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My first step...

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Rory, May 7, 2012.

  1. Rory

    Rory New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Today is my first day on truly beginning to accept the TMS diagnosis for myself. I’ve decided to undertake the TMS-WIKI structured program and for my day 1 exercise I am here to share my story. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

    I’m 25 years old, and have spent half of my adult life with chronic lower back and leg pain. It all began in April 2009. Over a couple of weeks I had an onset of sciatica with a deep burning in my buttocks and thighs upon sitting, which at its worst extended to my feet. My lower back came up with a lot of bruising and inflammation and it all went down hill from there.
    The most common symptom has always been muscle spasm and burning radiating down my back and legs, with just about every muscle and joint between my knees and mid back having joined in at some point.

    Sitting has always been the most difficult thing, with pain at the base of my spine and spasm/burning in my legs ensuring that sitting for 20 minutes can be a challenge. Following a short walk my back can blow up like a balloon feeling like it’s on fire.

    I’d call myself a very proactive and driven young man. I quickly recognised how disastrous this was for my life and turned my full attention to fixing it. I must have seen up to 20 health professionals with many different specialities and treatments, I’ve had an MRI, anti-spasmodics, pain killers, anti-inflammatories. I’m on my 3rdmattress and 4th chair in 3 years, with each getting more expensive and specialised.
    Through reading and research I’ve built up a knowledge of the back and legs which rivals that of many physio’s. It’s not uncommon for me to get up at 6am to start my self treatment and spend 3-4 hours a day doing stretches and core work, but the harder I try the worse I get.

    The lengths to ease the pain have been extreme, with me having cut all the elasticated bands on my underwear because the pressure of those was too much. I have gone for weeks without going into the front room of my house to spend time with my friends because I couldn’t sit on the sofa’s. The pain has been an obsession, with every decision starting with ‘how will this affect my back?’,‘can I handle this?’
    I first read John E. Sarno’s book ‘Healing Back Pain’ about 6 months ago. Despite being blown away by the book and seeing myself throughout I never really accepted it. I’d stick with it for a week or two, but I’d always stay on my meds ‘to speed up the process’ and continue to limit my activity out of fear. Progress would be poor and I’d go back to treating myself for some physical ailment.

    Whichever physical problem I researched and began to treat would magically appear. Muscles which I hadn’t experienced a single symptom from would suddenly spasm for days on end. Wherever my attention went there was a problem.
    Over the past week I’ve gone full circle again for the third or fourth time and have reconsidered the TMS diagnosis. I’m quite a self-analytic person and over the past 6 months have built up a wealth of observations to support the diagnosis.

    The TMS realisation peaked for me yesterday and I had a real epiphany moment. I was lying on the sofa (comfortably for a change) feeling quite relaxed. I inevitably started thinking about my little pain problem, shortly after my left IT band began to spasm mildly. In response I didn’t move, relaxed, and just paid attention to it indifferently. After a few minutes it stopped, then I got it in my lower back to the right. I relaxed, paid attention, a few minutes later it stopped. This went on for a good 10-15 minutes. I got the mild spasm in my right foot, behind my left ear, in my left arm, in my right shoulder (4 entirely new locations for the spasms!). Eventually it moved to ‘the dread area’ for me, which is my buttocks because this is what keeps me from sitting. I managed to stay cool for about a minute, but eventually I became anxious and begin to fidget. Then Lo and behold, BAM, the spasm kicked in fully and I had some quite nasty pain. I sat back and thought about this and with a big grin and a laugh I had my epiphany moment. The TMS was working it’s way through my entire body trying to find a spot that would bother me! I gave it the answer when I began to fidget and it jumped at the opportunity to bring me pain.
    I feel I’ve now accepted and am going to give this my full commitment at last. I’ve thrown away my meds and I’ve been for a short jog which I haven’t done in nearly two years. I’m reading your stories and am filled with hope that I can at last take my life back.

    I feel quite emotional reading your stories and writing about mine. This is a rare feeling for me and I’m taking this as a good sign. My friends and family haven’t been very supportive in the last few years and so in finding this community of fellow sufferers I feel like I’ve found a long lost brother or sister!
    I’m going to press on with the program, and I’ll be reporting on my progress.
    If those of you who’ve ‘been here and done it’ so to speak have any tips, suggestions or words of wisdom I would be very grateful for them.

    Wish me luck!

    All the best, Rory
  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Wow Rory!

    And welcome to the wiki. Sounds like you are doing well. I know it doesn't always feel like it, but you have connected a lot of the dots already. Working the SEP will help you tremendously since you had your epiphany. Be willing to take each lesson as it comes. Because it sounds like you are very close to "there". You may come to some lessons that will be emotional for you, such as writing your story. I know that feeling of being alone in this. And you aren't. We're all here cheering you on.

    Wishing you well, hope to hear more from you. You are an inspiration to me!

  3. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome Rory!

    TMS pain tends to move around as you noticed.

    I'm glad you found the wiki...everyone here has been really supportive to me over the last few months and I'm getting a lot better.

    Looking forward to seeing you around.

    :) Veronica
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    TMS is silly! Think of it as a joke and it will not grab our attention like this. TMS is illogical. As you noticed, it will create symptom after symptom until it can create a symptom that will grab out attention and focus. Continue to read the stories on this site. Stories like these really helped me gain confidence in the approach and feel like I could regain my life back. It is great to hear that you were able to go for jog. For me, the more active I was the more progress I made in my recovery. It can really help eradicate the doubt that we have. Stay positive as you go through the program and if you have any questions at all feel free to ask. Remember, you are in the right place, and going about this in the right way.


  5. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Rory, I didn't find out about TMS until I was 38.... consider yourself lucky and way ahead of many of us!! You're moving in the right direction.
  6. Pandamonium

    Pandamonium Well known member

    Hi Rory and welcome to the wiki. Sounds like you are making headway. Laughing at TMS is a good strategy, and there are many. Once you loose your fear the pain does recede.
  7. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    What a great epiphany moment, thanks for sharing it with us. Good luck Rory!

    The only tip I can share is don't try too much too fast. Accepting the diagnosis of TMS can be intoxicating and you feel like you can do anything, but take it slow and steady.
  8. Rory

    Rory New Member

    Thanks for the great comments guys.

    To have 6 people read my ramblings and leave messages of support within a day is heart warming.

    I've been reading many of your stories. That you can endure up to a decade of debilitating pain with businesses and children to support, then come out with such insights and positive outlooks is incredible. You guys are inspirational, and tough as hell!
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is really just a testament to this approach. No matter how long or how severe a person's symptoms are, this approach works. The reason is that it actually treats the cause of the pain and not the symptom itself. If you enjoy the stories and find them helpful, then keep on reading them. There are quite a few really terrific stories that will teach you a lot about how to take charge of your recovery.
  10. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Rory, the symptoms in your sciatic nerve, lower back and leg sound so much like my own that they could be dead ringers. The only difference is that since reading Dr. Sarno and doing the Structured Program offered on this TMSwiki, I've now carved out huge time blocks where my symptoms disappear or maybe are present, but don't interfere with my ordinary day-to-day activities. And my pain-free range of motion keeps getting better too. I feel confident that if you begin doing the Structured Program that you will start to notice definite improvements. For me, it's been real slow because I believe I was always hedging my bet by continuing to do PT even though it didn't seem to help very much really. But if you stick with it the TMS diagnosis for the symptoms you describe is very hard to evade (even if you're a stubborn obsessive idiot like me). Best wishes on a recovery speedier than my own!

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