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Recovery is sweet!!!

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Gigi, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    I've been encouraged to write my story, so here goes!

    My first bout of debilitating back pain occurred when I was about 13. My mother had a long history of back pain, including two failed spinal fusions. I saw orthopedists who diagnosed scoliosis, and I tried various girdle-like back braces that I wore throughout my teenaged years. (Of course, these did little except to weaken my back muscles!)
    The back pain intensified throughout college, and by the time I was in grad school I stood in the back of all my classes, because sitting for any length of time was too painful. I did manage to successfully complete my MS and work in my field.
    I got married, and after 9 years had the miracle baby that the MDs said would never be (largely because of my lupus). When my daughter was about 3, I read some of Andrew Weil's books, and in one of them he referenced John Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain. I read it just after I'd been to a well-known Back Institute, where they decided that I was NOT a candidate for surgery. I became very depressed after this, thinking I had no options left--and then I read Sarno. I don't feel that his books are very well written, but it sure spoke to me. My personality type--always trying to do things to perfection--was described on every page. After trying Sarno's methods, I found that I could sit like normal people! Daily morning meditation helped to reduce my pain to tolerable levels, and finally I was able to banish back pain entirely. What a concept!
    I changed careers in 2001, through an unusual occurrence, and went back for a second master's degree (library science) 17 years after the first one (geology).
    In 2005 my lupus flared and took out my kidneys. I was blessed to have an excellent doctor in Iowa City, and although it was first thought that I only had a few months to live, they came up with a successful immunosuppressant that has kept me not only alive, but active!
    In January of 2011 my father died. (Mom had died 2 weeks before my daughter was born.) At the same time all the librarians in my district were slated to be let do, due to state-wide budget cuts. The day after Spring Break, I got out of bed and crashed to the floor. My feet literally wouldn't hold me up. My doctor diagnosed plantar fasciitis, but despite two years of seeing every specialist and trying every treatment imaginable from accupuncture to PT, deep tissue therapy to ice baths, and after spending time in a wheelchair in order to keep my job, I was told by an old friend (who I hadn't heard from in 27 years!) to read Steve Ozanich's book. It was Steve's list--page after page of illnesses that can be TMS related--that brought me to tmswiki.org. After working the SEP in early 2013 I had a lot of relief from the foot pain, so I decided to work on my migraines, which had plagued me for about 3 years, but were suddenly increasing in frequency. I vividly recall the day that my head pain moved from the base of my skull on the right side, to the base on the left side. I had never had pain there before. That convinced me that the pain was TMS.
    I had to do a lot of reading and a lot of trying of various techniques before I found something that worked for my headaches. During one week I had a migraine for 5 out of the 7 days. My subconscious was fighting back hard!! The recipe that works for me today is to yell at my subC for responding to stress in such an inappropriate manner. Then I say, "Is that the best you can do? Bring it!" and that helps me break the fear cycle.
    I've now been headache free for 3 months, and I feel that I have my life back! I can hike, go for evening walks with my husband, and be out in the heat without fearing a migraine.
    Life is good. I'm so very grateful for the program and all of you, my friends on the TMS journey!
  2. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Part of me is angry that I didn't recognize my plantar fasciitis or rotator cuff pain or migraines as TMS earlier in the game--particularly since I'd had success with it years earlier.
    But I am comforted by two things: 1. I never let surgeons operate on my feet, because they could never convince me that they knew what was wrong or could successfully treat it by cutting. and 2. I have the program NOW and can be grateful for that.
    Nancy P, rekcat, AdamJensen and 3 others like this.
  3. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    How wonderful Gigi to hear of your recovery. Thanks for taking the time to write your story. It helps give hope to us all. I know that you will live each day with joy now. Once you have experienced pain, to be free of it must make life all the sweeter!
    rekcat and Gigi like this.
  4. Stock Trader

    Stock Trader Peer Supporter

    Gigi, thanks for sharing this.
    thech1mp, rekcat, Gigi and 1 other person like this.
  5. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Congratulations.... what a story.
    Gigi likes this.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Gigi your a warrior , im so glad you've won
    its a true story of will and determination -true inspiration-
    after getting rid of the back pain I too had the migraine symptom imperative
    I learned to listen to the pain and have been successful
    your story is awesome in how well you took to the Sarno diagnosis
    Steve is a great friend of all of us here at Tmswiki
    what a great recovery story- im so proud of you
    hope to hear much much more wisdom from you
    god bless
    rekcat and Gigi like this.
  7. priaash

    priaash New Member

    Glad to hear that finally you are symptom free. I am suffering back and neck pain from almost 2 years so I can feel the things you had gone through from childhood. ... wishing you a good life ahead and need support
    Gigi likes this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Recovery is sweet, which reminds me that my mother was 92 and in arthritic pain
    when she told me, "I hurt, but life is sweet."

    She died two years later but not of a fatal illness, she said she was just tired and "ready to go."

    I'm sure my darling dog Annie, a big black Lab, who is 13, is in arthritic pain, but she doesn't show it to me.
    She just toughs it out. God bless her!
    orffgirl likes this.
  9. Laudisco

    Laudisco Well known member

    What a wonderful success story! Thanks for sharing your journey and inspiring us along the way. :)
    Gigi likes this.
  10. vanessa

    vanessa Peer Supporter

    What a great story. I do two things I say to my subC "Im' not putting up with this crap, I know what you are doing, stop it. I am checking in, I have been on top of every emotion and feeling, so just stop the crap. Or "I have nothing but compassion for myself and others" Each seems to lower pain or it cycles out.
    Lady Phoenix, BennyBee, Gigi and 2 others like this.
  11. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    Wow! That is quite the recovery story :) I'm so happy for you, Gigi. This definitely gives me hope!
    Gigi likes this.
  12. BennyBee

    BennyBee New Member

    You are an inspiration, Gigi. Thank you.
    Gigi likes this.
  13. prisd

    prisd Peer Supporter

    Loved your story Gigi. Thanks for your support.
    Gigi likes this.
  14. bethesue

    bethesue Newcomer

    Thanks so much for your story--it's one of the first I've seen that addresses recurring illness starting in childhood. I had multiple surgeries starting when I was 3 for urinary tract problems. For years I've had one body part or another have pain and never understood what was going on. I've become addicted to doctors and for many years also addicted to opiates. With TMS recommended by my therapist I'm thrilled with TMS diagnosis because now I know what's going on. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm hoping to get on Skype with someone in Alan Gordon's practice.
    Gigi and BennyBee like this.
  15. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Thanks for sharing your story Gigi. I'm so glad you beat it. : )
    Gigi likes this.
  16. vanessa

    vanessa Peer Supporter

    Inspiring story. Thank you. Gives me hope and courage. To keep meditating, and working out, walking, staying physical, no matter what, so I can train my brains messages to my nervous system. When I'm in fear back and calf flare up. I journal and talk to it too.
    Gigi likes this.
  17. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    I enjoyed Gigi's story! I had asthma from about 8 years old and after I had such success getting rid of migraines, I did the same for my asthma. I have almost completely brought an end to my constant migraine pain although large family events can set me back. But every morning, when I open my eyes, I will often have a pain somewhere, usually my back. Then as I stand up, the wave of vertigo is so intense and then, finally, I often have a pain in a foot, knee or hip. I immediately tell my inner self to knock it off! Stop it right now! This works very well for me.
    Gigi likes this.
  18. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your story. My biggest TMS issue was migraine pain that never stopped unless I slept. I rarely have flare ups now unless I am at large family events. I will use some of your strategies next time I feel the pain coming. Thanks Gigi!
    Gigi likes this.
  19. BeWell

    BeWell Well known member

    That is Badass!!!!
    Gigi likes this.
  20. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    No fear no pain. Love this.

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