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Day 3 Battling to accept the diagnosis

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Chris1138, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Chris1138

    Chris1138 New Member

    I know that accepting the diagnosis is going to be a big challenge for me. I've been trying to tell myself there is nothing wrong structurally with my back and going about my day, but my pain is so conditioned to kick in when I walk for more than a minute or two, or sit back in a chair. I did get down on the ground and play some nerf basketball with my kids last night. A few times I paused and questioned whether I was bringing on any pain, but my back was certainly not worse afterwards. My wife nearly had tears in her eyes when I came up from the basement and said it was so good to hear me playing with them like that because it had been so long.

    As per the Day 2 exercises, I made a commitment to start running again at the end of July. As I began writing the commitment down, my back flared up! Just thinking about running and committing to doing it was enough for my whole butt and leg to tense up. I repeated my mantra that there is nothing structurally wrong with my back and the pain is a result of tension and it calmed down. This really helps reinforce the TMS diagnosis, but it feels like a real battleground with my mind constantly wanting to think and even visualize the herniated disc.

    Baby steps I guess...
  2. Chris1138

    Chris1138 New Member

    I did some thinking on my history with running after my post last night and I recalled that leading up to my back pain and sciatic pain I had been dogged with some patella/knee pain for about a year prior. At the time I assumed it was my form, and though it was quite painful, if I slapped a knee brace on I could keep running with no problem. After reading Dr. Sarno's book I realize now that patella pain can also be TMS and perhaps that was my brain's first shot and getting me to stop running.

    Digging a little deeper, I recall that I had gotten into running because I worked with a team that was very fitness focused. I had previously not been so active and I dove into running full force (as most TMS personality types would have done). I lost 30 lbs in a year and felt amazing. For the first time I felt like all those unrealistic fit body types you see in movies, TV, billboards, etc. were attainable. I was running 5-10K twice a day every day. I started some weights at the gym too. Then I had twins. No time for 5-10K runs twice a day anymore. I tried to squeeze runs in on my lunch break at work, but it wasn't the same and when I was promoted at work I lost that flexibility too. I distinctly remember feeling frustrated that I had lost such a great outlet for my stress and even more so that I was losing my fitness and gaining weight (10lbs or so - but it feels like more). It was around this time that the patella pain started up. This was exacerbated by my brother-in-law who was on a different trajectory at the time - running marathons (Boston), triathlons, iron mans, you name it. I think I've been burying some anger towards his freedom (no kids and none planned) to do this and all the accolades he gets as well. I don't like feeling petty like this.

    I'm wondering now if my brain has been trying to prevent me from squeezing in runs here and there and is taking my physical activity away to prevent me from feeling angry and guilty that I'm not active and that I can reach my perfectionist body image goals. I think I also direct a lot of those feelings towards my kids since it's having twins that derailed my fitness goals. I was pondering all this on my way to work and felt a substantial decrease in my pain at the time so I'll have to keep exploring this.
  3. getoutofmyback

    getoutofmyback Newcomer

    Hello there. I am also suffering from knee and back pain - lower back. I have always suspected the back pain was TMS. The knee pain I did not make the connection until the other day between Days 2 and 3 - it took me 5 days to get from Day 1 to 2 because I also have 2 kids. That day I had knee pain like no other. It radiated up and down my leg almost shaking hands with the pain in the back. I was limping. But I went about accepting that my knee pain was TMS as there was no good reason for a flare-up 36 hours after a 4-mile run, woke up today with the pain 90% gone and now I hope I can get out for a run in a bit.

    To your point, I think we bury the resentment we feel towards our kids deep. We then pile guilt on top of that - because only a rotten parent would feel that way. It's an ugly thing to wrestle with, especially for mothers because we are still preternaturally supposed to step into selfless mothering and never look back.

    The knee pain is something I need to dig deeper into too. I did eradicate my upper back pain over 10 years ago with Dr. Sarno's book, but then I was unpacking different issues. The knee pain is tough for me to disconnect from the diagnosis I received as the women in my family tend to have arthritis and have gotten knee replacements. So my mind just goes there and I cannot disassociate and accept that it could be TMS - though my x-ray showed very minor wear and tiny bone spurring (not enough to really cause that much pain).
  4. Chris1138

    Chris1138 New Member

    Hang in there! I hit rock bottom back in September. It was a few months after I started posting here and things got worse and worse (after a brief improvement). My anxiety started to run away too.

    I finally broke down and saw a psychiatrist. I had sworn I would never need anti-anxiety or anti-depression drugs, but it finally became too much. I went on a low dose of an anti-anxiety and within days my pain was gone. The pain I had lived with for two years, that ruined countless family experiences, and was the first thing I thought of when I woke up in the morning just melted away. Now, the pain is still gone. I've gone for my second run in a month and I actually can't remember exactly how the pain felt. I enjoy my time with my kids now. I'm the dad I always wanted to be.

    I have a herniated disc. It shows up on MRIs. But it's not the cause of my pain. When work or home stresses start to pile up, I can feel the early sensation in my back and leg. I've sorted of embraced it as my early warning signal that I'm at risk of becoming out of balance and I need to pause and reframe/rethink things.

    Good luck with your journey! If you've beaten this before, you can do it again!

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