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New here - finally got the courage to post

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by javierjaq, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. javierjaq

    javierjaq New Member

    Hi all

    I have been suffering with bad pain since 2009. Tried it all (PT, Steroid shots etc). Finally I had surgery (microdesectomy). This was done for the right side pain I was suffering and it was relieved it for about a year and a half. Now Im suffering from left side pain (leg). Dr are advising surgery again (fusion).

    MRI states "There is probable mild enhancement adjacent to the disc herniation which is likely partially inseparable from the descending left L5 nerve root".
    My pain is on my left leg. It is pretty constant but there are moments it doesnt hurt, like when Im standing. Sitting it hurts.

    My doubt (which is inherently my FEAR) is that "I have something wedged into my spinal cord and It is gonna make it worst" . This thought is making it difficult for me to "ACCEPT" my TMS diagnosis.

    Are there patients that did have "impingement" or some kind of "disk material touching a nerve"?

    If so, have they been successful?

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  2. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Hey javier,

    Welcome!! Sorry, I don't know about your particular diagnoses. Since you have doubts and questions about your MRI, I would recommend seeing a TMS doctor (especially before having spinal fusion!).

    Accepting that TMS is the cause of your pain is usually very difficult. I will say that doctors are very good at seeing things in MRIs that they think is causing the pain, but really isn't.

    I've been mis-diagnosed through MRIs twice for two different conditions (back and elbow). Both times orthopedic doctors said I needed surgery and both times it was TMS. I am completely better thanks to Dr. Sarno.
    Tennis Tom, Anne Walker and Ellen like this.
  3. javierjaq

    javierjaq New Member

    Thanks for reply Cap'n.

    I feel like I "need" someone one to tell me, " hey, I too have a ruptured disc and had disc material touching a nerve root and I was successful with the TMS program".
    I guess I'm stuck in the "accepting the diagnosis" stage because I'm thinking " what if I'm causing for damage?".
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

  5. javierjaq

    javierjaq New Member

    Thank you Walt.
  6. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello. If you do not have a TMS doctor available, I would consider asking your doctors what the potential danger is from your condition aside from experiencing the pain. I remember when I had a ruptured disc in my lower back 20 years ago that one of my doctors told me I was fortunate to have pain where the ruptured disc showed up on my MRI. It was a little confusing to me at the time but now I wish I had paid more attention to that comment. Another specialist mentioned that I should ask myself why something like this would happen at 32 years of age. That was also confusing but I was not sure what to make of it. Now it is clear to me that there are many inconsistencies between what the doctors are trained in medically and their person experience. They often see patients in pain without a structural cause, and they often witness a structural cause that does not correspond with where the patient is experiencing pain. If you went to the doctor without pain symptoms they most likely would not order an MRI to reveal a structural problem to begin with. And we know many, many people are walking around with herniated discs without pain and no one is considering it a problem. Doctors are not looking for these kinds of problems unless you are complaining about pain. I am not a doctor, but your fear that you have something wedged into your spinal column and accepting TMS might make it worse, sounds like classic TMS to me. A year and a half ago I had an MRI of my neck that revealed ruptured discs and the doctors told me I could possible wait six months without any trouble but they would not wait much longer than that to get surgery. But they could not explicitly tell me what the real potential danger was. This did generate a lot of fear but here I am 18 months later and my neck feels fine. I am sure the the knowledge of the herniated discs delayed my recovery but fortunately I persevered and did not have unnecessary surgery. I had back surgery 20 years ago and although it lessened the pain, I was still in chronic pain for many years.
    Tennis Tom and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  7. javierjaq

    javierjaq New Member

    Thank you kindly for your detailed response. I agree with you , I am definitely struggling with the "structural" and not letting go of the fear. I tend to be a hypochondriac and I "worry" about it all. I'm sure this is playing into my TMS. Do you struggle with letting go with the structural? What approach did you use to overcome it?

    Thanks again :)
  8. ash86

    ash86 Peer Supporter

    Javier, I know exactly how you feel. I have searched all over this forum and tmshelp and the internet for other people with "ruptured" discs. I think even the terminology used induces fear. My L5/S1 is ruptured and I also have a herniation at L4/L5. If you are near a TMS physician, it would definitely be worth it to make an appointment. I saw Dr. Schubiner and he gave me peace of mind. He told me that my back is normal! And that he sees this sort of thing all the time.

    I was so scared of the ruptured disc, but there have been so many cases of extruded discs that were truly cases of TMS.

    Here's a little more help.... I know in TMS we are not supposed to concentrate on the physical, but sometimes it helps to "bridge the gap." 1) In 1998, Boos performed a study of 60 asymptomatic hospital workers with an average age of 35, 18% had MRIs indicating ruptured discs! http://www.chirogeek.com/000_MRI-Abnormalities_Asymptomatic-Pats.htm 2) Even when a disc ruptures, a process called resorption can occur, and the body will "digest" the extruded material. Our bodies are truly remarkable and created to heal themselves if there is an injury. Just as the body doesn't try to "heal" graying hair, I believe that if a change in the disc is not seen as an injury by the body it will remain. The body doesn't need to "fix what is not broken."

    All that being said, no amount of knowledge can convince you your back is normal until you take the leap of faith and say to yourself and prove to yourself by activity that your back is fine.

    Wishing you the best! :)
  9. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member


    One item that many TMS therapists use with clients at the beginning of treatment is an evidence list to help dispel the idea that the pain/symptom is solely organic. Try making a list of the reasons that the pain is TMS. Number one on your list will most likely be that the pain switched sides of the body which is a hallmark of TMS pain in the literature. As you make the list, notice how the pain may share similarities with examples you've read in the books. Often when I have clients make lists, they find that the list begins to grow and grow and as they see more reasons to note that it's TMS, more reasons - ta da! - show up. Many times, when presented with an abundance of evidence that a symptom is TMS, the unconscious will begin to develop other symptoms or change the nature of the symptom to not be found out.

    Many of the items in Anne's post may also be things to consider to add to an evidence list too.

  10. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again. Yes, I struggled for a long time in letting go of the worry and fear over the potential structural causes. Andrew's advice on keeping an evidence sheet is really good. I did keep one and once I started to see inconsistencies, that really helped. Also, the fact that I had lower back surgery 20 years ago and it wasn't the complete cure I was hoping for, also bolstered my resolve. One of the tricks I used was procrastination. I gave myself six months to work on the TMS without the pressure of considering surgery. By the end of six months, I had witnessed enough inconsistencies to take surgery off the table. It took me another year to resolve most of the pain. I am still working on it, but pain is not my primary focus now.
  11. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Javierjaq - I had "structural evidence" with my neck…a couple of herniated discs as evidenced by an MRI. The acute pain flare co-incided with a horrible time of stress starting with an a**hole boss my hubby had.

    When I recently met with Dr. Howard Schubiner, I recounted some of my history to him, including that MRI. "You realize," he said, "those discs were probably herniated before you experienced pain?"

    So yes…wander around here and you'll see that many of us had "evidence". As a matter of fact, the car accident I had 30+ years ago is what kept me from believing Sarno's book when I first read it many years ago. (I sustained many injuries including broken vertebrae and a skull fracture.) I could have saved myself a LOT of pain if I had opened my mind more.
  12. javierjaq

    javierjaq New Member

    Ann, Ash, Andrew, NorthStar. I can t thank you enough for taking a moment to write me. really! Very powerful is the feeling of being supported by others that understand exactly what one is going through.

    I think I have done some baby steps of progress on ACCEPTING TMS but I just can't seem to shake the feeling of fear. That feeling that the pain is coming from a source that if not careful, it can get worst.

    I've corresponded with many professionals and lay people that are familiar with TMS (such as yourselves) and All have told me, you have TMS. Some have shared their personal experience (similar to mine) which should just reinforce my acceptance of the diagnosis. BUT I keep telling myself " you may have one of those exceptions, you may have a structural issue that needs to be addressed structurally".

    I must overcome this crucial step of letting go and accepting.

    thanks again guys!
    North Star and ash86 like this.
  13. ash86

    ash86 Peer Supporter

    Hey Javier! That is completely normal and I am sure most, if not all of us has experienced that point in our healing. The more you read about TMS and integrate it into your life, you will see that fear slowly dissolve. Don't think that because you have that fear you will not be cured, it just takes time.

    I know for me, I fit the TMS personality profile exactly. And I found that having those "normal abnormalities" to be frustrating because I wanted my MRI to be perfect. The more work I do, the more I learn to accept that I cannot be perfect, including my MRI images. :)
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Javier, you're doing great by accepting that you can't be perfect. Don't be fearful about your MRI images.
    They may not even cause your pain. That's most likely TMS.
    Try more to live in the present and not in the future when you will look at the results of an MRI.
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ah yes, the old FEAR card! A favorite TMS tool. Some of the TMS therapists who've graciously given us some of their time and expertise talk about the role of fear in TMS. Be sure to hope over there to see of their words of wisdom.

    I'm glad we've been able to encourage you!
    ash86 likes this.

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