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Day 1 Fighting another TMS relapse

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by jmy, May 4, 2023.

  1. jmy

    jmy Newcomer

    Hi everyone - just starting out here with my first post!

    A bit about my backstory: I first starting feeling serious back pain about 7 years ago. I was bouldering at a climbing gym and repetitive drops from the top of the wall resulted in enough back pain that I was barely able to make it home, and once I was there, I couldn't get out of bed for several days. I slowly got better, and then worse, and then better again. After a few months I had an MRI and it showed L5/S1 disc dehydration which my doctors believe was the root cause of my injury. I did tons of chiro, physical therapy, etc and finally after about 1.5 years, the pain left me and I was able to resume a pretty normal life again (running, playing golf, etc).

    However, about 1.5 years ago, after 4 years of no pain, I went for a run and immediately knew that I had reinjured my back. Intense lower back pain, and my back stiffened up to the point that I couldn't bend an inch forward. I tried going back to physical therapy, and taking muscle relaxants. After a few weeks I managed to get somewhat better - to the point that I could do some basic household chores and take my dog for a walk, but not much more.

    Then in April (about a year ago), I was doing some light gardening and I retriggered something. Again I was in absolutely intense pain, and could not leave bed, even though staying in bed also felt excruciating. It was bad enough that I made my wife do an emergency late night run do get me some prednisone. Over the next few weeks, I kept waiting for it to heal each morning and it was not getting any better. I was unable to leave my house, and unable to take care of myself - my wife was having to more or less take care of me as a second job. Eventually, I got slightly better to the point that I could walk around a bit, but my quality of life was still very degraded.

    My doctor decided at that point that I should get a cortisone shot - do I did that, and felt good for about 48 hours. Then after washing some dishes, the pain came back with a vengeance. I stopped what I was doing, put ice on it and prayed that it wasn't going to be that bad. Each day, the pain was getting worse, and trying to do things like light stretching only made it worse. I was unable to get out of bed for more than a few minutes. I was taking VCs for work while lying on my side in bed and I could barely walk across my house.

    I had my honeymoon coming up in 6 weeks at this point, and was seriously contemplating canceling it (I got married pre-covid and was finally getting around to going on my honeymoon). At this point I discovered "Healing Back Pain" and read it. I started journaling and trying to learn more about TMS. I talked to a TMS coach, and really focused on accepting this as my diagnosis. I realized that the April episode had to have been TMS - there was no serious trauma, and I had made it for years without pain despite having the same structural issues. I also went through a major upheaval at work that was very stressful around that time. I got gradually better, to the point that I was able to go on my honeymoon, including doing a few days with a decent amount of walking. I wasn't 100% but I was able to enjoy the trip.

    After I got back, I continued improving, but have had some ups and downs. I've tried getting back into running and skiing, but have had only limited success, which brings me to today. About a week ago I went for a short run (1.5 miles, and I had been building up to it), and felt no pain, but each day since then, I've had escalating levels of pain and tightness in my low+midback, glutes and hamstrings. I'm at the point again where sitting down for more than 20 minutes is getting painful and I'm struggling to do household chores. I'm very confident that this is something like TMS again (no trauma, pain moving around) and I want to put in the work to get rid of it for good.

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