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Day 4 Disheartening doctor

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Rajput21, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Rajput21

    Rajput21 Peer Supporter

    What was the most disheartening thing a doctor has told you about your symptoms?

    The first doctor I ever saw for my back pain was an orthopedist. The reason he was so disheartening is because the back pain really scared me and he didn't provide any answers. He didn't engage me at all and I felt rushed through my appointment. The only things he told me were fear inducing, while not providing any solutions or even a positive outlook. When he asked me to try some basic movements, he was so fearful when I tried to touch my toes, that it worried me. He made me feel like I was broken and we just had to 'wait and see'. I hate that he never even tried to hear me or even fake any empathy. My understanding at the time was that doctors were healers, and he taught me a harsh lesson that I would relearn again and again. He put me off of all exercise, other than physical therapy. Luckily, that didn't make much sense to me and after my therapy program ended, I resumed weight training and stretching on my own. I know now that those actions didn't help heal my back, but at least I didn't feel completely disabled. I'd rather be confused about my pain than accept being crippled.

    When I saw this same doctor a few months later, after physical therapy didn't work, he told me that most people have back pain (on some level) for life. A big part of my identity has always been being a big, strong guy. His attitude really scared me and his words ran through my mind for the next few years as I slowly became increasingly useless.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    At the time of your "frightening" consultation with the doctor, Raj, did you notice a connection between your lower lumbar pain and any emotional event in your life that preceded the onset of symptoms? 10 years ago of so when I had a so-called "herniated disk" I went through PT like a workaholic, attempting to fix whatever was at the root of my pain by stretching and lifting and so on. The usual regime. This was before I discovered Dr Sarno and his Healing Back Pain. I remember that I was so taken in by the typical physical diagnosis that I never even noticed that my symptoms began a few months after the death of my mother, who I'd cared for for five years while she suffered from dementia. If only I'd had a clue back then about thinking psychological, I never would have been suckered into that endless physical therapy regime. Of course, it kept me busy and took my mind off any emotions I was experiencing at the time. I think the most disheartening thing I ever heard back then came from a PT who told me that my pain, which she classified as "arthritic", had become "chronic". That almost made me cry because I figured it was all downhill from there. I think the real problem with PT is that it tends to reinforce the physical diagnosis and continue the programming the underlies most chronic pain symptoms.
  3. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I had Scoliosis surgery in 1978. Most of my spine is fused. In 1998 I went to see a Scoliosis orthopedic specialist for low back pain. He told me my options for a future with no pain were minimal. He told me to eliminate all bending.

    This "no bending" instruction spinning in my mind changed my life forever ....until now. No vacuming, no loading the dishwasher, no loading the dryer, no gardening... I squatted to do everything. He was wrong and he screwed me up for years plus I went through a very deep depression because gardening breathed life into me. He said no gardening ever.

    Welcome Rajput,
    You will recover and be pain free.
  4. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    My physical therapist told me I had "short tendons" in my foot and that I might never be able to go on long walks again. Luckily I had a couple of podiatrists who, though they misdiagnosed me, never said anything to confirm his opinion. Nevertheless, it haunts me. But I live to prove him wrong.

    I wish you much healing. Sad that so much of our energy must be spent healing from doctors' words.
  5. Rajput21

    Rajput21 Peer Supporter

    Bruce, I think you nailed the issue with physical therapy. At the time I didn't associate my current stresses with what was happening to my physically. I'd actually spent my entire lift rejecting 'feelings' as a sign of weakness. It took me an entire year to fully accept the TMS diagnosis and it still blows my mind. Luckily when I reread Dr. Sarno's books, I couldn't help but see myself on so many of the pages. Unfortunately the same exact stresses that I was experiencing when the back pain started are still in my life today, almost five years later. Part of my recovery, I think, is learning to not only deal with these stresses but to mitigate them when possible. Two of the things that I think triggered the back pain, was the social isolation I felt when moving to NYC from Florida and my struggles with my graduate school environment.

    Thank you for the kind words Bruce, Stella, and Gail. I really appreciate it.
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    When you mentioned social isolation and dislocation and struggling with a new grad school environment, I couldn't help but think about what Dr Peter Zafirides had to say in this September 15th podcast about the role of existential isolation and anxiety in the development of chronic pain and other PPDs:


    I notice now that my back pain only occurred after the death of my mother, which was the first time in my life that I didn't have a well developed family and social network behind me. I realize now that years ago when I went to grad school a thousand miles away from home I still had my mother, father, grandfather, aunt, uncle and childhood friends all rooting for me and providing support. I hate to think of what kind of emotional or physical problems I might have developed if I'd had to do that cold turkey, completely isolated from family and friends.
  7. Rajput21

    Rajput21 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for that link Bruce, I really enjoyed it. Dr. Zafirides touched on some really interesting topics, including addiction (which I've struggled with in various forms for most of my life). Also, do you know who the host is? He mentioned having a youtube success video.
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    The host, Raj, is none other than Forest Forthetress, who is the chief moderator of this Forum. His RSI recovery success story can be found here in the Media section of this Forum (along with a bunch of other TMS recovery success stories). Dr Zafirides has his own podcasts on-line on the Healthy Mind radio network. If you want to further explore the link between addiction and psycho-physiologic disorders like TMS, I'd recommend two books by the Canadian physician, Dr Gabo Mate: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and When the Body Says No. Here is a video from the Media section of this Forum in which Dr Mate speaks, quite eloquently I might add, about the origins of addiction:


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