1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 4 Introduction + a doctor's previously disheartening comments

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by college_student, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. college_student

    college_student New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'll start off by giving you some background information about my personality, current situation, and battle with TMS. I'll try to keep it brief.

    Personality and Current Situation

    I am a senior at an Ivy League school. I'm not saying that to brag, but to illustrate that my personality makes me prone to TMS. I'm driven, I am most productive in high-pressure work environments, I strive to improve all aspects of my life, and I hold myself to very high standards. I have high standards academically, socially, morally, spiritually - you name it. On top of all that, I have no idea where I will be after graduation, and I'm stressed about my job search and my future in general.


    I got into weight lifting in February 2013. I was consistently getting stronger until I injured my hip adductor (call it a groin pull) on April 14, 2013. I was instructed to let it rest for 4 - 6 weeks to let it heal before lifting weights again, especially squatting. I started squatting again after 6 weeks, and there was a little pain for a couple weeks, but that subsided. A month later, once I was almost back at my pre-injury weight, my groin pain came back. It was crippling and prevented me from squatting. I took more time off from squatting, then started again, but the pain was still there. I was afraid to squat. I was afraid to go on hikes with my dad.

    This cycle continued for a while. I saw my primary care physician, who sent me to a surgeon to rule out a hernia, who sent me back to my primary care physician, who sent me to an orthopedist, who sent me to a physical therapist. I was told that my hips were weak. I did exercises to strengthen my hips for weeks and weeks to no avail. I wasn't squatting this whole time. I continued physical therapy until I had an emergency appendectomy in November 2013 (my appendix was inflamed - perhaps this began with TMS? I'm not sure).

    After my surgery, I couldn't do much physically for quite a while, so I decided to take the next 8 weeks to rest my groin and let it heal once and for all. A couple weeks ago, I tried squatting just the bar, but I was having excruciating pain in my groin. This pain made me angry that I wasn't healthy, angry that I wasn't getting stronger, and afraid of squatting, thus fueling the TMS cycle.

    I read most of Sarno's The Mindbody Prescription, and although I was skeptical, I decided to give it a try before I called up my physical therapist to schedule another session. Since beginning the structured educational program only a few days ago, my pain has decreased and I've been able to squat some.

    Day 4's question to ponder: what was the most disheartening thing a doctor has told you about your symptoms?

    My physical therapist said this often:
    I know that my groin needed to heal when I first injured it. I gave it the recommended time. It felt better. Then it felt worse. I was convinced that I re-injured it, but looking back, my brain was just picking the most believable symptom for me - the site of an old injury. I am tired of giving my groin time. I am tired of TMS controlling how my groin feels. It was injured. Now, it's being mildly deprived of oxygen. Big difference. I don't need to give it time - I need to use it! I need to squat to overcome my fear and concern.

    To end on a positive note, here's my favorite quote/strategy for recurrent pain:

    In the 20/20 interview featured in Day 1, one interviewee said that when his pain flares up, he says to himself:
    When I squat now, my groin starts to hurt before I even pick up the bar. BUT, when I talk to my brain, just like this guy did, I remind myself that the pain is caused by TMS, and the pain decreases enough to do the exercise. I still have pain, and I still have work to do.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Very Good Story, thanks.

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