1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 1 Day 1 - history and tx to date

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by ss02, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. ss02

    ss02 New Member

    Day 1 - 50-60 percent belief. I have read healing back pain, and I'm halfway through the divided mind. I have the personality traits listed in the books. I also had a crappy childhood and some bad life experiences. However by most people's account I would probably be viewed as "successful". 45 years old, great husband. Two great kids. Good job. Good friends.

    17 years ago before getting married, I got some redness on my face-and the dermatologists diagnosed rosacea. I tried some prescription cream that made it worse so I left it alone and it resolved.

    In 2008 my father died. He was quite abusive and I felt torn about my sadness. I started getting migraines. I also started a new very stressful job with a lot of responsibility.

    In 2011 I was in an incredibly stressful situation at work that I couldn't even begin to describe as stuff like that only happens in movies. Again I got a red face and started suffering from migraines and anxiety. I saw a psychologist and was told I had situational anxiety and to quit my job. I quit my job and got another job that was less stressful but still at the level of responsibility I wanted. My anxiety went away and so did my red face but my migraines persisted. My doctor prescribed some medication for the migraines. That all worked sort of for 3 years.
    In the summer of 2014 while at the cottage "my face exploded in red". I started getting laser treatments that resolved it but then in December I was putting a roast in the oven and fell to the floor in agonizing pain. It got better over 2 months but then I arrived at work and fell to the floor in pain. I couldn't move my right leg. I went to emergency and had a mri that showed two herniated discs with nerve impingement on the sciatic nerve. My doctor didn't think I would recover but I recovered in 3 months. I couldn't work and I was constructively dismissed because of this while I was off on disability. I lost my self worth during this period as I was devasted that I could barely move, felt guilty I couldn't be a productive mom or wife. I was in fact now a burden on my family.

    I started another job and still had hip pain but could get by. In August 2016 while on a family vacation my back gave out again. I could still get by but then my husband bought a brand new luxury car and 2 days after getting it a transport truck backed up into us. We weren't hurt but I felt fearful as we were at a red light and couldn't back up as this transport truck started reversing into us. A couple of days later I was so twisted up and a ct scan showed a herniated disc with nerve impingement. I had bad sciatica in my right leg, hip and butt pain and bad bursitis in both hips. To date I have had physio, osteopath, laser, acupuncture, chiropractor. I have rejected cortisone injections. I do yoga daily and walk daily - between 7k -10k steps per my fit bit. I have changed to a non-inflammation diet - I have lost 10 lbs (although i am not overweight). It has been almost 3 months and I have had some improvement but not nearly where I need to be to function and have my life back. I am only working a couple a days a week from home as driving and sitting aggravates it.

    My physio indicated that he was surprised I could walk as I am so tight. But I continue to walk. The funny thing is walking is supposed to assist with the herniated disc but it makes my bursitis much worse. So I can't win.

    I read some blogs on back pain and about Dr. Sarno, so I was intrigued to learn more. My personality certainly fits.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It was good to meet you on the Saturday chat, ss02, and it sure sounds like you've come to the right place to resolve these issues with TMS knowledge and practice. You've been checked out, you're under medical care, and you're already maintaining physical activity because you know how important that is.
    That sounds like classic TMS! It's especially indicative that you've been told to walk in order to improve the condition which can be "seen", so your brain comes up with another source of pain that is more of a mystery to health practitioners. Like your roseacea - inflammatory responses going into overdrive. Due to stress - and not just everyday stress, but the stress of emotional repression, exacerbated by a vicious cycle of increasing symptoms and increasing stress.

    My best advice for doing the SEP is this: as you do the writing exercises, don't hold anything back. During the free-writing and list exercises, you'll notice that when certain things come into your head, they will be followed by the thought that you shouldn't write THAT down, for various reasons. That's your brain trying to repress the very things you should be looking at. They might be embarrassing or shameful or frightening - your brain might even tell you that the particular item is not very important. But when I saw what my brain was doing, I forced myself to write those things down anyway, and I was very surprised at the things I discovered about myself in those supposedly unimportant events from my past, once I really looked at them.

    The bottom line is that you MUST acknowledge and accept the things that cause emotional distress in order to get past the repression that is literally causing you so much physical distress.

    In addition to honestly looking at the negative emotions your brain has been repressing, you'll also need to work on your anxiety, because at this point your brain is conditioned to operate in a constant state of low level fight-or-flight. After The Divided Mind, the second book that changed my life was Hope & Help For Your Nerves by Claire Weekes. I highly recommend it.

    We're pulling for you! Good luck, and keep posting!

    Shells likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, ss02. It's great that you and Jan talked on the chat. She gave you a great reply here.

    I echo her advice and would like to add the importance of breathing in relieving anxiety.
    Last night I looked at some Youtube videos on breathing and saw some that say that
    breathing in or out through the mouth depletes oxygen that we need to go to the brain and other
    parts of the body. They say that mouth breathing actually increases stress, anxiety, and
    depression. Inhale and exhale through the NOSE only. I've begun doing that and have felt more calm than exhaling through the mouth. You might give it a try.

    I can't seem to drag the videos into my email, so I suggest you go to Youtube and look for the video by
    Robert Lipman called "The Relationship Between Breathing and Anxiety."
  4. ss02

    ss02 New Member

    Thanks for your words of encouragement and helpful suggestions. Day 2 and I believe journaling starts day 3. I will certainly take Jan's suggestion and write down everything. I have been inspired by the success stories I have been reading. I hope to be one of them soon.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. ss02

    ss02 New Member

    I am now on Day 8 and I am progressing. Journaling is hard for me. I can write for about 10 minutes and then don't have much more to say on the topic. I'm not a talker. There are some deep issues I'm journaling about but they happened, I felt angry, sad, whatever at the time and then life went on. I am still in physio therapy and yesterday he said my body was so tight that stretching won't release it. I asked how it got like that and he said that is something that probably took a couple years. He thinks the tighteness caused the discs to herniate and not the other way around - which I found interesting.
    A friend recommended I watch a documentary called the connection. It talks about the mind body connection and it helped me believe more in tms as a diagnosis.

    I rode my bike for the first time in 2 years as part of the seb and nothing bad happened. Of course I only rode it briefly but getting over the fear to get on it was a big step.

    I feel emotionally drained from this program but perhaps that is normal. That's about it. Hope everyone is progressing well.

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