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Day 1 Hope & Doubt

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by JK_LA, Jun 4, 2022.

  1. JK_LA

    JK_LA Newcomer

    I'm a 38-year-old father of 2 in Los Angeles. Very recent father of 2 - our son was born on May 18, 2022, and our daughter is 2 and 1/2 years old. In the run-up to my son's birth, I worked out regularly in an effort to return to peak physical condition (remembering what a physical slog the early months of a newborn's life can be), and I believe that I am in the best shape of my life due to a very consistent Peloton training program.

    On Memorial Day, I brought my toddler daughter to the park, and we had a wonderful morning. On our way home, I was carrying a backup and she asked me to pick her up. I twisted around to get her and felt the most incredible pain in my lower back. I fell to the ground in agony and was unable to sit up or move. An ambulance carried me off to a hospital on a stretcher while my daughter looked on, terrified (our friends at the park thankfully were able to bring her home). I was sent home with some muscle relaxants and painkillers and a few days later, was walking again tentatively.

    This happened just about a week after one of the most stressful experiences of my life - just after being discharged from the hospital with our newborn, my wife experienced a series of seizures due to hospital pharmacy staff administering her the wrong form of her anti-seizure medication - leaving me feeling extremely alone with 2 little kids, scared, stressed, and furious at the hospital's error. Not to mention the trauma that I experience as the spouse of a traumatic brain injury survivor who has recurring seizures.

    My new therapist mentioned Dr. Sarno's book and I devoured it. It describes my personality to a T, and I want to believe that the TMS education program will work. As a child, I experienced asthma, eczema, and hay fever, and prior to this lower back issue, have suffered from months of shoulder bursitis. Before that, shingles. Etc. etc.

    I am also on paternity leave from a very all-consuming job (a job at which I feel compelled to be the "star employee" just as I was compelled to be the "star student," etc.), so I found it fascinating when he wrote about many patients experiencing pain while on a break from work.

    I am so hopeful that this is going to work, since the diagnosis seems so clear, but I do honestly retain some doubts. What if I also need physical therapy? My posture is horrible - shouldn't I improve it anyway? What if my analytical brain can outsmart my subconscious? I'm sometimes too good at that sort of thing, and I'm worried that this isn't going to work for me. A reddit post led me to this TMS Wiki and I'm committed to seeing this through.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2022
  2. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    In my experience, the physical stuff usually dies down after major stresses pass and life goes back to being predictable. Then the psychological part of the cycle begins.

    But I totally get a lot of:

    "What if my analytical brain can outsmart my subconscious? I'm sometimes too good at that sort of thing, and I'm worried that this isn't going to work for me."

    Both the worries and the ignoring of subconscious cause symptoms to come back again.

    Unfortunately it's not a permanent fix but can boost your well-being overall.

    Sometimes you can get a bit used to discomfort and forget about the psychological, and the cycle can get worse. In that case, it takes a lot of consistency and effort to change my thinking patterns and lifestyle habits.

    It's totally normal to yo-yo between physical and psychological as well. Recovery is not a straight line and it's normal to have periods with lots of symptoms and periods where you just feel great!

    It's honestly annoying when symptoms are unpredictable but the body often mirrors emotions and flares up in response to them.

    It's hard to worry about the future and sometimes a little TMS is inevitable, but I like to look back at all the symptoms and situations I healed from.

    Also watch out for emotional repression, it's important to be more vocal and proactive, reaching out to build bonds or set boundaries has helped me too.

    There are so many nice and knowledgeable people here whose experiences I've learned from, and I hope you'll find them helpful too!
    JK_LA likes this.
  3. JK_LA

    JK_LA Newcomer

    My ability to stick with the SEP has gone through fits and starts, mainly due to having a newborn and a 2-year-old at home who need a lot of my time and attention. The lower back pain from the back spasm has dissipated but I am still suffering from intensely achey sciatica in my right buttock and right leg, with occasional foot numbness. I started going to acupuncture, not to cure the sciatica, but to relieve stress, and that has been great. But I still feel a little bit of apprehension - I am pretty sure I have TMS, but what if I really do need to be doing PT exercises? And if I don't have time for the SEP every day, will this ever get better?
  4. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    I feel the same about my symptoms but when I find something fun and productive to do, I don't focus on it as much and it gets better.

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