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Day 39 The best I've done so far

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Cara, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Cara

    Cara Peer Supporter

    The TMS doctor I saw said that in his experience, this journey of healing is not a quick one. Clearly it isn't for me. But that doesn't mean I haven't made progress.

    The best progress I've made is in seeing how my pain is associated more clearly with psychological patterns than with physical activities. The first time this really worked was riding a horse downhill. I was in horrible pain and also terrified. (I specialize in irrational fear.) The pain was almost unbearable, and my daughter was starting to panic about how horrible I felt. I decided that I had to pull myself together and that that had to start with calming myself. The intensity of the pain and of the fear was so powerful that I was able to notice a major change in my pain level when I managed to address my fear. Then, two weeks later, when my pain was at its worst level again, but for reasons I could not determine other than I was home from vacation, I almost canceled a girls' weekend with my friend due to the pain. She told me she didn't care about the pain, that if I could get on a plane, I wouldn't have to do a single thing after that point. I could lie on the couch and watch movies. My pain got a little better the next day. We truly had no obligations once I got there, and by the time I had been there 48 hours, I went into the ocean, got knocked over by a wave, and didn't feel any pain! The pain came back on the trip home. Then last week the pain was horrible to the point where I took a day off work. That day, my pain was so low I tried to run. I didn't hurt for the rest of that day! I tried running again on the following Sunday, and that afternoon I was in lots of pain. I was tempted to blame it on running, but then I realized it could just as easily have been stress because of all of the work I hadn't accomplished over the weekend and the fact that I was going to have to go back to work and face another week. I was afraid and beating myself up at the same time. Could the pain have been from that?

    I did an experiment this weekend. I did the same small amount of running on Saturday that I did last week on Sunday. My pain did not increase. Then I helped coach my son's soccer team and played defense during warm-ups. I thought I'd probably regret that, but, oddly, my pain did not increase. I was fine all day. Better than usual, in fact. Today, Sunday, I walked--didn't run a step--but my pain is increasing as I sit here and grade papers. And it's further around my hip than usual. Three months ago, I would have been angry and confused and scared by this. Today, I think, "It's psychological!!" It's not the running. It's not the sitting either, I don't think. It's the thinking. The physical patterns just don't make sense. The psychological patterns do. How did I never see them before? Even though today I am not thinking, "I'm going to fall off this horse! The next step is going to hurt!" or other obvious fear thoughts, clearly they are there. It doesn't make physical sense that I would feel less pain on a day when I ran and played soccer and more pain on a day when I walked and graded. If, as two doctors have said, I'm experiencing "bone on bone" pain, I should have felt it more on a day when there was repeated impact. Their explanations never did fully satisfy me. I was beginning to suspect there was something else going on.

    So I guess the next step is to figure out how to make my Saturday outlook possible on Sunday. And Monday. And Tuesday....
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Cara. It looks to me like you are on the right track, ignoring any pain while working or exercising, and believing any pain is psychological and not structural. The more you focus on enjoying your activities, the better and faster you will heal. Try to ignore any setbacks that may come. You're doing great by being active. It's great for the body, mind, and spirit.

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