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Day 1 Trying to overcome and get back on the horse

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by billyp, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. billyp

    billyp New Member

    I have been a very active and athletic person my whole life. I was a professional jockey for 9 years and rode at many well known racetracks. After that career I took up marathon running then ultra running. I've finished 4 Boston Marathons, three 50 mile endurance races and one 100 miler. I've never been down for long. Always looking for the next challenge. That changed for me when I began to get sudden back pain in my mid back in late 2010. It started out of nowhere and felt like a nail in my spine. It would go away during the day but come back every night while I was sleeping. My muscles would tighten up so much that I could barely get out of bed. After about a year and a half of desperate searching and dozens of appointments with every medical professional and witch doctor I could find, I stumbled across a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I met with a Rheumatologist and she did a bucket of tests. Nothing came back positive except for the gene which can be associated with that condition HLA-B27. I accepted the possibility of this diagnosis and began Enbrel injections. At that time I was mentally accepting that this medication would take care of it. I felt somewhat better for a few months. . After a while I started to follow a Facebook page dedicated to AS sufferers. I read posts and learned about conditions and symptoms that I didn't have. This was the worst thing I could have done as I began to have anxiety and great fear about what was going to happen to me. I was literally scared out of my mind. Well, as you might expect the pain came back and was worse than before. I hurt all the time and had such terrible muscle spams in my back that I would pray that the world would just simply end. That God would pull me out of this life. I even thought about getting into a car accident that would end all of it. My head would get foggy and I would be so miserable that I couldn't think, work, enjoy my kids or spend quality time with my wife.
    Months passed, more accupuncture, chiropractors, surgeons, MRIs, wellness folks, supplements, back braces, massages, heat packs, ice packs, inversion tables, hot yoga, gluten free diet, paleo diet - you get the idea.
    My pain started moving around to my pelvis area, my neck and also pain in my right eye. I've seen 3 opthamologists for the eye pain because I have been scared to death about possible loss of eye sight or a tumor. Not one of them could find anything wrong. I had a MRI on my brain and all tests came back normal.
    I saw my Rheumatologist and she suggested that I try a different biological drug this time Humira. I've been on it for 2 1/2 months with no improvement. My wife bought me a couple of books to read, one of which was Dr Sarnos Mind Body Connection. It was the best and most encouraging thing I had read in my 4 1/2 year journey thus far. I'm 2 weeks post completion of that book and 2 days into my undertaking of this program. Today I was listening to a meditation CD and went through the exercise- Amazingly my back spasm and eye pain completely left me for about an hour. I was so thrilled with that time of relief.
    Looking back on the outset of my pain I had a few stressful events going on all within a 12 month period: Finding out my wife had cheated on me which led to our divorce, starting my own financial services firm, having my former business partners betray me and try to steal my clients, losing my younger brother to suicide, having my sister who was one of my best friends pull away from me due to her own emotional challenges after his death, worrying about my kids who had to stay with their mother and any number of random drug addicted boy friends every other weekend, the marriage to my current wife.
    I'm not typically a social media guy so I don't know if I've gone too far with this message. I've got tons more to share but maybe this isn't the time.
    Anyhow I am posting this to take my first step toward my new pain-free life.
    Thanks to all who have given me hope through their experiences and to my wife for her support and to Dr Sarno for showing me that there is a way.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Billyp. Welcome to this web site and your start on your way to healing and new and happier and healthier life.
    You've gone through the emotional and physical nightmare and learned that your body is okay. Nothing is structurally
    wrong with it. Your back pain then began to move around, which is typical with TMS. As Dr. Sarno writes,
    your pain moves around because your subconscious is telling you that you need to discover the emotional causes of
    your pain. We think it would be wonderful if a pill or surgery healed the pain, but they won't. Discovering our
    emotional causes of pan will.

    You've already listed some powerful reasons why you have emotional pain. The next step is to journal about them.
    They may even go back farther into your boyhood than you realize.

    Take good care if your relationship with your wife. Share with her your journaling, but only if she is comfortable with it.

    You will find it helpful to read the success stories in the subforum of this web site and also to watch YouTube videos
    about people who have had TMS pain and healed.

    I too have had some friends and business partners screw me financially. I consider betrayal of friendship one of the
    worst things. But I've had to accept it and go on from there. I ask the Lord to bring them peace. That way I don't really
    need to forgive them. I just toss the ball back to God.

    You are doing the best thing by starting the Structured Education Program. Keep at it. Keep positive.
    Find ways to be happy each day. Live in the present moment, not the past.

    Practice deep breathing. It's profoundly relaxing.

    Nothing is worse than lying awake at night, willing your brain to shut down so you can rest. Warm milk, lavender oil, and counting sheep — we’ve all tried them. But the new solution could be simply learning to breathe.

    The 4-7-8 breathing technique was pioneered Dr. Andrew Weill from Arizona, who describes the yoga-inspired method as “utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.”

    Dr.Weill claims that 4-7-8 breathing can help people fall asleep in just 60 seconds by acting as a “natural tranquiliser for the nervous system” that reduces stress and tension in the body.

    1. Before you begin, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just above your teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise.

    2. Exhale completely through your mouth quite forcefully so you make a “whoosh” sound.

    3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly and softly through your nose for a mental count of four.

    4. Hold your breath and count to seven.

    5. Next, exhale completely through your mouth, making another whoosh sound for eight seconds in one large breath.

    6. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three times for a total of four breaths.
  3. billyp

    billyp New Member

    Thanks Walt. Great advice. I really needed that sleeping advice. I've struggled with poor sleep for a long time. I can get to sleep fine but I'll wake up around 2:30 or 3:00 am and have the hardest time getting back to sleep.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi billyp

    Welcome to the program and the forum. No, you didn't say too much. You said just the right amount. I am touched by your story, and the personal suffering and stress in your life. Many of us here have variations of your symptoms, and life stressors, or history of pushing ourselves!

    The more you can put your own personal pieces together, like your list of stressful life events, the more quickly your mind will accept the TMS diagnosis, and grant you relief. Your experience with no pain or spasm is a remarkable experience that should be reviewed and remembered.

    Walt makes a nice welcome, and I want to welcome you too, and wish you success.

    Andy B.
  5. billyp

    billyp New Member

    Thank you Andy. Needed that feedback this morning.
  6. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hi billyp,

    I'm new here too, today is my Day 4 of the program. I read your post and it really touched me, I teared up a bit when I read the list of all the things you went through in that 12 month period - man, that's rough, but the good news is that it is TMS, it can't be a "coincidence" that all those awful things happened in your life around the same time of your physical pain.... sounds like you'll have some painful emotions to look at, as we all do, but from what I'm reading, relief is around the corner!!!

    Good luck with your journey my man.

  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, guys. I like reading words of wisdom from famous people, especially those who went through a lot of doo-doo,
    like Carol Burnett, one of my favorite tv comics. Here are two that I think help us all:

    “Nobody goes through life without a scar.”

    “You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive. That’s an education in itself.”
  8. billyp

    billyp New Member

    Thanks for the comments Kevin. Good luck to you as well.
  9. AnnetteA

    AnnetteA Newcomer

    My brother used to be a jockey rider, but after he fall back from the horse he is struggling to come back to his favorite sport.
  10. Lonewolfbunny

    Lonewolfbunny Peer Supporter

    Your pain was symbolic/yet real of course of being literally "stabbed in the back", whoch is what we always say when we when feel betrayed. Your wife and business partners stabbed you on the back with their actions and you felt it!
  11. billyp

    billyp New Member

    Thanks Lonewolfbunny. I haven’t posted in a long time because I’ve totally healed and have been living life once again. It’s so amazing to me how we are in total control of our wellness and it isn’t simple a random bad luck draw that gives us illness and disease. It’s all originated right in our own thoughts and mindset. read The Power of Positive Thinking.
    My wife has also started a mindbody coaching practice as a result of all we have learned and she has helped countless people get well. www.painfreeforgood.com
    Emotions are trying to get out and yes, symbolic pain is very real!
    Good luck to all!!
  12. AnnetteA

    AnnetteA Newcomer

    Good luck to you!
  13. Hunterecca

    Hunterecca Newcomer

    Hello, byllip! I would like to say that my father has faced not the same, but something similar. He used to be a jokey rider but after he fell badly from his horse he was unable to return and his jockey career was over. He was struggling a lot, but he wanted to return to his favorite sport. He visited a therapist and he recommended that in order to overcome his fear he can visit farms and spend more time taking care of other horses and when he will be mentally ready to start riding again he can start riding slowly. Recently he bought a horse but before he was doing lots of research about different breeds. He used petsoid because it was very helpful in his research. Hopefully, it will help you too.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020

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