Hello all. For whatever reason, fear I guess of sounding stupid is probably near the top, I am finding it difficult to post on this forum. I have decided to try to uncensor myself as much as I can, since I am certain that a lifetime of self censorship has contributed greatly to why I have TMS. I am 43, father of a special needs 6y/o daughter and a 3y/o daughter, married and a psychiatrist. Although I am sure I have had minor TMS symptoms in the past, my story really started a year ago while on vacation at Disney. I developed low back pain and sciatica. Ah hah! It must have been from carrying all the luggage and kids around, right? Overall the pain was not that bad, but just there enough to make me a little more impatient and short tempered, lovely qualities to possess while on vacation. After returning, the pains continued to nag, but I pushed through and continued playing tennis and working etc, as well as being impatient and short tempered. In late October of 2013, I developed kidney stones. In the course of that excruciating pain I interestingly noticed that my back was better? I remember trying to figure out what physiological connection there could possibly be between the development of stone pain and the "cure" of back pain, but basically figured I was fortunate to not have two problems. My kidney stones eventually resolved in mid January and wouldn't you know it, I don't know what I did, but that darn sciatica came back! I still worked at keeping up with all of my usual activities, overall I am not that active, but I do play tennis weekly. In an effort to try to get fit, I began lifting weights, I have never been a fan of aerobic exercises, but ever since football in high school I have liked lifting weights on the rare times I exercised. In the early spring of 2014, on top of my still persistent sciatica, which I would have rated as 2 on a scale from 1-10, not bad but there, I started to have real problems with my knee in my other leg. It eventually got bad enough, that I could not move for the ball without A LOT of pain. I set up a meeting with an orthopedist, and in passing also mentioned my sciatica symptoms. MRIs revealed partial tear of the medial meniscus in my left knee and for my back; L3-4 herniation, L4-5 herniation and L5-S1 bulging discs. I was stunned, weren't herniations really bad? I have several chronic pain patients with herniations, I didn't have pain like that? The doctor told me the herniations weren't really that bad but did recommend surgery for the knee since it was really interfering with tennis. He ordered PT for my sciatica, as well as anti-inflamatories. Two weeks later I was basically crippled. The sciatica was so bad I could hardly walk and moved about hunched over and with my back crooked to the left, like my whole torso was shifted over. I could not lay down so therefore could not sleep in bed, spending most nights on a stiff, firm dining room chair leaning forward against the table to sleep. I could not sit on anything with a cushion. In desperation I reached out to the doctor was put on steroids, opioids and rest. Eventually I had an epidural, but nothing worked and my pain was a steady 10! Despite trying to be positive and failing miserably, I saw my life as essentially being over. I tried a chiropractor which at times made things feel worse if that was possible. I eventually attempted acupuncture. The acupuncturist was very positive and reassuring. He was so confident! Combined with massage and PT, my pain eventually went to a 6-7, and while I was by no means better, at least I could sleep in bed again. By the way, with regard to sleeping, I realized that my carpal tunnel symptoms had gone away and therefore did not need to use my braces at night anymore. Now I have to admit that I feel a little awkward complaining about my pain, because although it was intense, this whole course was really only over like 4 months and I know many others have been dealing with this for years. My last acupuncture session was August 1, 2014. In all I had been doing it for 2 months, 3 times per week, and the last couple of weeks were more of a chore. I was not getting better than 6-7, I still could not run or really engage with my kids, which I constantly beat myself up over. My torso was still quite noticeably shifted to the left and I could still not sit on anything soft. It was at that time that my father told me about a John Stossel special he had seen and told me about Dr. Sarno. By August 3, I had , "Healing Back Pain", on my Kindle and it completely floored me. By August 5, I was already doing better. I was so relieved! I felt that Dr. Sarno had written the book for me. Within a week or so I was able to lightly jog after my daughter and not wanting to let Dr. Sarno down, scheduled a tennis lesson which I attended with a lot of fear and some pain, but certainly did not injure myself further. I noticed that my carpal tunnel came back and I yelled at my mind that clearly this was another attempt at distraction since the sciatica was getting better. To this day, I still have not needed my braces. My back was straightening out and I finally pushed myself to get back in with my tennis group and did fine. September 13, 2014 I was playing tennis, quite well I might add, when suddenly I just felt something ache back in my previous sciatica spot. I went through my affirmations that this was just a distraction, and tried to figure out what possible stresses I could be having now. Unfortunately the pain got worse over the next few days and it really shook my faith in myself. One of the things that occurred to me was that we were once again headed to Disney, we actually got here yesterday. My pain has been creeping up through the week, and on our first day here, I was quite limited by the pain. One of the over arching stresses I had over the summer was whether I would be well enough to participate with my family on vacation. I was happily relieved when I was getting better, but now that I am here and the pain has been getting worse I realize that my negative wish fulfillment has come true. I am ruining everything for everybody! I keep trying to scrabble back some confidence but it seems like the more I fight I just keep slipping. Of course I realize this attitude is only making it worse, but as much as I try to give myself a break and relax it is just very hard to not beat up on myself, I am so good at it after all. I am going to throw myself at this program, and start reading Sarno again. I am going to try to push myself past the pain, because I am certain this is tms and I know that resting isn't going to fix it, but as many of you know, it is just very hard.