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Day 1 Day 1 - am I doing this right?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Believer, Sep 27, 2022.

  1. Believer

    Believer New Member

    Day 1: I took a really bad fall 18 mos ago downhill on rolllerblades. It was really scary. Nothing was broken so I rolled away from it. But I was sorta in shock as to how bad it could have been if I’d hit a car since I wasn’t wearing a helmet. My hip was badly bruised but seemed to be healing… until it wasn’t. An MRI taken 10 mos post injury showed a small labral tear but hip dr said that wasn’t causing my hip pain and diagnosed bursitis and sent me to PT. Within 2 weeks of starting PT, I hurt in both hips, lower back and couldn’t sit or stand without pain. I was sent to a spine Dr and I even told him it might be stress related (I’ve had a lot of it in past 5 years). He did lumbar and pelvis MRIs which were average and no structural issue. He did lumbar shot and shots in both SI joints as a diagnostic tool but they had no effect. He wanted to try the SI shots again but it just didn’t feel to me like the right approach. I have full mobility, good flexibility, and there’s no specific movements that triggers pain. And the pain sometimes shifts right to left or flares up at end of day. Often feels like my sacrum is being gripped in a vice. I can’t walk more than a mile, or sit more than 10 minutes. I quit my job thinking I should focus on my health. I expected I would get better as soon as I quit by removing work stress, but it’s been 3 mos and little or no difference.

    I stumbled upon the Sarno book in the text of a personal finance newsletter (of all things!) sent to my email…Divine intervention?? I bought the book and saw myself in the personality type. I had also experienced somatic headaches about 10 years ago that had persisted for 5 years until I worked out some things in therapy. So I already know I have a tendency to react physically to unconscious thoughts. For the 2 days I read the book I started feeling better. But it didn’t stick. I told some friends what I suspected but I think talking to people about TMS makes the pain worse. Even if they are supportive I feel like I have to make the case and defend the TMS theory. This creates too much stress.

    I’m totally on board with a TMS diagnosis but I think I need the structure of a program. I do question whether focusing so much on TMS and TMS treatment is almost as bad as focusing so much on the pain itself. I’m fortunate this hasn’t been going on too long for me like it has for many others. I feel frustrated but hopeful.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Believer - good name, and welcome to the forum! Sorry that it's been almost a week!

    Your thread title asked a question, but your last sentence indicates you already know what you have to do - which is not uncommon for those who are just starting out :D

    I will address this very good question:
    Yeah, this ends up being kind of a fine line for many people to walk. Starting the SEP is a great first step, but be careful not to overdo it. Seriously, just do one "day" at a time (I would say definitely not more than two, and never more than seven per week - one of which will be a "day of rest" anyway). If you want to do more, focus on anti-anxiety practices, since anxiety is at the heart of TMS for many of us. Find meditations, learn breathing techniques, or starting reading Help And Hope For Your Nerves, by Claire Weekes. Or all of the above. Learning to manage anxiety was key to my recovery, as it is to many of us - in combination with Dr. Sarno and the SEP of course.

    Watch out for over-thinking. Over-intellectualizing the process is just another form of distraction that your brain will create in order to make you think you are accomplishing something. You're not, so don't be fooled!

    Let the work unfold without analyzing it. Do keep the following in mind about the process:
    - it's not black & white,
    - it's not linear,
    - it's not possible to know how long it will take
    - it's ultimately different for every person who does it.

    Also: this work must be done with a serious commitment to self-honesty. Your brain will try to trick you into skipping things ("not necessary") or going too fast ("the faster you get this done, the sooner you'll recover!") or editing what you write down ("you can ignore that, it's not important"). Again - don't be fooled!

    And one final thing: At a certain point, often about a week or so into the program, you brain is quite likely to start throwing new symptoms at you, or revive old ones (perhaps the headaches) or make your current symptoms worse. This is good news, so do not be discouraged! Double-down on self-calming and affirmative techniques to talk back to your brain and assure it that you are perfectly safe and it's okay to be doing this.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

  3. Believer

    Believer New Member

    Thank you Jan for this very kind and very helpful reply. Great insights that I will use
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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