This is the first time I've ever contributed to any Internet forum, let alone on one dealing with health issues. Except for the removal of a benign brain tumor when I was 28 years old, I had been in relatively good health, even running a marathon at age 40 after losing 30 pounds. My health began to change about 3 years ago at age 49, when I started getting a whole host of symptoms including painful muscle spams in my neck and stomach pains. Most of those eventually went away (the latter aided by being diagnosed as lactose intolerant and mostly removing dairy from my diet). However, I then started getting pains in my upper back whenever pressure was applied (e.g., sitting), making my daily commute difficult. I went to a chiropractor, who meant well, but after a number of sessions, tried something called cold laser therapy on my brain tumor scar. Later that day, I passed out and started convulsing. While a neurologist ruled out a seizure, I almost immediately began to have a burning sensation throughout much of my upper back and arms. That has lasted to this day. While Lyrica has helped mitigate much of the burning, the upper back pain is still there and has spread to my buttocks. I've seen a number of specialists since and received a number of diagnoses included poor posture, sitting in front of a computer all day (work-related), herniated disks (thoracic spine) and one leg being shorter than the other. I was told to stop running, which I really enjoyed but gave up four months ago. Physical therapy has helped a bit, but that ends this week (insurance wont cover it any more). A friend gave me Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain book and I'm about halfway through. I stumbled across this forum and have decided to start following your Structured Educational Program. Day 1's assignment is to answer the question "so, what would a life without TMS mean to me?" While my situation is not as bad as others' I've read about, I would love to wake up each day without anticipating when my pain will start and go to bed each night without having to review how bad the day was. I think I could be a better husband and father and concentrate more on my loved ones and less on my pain. I also hope to be a bit more productive at work, not taking as many breaks during the day and leaving to see health specialists. Thanks so much for letting me spew. Even if nobody reads this or replies, I feel better about taking things into my hands by keeping this journal and starting this journey.