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Newbie ... About to meet Dr. Rashbaum

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Lisa G., Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Lisa G.

    Lisa G. Newcomer

    Hello, I'm Lisa ... 55 yrs old, breast cancer survivor ... "Diagnosed" with herniated L3 L4, or arthritis, or stenosis at L5 or SI joint dysfunction ... You pick. I've had lower back pain here and there for years, but one long serious episode since summer 2014. I've been thru the usual reindeer games ... steroids, meds, SI shots, an epidural, 3 rounds of PT, spinal decompression therapy (out of pocket, argh!), accupuncture, chiro ... I've read some of Healing Back Pain and I think I fit the profile. I have an appt in NYC tomorrow with Dr. Rashbaum. Ironically I'm experiencing a bad flare up, not even sure I can deal with the train and walking 10 min to his office. And reading about him, I'm not even sure he & I will click. (I much prefer warm & fuzzy.)

    I'm this close to canceling. My anxiety is thru the roof (I'm always nervous going into NYC.) Feeling rather hopeless. I swear, cancer was easier.
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    I don't think its a coincidence you are having a flare up now. Once your on to the tms it will intensify, because your brain has to intensify to scare you for fear of losing its distraction from your repressed emotions. Truth is waiting to be known while your body is denying it. That's OK, I to got worse in the beginning when I started to heal. Hope you have a good appointment with rashbaum, and give you confidence in the diagnosis. Hold on for the ride your in for a awesome journey.

    Ellen, JanAtheCPA and Lisa G. like this.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Go through with it, you'll feel better and more confident for having done it, TMS success builds on TMS success. Let us know how it went.

    G'luck, we're rootin' for you! santahat
    Lisa G. likes this.
  4. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Get on that train snd take the tms with you
    Lisa G. likes this.
  5. Lisa G.

    Lisa G. Newcomer

    Ryan & Tom, thank you for your kind words of support.

    I haven't had this much pain in months (thanks to the accupuncturist) ... it's almost like a new & different pain, borderline sciatica. I literally just had to crawl my way off the couch. And yes, the irony is not lost on me. But if I feel this horrible tomorrow morning, there's no way I can schlep on the train alone, even to take a cab the 6 blocks. I'm pretty good with fighting the pain in my normal routine, but not coupled with my NYC mass transit anxiety.

    If I do cancel, I won't give up. I'll get another appt, but on a day when my husband can drive me in. If anything this reinforces my gut feeling, that I really do have TMS.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  6. Lisa G.

    Lisa G. Newcomer

    My dear friend just called and hollered at me, told me I HAD to go to this appt, and she's going to meet me at Grand Central. Maybe this will lessen my anxiety and lessen the pain ...?
    mike2014 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Lisa, welcome to the forum, and I will add my support to your new journey and also say that we are rooting for you!

    One of the most powerful tools in the TMS therapy arsenal is learning to change the messages your brain is giving you. Some people call this using positive affirmations, but I think it's even more powerful and subtle than that. What your brain is trying to tell you isn't the truth. You already suspect or know, intellectually that there is nothing seriously wrong with your back, although there is a lot of muscle and nerve pain. But your spine isn't going to fall apart, right? You can't actually hurt your back by doing the things that cause you pain. I expect your back is in plenty of pain even when you do nothing.

    So the next step is to literally start talking to your brain, especially that part of your brain that is creating these pain messages because it thinks you will be in terrible danger if you allow your repressed emotions to come to the surface. However, that's not what it's telling you - instead, it is lying and trying to convince you that you will hurt your back if you do anything active, ESPECIALLY if you leave the safety of your home to go see a TMS therapist, OMG!!!!

    To counteract the lie, you have to take charge, and change that message, by assuring your brain that you are perfectly safe, and that you can't actually harm yourself by this activity.

    Now, I understand that this is undoubtedly too much to expect you to accomplish in this particular moment of crisis - like in the next few hours, yikes! But it's an example of how people with TMS are overcoming their pain and banishing their fear every day, so I'm just putting it out there for your consideration.

    I used this the other day at the dentist, getting yet another crown. I'm a historically bad dental patient due to not being numbed-up enough as a child during multiple fillings (in the 1950s). The thing is, modern anesthetics are marvelous, and I know that I'm good and numb, but I still tense up and yelp when I feel the slightest amount of nerve pain. This time I talked myself through it by telling my brain exactly the same thing - that I was safe, I was in good hands, I'd had plenty of anesthetic, and that I was capable of handling a small amount of pain. And the dentist didn't even know I was feeling anything, it worked that well.

    Again - I realize this is not at all the same thing as the extreme pain and disability you're going through, especially before you've really begun to do any of this work, but I just want to let you know that being able to do this for your back pain is an important goal, that it can be done, and we are doing it every day!

    All the best, and let us know how it's going.

    Sienna, mike2014 and Tennis Tom like this.
  8. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Thats a good friend get ton the appt and set your mind at ease
    Lisa G. likes this.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    That IS a good friend! Often we need a loving push ;)
    Lisa G. likes this.
  10. inymyfruitcup

    inymyfruitcup New Member

    Let us know how it went!
    Lisa G. likes this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lisa. That is a true friend you have. I have two who are so caring and I count them as blessings from the Lord. I hope the appointment with Dr. Rashbaum goes well. Let us know.

    Jan's advice is terrific. She's been there and knows how to heal.
    Sienna and Lisa G. like this.
  12. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Two days before by appointment with Dr. Gwozdz, I got severe back spasms. That's TMS for you! It just hates being challenged.

    I had to hire someone to drive me (an hour and a half) but I went and it was the best thing I could have done.
    Lisa G. and Tennis Tom like this.
  13. avik

    avik Well known member


    I live in Manhattan and have seen/met Dr. Rashbaum multiple times.
    This post is after-the-fact; hoping your appt. went well and that he had as positive of an effect on you as he did on me.
    Sienna, Lisa G. and Tennis Tom like this.
  14. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Why did u go more than once?
  15. Lisa G.

    Lisa G. Newcomer

    Hi, my new friends! Yes, I made it to the appt, I traveled scary Metro North all by myself, and walked the jam-packed 6 blocks like a big girl ... even got there 30 minutes early. Dr. Rashbaum had an emergency and was a little late, but I was seen by a resident, Dr. Ahmed (sp?) who couldn't be kinder, and I was his first TMS case. Dr. Rashbaum gave me a thorough examination - all the "right" spots hurt to the touch - and he concluded that I am a good candidate. He invited me to participate in two lectures (unfortunately not covered by insurance, $300 each! not mandatory, but I know myself, and I know I'll feel better being there with other people, maybe even make a friend or two) - which I will do in January. I want more time to read and research.

    But I'm pretty convinced I have TMS. Mainly because the horrible back pain I had Thursday night became far worse overnight ... but I powered through, and by the time I was on the train it had all but disappeared. I was even able to treat my good dear friend who met me after the appt to a nice lunch. I had some twinges of pain Friday night, but nothing like it was .... I even walked the dog Saturday afternoon.

    So many thanks to all of you who helped me NOT CANCEL and get over that nasty hurdle .... lots of love for that!
    I feel soooooo optimistic ..... first time in a very long time.

    So, now .... where do I start? I'm already half way through "Healing Back Pain". And I'm watching one of Dr. Sarno's lectures on YouTube.
    And ... how do I explain TMS in one sentence without getting ludicrous stares from friends, family, coworkers?
    Sienna and JanAtheCPA like this.
  16. Lisa G.

    Lisa G. Newcomer

    Jan .... thank you so much for your warm welcome, and your wonderful advice! :happy:
  17. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Don't explain, unless it's with someone you trust completely. It's nobody else's business. You have to protect yourself from uninformed criticism.

    "I'd rather not go into it." Some nosy people will be annoyed by that, but they're just being rude. Feel free to ignore them.

    If you have to say something, just say "I'm taking a mindbody approach" and leave it at that.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  18. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    You've already started...and you may be near the finish line...although in TMS there is no finish line--you never know what vicissitudes life might throw your way where you may need the protection of TMS symptoms as a defense (for these vicissitudes search the Rahe-Holmes list).

    Don't worry about explaining TMS--that's the GOODIST personality in you--those who care don't matter and those that matter don't care.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  19. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for sharing with us, I'm glad you were able to get to the appointment. Have you begun the Structured Educational Program here on this site? It's a 6 week program, completely free, and will essentially cover everything you need to know about TMS. You could begin this now, and see how you feel closer to January before committing to those lectures that cost all that money. I swear by the program. I'm doing it now for the 2nd time because I had a relapse and I'm uncovering much more stuff that I didn't quite get to last time (although I was 100% pain free last time I finished the program, for around 4 months).


  20. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy Lisa! Way to go! That is really awesome news - you could post a "Success Story" just about your trip to the appointment!

    I echo Kevin - as soon as you've finished MBP, go ahead and start the Structured Educational Program on our wiki - it's totally free, it's also the program I did four years ago, and it guides you day by day. Just don't feel like you have to do one day every single day - if you need a break or have something more fun to do - by all means, go and do that instead. You can always pick up where you left off, and besides, you'll be practicing the things you learn every day. If you feel like you want to do more emotional, somewhat unstructured work, we can also highly recommend the TMS Recovery Program, generously donated to us by Alan Gordon.

    I like David's advise to say "I'm taking a mind-body approach". Your closest friends and family should be able to listen to what you have to tell them. If someone wants to argue with you, just point out that the doctors you've seen don't think anything is wrong, and that it can't possibly hurt to try something completely non-invasive for a while. And that it will cost a LOT less than you've been spending on specialists who can't find anything wrong. Remind people that the medical profession completely recognizes that stress will make every condition, illness or injury worse, and that one of the things you're working on is to reduce your stress level, which will definitely help you, even if only a little bit (hah - secretly you will have a much more positive vision than "only a little bit" ;)).

    You can send people the link (on our site) which you will find when you start the SEP, to the short and very watchable 20/20 video featuring Dr. Sarno. I also recommend the following links for the skeptical:

    Back In Control: http://www.drdavidhanscom.com/ (Dr. David Hanscom MD, a spine surgeon at the highly-regarded Swedish Hospital in Seattle who requires all surgery candidates to go through this program first - with the hope that they will recover without the surgery - and he has a high success rate with this result)(and a friend of our forum - he allows us to repost his blogs in our MindBody Blogs subforum).

    The Mind-Body Medicine Center at St. John Providence in Michigan: http://www.stjohnprovidence.org/mindbodymedicine/ (Dr. Howard Schubiner MD, friend and supporter of our wiki and forum)

    They Can't Find Anything Wrong http://www.stressillness.com/ (Dr. David Clarke MD in Portland, OR who wrote the book of the same name)

    We're glad to have you on board, Lisa!welcomea

    mike2014 and KevinB like this.

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