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Day 1 day one

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by memoiritis, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. memoiritis

    memoiritis New Member

    Three years ago, I was an aspiring writer, amateur tango dancer, yoga practitioner, and former waitress--the kind of girl who would always be flipping heavy wooden chairs over her head or lugging tubs of ice up several flights of stairs. The kind of girl who was always working right alongside the boys.

    Then I started having pain in my left hip that turned into pain in my lower back...and butt... and sometimes that shot up my back as well as down. I dead-ended with an MRI that said: herniated lumbar discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Disc dessication too. That was the beginning of the end. I was told I couldn't lift anything, carry anything, work a job on my feet, lug my own suitcase, buy milk at the grocery store unsupervised. I was told I couldn't do yoga, ride a bike, have sex in certain positions, run. And I was told I couldn't dance.

    After a year or so of that. Of PT and chiropractic adjustments. (All of this during an incredibly expensive graduate program I will be paying for for life). Of ice. And nights in while my boyfriend went out dancing. Everything slowed to a stop and I became the injured girl.

    Then I had chronic UTIs... and shooting pelvic pain. MORE physical therapy, this time of the pelvic floor. I took tri-cyclic antidepressants at low doses for the nerve pain. Then that subsided and I fell up an escalator and contused my knee cap. Then I had an emergency appendectomy in Germany on a summer trip. Then more back pain. I was finally allowed swimming, which I clung to like the only activity of a drowning person. Then I had a case of poison ivy that went viral. Cortisone shots. Then one pair of bad shoes and the cobbled stones of Oxford netted me six weeks of not being able to put weight on either heel for the edema and the shooting nerve pain. That netted me severe plantar fascitis in BOTH FEET. more physical therapy. more ice and ibuprofen and time-consuming exercises. And the walking had made my back worse. And and and...

    I'm not a tango dancer anymore. I don't lift or carry anything. I plan routes to the airport that include elevators and the fewest possible moments when I'll have to ask someone to carry my suitcase up a flight of stairs. I'm weak from lack of yoga. And I'm scared of every twinge.

    Somewhere in here, I graduated, revised my thesis, and sent it to an agent. She signed me and gave me two months to revise the draft. This is extremely good news. Once in a lifetime good news. That was a month and a half ago. I contused my OTHER kneecap on a desk corner. My neck went next, and my thoracic spine, sending shooting waves of pain up and down my spine and into my shoulder blades. A woman who massaged me compared my neck to "steel girders." And then I started having cluster headaches. Which went away as soon as I took some time off work. Now, I've read Dr. Sarno's book. I've been trying for months to tell my brain that this pain isn't coming from any real structural problem. But I'm obviously not saying it loud enough.

    At the start of this pristine month of leave from work, working merrily on the book day in, day out, when I was absolutely, perfectly, blissfully happy that this was all I had to do on any given day....

    BOOM. Wrist pain to the point that I can't type. Wrist pain down my hands and up my arms. I went to my old physiatrist and he poked me for five minutes and told me it was tennis elbow. IN BOTH ELBOWS. And that I "just shouldn't type." or write by hand. Had I heard of dictation software?

    That was it. The last straw. What kind of agent would keep me now? I'm a writer who can't write. Who backs a horse that can't run?

    After four hours of battling with a $200 software program to dictate ONE LOUSY PARAGRAPH, my neck pain started creeping back.

    I made a phone call to a Dr. sympathetic to TMS diagnoses and Dr. Sarno's work. And I'm ready and I'm willing. No PT. No exercises. No restrictions. No chiropractic adjustments. Just being a normal non-injured person. And I wish that I could say that's making any difference.

    I took out my orthotics and my heel cups and have been sitting in the library typing for three hours. The pain comes up and I repeat the affirmations. I try not to pay attention to it. But it keeps getting worse... and I have that stupid doctor's voice stuck in my head, "you can keep typing if you insist on doing so, but you'll be permanently damaging your tendons."

    I believe that I have TMS. I really do. I'm just not proving to be one of the miracle cases for whom knowledge is the only necessary cure.

    And then there's that persistent little voice in my head... when the tingling and numbness starts. "What if the doctor who said that it was TMS missed something?" I can't get my head out of my arm.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, dear one, that is quite a TMS story. TMS is very good at hitting us where it will be certain to distract us the most. Like to dance?--it hits your legs and feet. Want to write?--it hits your hands and arms.

    But you are in the right place now. You're starting on the SEP and you have a TMS doctor. You will need to begin the sometimes painful task of connecting your physical symptoms with your repressed emotions and internal conflicts. It can be done, and doing so will take you far on your path to being healed. As you make progress, the doubts will fall away.

    We all wish we could have the quick 'book cure'. Most of us on this forum have not been so fortunate. I've been working at this for almost a year now, and I've experienced significant progress. But I'm still not 100% symptom free yet. But I'm certain I'm on the right path.

    We are glad you have joined us. Please keep us posted on how you are doing and feel to ask any questions at any time. We are all here to support you on your healing journey. You will find much collective wisdom and compassion here. Wishing you the best.....
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    If the Dr. Said you have TMS then you do. Its written all in your letter. You have been trying to hard. You need to meditate to calm down your nervous system. You will be a miracle when you heal. The thing is you have to calm down and see that you can heal. That voice you hear, you can shut that off -- its not true. You will not permanently injure yourself. You don't need to press forward so hard in pain. You can heal without doing any exercises ya know.

    If you could do anything that would make you happy in nature , what would it be? You need to breath the fresh air. Your nerves is saying no to your thoughts. Your thoughts are shocked in fear, You focus on every symptom. You need to practice loosing the focus ok. Be kind and loving to yourself. Journal about all the emotions you are having other than the emotions about the pain or you can do that to. You need to feel your emotions.

    You will do good to smile now and believe you will be better. It's the thoughts of losing all that has you so down. You need to get your enthusiasm back and laugh more. You have much to learn but I just gave you the main ingredients. The lessons on focusing and repression will open your mind and heart to healing so make sure not to miss a day. You will win, ask all the questions you can ok. Focus completely on the emotional side and you will do well to start and let go of all your structural thoughts ok.

    Bless You
  4. memoiritis

    memoiritis New Member

    Thank you, Ellen (and Herbie).

    I had a good day yesterday: no exercises, almost six hours of working on the book without much pain, and three sock-tangos danced during work-breaks. Today, after two hours, the pain is back, but I'm determined to ignore it.

    I'm here and I'm committed. I have a follow-up with my TMS doc tomorrow afternoon and--before that--my first appointment with the psychotherapist he referred me to. I'm accepting that I'm not the "book cure" type and that I have a lot of work to do. I'm eager to do it; it feels long overdue. The worry now is, of course, that I'll start trying too hard at TMS recovery too...

    But, hell, it's almost Spring! And I will get through this revision. And I will send it back to my agent. And I will realize this dream. And if I can do that without pain, the next time I won't give it so much power over me.

    Thank you both for your support. It really helps to not feel so alone in this!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  5. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank You memoiritis, Love that name, did you write a memoir too? Awesome, 6 hours without pain is a good start while you was finishing your book? What is a sock-tango? I am really interested in this, Sounds like a lot of fun. :) Its good that you have your determination going, that emotion alone will lead you a long way. Commitment is the name you want to hang onto for a long time. It sounds like you have everything lined up for success.

    When you say trying to hard to recover -- there is a solution. 1 page and 1 lesson at a time ok. Bless You
  6. Richsimm22

    Richsimm22 Well known member

    Working too hard at tms?


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