1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 1 Ready for Recovery

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Hugh, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Hugh

    Hugh New Member

    Sorry this is long. . . hope you guys will read!!!
    I'm currently 24 and have been suffering from chronic back pain for over two years now. I've spent most of the past two years denying that this pain is affecting me in hopes that I would one day find a cure, answer, or even simply arrive at the other end of my pain without letting others intimately into my situation. . . but I'm ready to let people in.

    While I have had various manifestations of TMS throughout my life (ie excema, low back pain, chondromalacia, and acne), my two most significant instances have been tendonitis in my left index finger and back pain in my mid thoracic and neck. I haven't categorized the tendonitis as TMS until recently, so I'll include this story as well.

    In 2010 I moved to South Africa for a study abroad for 4 1/2 months, which I thought would be the most incredible life experience. After a couple months I found myself extremely anxious, angry, and lonely. I didn't know how to handle these emotions and began to run/play guitar to relieve the stress since I had removed all my previous unhealthy coping habits, mainly relying on Adderall (an ADHD medication). By this point I had healed from a cut to my index finger months before (which I later found out that the cut had severed a lateral slip tendon, which you have two of so it was never realized that there was any damage to a tendon) and started playing guitar again to get rid of stress. I had played without pain and full strength for over a month, and then all of the sudden I got a serious attack of tendonitis while playing. Upon returning to the US, I was more anxious than ever before in my life and I attributed it to my finger and the chondromalacia that I developed the last month in South Africa. I began seeing doctors for these issues and found out that I severed a tendon in my finger, but it was a fortunate injury because I would not need surgery, as the finger could and did at one time after the injury (before tendonitis) have full motion and little pain (some pain near the scar). The tendonitis has continued to flair up from time to time over the past two and a half years and currently is severely restricting motion and remains painful.

    As far as my back, I began to develop back pain right after I found out about my finger and knees. It was an extremely stressful time moving back in with my parents and trying to figure out my whole life. I was anxious about coming back to America, anxious about having to get a job and support myself, my friends having moved onto new cities, and overwhelmed by realizing the magnitude of my mother's illness (fibromyalgia, migraines, etc). In the middle of this I was organizing my belongings and bent over and felt a sting in my back. I felt the same sting the next day and my back began to knot up. The only other initial injury type situation (although I see myself as constantly "reinjurying myself") was a physical therapist pushed on my neck and I felt a sing by my spine. I then stood up and moved my neck and my entire neck and shoulders cramped in horrible pain. I felt a serious sting and have had serious pain flair ups many times since. I see these two incidents as the beginning of my back troubles and have since done PT, medical massage, Cranio Sacral, acupuncture, cupping, injections, muscle relaxers, patches, meditation, and of course MRI's and X-rays. I have constantly been told that there is nothing wrong with my back, and the only diagnosis I have received is Myofascial Pain Syndrome and have continued to receive advice from my physician that there is nothing structurally wrong and that I need to keep pushing through the pain to overcome.

    I first read John Sarno's book nearly two years ago when a friend told me she had become 95% pain free after reading "Healing Back Pain" so I eagerly went out and bought the book. I didn't fully accept the diagnosis at the time and persisted to go through the medical gauntlet. It hasn't been until my last visit a week ago that I began to think back to Sarno's books (Healing Back Pain and The Mind Body Perscription) that I had read a combined 5 times. It hit me that there is nothing else to do medically, and I began to embrace the TMS diagnosis. I downloaded Healing Back Pain and have listened to it two times over the past 5 days. I know I fit the personality type perfectly and see the enormous amounts of anger I generate from always being the nice guy and perfectionistic/driven at all my work. I found this site and am looking for support as I move forward with facing the painful emotions of anger and anxiety. I have spent years feeling sorry for myself, but am ready to overcome.

    Apprehensions of fully accepting TMS:
    -Tendonitis in finger is because of cutting tendon, even though I had no pain in tendon after cutting until playing guitar for a long while.
    -Neck pain is due to physical therapist pushing on neck and feeling a sting, even though MRI's and X-rays show nothing.

    Would love everyone's thoughts and support and would be glad to give any more background if someone has questions.
  2. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi there youngster! I remember Dr. Sarno telling me "the body heals" when I brought up to him something that happened about 20 years ago. After he said that to me, the pain NEVER came back. So if you've been checked and mri and x-ray shows nothing, I would just concentrate on viewing it as TMS. Don't forget this information is contrary to what we've been taught for many years , and the new way of thinking takes time to be fully absorbed. But it surely can be done and you too can be pain-free!

    How about writing about your feelings? Re-reading the books is also a good idea, or listening as you mentioned as well.
    veronica73 likes this.
  3. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome, Hugh!

    After hear all kinds of structural diagnoses for years, TMS seemed a little unbelievable to me at first. But when I finished reading Mindbody Prescription I felt a little better and I knew there was something to it. As Lori mentioned, this is a new way of thinking and it takes a little while to sink in.

    Hope to see you around here.
  4. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    Hi Hugh:

    Personality traits are genetic so I find it interesting the your mother has fibro which is the severest form of TMS. I too was "sort of" diagnosed with fibro, no doc would confirm and myofacial pain. I am in week two of this program and I am already seeing improvements in the pain in my legs. It's amazing. I am getting ready to take a break from work and take my daughter to the mall. Just FYI, she has asthma, skin issue and back and foot pain. She has had anxiety as long as I can remember.

    The biggest thing that helped me was getting my anxiety under control. I am still working on, but as it gets better so does my pain. Also, believe in TMS. I know it's hard for us beginners, but it's real.

    The success stories help and I read them every morning first thing along with information folks from the wiki haven given me that I find helpful.

    Reach out any time,
  5. Hugh

    Hugh New Member

    Thank you all for your responses! I love hearing that the body heals and the hope from you all that I can be free of pain. I am definitely going to start upping my journaling, as I realize how important it is to experience these emotions. And as Susan said, I definitely need to get my anxiety under control. It was an issue before severe TMS symptoms, but the symptoms definitely exacerbate it. Looking forward to freedom.
  6. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member


    You will heal. The anxiety fear cycle is meant to keep us TMS'ers from focusing on healing. It's distracting.....

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