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 1 Here I am...

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Chris1138, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Chris1138

    Chris1138 New Member


    I'm a 34 year old husband to a beautiful wife and father of twin 4.5 year old boys. I live in Canada. I have a good job, a good house, and a great family, but my life has been miserable for the last year and a half while I've been living with back and sciatic leg pain.

    My back pain actually started sometime in July/August 2017. I was sitting at the dinner table at the cottage and leaned back and felt a snap that made me sick to my stomach. It felt like my spine had bent back the wrong way - it's the only way I can describe it. I tried to forget about the unsettling sensation, but over the course of the next few weeks and months my low back would occasionally hurt at the gym. Finally, in mid-February 2018 (my kids both had surgery to correct fluid in their ears and my wife had a significant surgical procedure) I noticed that when I was walking I was getting a pain in the side of my left calf.

    This caused a lot of anxiety as I had dealt with sciatic pain roughly 12 years earlier on the same side that had been attributed to a bulging L4-L5 disc (CT scan) at the time as was miraculously cured by orthopedic inserts. (As an aside: In retrospect, I'm confident this was TMS as my parents were separating on particularly bad terms at the time and I was burying a lot of emotions.) In any event, with this new sciatic pain I went to get a new set of orthopedic inserts - no change in my pain. I started doing physio exercises I remembered from my last experience with no effect - rather my pain was getting worse. In June 2018, I started seeing a physio for therapy, dry needling, massage, etc. every week (sometimes twice). I was doing 30-45 minutes of physio exercises every evening.

    In October 2018, I went for an MRI. I had been assuming this was my bulging disc acting up and I would beat it in some fashion the way I had beat it last time. The MRI results came back indicating a medium sized herniation at the L4-L5 disc - my bulging disc had herniated. My life became physio. Physio in the morning. Physio in the evening. All the while I would notice some incremental improvements here and there, but overall the pain worsened. Now I was waking up every morning betwen 3:00 and 4:30am with excruciating aching pain all over my left hip. During my 8 minute walk to the subway, I would have the awful stabbing in my calf, but now a tingling and numbness on the bottom of my foot or the outermost toes. I briefly saw an osteopath.

    Somewhere around April I gave up. I was exhausted from physio, not sleeping, and the pain. Everything is about the pain all the time - testing to see if it is still there if I raise my leg, tracking how long until it kicks in when I'm walking. Now the pain was prevents me from laying on my back and most of the time I have a burning fiery sensation all over the top of my foot.

    A couple weeks ago I picked up Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain. My father-in-law gave it to me back when the pain first started, but I scoffed at the approach. He said it had cured his neck pain. I work in healthcare - not as a clinician - but my education has wired me to only accept certain forms of evidence. It was a big leap for me to turn to Dr. Sarno, but I've run out of options (I was not willing to move ahead with surgery based on the evidence). So here I am, I read Healing Back Pain last week. I just finished Mind Over Back Pain today and I've started The Mind Body Prescription. I've been working to accept the TMS diagnosis. It has not been easy considering my field of work, but I feel like today I had some relief from the pain on my way home and I attribute it to the week of taking in Dr. Sarno's message. I know I've internalized emotions in the past and attributed physical ailments to doing so - TMJ, IBS, seborrheic dermatitis. Why not my back pain?

    I know I have been actively burying my emotions for the past several years. It has not been easy with twins (a life threatening situation during my wife's pregnancy and their surgery at age 3) and increasing responsibility at work. I've had a falling out with my mother. I've put all my emotions aside because I need to be a good dad, a reliable husband, and a productive manager. Now I guess I have to pay the piper and deal with these repressed feelings. I'm not looking forward to having to deal with these feelings and my emotional shortcomings, but I'm so hopeful of a future with pain!

    Thanks for listening.

    - Chris
    cdub likes this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Chris,

    Welcome to the Forum. You already know a lot about your life, the connections to stress, pain, self-pressure.

    I suggest you do the Structured Education Program, Alan Gordon's program, and/or Dr. Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain workbook. Also, if you like smart phone interaction, look up the Curable Ap. Do about a half an hour of work on some form of the learning and inquiry directed by these guides. I would also recommend Dr. Sarno's The Divided Mind, really his best, and answers more questions, has other contributors.

    I am sorry about the long pain situation in your life. Most of us here have been through one version of this or another. Mine was foot pain.

    Take heart, be patient, get help from a TMS physician or therapist or life-coach if things don't improve at least a little in a couple of months. Good luck in your work, and know that it is possible to live pain-free.

    Andy B
    cdub likes this.
  3. Chris1138

    Chris1138 New Member

    Thanks Andy! I've started the Structured Education Program and I have The Divided Mind cued up on my Kobo as my next read.

    Pain flared up a bit today, but it was a busy stressful day at work. I have already noticed my day is not dominated in the same way by the pain which in itself is a little freeing.

    cdub likes this.

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