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 (Brief) story

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by romac, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. romac

    romac Newcomer

    I was reluctant to make this post as quite frankly I'm a tad embarrassed to be doing so, but I'm at the end of my tether so want to abide by every recommendation the structured programme has to offer. I will keep it brief!

    The end of the tether was reached with a painful relationship breakup recently (after 6 years). One of the factors in the break up being I became rather stressful to be around (being around anyone stressed or in pain is not much fun!). So given that (and given I hope to rectify those relationship problems) I really want to sort out the pain I've been having.

    The most recent pain episode has been excruciating upper back pain, spreading up the neck, even the head and down the lower back. This all followed a go karting incident (8 months ago), classic whiplash (stationery kart, hit from the back). Since then, most of the time I've been in a lot of pain. Importantly though not all the time, sometimes I'm completely pain free.

    The interesting point in 'my story' is that for the past 13 years (I'm 26) I've had neck, back, shoulder and ankle pain on and off, and never in more than one place. I used to joke that my body would play a 'relay' with pain, passing the baton from the shoulder to the ankle, from the ankle to back etc, depending on some physical trigger (eg, as innocuous as someone tredding on my foot on the train or lifting groceries out of a bag!). Once pain in one location went, pain in another would start - sometimes the gap would be 2 seconds, sometimes 2 months.

    As a teenager I had almost constant back pain (growing pains so I thought). I was told it was this problem and that problem, given neck collars and this odd contraption that for want of a better word was rather like a bra, with the object being to push my "rounded shoulders" back. Suffice to say its not what a 16 year old boy wants to wear!

    My mum is a physical therapist. She knows no other way than physical causes, injury and physical treatment (she means very well!). She herself has had decades of back problems (most recently leading to being bed ridden with back spasms for much of a 7 day holiday).

    We are both very similar. We are perfectionists and, to an even greater extent, goodists! There is no fear greater in my mind than someone thinking I'm not a "good guy".

    I have a very demanding job in London. I have excelled at that over the past few years and achieved promotions quickly, though constantly with the feeling that I mustn't mess up and must always prove myself to be good.

    Anyway, I promised brevity so will stop here. Good to get it down in words. What I do know is after reading Healing Back Pain and some of the posts here, so much of 'my story' does seem to correlate with others. The fact my body 'passes' pain around from location to location being particularly interesting.

    There is no doubt I have nagging doubts. Namely because pain since that go-karting incident (8 months ago) has been excruciating, far worse than I've experienced before. It also flares up whenever I attempt to get back into exercise (even wall push ups). But I'm also sure this is bog-standard conditioning. I've always feared making pain worse through exercise, not helped by my mum's insistence I do nothing 'too strenuous'.

    OK I lied earlier about stopping but I will stop now! Thanks for reading if you got this far!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Romac, and welcome! We're happy you found Dr. Sarno and this group and we hope you'll stick around, because it is a great place for support and for many resources and different ways to do this work.

    Your story was perfect - it might seem long to you, but what's good about it is that you didn't spend a bunch of time describing your symptoms in excruciating detail, so it was not only easy to read, but it's really nice to get a sense of YOU rather than of your symptoms. We try to focus on recovery here, not on symptoms, so I think you are already on the right track.

    I remember feeling very nervous four years ago as I was writing my first forum post for the SEP - it took me for-EVER to click the "Post" button, not knowing what the heck I was getting myself into. I'd never engaged in a forum discussion with people I didn't know - never mind one where closely-held emotions and physical symptoms were being discussed :eek:!

    I hope you will find this community as supportive and rewarding as I have.

    Keep posting and keep us posted!

    Walt Oleksy likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Roman. I agree with Jan's reply completely. Your job is very challenging and you had that relationship breakup. Those two alone can cause TMS emotional-caused pain. Be glad you discovered TMS and this web site. We all help each other to heal and be healthier, happier than ever.

    Journaling helped me to discover I was repressing emotions of anger and insecurity since my parents divorced when I was 7. I also learned that I needed
    to modify my perfectionism. I realized I can work half as conscientious as I do, and still work harder than four people.
    Here's a pep talk on how the SEP heals us.

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely read Healing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with a TMS doctor because it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.

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