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New to forum - worried about husband

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by OSupporter, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. OSupporter

    OSupporter New Member

    My husband had on and off back pain while driving which came to a head after we purchased a new car. A few weeks later, when he was at the gym, he felt a squeeze/strain in his back. This was approx. 9 months ago and he's been in pain ever since. The same story I've seen in your posts and in the four TMS books I've read: X-rays, several MRI's, a herniated L4/L5 disc which may be pinching a nerve, degenerative disc disease, arthritis. The doctors are having a hard time linking his pain level and symptoms to the MRIs. He first had tingling and numbness, sciatica, in his right leg, then to his toes. About a month or two later it started moving into his left leg down to his foot and now he's feeling tingling in his penis and occasionally in his arms, which has been attributed to a bulging disc in his neck by the chiropractor. He's had that off and on through the years too, but it's typically gone away. He's had a good physical and motor nerve test. First EMG and sensory nerve test was fine, waiting on results of a second opinion. He had a very challenging childhood and relationship with his Dad, fits the personality characteristics of a do gooder and high achiever, very low self-esteem, very anxious and a history of acid reflux, TMJ, asthma, allergies and other conditions. Dr. Schubiner reviewed the symptoms and MRIs and said he thought he's classic TMS, as did a member of the Pain Psychology Center in L.A.. We have an appointment to see Dr. Schechter in California in May. My problem is that my husband, who is also a nurse practitioner, doesn't believe this could possibly be it and not be structural. I know this is the key to success and healing. Do any spouses out there have any encouraging words? It breaks my heart that he's not more open and doesn't see himself in the TMS books. I want so desperately to help him!
  2. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I'm Birdsetfree's husband. See her success story http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/a-life-set-free.12276/ (A life set free...)
    Its very similar to your husbands' diagnosis. Dr Sarno is a 'hard sell' to those not ready for it. The first time I asked her to read the book, it got thrown across the room, and I wasn't allowed to mention it again.....ever. It took another two years for us to reconsider it. I wasn't convinced either, just clutching at straws after having been on the medical merry-go-round for many years. So, your husband has to be ready, otherwise he won't embrace it fully. Like us, he needs to reach a point of openness to things other than physical diagnoses. TMS is 'all in the head', but to put it like that comes across as insulting when the pain is in your back and very real pain. My wife is having tremendous success with Dr Sarno, more than we ever imagined was possible, so much more than anything else we had tried, a thousand times more. It works. Keep the book in your library. Whens he's ready, he'll pick it up.

    To give ourselves the evidence it works, we looked up 'I cured my chronic pain' in google, and Dr Sarno had the majority of successes out there. His customer reviews on Amazon for 'Healing Back Pain' are amazing in content and number.
    Gigi and Eve like this.
  3. OSupporter

    OSupporter New Member

    Thank you so much, that's encouraging. He's been suicidal over it and I feel so desperate to help him. His fear drives him into worst-case scenarios and his anxiety is over the top. I do hope and pray he'll reconsider and read more with a different perspective. I don't think he read the book fully because he thinks it says you think positive thoughts to not think about the pain. Clearly, he skimmed and quickly determined it wasn't a fit. It's so scary. Thanks again for caring and for your message. I'm glad it's worked for your situation.
    birdsetfree likes this.
  4. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    My TMS also started with a heavy lift in the gym. Pretty sure I really pulled a muscle, and bulged a disc, too, according the MRI. I have no doubt that my TMS began with an actual injury. It like the anxiety of actually being hurt lets your brain mix all your anxiety/stress/repressed emotions into a big TMS cocktail. The symptoms are indeed very convincing in terms of feeling structural, especially when there is an injury to latch on to. But TMS healing worked for me, but it wasn't until I noticed how anger and frustration made my pain spike that I was ready to read the Sarno book a friend had given me. As soon as I read it, I knew it was right, but it took many months to break the conditioning, and let go of the addiction to pain and worry that I had developed. I also saw Dr. Schecter, but it was Dr Schubiner's book that I found most helpful. I wish I knew what to tell you. I was ready to believe and more afraid of back surgery than anything else. He will be ready for this approach when he is ready. With a supportive spouse, the odds are in his his favor!
    birdsetfree likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Osuporter. I know what severe back pain like. I am 85 now but about two years ago felt stabbing back pain. I thought it was from some heavy lifting (a case of 36 cans of beer into my shopping cart as the supermarket). I had myself checked out but nothing was structurally wrong. I told a nurse friend
    about it and she suggested I read Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain. I had been under a lot of financial stress at the time my back hurt, and when I came to this web site and read not only Dr. Sarno's book, but began the Structured Educational Program, free on this web site, I journaled and attributedmy back pain to financial stress and my parents divorcing when I was seven because of their financial problems. The journaling about my emotional stresses cur4ed the back pain.

    Pain can be awful and we may even feel suicidal at times. We are very fortunate in knowing the part our emotions play in our health or pain. Once we accept TMS 100 percent, we heal. Good luck to all of you in your TMS healing progress.
  6. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Hi Osupporter. I agree with Birdetfree's husband: the person has to be ready in order to be receptive to something as radical as Sarno. I'm a very logical scientist, and I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical of his ideas at first. But two things helped me: 1. Sarno was an MD with hundreds of success stories to back up his ideas, and 2. I was desperate for relief from the pain.
    I'm praying you good outcomes from your dr. visit.
  7. OSupporter

    OSupporter New Member

    Thank you. I pray that he will consider this again. His anxiety and sadness breaks my heart, along with knowing he's in pain. It's the saddest time of our lives and I want so desperately to help him. Thank you for your stories and kind words - they are all very, very helpful.
  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'll go out on a limb here and say that it's TMS !!! There's NO WAY you can hurt your back sitting in a car seat!!! I've heard this same scenario sitting in the hot-tub from people who just bought new cars--really!?!-- BMW and Volvo make bad car seats that will "damage" your back--someone please tell Ralph Nader and Consumer Reports, we need a blue ribbon gov investigation. There are numerous citations in the books stating that you can't hurt yourself sitting or lying in bed. May be you need to copy them for your hubs, blow them up and hang them all over the house. But he is in the pain business being a nurse so he's surrounded by "evidence" that is the opposite of TMS all day.

    Dr. Sarno theorized that TMS was a PROTETOR, a psychological defense mechanism to avoid more painful emotions. You could maybe figure out what these stressful situations are that are creating his sub-c's need for his TMS symptom distraction and help lower his rage/soothe ratio to the point he may be relaxed and open enough to hear about TMS. The Rahe-Holmes list of life-stressors is a good place to begin looking. You can find it by doing a search at this site.

    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  9. OSupporter

    OSupporter New Member

    Tennis Tom, thanks for your message. The car seat leads him back to the Degenerative Disc Disease. It's very hard when we're seeing all these doctors who push the structural, even though they can't really see anything sinister or explain how we've gotten to this chronic phase. It's so disheartening, but my husband has to go on this journey and be open to new ideas and revisit TMS. I'm afraid the more I push it the more he pulls away from the idea. I will soon have a full library of mind/body, TMS, books and information so when he's ready, it's there for him to look into again.
  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  11. OSupporter

    OSupporter New Member

    We see Dr. Schechter in California in a couple of weeks. He's also a sports medicine and family medicine doctor, so regardless I think/hope he'll give us a new perspective and he's highly credible. Anyone out there or link to this site that is a good example of degenerative disc disease and disc herniation and TMS success would be great. The numbness and tingling are driving him crazy (both legs now) as is the constant pain. One way or another, he has to deal with the psychological aspects of chronic pain. I'm feeling desperate. He's tired, in pain and angry at this point. In the meantime, we see a neuro doc for nerve test results and a physical pain and rehab doctor this week.
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Have you looked at the Rahe-Holmes list for what is stressing him? :

    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/The_Holmes_and_Rahe_Social_Readjustment_Rating_Scale_(SRRS) (The Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS))

    To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of "Life Change Units" that apply to events in the past year of an individual's life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.

    Life event Life change units
    Death of a spouse 100
    Divorce 73
    Marital separation 65
    Imprisonment 63
    Death of a close family member 63
    Personal injury or illness 53
    Marriage 50
    Dismissal from work 47
    Marital reconciliation 45
    Retirement 45
    Change in health of family member 44
    Pregnancy 40
    Sexual difficulties 39
    Gain a new family member 39
    Business readjustment 39
    Change in financial state 38
    Death of a close friend 37
    Change to different line of work 36
    Change in frequency of arguments 35
    Major mortgage 32
    Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
    Change in responsibilities at work 29
    Child leaving home 29
    Trouble with in-laws 29
    Outstanding personal achievement 28
    Spouse starts or stops work 26
    Begin or end school 26
    Change in living conditions 25
    Revision of personal habits 24
    Trouble with boss 23
    Change in working hours or conditions 20
    Change in residence 20
    Change in schools 20
    Change in recreation 19
    Change in church activities 19
    Change in social activities 18
    Minor mortgage or loan 17
    Change in sleeping habits 16
    Change in number of family reunions 15
    Change in eating habits 15
    Vacation 13
    Christmas 12
    Minor violation of law 11
    Score of 300+: At risk of illness.

    Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).

    Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.


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