1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 1 TMS believer for years, trying SEP for permanent cure!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by beachbum104, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. beachbum104

    beachbum104 Newcomer

    Hi, I am so thankful for have come across the TMS wiki and am continuing on my journey to becoming free of Back Pain PERMANENTLY. I have been a back pain sufferer since the ripe old age of 26, and received the diagnoses of two herniated discs and congenital spinal Stenosis after my first MRI. I subsequently endured an epidural steroid injection, countless sessions of physical therapy, acupuncture & chiropractor visits, only to find my symptoms becoming worse and leading to Sciatica.
    I was referred to Dr. Sarno's work by a co-worker and bought my copy of Healing Back Pain. I poured over the pages, and immediately recognized that I may be suffering from TMS. At the time, I was unhappy in my job and looking to make a career change. I ended up quitting said job in sales, and going back for my master's degree in Educational Counseling (so I now have some psychology classes under my belt, which has helped with my greater understanding of TMS). I also quit all physical therapy and conventional "treatments", and soon found my back pain and sciatica diminishing.

    I have experienced a few flare-ups over the past 7 years (during my wedding planning and helping to care for my grandmother who was in hospice care), but would pull out my trusty Healing Back Pain book and remind myself that it was just TMS. Soon the pain would subside.

    My most recent episode began 3 weeks ago - I had been experiencing some sciatica for about 6 weeks prior (my warning signal which I should have paid more attention to!). I was relaxing on the couch when suddenly I was unable to move my right Leg. My husband tried to help me up, but it was like I was experiencing paralysis- I couldn't walk. Somehow we managed to get me into bed when the back spasms began. I had never experienced these before, and didn't recognize what was happening at first. By morning, the spasms had subsided but I still could not walk. I called my parents to ask if they could come and help with my two young children (ages 4 and 2). I pulled out my "back Bible" and tried to focus my attention on emotional issues, rather than the intense Sciatic pain. I took some painkillers but nothing was helping (because it is TMS!). The pain down my right leg was constant- burning, numbness and incredible weakness. I had to crawl to the bathroom, sit during a shower, and spent about a week on the couch.

    I continued reading the book and tried to focus on what I might be repressing. I am a stay-at-home mother- my oldest son is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and I am his primary care-giver / coordinator of therapies/ doc appts, etc. so at this point, I have been thinking this is my main source of anxiety & anger, along with fear of hurting myself and being unable to care for my kids. I visited with an orthopedic doctor about 10 days into the episode (said he was very familiar with Dr. Sarno's work but proceeded to say he was worried about the right leg weakness and that I may need surgery. He prescribed a steroid pack, painkillers and sent me for an MRI). Subsequently, the morning after my doc visit, my pain intensified. This confirmed to me that it is TMS, but I think I am still having a hard time accepting 100%. I know I was looking for some relief, so I took the steroids and painkillers. I went for the MRI yesterday, telling myself that I want to rule out something like a tumor, but I think also related to my partial reluctance to 100% accept TMS. My discomfort has not reach this level for this amount of time before, but I think it is because I am now 7 years older, with more repressed emotions that I have been ignoring. My pain has diminished since the latest episode began, but the sciatica is constant, from buttocks to toes, and still unable to bear weight on my right leg.

    I somehow came across the TMS wiki, and decided that I needed to begin the Structured Education Program on my quest to get rid of this sciatica once and for all. It feels good to be putting all of this "out there". I am hopeful to get some support and have been grateful to read several "success" stories. If you are still reading (didn't mean to be this long-winded!), thank you! Here's to recovery!
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi beachbum,

    Welcome! Sounds like you're on the right track! I'm also new here, my TMS takes the form of low back pain and sciatica. I am on day 11 of the SEP, several weeks into my discovery of TMS. Sounds like you're having the right mindset, it is hard to accept the non-structural diagnosis as cause of your pain and sciatica (it was particularly challenging for me as a physical therapist) but it sounds like the most likely outcome. It's good that you're getting the MRI to rule out serious pathology just in case! Know that it is likely to show some "normal abnormalities" as you already found that you (and all of us! ) have. It's also telling that your pain intensified after the doctor visit.

    Another important thing to remember is that Sarno says that weakness can also be due to TMS (as can many deficits that appear due to structural causes). Even if a doctor or healthcare practitioner is "familiar" with Sarno they may not have the same outlook so keep that in mind on your appointments. Before I knew about TMS my physical therapist colleagues and ortho docs really stressed me out regarding my disc herniations and if I had a discussion or appointment with one of them my pain would also intensify! This is very common.

    It is difficult but rewarding to begin addressing all the repressed emotions that have been lurking there for a while, i've had great success thus far with the SEP, journaling and meditation. Best of luck, glad you're here!
  3. beachbum104

    beachbum104 Newcomer

    Thanks for the feedback! Glad I'm here too, and I value your input. All the best to you as well!
    MindBodyPT likes this.

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