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Newcomer with a backstory (no pun intended)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jam1e, May 18, 2018.

  1. jam1e

    jam1e Newcomer

    Hey Folks,

    I just finished Dr. Sarno's 2nd book 'Healing Back Pain.' It felt as though this book spoke directly to me. I'll try to keep this as brief as possible.

    I'm 31 years old. The past 2 years of my life have been rocky beyond belief, financially and emotionally. I went almost 2 years without getting paid. I quit a decent job to take a big risk, and flopped on my face. My friends dont really know the details about my little 2 year experiment, and I didn't want to publicize it since it's pretty embarrassing.

    My 1st experience with lower back pain was last February. That morning, I had a call with my Godfather who is basically a father figure to me. It was a pretty upsetting call, he was worried about my current state and future, and had no problem letting me know. I took a nap shortly after. When I woke up, I stepped out of bed and immediately hit the floor with the most excruciating 'back pull' i've ever felt. I took off of work the next 2 days. I was basically pain free a week later.

    Fast forward a few months, I noticed pain going down my leg while trying to fall asleep. It didn't bother me much, since I was playing basketball ~ 2 hours a day with no issue. I figured it would pass.

    By August, the sciatica was affecting my sleep pretty significantly, and I was having trouble playing basketball. At the end of August, I was let go by my employer.

    By December, I called it quits playing basketball because of the pain and risk that I would make whatever injury I had worse.

    This February, I decided to see a doctor about it. My first doctor told me I needed to rest. She didn't want me to get an MRI because 'it wouldn't show anything significant.' I saw a different doctor, who got me an MRI. It showed a large herniated disc, with a little bit of scoliosis. The doctor explicitly said "I have patients who have the same diagnosis as you, but they don't feel pain." He said it's up to me if I wanted an injection, which I declined. He gave me some steroids, which didn't do anything. I took up PT for about a month, which didn't do much. I saw 1 chiro, who fixed me for a good 3 days. Seeing another chiro now, but it's not doing anything.

    My symptoms have shifted from sciatica while sleeping, to sciatica while walking. I sleep fine now. The walking is pretty brutal, I limp around and it's pretty embarrassing. The best part of the day for me is when i'm in the gym. It makes me feel great, especially after doing some of the hip machine exercises.

    I'm trying to ignore the pain, but that is obviously much easier said than done. I try to 'laugh' at the pain, but it's pretty darn hard. I feel after I finished this book that i've finally made progress, but it's going to take some serious work. I also just got out of a 4 year relationship, which went on a for a little longer than it should have. I started my new job in January in a brand new industry, which is overwhelming to say the last.

    Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for tuning in =)

    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  2. jam1e

    jam1e Newcomer


    Just wanted to add that the MRI scared the living crud out of me. One of my friends that had serious back pain kept reiterating to me NOT to get the MRI, which his PT had advised him not to do. I am also a massive hypochondriac & have had pretty bad anxiety since college.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  3. MedicineWithin

    MedicineWithin Peer Supporter

    Hello Jamie!

    I struggled with severe sciatica for a year before I found Sarno's book and was introduced to the mindbody connection. After that it took awhile to be pain free. The thing is I remember when I first read those books something just clicked. I realized I had not been paying attention to my emotions at all. I remember telling my friend "I'm mad and upset because this back pain is ruining my life!" Really I was just mad and upset because I was dealing with so many negative (and positive) emotions and not feeling them. I was in my head and my stories and not feeling my emotions and expressing them. It took my about 6 months for me to be pain free. I saw a therapist (somatic) and journaled a ton. After that what started to happen was this major shift in how I experienced myself. It was like an opening to a part of me I shut off for a long time. Pain symptoms can be a way to create a connection with a part of yourself that you lost touch with. Well here I am now, down in Mexico surfing some of the biggest waves in the world. I had MRI scans that showed all the same herniations and all that stuff. That wasn't the case of the pain. I went through phases where I felt I was in hell, but I let these little sparks of intuition when i read something that resonated with me, or heard other people stories or felt little tingles in my back when I felt emotions that I expressed and journaled. Those little things show you are on the right path. Just be still, and listen to what messages are coming through, what emotions are wanting to be felt. You will be surprised how fast the pain can go, and the connection with your self that is waiting on the other side. Realize the that the anxiety that you said you have had for awhile is attaching itself to this pain and creating more. Separate the anxiety from the pain, just feel the anxiety and realize it is separate from the pain. If you can create space for the anxiety, be ok with it and watch it, you'll be surprised what is under it.

    Enjoy the journey!
    All the best
    Love and aloha
    Lizzy, Ellen and birder like this.

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