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Looking for support after MRI results yesterday :)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Jeather, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Jeather

    Jeather Peer Supporter

    Hello! I posted a few weeks ago about my struggle with LBP and severe right hip pain/sciatica. The upper hip pain is the worst - mostly during the night until I can't lie down anymore and get up and have 2-3 hours of excruciating pain in the morning before I stand and walk properly; it's tolerable later in the day (but I don't like sitting...). Mild tingling and numbness that comes and goes. It started gradually in January and has only increased to now.

    I decided to finally get an MRI to rule out the "infection, tumor, fracture" concerns. I have read Sarno's books over the past 15 years (I own 4 of his, and Sopher's) and just finished Unlearn Your Pain. I've been reading Dr. Hanscom's site. I am starting The Great Pain Deception by Steve O. I am loving that book! So I do understand much about TMS. I cured myself spontaneously from moderate LBP 15 years ago just after reading a Sarno book (I guess I'm one of the few- it wasn't nearly as bad what I'm feeling now, but pretty rough at the time). I am a classic, classic, TMS personality/repressor of feelings. No doubt about that. I was 90% sure it was TMS when it started in 2019. I waited for it to go away; it didn't; I started rereading my books and focusing on the psychological with self-therapy and some journaling that I just started (and yes, 2019 has been stressful), but it has just gotten so bad... I finally decided to have the MRI to confirm that no other disease process was taking place, because in the worst hours of pain, those fears of the unknown ("maybe it's cancer") seemed to be holding me back.

    So I have my MRI results: My middle back and upper lumbar is normal for my age (48yo). But then there is this: "L4-L5: Mild narrowing of the subarticular zones contact the transiting L5 nerve roots without compression. Mild annular disc bulge with small posterior component. Mild grade 1 retrolisthesis of L5 on S1. L5-S1: Right subarticular zone disc extrusion extends 4 mm posterior and 3 mm inferior to the disc space. This displaces the transiting right S1 nerve root inferior and medially the transiting S1 nerve root is thickened on the right below the disc extrusion. Mild broad-based posterior disc bulge. Mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. IMPRESSION: 1. Right subarticular zone disc extrusion contacts and displaces the thickened transiting S1 nerve root. Thickening is presumed secondary to irritation. This is likely the cause of the patient's right-sided radiculopathy.

    So I'm now trying ardently to remind myself of all the times when I've read that disc extrusion and herniated discs DO NOT cause pain. Stenosis doesn't cause pain, right? Retrolisthesis? TMS causes pain. But what if my structural results ARE causing it? Thickened and displaced nerve root? Does TMS thicken a nerve root?

    The question that haunts me: Could I really have only TMS causing such severe pain even with the results of the MRI? If there IS still something structural involved that is aggravating it, can I still heal with a TMS approach? Can I let go of worrying about those structural results?

    I am many states away from TMS doctors who can give me the authoritative stamp of: "You have TMS only." This forum is my next best hope. Many of you have already been a strength to me.

    Thank you <3
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    Wouldnt focus to much on physical. You have recovered before, getting into details makes it worse. Analytical mind loves it,for the T type personality loves to obsess over the physical. Your going to be ok.

    Jeather likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Jeather, I think the answer is always yes, this is possible. I haven't experienced excruciating pain myself, because my really disabling symptoms were more neuro and mental, but in the years I've been around, I have seen many MANY Success Stories describing unbelievable levels and types of pain. From which the individuals recovered.

    The stresses of our 21st century lives and especially of the state of the world today do not seem to be conducive to a life that is free of TMS symptoms. We are seeing an epidemic of serious symptoms among young people. I have considered myself to be a success story, and, like you, I certainly understand and totally accept the fact of the TMS mechanism, but the last couple of years I seem to be constantly struggling with at least one pesky symptom all the time - as soon as I calm one down, another appears, sometimes old, sometimes brand new. The news alone, especially environmental news, combined with multiple responsibilities and relationships related to them, concerns about approaching 70, email overload, traffic... I often find myself in such a mindless state of jangled nerves that at times I can't even calm my mind down for a mere ten minutes of easy meditation.

    As with everything in life, these phases come and go. A consistent mindfulness practice does help. Self-compassion and a mental practice of self-nurturing helps. Writing things down helps, as was shown in a study of anxiety levels among students who simply listed the things worrying or bothering them, on a daily (and consistent) basis. To which I always add, don't let your brain skip anything, because it will try to convince you not to write certain things down.

    The key to all of the above is remembering to converse with your fearful brain, letting it know that this pain is simply unnecessary, and that it doesn't need to cover up your negative emotions, because you will be perfectly safe if you acknowledge them.

    This is actually quite a bit of work to accomplish on a regular basis, and it's so damn easy to let these things go when symptoms improve, but I know for sure that when I do stick to the self-care and self-talk path, the symptoms DO improve.
    Jeather and nowa like this.
  4. Jeather

    Jeather Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the support - I burst into tears just reading. I want to believe...I think I can believe...I want to let go...I think I am letting go... JanAtheCPA, I relate to your description of modern stresses and how you try to cope mindfully and healthfully, and yet it's so hard to find 10 minutes for mindfulness practice. Those could be my words. I've been searching this beautiful site and found some older threads about disc problems not causing pain. I might read them every morning to start my day. Thank you Ryan. I'm going to be okay.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle


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