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From bedridden to playing soccer

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by grapefruit, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    My whole story is too long to copy here, so you can read it on my blog below if you want.

    Here's the short of it: a year ago, after suffering from increasing back pain (sacroiliac joint pain and herniated disc, or so they told me) for several months, I became bedridden for 6 weeks, unable to take care of my own children. I had also experienced heart palpitations, nausea, and a panic attack. I had believed I had hurt my back playing soccer. I read Healing Back Pain and the Mindbody Prescription and within 10 days 90% of my pain was gone, like a miracle. Eventually I was back to soccer and running. I even ran a race and placed first for my age category. The last 10% of mild pain and stiffness trickled away more slowly, but eventually it disappeared. I still can't believe what happened to me. It was like a nightmare and I'm more grateful to Sarno than I can express. I tell everyone I can about it but people are so stubbornly skeptical, even after witnessing what happened to me.

    Sacroiliac join dysfunction/malalignment/hypermobility is a TOTAL HOAX. I had it, and it's completely gone. I can smash a ball into the back of a net and lift my six-year-old with absolutely zero pain. Don't listen to the physicians..... You have to walk away completely from your diagnosis. Doing so is not going to hurt you. Actually, the opposite is going to happen.

    You need to shout at your brain. Sometimes the pain goes away when you're not looking, but sometimes you need to be proactive. Sarno says the conscious should address the unconscious, and the more forcefully, the better. Don't give up! Don't let setbacks get you down! You have to be able to relish setbacks. You get knocked down, you get back up. Give yourself a pep talk. Don't resign yourself to "I'm one of the ones who takes longer" kind of thinking. That "kind of thinking" is the wrong kind of thinking. I know what it's like. After my back pain I struggled with yeast infections and although I tried and to apply Sarno's methods to no avail and I gave up. Then the next time, I just had it with these stupid infections and somehow I got rid of it with my mind. I spent all day challenging myself, every 20 minutes, talking to my brain, taking charge. Reading over and over again in the MBP the sentences where Sarno says yeast infections are mind-induced. And it finally worked! I got rid of an infection with my mind. I even apply his methods to colds and the results are mind-blowing. I watch people even in my own household suffer with the same ailments for three times as long and with three times the intensity.

    You have to get a little wild in your thinking. You have to be able to believe you're invincible. It doesn't matter that it's not true because your body simply responds to your thinking.

    You have to challenge your body. Start running. Who says you can't? The doctors? They already misdiagnosed you - you're going to believe them? You say you can't? Well then you're the problem. Healing is about challenging your body and your mind, which you can't do inseparably, because they are one.

    I know many think he's a quack, and he very well may be, but I found reading You Are the Placebo by Joe Dispenza very helpful in challenging thought patterns and ruts. I did not use his method of unconscious meditation though, because it goes against my Christian beliefs. It wasn't necessary though. I healed without it.

    I also highly recommend reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as well as Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. These are simply must-reads.

    I told someone who had post-concussion syndrome about Sarno's books, they read them, and healed themselves. PCS is another "in vogue" mindbody syndrome. It's my personal belief that all of the conditions that rise in popularity are mindbody conditions, including ones like sudden-onset gender dysphoria.

    I could go on and on but I have to stop somewhere. I get more into looking at TMS from a Christian perspective in my blog if you're interested.

    All the best to everyone in your healing.

    https://christianvictorianliterature.com/2019/01/18/my-story-a-victorian-healing/ (My Story: A Victorian Healing)
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi grapefruit,

    Thanks for posting your wonderful story. I put tags up at the top, and you can add or change if you want. This makes searching easier, so more people will find your story.

    There is a strength --a sense of boundaries in your post. I feel your independence from what you were told by physicians, and what your fears were, what you thought was possible. Just this process can be life-changing because we realize we're stronger, and have more control over our lives than we thought. Bravo!!

    I think you might like this post I wrote, discussing the change in understanding of our health once we have some success with the TMS approach. Your experience of the yeast infections and colds come to mind.
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/ease-trust-success-and-positive-loops.19807/ (Ease, trust, success, and positive loops)

    The Boundaries book looks interesting. Thanks!

    Andy B
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi grapefruit,
    I did not get all the way through your wonderful linked article, but the following quotes, and your writing style is penetrating and brilliant, and I want others here to see at least some of it.

    I took the liberty of some choice quotes below, including placebo and nocebo effects, and the unskilled information given to you by "experts." Your story has been experienced by hundreds here in personal variations, as you know. I saw myself in so many appointments about my foot pain. Thanks again!!

    You write out the bad advice with such sincerity, just as so many of us had taken it, in our pain and need. And of course implied in all these quotes is what we really know --almost the exact opposite, because of Dr. Sarno's brilliant guidance.
    Andy B

    But the physio said that muscle imbalances lead to injury, and that you need to properly and thoroughly strengthen your whole body if you want to play a physically demanding sport like soccer. He also ...instructed me to sit straight up at all times, always maintaining an arch in my lower back, using a rolled-up towel if necessary. Both physicians strongly emphasized that arching your back forward or slouching were terrible for your back.

    At this point I was beginning to feel a little irresponsible for the way I had treated my back. I had always just exercised however I’d felt like it – I’d never consistently done any back-specific exercises and I’d definitely never paid any attention to the way I sat. I slouched on couches all the time and liked to sit cross-legged with my back hunched while playing with my children on the floor.

    Surely, a physician who has been practicing for over 30 years in the area of back pain would know what they are talking about and would be able to help me, I thought.

    The chiropractor...told me a surprising thing, which was that I actually had a form of spinal bifida (which was news to me). She claimed she had done her master’s thesis on this very defect. She then had me watch an alarming video on the chiropractic philosophy of the spine

    ...sports are extremely dangerous and bad for you and I was lucky that after playing soccer for 24 years to have had as few injuries as I had had. No wonder I had such back pain. I couldn’t help feeling extremely foolish and irresponsible. I was a mother now – what was I doing playing high-intensity sports? A horrific x-ray chart on the wall in the chiro office showed the degeneration of the spine with associated symptoms. In stage two degeneration, nausea, which I had, was listed as a symptom.

    ....She said that if I felt pain doing this, that that was proof of a pinched nerve. If I had tingling or numbness, that was a sign of nerve damage and was very bad. Wouldn’t you know it but my foot went numb and tingly when she did this, at which she seemed surprised. I was horrified. I could not believe how badly my body had deteriorated.

    Surely I had been foolish in not being more careful with my body. I had been pushing strollers, lifting my toddler, playing soccer and doing all kinds of things without a second thought as to what it was doing to my body.;)

    But worst of all was having to tell a crying, curly-haired cherub that mommy can’t pick him up anymore. I believed what I was doing was for the best of both of us, and that I was being a good mother by trying to get well.
    This hurts me to read, and must be read by many!--Andy

    I began to find that the pain relief following chiro adjustments had decreased in length sometimes to only an hour or so.

    I have to pause here to mention what else I found when I began googling “sacroiliac joint pain” and “herniated disc” pain. What I found were stories of millions of people suffering from horrific levels of back pain, many for decades, people who had multiple surgeries, injections, implants etc. only to have the pain return in the same place or surface elsewhere. There seemed to be no cure for back pain. Once you got it, you suffered with it for life. If you were one of the lucky ones, you only had recurring episodes but could generally live your life; others suffered continuously and couldn’t work, or completely lost their standard of living.
  4. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    I love this! You have inspired me to face the dreaded elliptical machine that has been sitting untouched in my spare bedroom for over 5 years. Because I have a sedentary job, I would love to use it for cardio and strength building - but I'm deathly afraid of it. Perhaps, I need to get a little wild in my thinking! Thank you for this post and congratulations on your success.
    Jeather, BloodMoon and grapefruit like this.
  5. Rainstorm B

    Rainstorm B Peer Supporter

    I second Hattie - this is awesome! Thanks for sharing you story @grapefruit - it's so uplifting and inspiring.

    Edit: Just wanted to add I have just read your blog post too @grapefruit - wow, one of the clearest and most powerful stories of TMS healing I have read!

    I particularly loved this:

    "Everybody knows that when you are sad, salty tears fall from your eyes. If you are embarrassed, blood flows to your cheeks. If you are nervous, you feel flutterings in your stomach. People’s hearts pound and they shake with fear after a close call on the highway or if they believe someone is following them (even if no one is – your body only knows the messages your mind sends it). However, people will not accept that pain indicates rage like tears indicate sadness."

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
    JanAtheCPA, BloodMoon and grapefruit like this.
  6. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    Whatever you fear or dread, you have to face it head on at some point. If the pain flares up, just laugh about it. You may have to ride that elliptical 100 times until you conquer the pain (I had to go up and down stairs that many times), but it's the only way to victory. I'm convinced that when it comes to TMS and physical activity, it's a total battle. And you can win!
    Neil, JanAtheCPA and HattieNC like this.
  7. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    Thanks for reading it. I know it is really long.
    JanAtheCPA, Rainstorm B and HattieNC like this.
  8. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Amazing Blog!!!!. Everyone should read it once if not over & over again.

    So pleased that u r now pain free.

  9. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter


    I'm not sure how to edit my original post, but I wanted to share another personal victory. A few weeks ago I gave birth to my third baby. This is a big deal to me because one of my diagnoses was sacroiliac joint pain/dysfunction, which is often believed to originate from childbirth, when the ligaments loosen and can get "overstretched", leading to increasing proneness to injury, which is what I believed happened to me playing soccer. I was playing on an "unstable" joint and pulled my back during a soccer game (you can read my full story in my blog post above). I believed childbirth had ruined my body, forever. After I healed from reading Dr. Sarno, I knew that the whole "SIJD" crap is total nonsense. We had put off having a third child because of my back issues - actually I assumed I would never be able to have another child - but once I healed, I knew having another baby would be sweet victory in my TMS journey. And it was. During my pregnancy, delivery and postpartum I have had zero SI pain. Not even in childbirth, when surely that is the time that joint receives the greatest stress it possibly can, short of being crushed. (There was definitely other pain, haha, but not there). I can't believe that doctors put screws in people's SI joints to "stabilize" them - it's butchery! I look forward to returning to all my previous physical activities in the future, including soccer. And I have another beautiful daughter whom I may never have met, if it weren't for Dr. Sarno.
  10. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi grapefruit,

    Truly, understanding TMS and not being afraid of the myriad of bad medical mythologies is a life changer.

    Congratulations on your new child. One gift brings another...

    grapefruit and HattieNC like this.
  11. Mars497@

    Mars497@ Peer Supporter

    Hi @grapefruit,

    I really connected with your recovery story (mom plus a soccer player past) and I too was told a lot of what you were. The muscle imbalances/weaknesses, one SI joint is too loose and the other maybe too tight so my hips get “twisted” and even hip flexors play into all the dysfunction. If you are willing to answer a few questions, I would greatly appreciate it.
    So I’m just starting my journey and I’m in the laying on the couch phase with my low back, SI joint seeming issues, super tight muscles all around my sacrum area. Not bedridden or in horrible pain but moving with fear of making it worse as I work through all the reading and starting the recovery programs on here. I haven’t pushed through it like you did as I guess I’m just more fearful of the pain you described. My question is if you struggled with pain/discomfort that you knew was coming from the fearful postures/movements and also with what to me feels like uncontrollable muscle tension in the “scary” parts of your low back? The parts you know will likely send the pain shooting elsewhere or even across the low back. And if you can relate, when did that tension start to lesson? I know it’s fear for me. Fear of pain, fear of it worsening etc. And I guess I am great at putting that fear tension into my low back area and glutes. It feels like a switch that I don’t know how I turned on and cannot figure out how to turn off. Dr. Sarno talks about the fear in my book and he nails it: “fear is the back pain patient’s constant companion”.
    But now that you are recovered, was there a gradual lessening of that tension that you recall as you learned to not be fearful? Did it just stop and all of a sudden you were strong and relaxed? I guess I’m thinking of when you couldn’t do a proper squat and you couldn’t lift your knee up but now you’re back at it all. Sadly I can’t even imagine kicking a ball much less running right now. Oh and thank you for sharing your story and your update. Congratulations on your new baby and on your continued success.
    jimmylaw9 and Jeather like this.
  12. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    I am happy to answer questions. What you're describing reminds me a lot of myself in the beginning. I don't think it's that clear from my story but my recovery was definitely baby steps. I started with first just staying out of bed. Then when I realized I was not the worse for it, I started sitting in a chair. Then, taking the stairs, then bending over, moving my body in different directions that I had previously believed were bad for me, etc. Finally simple exercises, then walking around the block. I didn't get to running until 6 weeks, I think? And soccer a couple of months. Then I still had a few months of stiffness, felt like I couldn't sprint properly. Mostly I didn't push through serious pain, I more let myself gradually, gently ease into activities, reassuring my brain as I did it. I would bend a little one day, then a little more the next when I became confident that i was not hurting myself. Before I would bend over, if I felt afraid, I would talk to my brain - "This is not going to hurt you, this can't harm you, you have a strong back, you don't have SI dysfunction" etc., and then slowly ease into the position. You build up confidence over time with each little victory, moving from plateau to new plateau. Eventually there were some activities where I just said enough is enough, I'm challenging this head on. There were so many setbacks. You can't give up. No matter what happens, don't give up. Believe in yourself like you never have before. Let yourself believe in a miracle for once in your life. And an attitude of "screw all the doctors" really helps. It also really helps to live in a psychological cesspool for awhile. Psychologize everything. Go back over your whole life, be brutally honest with yourself, even about the happiest things in your life. Begin admitting things to yourself you never have before, even it's about your husband or children. It's just a mental exercise. I had to come to grips with some things about motherhood and marriage, and I'm still happily married and went on to have another child and am very happy I did. Additionally, I think I am having the most positive post-partum experience yet, in part due to all I've learned from this mind body journey. At some point I realized that no matter what choices/paths you take in life, you will always accumulate regrets, responsibilities and and rage. It's not about the external pressures, it's about your ability to cope with them. It was never really about the children or the boss or whomever, it's about the child inside with unmet needs that only you can meet.

    Don't put too much pressure on yourself to heal quickly. That's another pressure you don't need. But also don't succumb to a defeatist attitude of "I'll never heal." Just be grateful for all the little victories, reminding yourself of how far you've come. And remain confident.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  13. Mars497@

    Mars497@ Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer me and the abundance of encouragement @grapefruit! It’s so incredible to me that you take the time to give back like this. I might have more questions but for now I am so happy to reread your message and let it sink in. “Let yourself believe in a miracle for once in your life.” I just love that!
    JanAtheCPA and grapefruit like this.
  14. Mr Hip Guy

    Mr Hip Guy Well known member

    I really enjoyed reading this success story, thanks for sharing.
  15. Cyclist2020

    Cyclist2020 Newcomer

    This was absolutely wonderful, @grapefruit. I saw myself all over this, from start to finish. A few favorite lines that really struck a chord with me:

    And while I, like most people, I’m sure, didn’t want to sing kum-by-yah and talk about my emotions, when you’re in that much pain and suffering, you are willing to do just about anything to get it to stop. I had no pride left at that point, nothing left to lose.


    I can remember thinking, “If healing myself of this pain depends entirely on me, I can’t do it. I’m just not strong enough. I don’t have the mental discipline to control my train of thinking constantly, for who knows how long.” I had no one to talk to, no one to ask advice, knew no one who had ever done what I had done.


    . . . or even as their own great-great-grandparents, who spent eight hours a day doing “back-breaking” labour in the fields, and yet somehow never herniated a disc until the advent of the MRI. Or our grandparents who pounded on typewriters, yet gently tapping a screen causes excruciating carpal tunnel in our wrists.

    Thanks for sharing this with the world. Personally, I feel the more detailed and in-depth people's reports/success stories are, the more relatable they are--and hard to deny (as the mind, of course, is wont to do). I hope to share my own story in the future.
    grapefruit and Mars497@ like this.
  16. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    I know you will. Don't give up! Picture that day of future success and eventually it will realize itself.
  17. Jeather

    Jeather Peer Supporter

    Wow, the story of my symptoms mirrors yours uncannily. Dr. Schubiner told me that SI pain is always TMS. I do believe that, although I still hobble around my house and homeschool my children with great struggle. I have known about TMS for over a decade, but this last year-long bout of back/hip pain has not wanted to leave. Prayer is a great strength to me, and I appreciate your religious view as expressed on your blog. I am working to be more indifferent to the pain. I have made great strides in psychological self-therapy and understanding. I'm just trying to get the nerves to unlearn the pain. Trying to react less to it. Your story gives hope. Thank you!
    Mars497@ likes this.
  18. Mars497@

    Mars497@ Peer Supporter

    Hi @Jeather,

    Thank you for sharing. I am curious if you have more to share about Dr. Schubiner’s view of SI pain as it sounds as you’ve met with him. It’s always nice to hear reassurance as I too struggle with what docs have labeled SI issues. I’m still struggling, when the pain kicks up, of doubting the psychological vs running back to the structural. I’m working on it but it’s a process as you know.
  19. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    I homeschool too!! I think there is a lot of self-imposed pressure in that area.... Always feeling like you're never doing enough....
    Jeather likes this.
  20. Jeather

    Jeather Peer Supporter

    Yes, a slow process. I remember your post and thinking we were very similar along with grapefruit. I am in Utah with no TMS doctors, but I have Dr. S's book Unlearn Your Pain. I once emailed him quite out of desperation because I had an MRI that revealed ruptured and bulging and extruded discs around L4 and L5 (which my regular doctor said was the reason for the back, hip, sciatic pain. I was pretty sure it was not - I've read too much about how the structural does not equate with the pain. But when the pain rises...wow, it can be hard not to wonder.) So I emailed him with my story of symptoms (beginning gradually over time) and the MRI report. He said the MRI revealed normal changes for my age (48yo) and that I had TMS. I was just looking for that diagnosis! Someone who "knows" to say it was TMS. Well, that was about 5 months ago. It helped, but surely you understand that it's easy to go from faith to doubt and back again, sometimes every day. So, it started moving into the SI area after most of 2019 NOT being there. Honestly, I think that area of pain is the worst (back and leg and tailbone pain are more bearable for me). So I emailed him again. He said it was as good sign it had moved there - a sign that neural pathways were changing and that "SI pain is always TMS." Ok, a good sign. Okay. That is all I can tell you about his comments.... my issues became the worst of the year around the holidays, and I am trying to come down from that. I had been exercising again around the beginning of December. Then slammed down. I became very discouraged and afraid of the pain levels I was having. So I am trying to be indifferent (as suggested by BirdSetFree who kindly responded to a post of mine earlier this year). Some days I do feel more indifferent - some days not. I am using Tylenol and IB at night to sleep since I was getting only a few hours in. Dr. Schubiner suggested that. So many say not to do any placebo, but I was starting to feel at the end of my rope in a scary way with not sleeping. Days are hard, and nights are less hard now with meds. Many people say they can only lie down because of the discomfort. Lying down has been the hardest position. Sitting is next worst. I do a lot of standing and leaning on my furniture. But, I am somewhat less focused on the discomfort - thinking about it 90% of the time instead of 99%? I like to think that is improvement. It feels better than before. That's probably more info than you needed :)
    Hopeful22 likes this.

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