are damaged. They hurt so much sometimes. It feels like the pain is right in my iliac crest and my lowest ribs where my QL attaches, and I just can't shake the fear yet.

    Anyway, thanks for writing. It feels nice to be heard and thoroughly understood. I wish you all the best with your continued success.
    dusty67 likes this.
  4. dusty67

    dusty67 Peer Supporter

    Yes Im really dreading the Benzo withdrawl. I have a serious fear built up about this and Im not ready to face that yet. The problem is the longer Im on it the more difficult it will be to taper off. Im not on a lot, .5 in am .5 in pm but its been about 10 months. If I even miss ONE dose I go into a huge uncontrollable panic attack. NOT fun. Ill cross that bridge in a while though as I need to work on my TMS for now. Have you been tested for Rheumatoid arthritis? A friend of mine has it and she told me today they can diagnose it with a blood test. It would be good for you to rule that out. You could very well be worrying senselessly. I too had the bone pain. My back pain for quite a few months wrapped all the way around my rib cage. My sides ached all the time and could often be excrutiating. I stopped the SEP program because I was doing so well on my own....I've been feeling pretty bulletproof these last few weeks but I just got hit with a nasty flare up tonight. Back to the SEP for me tomorrow. It all started with stress from my teenage son. Ug. I really need to learn to react differently. I know I create my own inner tension...we are our own worst enemy sometimes aren't we? Dang....well....best of luck with the SEP. Try to keep positive and keep moving :)
  5. mirepoix

    mirepoix Peer Supporter

    About the withdrawal, I'm sure you will make it. I know those huge panic attacks, and I am pretty much free from them today. My back pain I still struggle with, but my anxiety I have made huge strides with. (I actually think my brain traded in the panic attacks for the back pain.) If you're not ready, you're not ready, but when you are you will taper slowly and be just fine. Even with my opiate experience years ago, I remember the fear of it was worse than the thing itself. You have been through so much suffering, I think you will be surprised how easily you defeat it once your brain is ready. When people talk about how bad it is, I think their frame of reference for "bad" is different than people like you and me who have been through the wringer.

    Also, if this helps you I am only day 3 and I overcame a great fear yesterday and went surfing again (something that was my previous great joy in life before back pain) and I got through it with no incident. We must remember it is just our brains and not our bodies, we are strong and able.
  6. dusty67

    dusty67 Peer Supporter

    Thanks. You're right, everything is always less difficult when we actually do it rather than just thinking and stressing about it! Still...think I will wait a little longer to tackle that challenge :) I think my brain is now trading the pain for panic. Luckily it seems to happen late in the day or evening so I can usually just go to bed early, listen to some meditation sessions on youtube and fall asleep. That's amazing you are surfing!!! Good for you. You are definitely on the right track!!! That's something to add to your evidence list (If you have started one) I find that really helpful. I intend to start skiing again next winter....something I thought I'd never do again. In fact, think Ill go buy my seasons pass now...that will help motivate me :) Good luck on your journey....enjoy the waves :)
  7. patrickelvin

    patrickelvin New Member

    Good to see someone setting out on SEP same time as me
    I have back andleg pains officially from sciatica but I am treaitng it as TMS ,

    I am off on a 12 day hike and up til now have had to dose my self up with Ibuprofen for dayhikes but I am going to leave it behind

    Good luck with your journey
  8. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Read my story. You will see where I have come from and how far I have traveled. You can do it too.

    I have suffered with depression almost my entire life and numerous health problems. The wiki gives you the tools to manage yourself. I can tie the floating in of the dark cloud specifically to the personality trait s. You can too.

    You are going on an amazing journey.
  9. patrickelvin

    patrickelvin New Member


    I have read your story and will read it again

    you are inspirational . I think I am crossthreading with Mirepoic , hope you dont mind

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