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Recurring Symptoms

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by CountBackula, May 21, 2013.

  1. CountBackula

    CountBackula New Member

    Hello, I first read Healing Back Pain about 15 years ago. I had suffered upper, middle and lower back pain since my early 20s. Did all the usual stuff, chiropractors, e-stim, back braces, weird foam blocks for exercises etc. At the urging of a friend I read the book and it really did save me. I soon got rid of all that stuff and started being active again. On and off I've had a few recurring pains, and some really bad spasms, but this past winter I developed really painful sciatica and numbness in my ankle, foot and leg. A huge bruise mysteriously appeared on my hip though I never fell. It took me a few months to get over this.. I was limping and in constant pain. Bruises also formed on my lower leg and foot, and again I did not fall or injure them.
    I'm pretty much back to normal now, but usually have a lingering slight pain in the area that first went "out", in my right lower back/hip area.
    I guess I just need to post this to help me heal again. Anyone else who has had a major remission in another area I would like to hear about, especially sciatica. Thank you!
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi CountB,

    Not sure if you got yourself checked out by the docs this time around but I can imagine those bruises caught your attention and kept your attention. Seeing rather than just feeling physical symptoms can be harder to ignore and pave the way for doubts. So what did you do that got you to the point you're at now - "pretty much back to normal"?

    Well funny that you ask. I have had a flare up of sciatica over the last week or so. I haven't experienced this particular symptom in about two years although I have had a mixture of several others. The difference this time was that I had no doubt consciously that it was anything but TMS. I also didn't have the fear thoughts I have had in the past, e.g. "I will always have this pain. I will never get better." I carried out whatever activities I had planned for myself, including lots of gardening. Gardening is something I first attributed the pain to before I knew better. I walked around chanting in my head phrases such as "My back is strong. This pain is benign." Nevertheless I have been having some disturbed nights because of pain. Yesterday I woke up and couldn't get myself out of bed for about two hours. I had some strong prescription pain pills from two years ago. I took these throughout the day to stave off the pain and give me space to think.

    The overwhelming feeling that has dominated my thoughts over the last month or so is the feeling of being overwhelmed. I quit my job and am currently working out my notice. I have something else lined up but it is freelance work so I will have more control over my time and I expect I may have much more free time. There are so many things I want to do and it is all quite exciting. Also it will be a complete change of role which again is exciting but I may have some unconscious fears loitering about, such as, will I be good enough in this new job or will it be a poor decision in the end. Change for me equals stress and stress, whether good or bad, causes reactions. Although I am feeling positive excitement I am also feeling anxious, two sides of the same coin. I know I have spent far too much time in my own head so that things have now come to a head...my head, my mind and thus my body.

    Yesterday I took the day off work as I couldn't drive because of the pain and taking the pills I did made it unsafe to do so anyway. This is about the third day in 2 years that I have taken a day off sick. I generally feel guilty for taking a day off. I didn't feel this way yesterday. It was a relief not to compel myself to do anything. I actually sat for a couple of hours watching television, something that is so out of character for me. I pondered my feelings. I felt my feelings. I expressed my feelings to my husband. His reaction to my telling him I felt overwhelmed was typical. He told me to just get on with it and start doing stuff so I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed. He doesn't quite understand all of this and most likely my reactions to him are adding to my overflowing emotional reservoir.

    I really think I benefitted from escaping society for the day. This morning the pain is reduced. I have lowered the level of pain relief to Ibuprofen and am ready to face the day at work. Usually the best distraction is to get out and live my life as I would if I had no pain or other symptoms. I guess I will occasionally reach a point when I just need a time-out day like yesterday.
    Leslie likes this.
  3. CountBackula

    CountBackula New Member

    My situation is that I've been unemployed for the past two years, with four months of work at one point. So I realize that this is an extended period of constant stress. I'm also well over 50, so the unemployment thing is much more serious than say being 20-something. The pain really took off when one of my only surviving older relatives died.. he had called me and I didn't get a chance to call back, and then a week later he was gone. I couldn't make the funeral either due to money and a disabled vehicle. So I sure can tell what may have contributed to this TMS episode..
    The bruises.. no, I didn't get them checked out since I really don't have any health insurance to speak of and of course doctor appointments are expensive. I do have a catastrophic policy that allows me a yearly physical, and when the doctor checked my reflexes in the left ankle, the leg that had the sciatica, he asked if I had had sciatica without me telling him about it. I think I was also worried about the upcoming colonoscopy I scheduled.. that was covered 100% but I had put it off for years.. it turned out fine and no polyps or anything so that was one less worry!
    All I really did was to keep moving, keep walking and talking to myself. I would walk with the mantra "healthy strong back" repeating in my head.
    It seems almost impossible that this had happened.. I worked out this morning, aerobic machines, stretching etc. and I feel great today. No pain. The left leg feels perfectly normal now and the ankle and foot have all the feelings and mobility.
    I'm guessing once I start working again I'll have few if any recurring episodes, but this was the worst I've had ever.
  4. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It sounds like a fear thing although not fear of the pain as such. There were certainly some fears around your medical procedure. Fear of serious illness, of death? Also fears around being unemployed, not being able to support yourself and others if you have dependents. Funnily enough I was just watching a youtube video on Emotional Freedom Technique with regard to sciatica. During the introduction the practitioner mentioned that people she has treated with this condition all share a common fear surrounding money. I thought about how any purchase I make I agonise over whether I really need it or can afford it. I worry about being in a position where I am in debt (been there, done that many years ago) and losing my home. I can relate to your unemployment issue. Although it was never for such a long period, my husband was laid off four times in 10 years. The last time was particularly bad as we had to take a mortgage payment break.

    Guilt, beating yourself up for not seeing people before they die can be particularly hard to turn around but not impossible. I live thousands of miles from family and I am aware that I will never see certain people again nor will I be able to attend funerals, etc. I know we can Skype but it just isn't the same thing.
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey CountBackula - Love your name.

    It sounds like you definitely have the perfect storm for TMS. I have noticed that as stress increases in my life, I do become more prone to having some sort of symptom pop up. It can be really frustrating and disheartening to feel like you have to go through this again, but, since you already know about TMS, you/we have a major head start. Sometimes simply making a list of all of the current stressors can lead to a significant amount of relieve. It is hard to realize just how many stressful things we have going on at a given time in our lives.
  6. CountBackula

    CountBackula New Member

    Thank you, and posting this stuff really seems to help. It's wonderful to have found this board full of people who understand what I'm talking about. I have told so many people with back pain (And that's a lot of people.. most much younger than me) about Sarno and his books and it's hard to get them to just read it. I get "How does it work?" "But I have back injuries and X-rays to prove it" and such .. I was hesitant to read it myself.
    And yes, lots of stuff going on all the time and I'm certainly having a plateful right now.
  7. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Having people you can relate to really does help. When I had my symptoms, I never felt that other people understood what I was going through. Chatting with people about TMS online was the first time that I really felt like someone knew what I was talking about.

    The one thing to remember when you have a lot of stuff going on at any point in time is that to recover you do not need to lessen your load. The real healing comes when you understand and accept the powerful emotions you have about all of this stress. If you can reach that point, your symptoms will no longer need to persist and will fade away.

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