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New MRI results

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Timbercat, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Timbercat

    Timbercat Well known member

    It's been a long time since I have been on this forum and I'm still working away at TMS back and leg and hip pain. I saw Dr. Schubiner last June and was assured I did have MBS and started working diligently on his program at home. Even though the pain did not improve, I learned a great deal about what I was thinking and doing that certainly was making it worse. So, I am glad that I did the program and still continue to work on my internal messages. The chronic pain, now 2.5 yr into it, is getting worse slowly but surely. Still cannot work, debt is rising. Unfortunately I am working my way through some cardiac issues as well and will be having a treadmill stress test this week. I am not so much worried about my heart as I am my hip and leg allowing me to complete this test. A few weeks ago I had another lumbar MRI which showed bulging discs basically at every level with mild foraminal stenosis except at L5 S1 which showed moderate foraminal stenosis. I knew about the L5S1 bulging disc which showed up on the 2016 MRI; it was described as foraminal compromise at that time. The report stated in summary that there was not a significant change compared to that MRI. So, of course, the MD wants me to see Pain Management for a consult for an epidural injection. I have rejected that for the past 2.5 yr. I have never been helped by steroid injections and I know the track record is miserable. The MD thinks it could be "both therapeutic and diagnostic." I do believe my nervous system is on overload and flooded with neurochemicals which are keeping the pain cycle going. I just don't know if that nerve at L5S1 is OK. Dr. Schubiner and my spinal MD said my neurologic exam was normal. It seems many others have been able to heal in spite of even worse MRI findings. I have been skyping with an intern from the PPC so I do have that support. If I had just one of these problems, that is the cardiac stuff or the chronic pain to work through, it would be overwhelming -- both together are really too much for me. As you can see, I have one foot in the medical system, and one in the MBS system. Would appreciate some thoughts and encouragement. Thank you.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, Timbercat, I'm really sorry to hear this - you are really struggling.

    In reading your post, I felt like there was far too much technical diagnosis information (my eyes started glazing over), which could have been described in fewer words, and much more generically. In order to concentrate on emotional issues, I've always felt that it's important to make a real effort to totally abandon detailed descriptions of physical issues. I know it's tempting, but it's part of the process. Think about it: is it possible that you actually have less than one foot in the MBS world?

    That being said, you have got to take care of your heart! Even if all of your problems are the result of emotional stress, distress, and repression, it is possible to harm ourselves with the physiological imbalances generated by that stress. Many of our muscles can take it, and they can recover, but please be careful of your precious heart muscle. Believe me, the medical professionals who administer heart stress tests know how to compensate for disability - worrying about that ahead of time is a big waste of your energy - and guess what - it's a distraction!

    We forget about the basic mechanism of MBS - aka TMS. Our brains want to constantly distract us with symptoms, and those of us who end up here are experts at being distracted, and at letting our brains spin us out of control with anxiety. You've already mentioned nervous system overload. In addition, you have given in to the belief that "both together are really too much for me." I know how discouraged you must feel about that - but you have GOT to take control and refuse to give in to that belief. You have to see your anxiety as a primitive, unwanted, and unnecessary function, and you have to fight back. You have to give yourself a chance to help your body heal.

    I also believe that you should be willing to accept short-term medical interventions that might help you in allowing your body to heal. That might include accepting that steroids can work miracles! Here's my steroid story: I was in my twenties, with a really painful nerve ganglion near the joint of my thumb and hand, the result of torn ligaments at age 18. The ortho said he could give me a steroid injection, but that it only had a 20% chance of working, and the only other option was surgery. I decided I was going to be one of the 20%, and I walked out of there absolutely confident of that fact, with a vision of the ganglion shrinking and going away. Which it did - that was 40+ years ago and it never came back. If steroids were useless, they wouldn't even have a 20% success rate. But 80% failure is very high - is it possible that steroids, which after all are one of the hormones, need cooperation from our brains in order to work their miracles? I would not discount that possibility.

    Look, the mind-body connection doesn't only have to do with what goes wrong. It also has to do with what can go right.

    Our bodies need us to work with them in order to heal. More and more health professional believe that a proactive and positive outlook boosts the immune system, as studies keep showing that a belief in a healing therapy not actually applied can result in a better outcome than the actual therapy. All kinds of placebo studies are being done that are showing this. The placebo effect is real because the power of our brains is far beyond what we've been led to believe.

    You can do this, but you need to have faith in yourself. Above all, you need to love yourself enough to know that you deserve to heal.

  3. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Timbercat, to reinforce what Jan said about medical professionals being able to compensate for disability, I had a major heart workup about 15 years ago. I told the doctor I was worried about what a treadmill stress test might do to my right knee, upon which I'd had three surgeries. (This was before I realized my knee pain was TMS.) Instead of using the treadmill test, the doctor substituted some kind of chemical injection that stresses the heart in much the same way as the treadmill. The chemical had an effect that was not pleasant to endure, but that did not last very long and I was able to avoid the treadmill.

    Jan's story of her thumb pain reminds me of my little finger pain several years ago after putting screws into floor joints the old fashioned way, that is, by using a screwdriver instead of a power tool. The joints were laminated wood, which made them extremely hard, so I had to grip the screwdriver as tightly as I possibly could while turning it as hard as I possibly could. That is when the pain started. I thought I probably tore a ligament, so I called for an appointment with a physician specializing in hand problems. He was booked out a ways, so I saw his physician's assistant instead. The PA x-rayed my hand, told me the pain was due to arthritis, and said I would just have to live with it. The pain did not go away and in time I was able to see the physician. He told me the same thing as the PA. Eventually my ligament healed, and I have had no more pain. This story is not about TMS and it is only a single anecdote. But I think it illustrates how modern medicine can go awry by over-reliance on imaging.
  4. Timbercat

    Timbercat Well known member

    There are a couple of things you said here that really stand out for me. One is that the people administering this stress test have experience with people like me who have pain somewhere. I've been trying to tell myself not to think ahead so much and just go and do the best I can. I have been trying to use my own treadmill to sort of "warm up" a bit. The worse that can happen is I would have to stop and have a chemical stress test with medication instead of being on a treadmill. Would much prefer to do it myself though. The other thing you said that made an impact was that MB connection also has to do with what can go right...and that is so true and something I want to focus on especially getting through this week... and really going forward as well. I NEED TO BELIEVE IT! As always, I really appreciate your thoughtful response. The stress test is this Wednesday - I live in Cleveland and they are predicting sub zero weather that day. In fact the office called for just that reason to see if I was going to still plan to come in or if I wanted to postpone. Honestly, I just want to be done with it so I'm still going ahead with it. Wish me luck and many thanks again.
  5. Timbercat

    Timbercat Well known member

    Hey Duggit,
    Thanks to you for responding. I know I could have the chemical stress test, but I have a h/o a-fib (irregular heart rate which happens occasionally to me) and I am trying to avoid that blast of medication which could put me into that irregular heart rate. I know this is an option if I cannot do the treadmill but I am going to do my best and see what happens. I do agree with you about over-reliance on imaging. Plus, my doctor told me there is always some subjective judgement interpreting these MRI's. That's probably why mine turned out the way they did from 2016 t0 2019. Appreciate hearing about your experiences.
  6. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member


    I know that 2 1/2 years seems like a LONG time to be working at TMS without significant results, so it's perfectly normal to be discouraged. For some of us it takes longer "to get it." For me, it was around the 2 year point before I saw significant progress. Even though I consider myself 75% healed, I still have to immerse myself in TMS thinking 5 days per week. I do this to keep my subconscious from sabotaging my success and also to keep doubt at bay. I spend around 30 minutes per day listening to a mindbody podcasts and another 10 minutes or so reading the TMS Wiki. If time permits, I work in a guided meditation. I ask myself "what am I feeling" quite often and practice a lot of self-love and acceptance. I know this sounds somewhat rigid, but because I enjoy learning all I can about chronic pain and the mindbody connection, it's a labor of love. Please don't give up. We are here to support you! Good luck with your stress test. Oh, and I also wanted to add that I had at least 8 steroid injections with minimal pain reduction.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. Timbercat

    Timbercat Well known member

    Thank you for your encouragement. I am continuing to work with meditation daily for sure. I have always had a problem accepting MBS at the 100% level which is why I am where I am and getting worse as time passes. The steroid injections just don't resonate with me. It's just the stopping off point before they refer you to the neurosurgeons as far as I am concerned because they know I have failed PT multiple times. Sorry to hear you went through 8 of them. It's been a real journey these past 2.5+ years...I always thought I had an inner voice to guide me about certain important things like this. Now after all this MBS exposure, I don't know if my inner voice is still there and accurate or if I should just tell it to shut up. Maybe my inner voice which I thought was so "wise" all along is nothing more than my subconscious sending me distorted messages. I don't know anymore. I just need to get through my cardiac stuff first. So my back and my hip have to wait their turn. In the meantime, I will continue re-reading parts of Dr. Schubiner's program and listening to my meditation and trying to relax myself. Thanks to you and to all who are always so supportive.

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