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Healed from chronic back pain (L5 Herniated disc)

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Padillabrown, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Padillabrown

    Padillabrown New Member

    My story with tms begins many years ago, I've had migraines since my teenage years, then I had irritable bowl syndrome during my late twenties and it capitulated with sciatica pain in my early thirties. My sciatica pain began two years ago, while I was doing crossfit, and at that time I attributed the pain to the exercise. At the end of my first year of crossfit I had a left meniscus tare and decided to have surgery on it. My knee healed fine and all the while my sciatica pain dissapeared (tms). After healing from the knee surgery I started exercising again, running and cycling. During that year I injured myself twice, first I had a right calf muscle tare, and three months after that I had a left muscle tare. Throughout this time I was also experiencing irritable bowl syndrome and thus was taking medication for that as well.

    After I healed from my two calf injuries I began exercising again and to my surprise the sciatica pain started to come back. My reaction to this was of course to go to the doctor. At that point I was given medication and told to follow physical indications. None of it worked. I came back to my doctor and that was the first time I was instructed to undergo an mri, which I did, and it showed a herniated disc in the L5 region, and the doctor attributed the pain to that. The doc gave me medication and told me to try physical therapy and to continue excercising. I did that and it helped for around a month, then the pain came back.

    After that wasn't working I decided I needed a second opinion, so I asked a colleague at work for her doctor's info (she had had back surgery and looked okay), and so i went to that Doc. In that examination the doctor saw my mris and within a minute and told me I needed surgery, which surprised me. I told him I was going to get a second opinion and he seemed shocked, he already wanted to schedule surgery without seeing alternatives. I finally went to a third doctor, a back specialist, he reviewed my case, didn't think i had to go through surgery and suggested physical therapy and medication instead, he was open to alternatives as well. I started physical therapy and it was at this point that I came across the material that would change and save my life forever.

    For some reason I decided to go online and to look for options to treat back ailments and herniated discs. That is when I found the work of Dr. Sarno and I started reading about his books ans watched his 20/20 segment. I proceeded to buy his Healing Back pain book and once I read it I absolutely knew that it explained the process I was going through. As I've read from other people, every page I read seemed to jump out and to describe me completely, so I knew I had found the way to treat my process. I kept reading Dr Sarnos material and I ordered more books, including Steve Ozanich's book. All the while I was still going to physical therapy, and I was seeing improvement, part of it being my reading material, part of it the placebo effect and part of it was the time I was able to slow down when I was at therapy (it gave me a chance to come to consciousness).

    I went to physical therapy in total for about a month, and then I continued on with reading the material in the books. I felt really great for about a month, I think part of it was the overflow from the placebo effect from the physical therapy, and also some of the material was starting to sink into my subconscious. At this point I thought I was really progressing and felt confident about everything I had learned recently and how it was going to help to get rid of my pain. Parallel to the aforementioned efforts, I was also going to a psychologist (one I had gone to before), to start really understanding on a deeper level the beliefs that were seared into my subconscious.

    So after a month of great progress, I had a big relapse. I had to go on a business trip for a week, and the trip was on a bus, 3 hours each way. On the way there my trip was fine, I didn't have any issues and felt good. However, each day throughout the week my pain became progressively worse, the symptoms were the ones I used to have and they included severe back pain, sciatica pain, left leg soreness and left foot complete numbness. Somehow I was able to survive with that pain the last days of the week, and the bus trip back home was the worst and most painful experience travelling in my life. When I got back home on Friday I was a mess, I couldn't really sit, it hurt to stand, and laying down was also hard. I can still remember that night the pain was so horrible that I cried for my eyes out in bed, with my girlfriend comforting me the whole time. The pain did not subside during the weekend and so I decided to ask for the whole week off from work so I could continue reading the books, writing, and trying to start to exercise (starting off with walking). I did that through the whole week and stared to get better, albeit with a slow pace. This incidence was by far my lowest point, and it really challenged me in focusing on working with the books and continuing to read, write and exercise. I continued to improve in the upcoming weeks, always trying to continue walking or challenging my pain to re condition my mind.

    At this point I also decided that because luckily I had the means to do it, I was going to go visit a TMS doctor in the US (I live in Central America). I proceeded to make an appointment with Doctor Schechter in Los Angeles, CA. I had downloaded Dr. Schechter's app previously and it had helped me start off my journaling, so I felt it was a good choice. After a couple of more weeks I took flight to LA, the night before my flight my pain also elevated again to really uncomfortable levels, I think it was part of the brain's strategy to try to make me miss my flight so that I wouldn't unmask the real reason why I had pain.

    My trip to Dr. Schechter's was great, he reviewed my case and told me I definitely had tms, and even though I did have a physical imperfection if it were to cause me any pain it should be minimal, and not chronic. We went through the tms material and he told me to continue doing what I was doing, to exercise as much as I could, etc. After my visit I stayed in the area with my girlfriend for a couple of days, enjoying the sites, and I decided to really keep going and ignoring my pain, and each day I started to feel better.

    Then I came back home and continued reading, journaling and exercising and I kept getting better throughout time (it is never a steady decline in pain, it goes up and down, but when you see the average incidence you can see that you start having more good days than bad). I believe that the chance of going to see Dr. Schechter really helped me believe in a subconscious level everything that I had read, because seeing a Dr. with such credentials in person really makes your brain rewire the beliefs it has held before.

    The weeks that followed were filled with constant improvement, albeit some days were harder than others, but I never stopped trying. I remember that at one point my I decided to start squatting every day so as to challenge my pain directly, the first day I tried it I could only do 3 squats and it hurt like there was no tomorrow, but I kept at it. After a couple of weeks I was up to 20 squats, and almost a month after visiting Dr. Schechter I was doing 50 squats a day. I did a follow up skype call with the Dr. about a month after my visit, and told him the progress I had, and he really thought it was great progress told me to continue doing what I was doing. I did that, and the rest is history.

    It's been almost 6 months since my Dr. visit, and I am now exercising 4-5 times a week, running again up to 10km, squatting, doing burpees, lifting weights, doing jump rope, cycling and using the elliptical machine. Overall the last three months I've been at 95-100% healed, but it does not affect my life anymore at all. I had one relapse recently, and it was because of a family illness and several work issues, all of which were affecting me subconsciously and I had stopped journaling for a week (silly me thought I didn't need it). When I understood why the relapse was happening, and focused on the right things again, it went away after a week. Also, over the past 6 months I have stopped taking any pain medication, so this healing has been completely based on non-medicated activities.

    I believe that this whole process has been a blessing in my life. Because of it, I was able to realize that I had fallen into a deep depression during that year (at one point even contemplated suicide because of the pain), stemming from unresolved issues from my childhood, pressures from my current life and triggering effects that I had gone through in the past 5 years (divorce, moving and new job responsibilities). Through journaling, psychotherapy and reading tms material I was able to identify the root cause of my pain and work to resolve it. Not only am I happier as a person, but I am also more enjoyable to be around and I have become really grateful of all events that occur in my life. As an added bonus to all of this, my previous irritable bowel syndrome and migraines have also disappeared! This is truly a miracle, and if it wasn't for the great work done by Dr. Sarno, and his pupils such as Dr. Schechter, I wouldn't be here to tell my story today.

    This wiki site was also of immense help to me as it allowed me to read other success stories, view helpful videos and read about other tms items. So for this site I am also forever grateful.

    Hope my story helps anybody who needs it. If you have any questions or want to talk further please feel free to write me an email at padillabrown@gmail.com.
  2. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing. What a journey you have had.
  3. ThatBookBlewMyMind

    ThatBookBlewMyMind New Member

    wow AMAZING story thank you for the hope.

    Can you share your journal routine during healing? how often, how long, kinda stuff you focused on? Do you still journal same amount?

    Many thanks!!!
  4. Padillabrown

    Padillabrown New Member

    Sure @ThatBookBlewMyMind .

    When I started to journal I usually took 45 min - 1 hour a day, and I first followed the advice of Dr. Sarno in his book "The MindBody Prescription", in which he suggested to make a list of items that affected you under 3 categories: 1. Self imposed Pressures, 2. Pressures of everyday life and 3. anger/sadness from early childhood. After making that list (it was pretty big in my case), he suggested to write an essay on each item every day, so that's what I did, always trying to dig deep on why I thought each pressure was so prevalent in my life. I did that for about a month, month and a half.

    Afterwards, when I visited Dr. Schechter, he gave me a workbook which he created in which there are 3-4 questions on a 30 day program which help you journal, they ask about your day, emotions tied to your pain, work, etc. So it is a great guide to help you write daily. I started using his workbook after visiting him, and I continue using it (after 30 days I just started on day 1 again). He also has an app on istore which has a writing guide as well, which you can do on your phone, I used that as well. At that point the time I spent writing my journal was down to 20-30 minutes, as I found it easier and faster to write about my emotions and to pin point what I was feeling. I continued trying to journal almost daily, but in reality it was more like 4-5 days per week.

    Currently as I keep using the workbook & sometimes if I really feel bogged down by a particular emotion I just write about that directly. I don't do it daily anymore, probably I write 3-4 days a week, and it takes me 15-20 minutes. I do it at night, before going to bed, once everything is quiet and my girlfriend is in bed, sometimes I do it listening to some light music to be more focused as well.

    What I focus on the most, and what has helped me the most, is trying to tie or understand why certain emotions pop up when things happen to me during the day (e.g. anger at work, sadness with friends, anxiety with familiy, etc), and tying those emotions into events from my past that created those "beliefs". So for instance, I might feel anger at work from not being included in a particular activity, and I can tie that to being left out as a kid from family activities which produced anger and sadness because there was an emotional gap. Once I'm able to tie that together, I let my emotions flow and I let my inner child really get out and write everything I feel. Most of the times I get to a point of so much anger or sadness that my handwriting is hard to understand, but I keep writing, and that becomes a cathartic experience. It has taken me a while to really get to this point, so would I would suggest is to write constantly, it really works and is very therapeutic.

    Hope this helps!
    Ellen and ThatBookBlewMyMind like this.
  5. ThatBookBlewMyMind

    ThatBookBlewMyMind New Member

    You're a legend, i will be using some of your techniques and be back here re reading. I have IBS also for 20 years its amazing you got rid of yours! i think mine is also TMS.

    I still having a hard time convincing myself of TMS, i did see a UK doctor and they told me its a stress illness/TMS. Currently im having a dip and i need to get back on track.

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