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Newbie Needs Moral Support!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by makena, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. makena

    makena Newcomer

    Hi, I just found this forum a few days ago and have been reading success stories etc.

    Here is some background, sorry if it is longwinded!

    I am a 59 year old female who has had back issues going back to my teens. I had a laminectomy 25 years ago and have had issues on and off since then. I was advised to have a second surgery about 20 years ago when having severe sciatica and an MRI showed three herniated discs, but due to a delay in getting a second opinion I got better and cancelled. Somewhere on my back pain journey I discovered Dr Sarno and read one of his books and really saw myself as a typical personality type for TMS. I realized that prior to the issue that lead to my first surgery my father had died unexpectedly and my husband had started a new business. No wonder I was feeling anger and anxiety! I used his techniques on several other occasions and was successful in getting over the flare ups. For quite some time I didn't have any real problems.

    Last year I suddenly started to have pain that felt like my hip joint. I went to a chiropractor, no help. My next stop was a spine clinic where there is a chiropractor, PT and a nuerosurgeon. They diagnosed me with sacroilitis and I had massage therapy and PT. I had an MRI which showed the same findings I recall hearing from 20 years ago, nothing new. I had an injection in my SI joint and also did spinal decompression treatments on a table. After a couple of months I finally got better gradually. I had tried to use my knowledge of TMS but for some reason (probably my subconcious fear of confronting the real issues) I didn't really give it a chance. I was fine last summer, took a trip to Japan and Korea. Went on another long flight at Christmas and walked all over and during that time had zero pain. In January the hip pain came back and continued to get worse. I had another injection in my SI joint, no help. Had an injection in my spine, no help. The pain was so bad I couldn't sit so I had to work from home. It became unbearable at times. I was popping Vicodin. I had another MRI which had to be done under sedation because I was in too much pain to lay still. The results were no different than last years MRI. The neurosurgeon said he thought the opening in the bone where the nerve exits the spine was narrowed and the cause of the pain. He said he could do a foraminotomy to relieve the pressure. I went ahead and scheduled it as I was desperate.

    The more I thought about it the more I started questioning why I suddenly was having these problems when there didn't seem to be any big changes from a year ago or even 20 years ago. About three weeks ago I downloaded "Healing Back Pain" and really started seeing what I feel is the true cause of my pain. After reading and giving myself time to think about some big personal issues that have happened in the last couple of years I started to feel much better. I went from spending all day and night in my recliner to being able to sleep in my bed and getting up and around the house. I have been feeling 70% better but I have these lingering doubts I am trying to overcome. My surgery is scheduled for this Monday and I want to cancel but of course I am feeling anxiety and now my pain level is going back up. I feel like that cartoon where there is an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other!

    I guess I am looking for a pep talk! Thanks for letting me vent. I feel calmer from just writing this all down. I need to make a call and cancel the surgery but I am still conflicted. Any insights are welcome.
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hello Makena,

    Welcome to this site.

    Reading Sarno reduced your pain substantially. That's strong evidence that it's TMS. And you recognize your personality from Sarno's description.

    I think you're right to cancel the surgery. You can always change your mind and reschedule, but once it's done, you can't undo it.

    It takes time for the idea of TMS to sink in, and especially to understand the underlying psychological conflicts. A seventy percent pain reduction in three weeks is a very good start. Take whatever time you need to think about your life stresses. What was going on when the pain flared up? What made it feel better?

    Sarno's book The Divided Mind is very good, as is The Great Pain Deception by Steve Ozanich. Many people are helped by the self-study programs on this site, or by a therapist knowledgable about TMS.

    That's a wonderful insight. Fear of confronting our inner demons is one of the biggest obstacles to overcoming TMS. It takes time, courage, and sometimes the right circumstances. You're on the right track.

  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, I am 52 years old and I had a lamenectomy 20 years ago. I am a little too tired tonight to go over my long history, but if I was you, I would postpone the surgery. You can always come back to it, and I would give yourself a little time. I had an MRI for my neck a few years ago which showed ruptured discs. They were recommending surgery and I was not sure. I asked if I could safely wait six months and they said yes, but they wouldn't wait longer than that. After a few months of working on the TMS, I was not pain free, but I was also not even thinking about surgery anymore. Now I am so glad I procrastinated!! Feeling 70% better is really significant!!!! How is that even possible if your pain is structural?
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Makena. I agree with David and Anne that you should postpone the surgery and give TMS a chance to heal you.
    Your improvement is terrific, so you should feel confident that you will heal completely through TMS knowledge penicillin.
    Keep telling yourself that the personal problems have been causing the pain. Dr. Sarno says we don't even have to solve the problems, so long as we tell ourselves they produce pain that is psychological and not structural. That has worked for me and many others and will work for you. But remember, it takes 100 percent belief in TMS.

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