Hello everyone, I started day 1 of the structured educational program, and one of the steps was to introduce myself to all of you here. So...here I go! I am a 32 year old female. I work full time as a school psychologist which is a job I love, though it definitely can be stressful. I am engaged and will be getting married in 4 months, and also have a dog Sophie who is the light of my life. Ok, that's the fun stuff. As for the not fun stuff, my chronic pain journey began 2 1/2 years ago. My sister had just died from a brain tumor and it was a horrible time. So, my way of coping was by throwing myself into exercise. And lots of it. I began running a lot and training for a half marathon. I needed something to focus on or else I thought I might lose my mind from the grief I was feeling. As I got further into becoming a runner, I started to feel a dull ache on my right hip, but I pushed through. Soon the pain went to my upper back, and it hurt so bad and wasn't comfortable in any position. It then quickly went to my low back, where it stayed and wouldn't budge. Standing hurt so bad, and just doing everyday things like cooking or cleaning became so painful. I've had a history of a "bad back," so I figured it would go away but it didn't. I went to an orthopedist who suspected a herniated disc, and prescribed PT. I don't know why, but PT made me feel so much worse. My orthopedist ordered an MRI and of course my spine was perfect. Around that time, I had been having some dull aching pain in my right buttock. The orthopedist concluded I must have piriformis syndrome, and so my PT changed up their approach. Still no help, just getting worse. Not only was it unbearable to sit due to butt pain, but soon the pain spread to the front of my right hip as well. My doctors were now convinced that my issues were stemming from a problem in my hip joint, so I had two hip MRIs, one with contrast one without. And wouldn't you know it, my hips looked perfect! I can't tell you how many doctors I went to who gave me that look like, "I don't know what else to tell you, your spine and hips are fine, you shouldn't have this much pain. But here's some pain pills." My original orthopedist referred me for a EMG nerve conduction study, which showed a mild irritation at the s1 nerve root. Hallelujah! Someone has found the source! I was told that a steroid injection into the nerve root would fix my ails. Well, after three separate nerve root injections, I felt no different. The doctor felt bad and kept prescribing my tramadol and kept saying hopefully one day the nerve will heal itself. I went to another neurologist for a nerve conduction study and she found nothing at all to be abnormal, including no abnormalities with the s1. I thought I was losing my mind. Meanwhile, I found one of the few hip surgeons in my area who worked with piriformis syndrome, so I went to him. After performing some physical tests, he was convinced that I had a tear in the cartilage of my hip joint. He performed surgery on me and fixed my tear (it was there despite not showing up in MRI) and he looked at my piriformis and sciatic nerve and found no issues that could be causing the constant butt pain. Well, I'm a little over a year out from surgery and I'm worse than before. My pain continues to move down my right leg. Whereas it was only in the butt and hip, it's now in the groin, down my inner thigh, and now my knee is greatly affected. All this pain for so long and no one can find an origin. I've been on tramadol for 2 years, have done 4 rounds of PT, Chiro, accupuncture, massage, and I believe a total of 13 steroid injections (spine, piriformis, hip joint, trochanter bursa). I had found Dr. Sarno's name in a spinehealth forum and since then have been really interested in his work. I do identify with a lot of the traits of typical TMS-ers, and acknowledge that my pain started after a significant tragedy that I never really allowed myself to grieve. So here I am, starting this program and hoping to learn more about myself and the link between my emotions and my pain. Oh, I'm also lucky enough to live near LA and am going to see Dr. Schecter in 2 weeks. I can't wait for an actual TMS doctor to examine me and give me their feedback. Thanks everyone for allowing me to write this novel of a post!