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getting desperate here (sciatic pain)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Sparrow, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Peer Supporter

    A month ago I made serious moves to tackle my back and neck pain by starting the SEP, picking up a new Sarno book , being active on the forums, etc. The very next day after starting the program I had excruciating low back and leg pain like never before, my calf muscle felt in spasm, and I couldn't put pressure on my toes. I guess this is sciatic nerve pain. I laughed at the pain that day and the next because it was very obviously a backlash from the brain in response to my TMS recovery efforts. I was sure the pain would be gone within a few days.

    This is now a month later and the situation has not subsided. The pain has lessened but has plateaued at a mild yet still debilitating level; I still cannot put pressure on my toes, I have no strength in my calf/ankle/foot. I am a runner and cannot run (I will be missing the marathon I signed up for next weekend). I am a field biologist and cannot hike without a limp or losing my balance on uneven terrain. I am a very active person becoming very anxious and depressed about the fact that I can't move. I feel incompetent and like my life is losing meaning. This is starting to disrupt my relationship with my boyfriend. I felt confident and on top of the situation at first but it's gotten out of hand and I feel guilty for letting it control my life, but how can I not feel this way about such a debilitating thing?

    I laughed at the pain/weakness to start with. I knew it would be gone within days. But it never left. I've yelled at the pain. I've continued with my recovery plan, I'm reading and reading, journaling and journaling. I have also continued with my daily activities, as much as I can. I'm used to pushing through the pain, but this is different in that it's weakness... I can't push through when my foot just won't move... I use all the strength I have, but it's like there's no muscle in there, it makes me sick. I force runs every now and then, limping the whole way, just to prove I'm not afraid of further injury. The pain is worse after. I still hike for work, have never mentioned a thing to my boss about any debilitation. I still stretch, but the pain makes me sick to my stomach. I've tried calmly acknowledging the pain when I feel it. I've tried ignoring it altogether (but that's difficult because it's literally every step I take). I've tried screaming at the pain/weakness, insisting I won't take another step until the strength returns... well, that only left me standing in the same place for an hour becoming so increasingly frustrated with tears streaming down.

    I don't know what more to do. It's hard to not worry about it at this point. Could I have actually injured myself? I really don't think so.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  2. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    Hi Sparrow,
    I'm so sorry that you are experiencing such a difficult time. I've stated in previous posts, that sciatica was the most fearful manifestation of TMS for me. When I read your story, an older thread on this Wiki came to mind. It was written by Steven Ozanich with contributions by Forest and other members. If you haven't read it already, I hope you find it helpful. Even though I consider myself a "success story"....I still read this thread occasionally as a reminder.

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/seeking-the-grail.529/ (Steven Ozanich - Seeking the Grail)
    Sparrow likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Sparrow,

    If it helps to have a physical exam to look for injury, this might be helpful for you.

    The fact it started right after you began to work on your back pain seems important in your personal understanding of how TMS is working in you. But give yourself all the evidence that it is harmless that you need.

    If you're doing the SEP, and it sounds like you are, and you are challenging the symptoms, which you are by staying active --even if not perfectly or up to your old standards, then you are doing well. TMS is like a ship pointed toward the rocks. It takes time to turn the ship away, even though the engines and rudder are making the corrections. Expect lag time. When you're done with the SEP, then do one of Alan's programs, or you might jump right in there now and see if something helpful jumps out at you.

    This is a personal journey. Each person finds their own way through. Stay with it. Consider outside help if things don't shift somewhat in another month, or if you need support sooner. This is an easier process for some than others. It doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong.

    In the meantime work with the fear as best you can, including daily mindfulness meditations. Find some pleasures in life. Don't obsess about TMS. If this is effecting your relationship, then work on that too. Be yourself, ask for what you need.

    I read through some of the thread which HattieNC linked. Good stuff there.

    Also, read sciatica success stories. Every day, even repeating the same ones.

    Andy B
  4. KevinMartilloViner

    KevinMartilloViner Peer Supporter

    Sorry to hear it. Check out this podcast interview, I talk a lot about what you're going through. Hope it helps!

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7173184-057-kevin-martillo-viner-phd?fbclid=IwAR0vSXw6MfXJZx290rxvJTLrZiCdjTxsk-ItAbRQ9xOSNG68C_U-oCd5aHE (Audioboom / 057 - Kevin Martillo Viner, PhD)

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