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My Interesting (and painful) story In brief

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jesse MacKinnon, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Jesse MacKinnon

    Jesse MacKinnon Peer Supporter

    34 years ago as a young hippie yoga guyin perfect health, I pushed an attractive women's car out of the snow. I felt something slip in my low back and was in terrible pain from acute and crippling especially at first to chronic and nagging with flair ups. I was driving a school bus for the city at that time and boy it hurt like hell. I continued my yogas practice but that seemed to make it worse. Still I carried on with the stretches until I could no longer bear it. I started a little business and it was odd that all the heavy lifting didn't seem to make it worse. I saw many chiros and they all just said I had bulging discs, mild scoliosis misalignment and very little space in some vertabrae. Remember I was 28 years old. Now my pain included searing and intractable pain in my mid back. I remember several times of terrible neck pain too. The chiros and Od's all said no surprise your spine from top to bottom is a mess. This chronic and sometimes acute debilitating pain went on for years until I was 41 working in an office and the manager saw me stretching forwad with straight knees and he said that was very bad for my low back. I should go the other way Lay on my belly and read or weatch TV proppe up on my elbows. Within 2 weeks the low back pain was 90% gone for the first time in my life. I began to disbelieve the diagnosis that my discs were the cause of my pain and I remained relatively pain free for 10 years. About 5 years ago wanted to lose some weight so I began working out on the eliptical trainer while watching movies for 2 hours most days. My low and mid back pain came roaring back. The mid back pain has sometimes been so intense I finally had to take vicodin to calm it down. Friend gave me 200 time release morphine like pills that utterly cured my back pain but had some bad side effects one of which was I was know addicted to 2 strong pain killers. I decided to kick and went through a week of pure hell like a junkie cold turkey. I still take the occasional vicodin but know have confidence I can stop if the pain subsides. I read Dr. Sarno's book some years ago having heard the Howard Stern broadcast. But Stern is so bombastic and full of bs I didn't take it seriously. Besides, doctors were showing me these xrays and how of course I will have back pain you need years of chiro care to get relief. I finally decided to reread Sarno's book then I ordered MBP and read that. I just got the divided mind but I'm reading Scot Brady's book first. A little too evangelistic Christian for my taste (wife's Jewish so the absolute Jesus stuff doesn't go down that well here). Any way I'm on day 15 of the wiki Structured program. I'm enjoying all the journaling and I'm getting in touch with that little boy inside that is so hurt and betrayed by his mom and dad. So far not much change in the pain level. In fact I had 2 episodes of crippling mid back pain in a week which is unusual. Still take a couple of vicodin a day. I've always loved jogging and for the 10 years of little pain, ran some 30 miles a week. Felt wonderful. Started up again but with some painful consequence ie: more back pain. A twinge in my right knee and left shoulder pain which is entirely new. Is it possible that exploring the subconscious could exacerbate the pain? Should I laugh and just keep jogging since I now believe my spine is not the cause of the pain? This description went on way longer than I expected. Any remarks or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Is it usual to have no relief after a month of TMS work? Thanks to anyone wh reads and especially responds. Best Jesse
    Forest likes this.
  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Jesse:

    Yes. It is more typical to continue to have pain after reading the book than to NOT have pain after reading the books. Everyone of us is different with different pasts. Some people have childhood issues that are really traumatic to one of us, while a sibling will not have the same emotional experience.

    I've had chronic back pain for over 10 years. The first thing that helped me was reading Dr. Sarno's books. They got my attention and after years of trying everything I finally understood the cause of my back pain. But it didn't make it go away. I did the Structured Program on the TMS wiki. It was wonderful in tapping into some of the issues that have caused me a great deal of pain. What happened in my case is that I saw that the amount of stress in my life, after many years, had caused my back to send a signal that I was/am on overload. But this is my story.

    My suggestion would be to look around the wiki. Look at the "Success Stories" and my bet is you'll find some you can relate to. You state you've had times with no pain, and then the "pain comes roaring back". If it were me, I'd do the program which will allow you to understand what these triggers are. Once identified, you can begin to address them and your body with your mind. Learn to tell the pain to go away.

    You've read Dr. Sarno's books and so you know that most of the mind lies in the subconscious. We don't know what the triggers are because they're either past or present issues that bring them on. I think you'd get a lot out of the program.

    Although I'm still not nearly where I'd like to be, I certainly understand why my pain persists. There is no timeline, there is no deadline that says when you'll get out pain due to TMS. You need to start looking into the emotional side of yourself and see why and when these flare-ups occurred.

    Was there something else happening at this time? Perhaps this is a good place to explore. Sounds really great that the pain went away, but then it came back again. Doing the Structured Program will allow you to really delve into issues like these and see if the simple suggestion worked - or perhaps if something else was going on in your life.

    However, as much as *I* would love it (and I'm sure you would too) in most of the success stories I've read on the wiki, reading the book and walking out of pain are rare. One needs to keep doing the work.And if you have any kind of anxiety issues, those need to be explored as well.

    Good luck, if you should have any questions on the program, please ask.

  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hiya Jesse and Welcome to the Wiki,

    You asked if exploring the subconscious could exacerbate the pain, and I think this does happen. Our unconscious mind is conditioned to create this pain, and when we try to take this away our unconscious mind doesn't really like it and tries to get our attention to go back to our pain. Alan Gordon described it sort of like a child knocking on his parent's door (I know I've mentioned his article a bunch but it just seems to be relevant in so many cases). The main thing is to just not let an increase of symptoms discourage you and prevent you from continuing with this approach.

    Also, if you find that the pain meds help some, then feel free to take them occasionally to help combat flare-ups. A lot of people ask about this and there is actually a great Q&A page about it at http://tmswiki.org/ppd/Q&A:_When_should_I_stop_taking_pain_medications_during_my_TMS_recovery? .

    This is actually really interesting. So many people have heard of Sarno primarily through Howard Stern. I was actually able to locate the audio of one of his interviews with Dr. Sarno. It is a little "bombastic" but I think Stern has the same appreciation for Dr. Sarno has a lot of us. The page still needs some work but you can find it at Dr. Sarno on the Howard Stern Show. If people haven't listened to this, it is worth the five minutes.
  4. Jesse MacKinnon

    Jesse MacKinnon Peer Supporter

    I guess I didn't make it clear I'm on day 16 of the structured wiki program. Last night I had one of the worse mid back attacks ever. I truly wanted to die. No position, no amount of stretching. I journaled painfully 3 pages talking to my inner child, my brain my back- nothing put a dent into it. Ended up taking 3 vicodin and that worked 80% so I could sleep. I'm scared. I have a very conservative doctor who waNTS me to have surgery and may not prescribe any more pain killers. if an attack of that magnitude strikes again and I have nothing to take to ease the pain I am truly screwed. it's agony I can not live with. I t6hink I'll start a new thread about last night. So more people can chime in. Yeaw it starting to hurt again after 5 1/2 hours of taking tha pills
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Jesse: I really feel for you, and am so sorry you're going through this! I'm kind of grasping at straws here, but I just re-read my first profile posting (from last September) and I was reminded that for me, fear of aging, and especially fear of becoming disabled and house-bound, was a HUGE factor in my symptoms. My first Sarno book was The Divided Mind, and of the 7 authors (Dr Sarno plus six "guest" authors) only one MD mentioned the rage over getting old. He gave me permission to have that rage, and it was an enormouse relief, and was the first step towards my recovery - which, like all TMSers, is still ongoing, of course, but I'm significantly better than I was.

    Anyway, I did the math on your first post above and it sounds like you are not much younger than I am (I'll be 61 next month). Just wondering if this is an area you might want to explore, in case it could help. After all, we're not supposed to have anger about getting old -we're supposed to age gracefully, and call these "the best years of our lives". Well, I tell ya, that's not so easy when you are worried about 90-year-old parents and your friends and colleagues are starting to fall apart around you, not to mention your own body falling apart! There's plenty to be angry and resentful about.

    I'm also going to ask you my favorite question, because it affects so many of us, and does seem to prolong recovery for those of us who have it - do you suffer from anxiety?

    We're pulling for you,

  6. Jesse MacKinnon

    Jesse MacKinnon Peer Supporter

    Thanks to all who answered. I also started a new thread on my episode of last night. So painful. In answer to your question, yes I have some anxiety, especially after my wife lost her job and we were both sitting in our condo staring at each other at 60 and 63 wondering what the hell we were going to do now but.it's died down since I found a way to make a living and we refinanced our little place here in San Diego. Your observation re: age could be spot on since I'm and actor and of course looks are important. I'm in good shape except for this very painful spine

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