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Back Pain/Sciatica - My Story

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by chinaski, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. chinaski

    chinaski New Member

    Sorry if this is long winded...

    I've suffered with Low Back and Sciatica pain for several years now, probably starting around 2008 and coming to a head around 2015 when I received my first epidural steroid injection for an L5 Disc Issue. That "Fixed" me until December of last year when I started having Sciatica again and re-started the process with a Pain Management Doctor in my area.

    After another MRI series they concluded that my L5 Disc was herniated and desicated (sp?) with a bone "fragment" pushing on my S1 Nerve Root. I had severe sciatica, making it difficult to walk. I received a total of 2 Epidural Steroid Injections in March of last year, and that more or less alleviated the pain. I did suffer and still do suffer from some numbness in my right foot. After the second injection, the Pain Management Doctor recommended surgery and I was given several referrals for surgeons in my area.

    I made an appointment with a Surgeon and he was interestingly enough reluctant to operate, but decided it would be a good idea considering I had numbness in my leg and foot.

    I made the appointment for the surgery a few months out and made arrangements with my job to be out of work during the recover process, which worried me. (of course) - Between the time I scheduled the surgery and the actual surgery date, I had very minimal pain. I was getting on with my life, and I guess I figured that since this issue was going to be resolved, all was well.

    The day of the procedure, I told the surgeon that I was not experiencing any pain and he immediately recommended to not operate. He looked at the MRI again and said that while I have a "fairly significant herniation" there were no guarantees that this "Minimally Invasive Surgery" were going to fix things.

    Now, I have a close friend that had back surgery several years ago for similar issues, and he had been urging me to read Sarno for close to 5 years. I blew him off and thought "Snake Oil BS" - Literally the day after I was suppose to have surgery, I started having problems again. Good Grief.

    I broke down and started reading any Sarno and TMS material I could find online, as well as buying Healing Back Pain and listening to Sarno discussions on YouTube. Thats when things started to make sense.

    I've had this nagging foot numbness for awhile now, and about a week ago my sciatica as started to come back. Interestingly, it came around right after I had the flu and I figured laying around a lot wasn't good for my back. Psychology right?

    So, I'm having some issues with this again and just need some reassurance. I am a worrier by nature, I get pretty angry sometimes. I am a perfectionist and somehwhat of a neat freak. I feel overwhelmed with my daily life from time to time...Not enough hours in the day, stuff like that. I also have an extremely stressful profession and work weird hours.

    I think I have all the boxes checked for TMS, but I just need to feel reassured and to be with my own kind so to speak.

    Thanks for letting me rant

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  2. chinaski

    chinaski New Member

    Also, I forgot to include this...

    My regular Doctor has ALWAYS recommended against surgery. He is an old school Doctor, and his mantra has always been "Time Heals" - I asked him about Dr. Sarno and he was familiar with his work. Although I wouldn't consider him a "Sarno Doctor" he did say that he believes that it isn't quackery and there is indeed something to Dr. Sarno's work. Which is reassuring. That said, he did recommend initially for me to see a Pain Management Doctor, so I am not entirely convinced he's a believer. That said, I think the Pain Management Doctors telling me that I had serious issues and getting these Steroid Injections (which were probably a placebo anyway) did nothing for my overall psychology and well being.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi chinaski,

    Welcome! Let's look at the evidence that you have TMS:

    I think you're in the right place here. You are very lucky that some of your physicians have been cautious, and also support Dr. Sarno's work. Your regular Doctor's support of Sarno's work is unusual in my experience, so even a nod of support means a lot. Believe me!! Also, although he sent you to a pain specialist, this does not undercut his support for Dr. Sarno's, how it might apply to you, in my experience. He's giving you the support he thinks you need, given your symptoms. With his offering both avenues to you, you're given experience here about which actually helps, and which does not.

    I highly recommend you start the Structured Education Program at the Wiki, and become deeply immersed in everything which Dr. Sarno wrote. Look deeply for the answers in his work, and in you, because you'll find them!

    Andy B
    Free of Fear, Sofa and chinaski like this.
  4. Sofa

    Sofa Well known member

    I'm in that same exact boat chinaski. TMS work and the good folks here on this site, such as Free of Fear, Bloodmoon, Lizzie, etc... They've helped me big time. The same can happen for you!
    Free of Fear and chinaski like this.
  5. chinaski

    chinaski New Member

    Thanks for the responses everyone. Much appreciated.

    I was just at the grocery store and had a feeling of dread and worry come over me. There are some personal issues going on with me that are somewhat health related that I would rather not discuss publicly, but once I started focussing on this particular issue and the worry set in, my sciatica started throbbing. Weird. I simply ANGRILY told my brain to stop it, realized that these personal issues are a problem that I can control, and the pain seemed to go away rather quickly.

    Part of my problem is wondering if the Doctors have made a correct diagnosis...Going back to the whole "structural problem" thing. I'm constantly trying to remind myself that an actual Spine Surgeon told me not to have the surgery (day of surgery), my regular Doctor has consistently advised against it, and just about everybody on the planet has a "Structural Issue" with discs and many don't experience any pain. I remind myself of a study where people were given Saline instead of a Steroid epidural injection and the results were the same.

    I need to replace some of my bad habits with good habits, and go on with my life. This dread feeling and constant worry are just hard to shake. Kind of a vicious cycle. I am a hypochondriac in a lot of ways, which obviously feeds the pain. At any rate, I am trying to improve my Chess game lately by reading a lot of material and solving lots of Chess puzzles. This busy work seems to be keeping my mind occupied, which is a good thing. :)
    bonsaikitten and Free of Fear like this.
  6. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Getting past this worry as soon as possible is one of your biggest priorities. At some point we have to take the leap and commit ourselves to the belief that nothing is wrong with our body. You already have professional opinion supporting this, but you still need to fully believe it yourself. If you can't get past it, then ask yourself (really exploring) why you are continuing to worry about this, or holding on to the worry, especially in the face of professional opinion otherwise. If there are benefits to believing that you're damaged, identify them and debunk them. If it comes down to anxiety then target the anxiety. Again, this is a major priority. As another member said, full belief in TMS is the closest thing there is to a silver bullet.
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think this is very pointed, good guidance. When I was contemplating Dr. Sarno's work, there were all kinds of doubts. I had many doctors tell me it was physical. But there was more. The misdiagnosis was only part of the reason I doubted. As Free of Fear suggests, it can be very helpful to explore your doubts. This is a contribution I made awhile back http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/exploring-doubts-about-dr-sarnos-work.7354/ (Exploring Doubts About Dr. Sarno's Work) Your exploration will find different things, but part of my learning was that my doubt had to do with being "enough."

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