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New Journey. Need help with journaling.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by just_a_guy, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. just_a_guy

    just_a_guy Newcomer

    Hello, dear forum members.

    I am a 25M from India. I am suffering from lower back pain since June 2015.

    A little bit of prologue about my condition.

    I was a pretty active guy. I was running 5k daily and lot of other physical exercises and yoga. First, I started feeling pain on my right knee while running. I consulted an Orthopedic Doctor who, after looking at my knee X-Ray, told me that I have minor muscle strain due to running and advised me to take it easy for a few months. I did not like this advice as I was preparing for my 10k run. But I still stopped running and continued doing other cardio exercises.

    I didn't focus on running for few months and eventually forgot about my injury. But I still felt some discomfort while walking up the stairs.

    I had my first lower back pain in June 2015. I thought I might be due to overexertion. I continued with my activities and even had a bike trip. My pain increased after that trip. I again consulted an Orthopedist and had my X-Ray done for my lower back. It was again normal and I was told that it may be due to bad posture while sleeping. They gave me some painkillers and taught me some back stretches.

    I trusted fully in their diagnosis but the pain still lingered.

    Around November 2015, the pain increased to such an extent that it began to interfere with my work. I was in pain while sitting, I was in pain while standing. I couldn't bend forward. It was too much. As I was travelling continuously for few months regarding my work, my first thought was that the pain may be probably due to my hectic work schedule. I took a week off to R&R properly and again started a course of painkillers. I was having my morning coffee when my back went out. I maybe coughed a little and WAM!! A searing pain erupted in my lower back. I had to lay down immediately and even after that I was in so much agony. I rushed to a hospital where they gave me painkiller shots and asked me to get an MRI done whenever I was comfortable.

    After having done the MRI the same day, I was diagnosed with two herniated disks in my lumbar region with a pinched nerve and symptoms of Sciatica. I was told to rest properly with minimum physical activities for at least a month. I was given loads of painkillers and anti-inflammatory.

    After a month, I was still in too much pain. So much that I can't even sleep without painkillers and needed painkillers when I woke up. I again consulted Spine Specialists and many others doctors. I was told to get a surgery done. I didn't want to get under the knife without exploiting all other options. I started doing rounds of physiotherapy. It didn't prove so much beneficial for me as even after a month, the pain reduced to just 9 out of 10. I then tried Acupressure, massages, chiropractic adjustments which gave me temporary relief but nothing that I can rely upon. I was getting discouraged due to my condition and decided to go for Epidural Shots. It numbed my pain for few weeks which I thought was recovery. But pain started surfacing again. And it was as intense as before. Till that day I was about 4 months out of my job and was getting depressed just lying in bed. So I decided to go back to my job and at least try to divert my mind while I explore some other options.

    So I joined my company after 4 months, with lots of pain and no hope for further recovery. I started physiotherapy again hoping that at least it will not affect me adversely.

    Present Day:

    Its been six months since I am going on Physiotherapy. I comprises of Hot Packs, IFTs, TENS, Ultrasound, Traction twice a week and Dry Needling bi-monthly. I am not on any pain medication and my pain has reduced to about 7. I am continuing my job but with very limited mobility.

    I accidentally came upon Healing Back Pain, by Dr. Sarno. I rejected the TMS theory at first maybe because the book was too much technical for my liking plus there were not many suggestions in the book on how to overcome this syndrome. I thought it was a hokum. Now a month back, while browsing through Amazon, I came across Pain Free for Life, by Dr. Scott Brady. Now in this book, Dr. Brady explained how a person's personality can produce pain. That's when it struck me hard. I am a perfectionist, a people-pleaser, a stoic and a fear-prone person. I think its a dangerous combination of pain prone personalities.

    Now I am 10 days into the TMS recovery program. I have started reading Healing Back Pain again. I am trying to eliminate all the crutches as explained by Dr. Brady. I have stopped using special pillows which I used to put under my knees while sleeping. I have stopped taking any medication, even multi-vitamins. I stopped using special chairs at work. Now I sit on whichever chairs I find, and even couches. Recently I stopped doing my back stretches. The one crutch I cant seem to let go is the therapy. I am too scared to stop the physiotherapy at once.

    One interesting thing happened to me while journaling a week ago. I came across a past-traumatic event which was too much for me to handle. I started crying. I cried a lot thinking about it and didn't journal that night. Next morning when I woke up, the pain had reduced to about 4. I was so much energetic that day. But after that day I have kind of hit a roadblock in my journaling. Now I can't seem to find any emotionally charged event and my pain has again gotten back to about 6. Now I think maybe my technique while journaling is kinda wrong. I take 3-4 events from my list and write about them in 4-5 small paragraphs for 20 minutes. I think I should change this.

    Now the things on which I need your kind guidance are these:

    1. Was it too soon to stop doing my back stretches and exercises ?

    2. Do I need to stop my therapy or can I wait till I see some improvements in my symptoms ?

    3. While journaling rather than taking a bunch of events, should I try to take one event from my lists and try to explore it as much as I can for 20 minutes ? What should be my strategy and how to find other traumatic events to journal upon ?

    4. Any others suggestions ?

    I am sorry for such a long post but it is the first time I am posting my experiences on a public forum. I am pretty much sure that it is TMS. I am trying to accept the diagnosis on my gut level and to take all the power away from the pain. I'd be grateful to hear from you.
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I gotta' run, but the fast answer is do what-ever you used to do prior, understanding that you have lost conditioning and some atrophy that can be regained within a few weeks. STOP physical therapy because that's what Dr. Sarno says, believe in the TMS theory 100% for the fastest results. You don't need to be sitting in lotus ruminating about the hidden sub-c history of how you got to this point in pain. Move forward and do things, that will restore your confidence that it's TMS. When you feel the pain, switch your thinking to the psychological. Gotta' run now and do what I told you to do. Tennis anyone?

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