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Day 4 Most Disheartening Dr. Comment

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Mara, May 26, 2014.

  1. Mara

    Mara Peer Supporter

    This is hard to narrow down to one thing, but I don't want to find the most disheartening comment in my black notebook of neck notes (yes I own such a thing, in which I jotted down notes from various doctors, insurance adjuster, attorney, etc.--no wonder I was depressed lugging around my ominous black notebook of pain!). So I will just go from memory...

    I think the most disheartening comment was made by an anethesiologist/pain dr whom the attorney had recommended. At this point, I was pretty much assured from other doctors that my herniated disk was minor and my problems were most likely muscular. All these other doctors (two physiatrists and a neurosurgeon) did the various nerve tests where they prick you, test your strength and so on.

    But when the pain doctor tested my arm strength by pressing against my hands, he did it harder than other doctors, and when my left arm was weaker than my right, he said that, even for someone with a dominant right hand, my left arm was quite weak. And he said because of that, "I am not so sure your pain isn't caused by your herniated disk."

    His recommendation was a selective cervical nerve root injection using modified anesthesia, and then if that didn't help, a facet nerve block.

    So, when he said he thought my pain might be caused by the herniated disk, it stirred up all my old fears about that. However, I cancelled the nerve root injection that he was going to do on my neck. Interestingly, my pain levels decreased (though didn't go away) on their own the same week I would have gotten the procedure!

    I told the pain doctor's concern about my left arm strength to the neurosurgeon whom a family member recommended, and when the neurosurgeon did the hand-pushback test (I'm sure that's not the official name) he said "Your strength is fine." This guy is now a chief of neurosurgery, so I am going by his opinion over the pain doctor an attorney recommended.

    The second most disheartening thing was when a chiropractor told me my spine wasn't curved normally and I had verterbral subluxation complex. However, when I saw my x-ray report, it said my spine curvature was normal and there was no subluxation. So I stopped seeing the chiro and have seen been quite skeptical of chiropractors in general ever since But I don't dare say that out loud to the people I know who love their chiropractors and go to them once a month for adjustments...hey, if that works for them, fine, I'm busy enough trying to heal myself to worry about other people's choices.

    In a strange way, cancelling that nerve root injection was a turning point in my recovery, because it made me realize I was in control and I could make decisions that felt right for me even if a doctor was suggesting something else. Stopping PT and dropping legal counsel were also very liberating decisions, both of which resulted in lower pain levels. (The legal counsel was because I was rear-ended and a friend urged me to consult with an attorney.)
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. Sussex TMS

    Sussex TMS Peer Supporter

    Hi Mara,

    Your first comment is certainly very similar to mine, and is probably what led me to discover Dr Sarno's work. I went to see (yet another) consultant, this time supposedly one of the best neurosurgeons in the UK. I had been through so many other practitioners who said they couldn't help me. Most of them said this is because I was "too young" for them to operate on! I went to this neurosurgeon in London expecting a long consultation and was in and out in 2 minutes despite my best efforts.

    He basically looked at my MRI scans and said "it's not that bad at all", and didn't think my pain could just be caused by just the degenerated disc. This upset me, because I was expecting him to recommend disc replacement surgery, which I saw as the holy grail, when in fact I was just told to try the Egoscue technique, which I instinctively thought would make it hurt more like every other exercise regime and it did (thanks to TMS). I also asked him if I would ever be able to undertake the physical activities I used to love (e.g. cycling, swimming, badminton, climbing) and he just shrugged his shoulders. I felt so miserable then.

    Well about a month later I read healing back pain, and three weeks on (Sunday) I cycled twenty miles for the first time in five years; then yesterday I played badminton for the first time in five years, with pretty much no ill effects. There were a couple of points during and after the bike ride when I had a sharp stabbing pain in my back, but I told it to "go away" (well I may have used slightly ruder words than that!) then thought about things that were worrying me and it gradually faded. I'm now convinced I have TMS and am well on the road to recovery.

    I also had a similar experience with you at a chiropractor. Though she literally just looked at my back and said "oh, this is serious, I can't do anything with this!" That was right at the beginning of the process and probably what really got my TMS going in the first place.

    Best of luck with your recovery.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Mara

    Mara Peer Supporter

    Thanks for your story. And congratulations on the badminton and cycling!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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