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Post back surgery...getting into TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by johnnyblotter, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. johnnyblotter

    johnnyblotter New Member

    Hi all,

    Glad I found this site, and looking forward to participating in this community. I am 1.5 years past a microdiscectomy operation, and am becoming more and more convinced that I was suffering from severe TMS.

    I have had back spasms every few years since I was 20 (I'm 38 now) which I was always able to come back from using physical therapy.

    A few years ago, after a long period of very intense physical exercise (weights, running), and dealing with the aftermath of a number of mental health issues (to numerous to go into here, but suffice it to say, they were severe, and were part of an incredibly chaotic life for 5-6 years) I was attempting to come back from another "typical" bout of sciatica, when I had the "snapping" and excruciating pain situation described so accurately by Dr. Sarno. I spent the next 4 months in a nightmarish state of barely going anywhere, perhaps hobbling to the corner store on crutches, only to spend most of the day faced-down in bed. It wasn't very romantic to say the least.

    After finally getting an MRI, I was told I had an "enormous" disc herniation at L5-S1 that the neurosurgeon (who has excellent credentials, I might add) thought "almost certainly" would have to be operated on. Sent home with a vial of hydromorphone, I spent the next month trying to "psych" myself out of the extreme pain and numbness. I had what felt like a rock in my foot, but I still decided to push myself to walk around. I had started reading The Mind Body connection, and had progressed from being almost scared to walk at all, to taking short trips around my neighborhood, even doing a little bit of shopping. I was doing slightly better! Maybe I'd avoid surgery after all.

    Then one fateful day I decided to visit a friend, where I smoked pot, and had an absolutely atrocious reaction. I was standing in the street, unable to walk, a spike of pain driving from the bottom of my foot to the top of my left leg. Worst pain of my life...made peeing after urethral stricture surgery feel like being stroked on the back of the neck with a light feather. Somehow, with the help of my friend, I made it home, popped two 'morphones, and called the ambulance. I'd given up, and went in and got the surgery done.

    I was told the operation went well, that they'd removed most of the disc, and another piece of disc that was trapped against the nerve. Ah, I thought. Good that they removed that piece of disc trapped against the nerve. Only problem was, I still had a rock in my foot, and extreme numbness in the leg.

    Now that I accept TMS, I've come to realize that it doesn't matter what was happening in my back, that I had so many issues in life and had such extreme TMS, and did not have the ability/courage to try to fight it. Just getting to a doctor's appointment was such an extremely terrifying thing that I gave up, telling myself I had to listen to the professionals and take the recommended course.

    1.5 years later, luckily I am doing ok, although I've given up (temporarily?) weight lifting and running. My pain moves around to different spots and has been a nagging annoyance that, while not completely debilitating, certainly has lowered my quality of life quite a bit, and I am tired of being limited by it. Especially having pain after a few hours of sitting...ugh. Who has time for that?

    I went back to Sarno just last week after another round of physical therapy. I just decided it was ridiculous to sit there doing these back bends. It just stopped making sense to think I had to be doing these different routines in the morning in order to feel ok the rest of the day. And now, just a few days into being back on the Sarno track, I've already been able to begin to relieve the symptoms by focusing on issues in my life, thinking psychologically, and having talks with my subconscious. I told my subconscious to stop playing tricks on me, and that we were in this together, even though it was used to fighting with my conscious mind. I even did a half-a-block jog (more than I would generally dare doing) and did ten real pushups earlier today.

    As you may have picked up, I have a quite a few issues going back many years, so I think my next step is to try to talk my insurance company into helping me pay for TMS psychotherapy rather than doing another MRI. It's a hell of a lot cheaper, anyway. I hope they see the sense in this. I am very optimistic that this is the right path for me to be on.

    Anyway, apologies for the overly long post...thanks for getting through it! I look forward to participating in the community.
     
    silentflutes likes this.
  2. Aucklander

    Aucklander Peer Supporter

    Hi Johnny, I'm sorry to hear of your operation and other issues, I had a similar run in a shorter space of time. I was fortunate enough to find out about TMS before getting surgery on my back.

    What books have you read so far? I reccomend Dr Schubiner's Unlearn your pain and Steve Ozanich'sGreat Pain deception. These provide a good context and practical tools to better understand what's going on and how to deal with it.

    Feel free to ask questions as need be, the are lots of good supporters and tips here to help you out. Best of Luck becoming pain free.
     
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Johnnyblotter.

    Aucklander suggests two good books.

    Good luck getting your insurance company to pay for TMS psychotherapy.
    If not, there are lots of techniques for healing TMS pain in the forums,
    especially the success forum.
     
  4. gypsysoul

    gypsysoul New Member

    I'm so happy for you! I have a friend who it sounds like has gone through a very similar situation. His surgery was 2 weeks ago and his foot is still numb and yet he is so resistant to the idea of TMS. I too have had those spasms and they are unbelievable. I was so scared for so long that I would have to live that way and I can safely say the fear is (almost) gone! You will do great. This site has been so amazing and really a missing piece for me and I hope it will for you too!
     

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