1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 17 First week

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by slainte, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. slainte

    slainte Newcomer

    I started the SEP two weeks ago, this is my first post. My story is a common one, pain started about two years ago after having a muscle spasm in my neck during a workout. Started out as neck and shoulder pain that progressed into spasms in back, thoracic outlet type parasthesias. Started having pain in hips and legs about three months ago. Got really bad a couple of months ago, was having panic attacks when I would wake up with pain and spasms in the middle of the night. MRIs of neck and lumbar show some degeneration at C5/C6, very minor degeneration at lumbo/sacral joint. Had steroid injections in both places, but my physiatrist kind of hinted he thought it might not be my back.

    I was resistant to psychological causes until I ran across Sarno's work. Read his first two books and the symptoms described were just too much like my own. Pain moving around, tension in postural muscles, IBS,etc. I think I'm pretty much convinced it's TMS, at least consciously. Best thing about learning about TMS is no longer being afraid that something serious is wrong.

    After reading the Sarno books, I initially did feel some relief, but relapsed after about a week. I've kept pushing through on the SEP, however, and now the symptoms are moving all over the map, from hip pain one day, to pins and needle in my feet the next, to neck and shoulder stiffness the day after that, with extensive periods where I feel pretty good. Could that be some indication that some of my TMS pathways have been disrupted and it's looking for a new place to land?

    The biggest hurdle I've seen is trying to identify current and past stressors. I've been doing some journaling about my childhood, and it's weird how some stuff I had put out of my mind came back with pretty vivid and somewhat painful memories. I'm kind of realizing I've always been a bit of an anxious person, starting when I was a kid, maybe going back to my family's insecurity when I was growing up. Going to see my sister in a couple of weeks and will ask her if she remembers more, or has a different perspective. She is older than me, and might have been more aware of the stresses on our family when I was really young.

    The problem is, however, that I also have some significant current stresses. I've been working for 20 years at a job that is very deadline driven. I'm good at it, but I have grown to detest the constant deadline pressure and the culture of the office that raises that to fetish. I'm close to being able to retire, and this chronic pain definitely pushed me in that direction over the past two years. However, if I can do something about this pain, I could see staying a bit longer to put my wife and I in a much better position for retirement. I guess the conundrum lies in whether the stress of the job is a major cause of the pain, and I'd be better off not doing it at all or at least semi-retiring, or would cutting back now make the pain worse by creating a new pressure in the form of less economic security. Added to this, my preoccupation with work stresses and my pain has been a major detriment to my marriage. My wife, worried that I might have to retire early, went back to a full time job that she does not want to do. We've had communication problems that we have not yet resolved, so that's also probably adding to current stress. It's kind of ironic that something that is supposedly arising because of a need to repress emotions turns out to create even more emotional turmoil.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello, slainte. Economic concerns are one of the major causes of TMS pain, which I believe you have. You have the dilemma of deciding whether to keep working at a stressful job, or semi-retiring, but your wife is worried about retirement finances. I wish I had the answer, but it's something you and your wife have to work out. But financial security does not always solve our problems. My best friend was wealthy but it never brought him or his wife happiness. He didn't know about TMS so he didn't know that boyhood stresses caused his back pain.

    The good thing is that you recognize your pains are psychological and not structural. The SEP can help you to discover the emotional causes of your pain, which may be financial and go back to your childhood. I grew up with financial insecurity and am sure that caused my back pain. My father had back pain and it most likely came from financial problems. We are in an age where the rich get richer and the middle class be damned, so you and I are in a very big boat. Maybe you and your wife need to talk out your differences and concerns about money, work, and retirement.

    To close on a positive note, here is how one person says he healed 95 percent from TMS knowledge.

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely readHealing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with aTMS doctorbecause it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.

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