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Lumbar Stenosis Fear...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Lunarlass66, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Hi Everyone,
    So now my latest fixation for fear is lumbar stenosis... My MRI says "borderline lumbar stenosis at l3-4...and I've had surgery on l4-5...a discectomy/laminectomy over 20 yr ago. The spine specialist spent about 5 minutes at my recent consult, stating" normal wear and tear" and not much else. However, the information I've read about Lumbar Stenosis is bleak indeed, progressive, worsening over time... Creating tingling, numbness, pain, weakness and eventual disability and walking becomes excruciating if at all possible.
    What could be more terrifying than that?? And the doctor didn't even mention it, I only know because I've been experiencing on and off pain and spasm lately (huge amounts of stress and anxiety simultaneously) and requested a copy of my mri report. Thing is, my pain increased tenfold with the unusually high personal stress and the fear of my radiology report... Coincidence? I just don't know anymore... Sometimes I believe it's mindbody and sometimes, it seems impossible, even foolish to ignore the physical... The one oddity of my mri is the "borderline central spinal stenosis at l3-4" in the findings part of the report and in the final impression is says "no significant central spinal stenosis"...
    Does anyone have any advice as to what I should be thinking? I am completely in a PANIC!! Thanks...
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    That was one of the numerous diagnoses (plural) I was given. I almost forgot that stupid word...

    ...and big piles of trash CREATE rats and Flies spontaneously

    ... and I have a symptom and go to someone who only diagnoses (verb) structural reasons I will get what I was looking for.

    I am a tradesman. I build stuff, hang sheet rock and paint. If my work record were anything like a back surgeons I would be out of business... everything I build falls apart, except for a few clients who don't look to close and trust me that I fixed it.?????

    That fixation is there to distract you from the realm of your emotions. As long as your fixated,. it is doing it's job. You might spend some of that time postulating what is going on in your life that is so uncomfortable, painful that you need to be distracted from it. Fear sucks. But we all have it... Courage doesn't mean no fear. It means having fear and doing something about it anyways. WE have ALL been through that phase...and come out the other side.

    Look inside. iT'S NEVER as scary as we thought
    Benjiro and Lunarlass66 like this.
  3. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    I guess what's keeping me in the fear loop is the poor prognosis for lumbar stenosis. I've always had very intense health anxiety and as I've grown older, it's become an issue again after almost 18 yrs of "smooth sailing"..no major fear or symptoms. It's hard to know how much of this is age related aches, pains, and the advancement of " wear and tear" issues. I had back surgery 20 yrs ago, and I had a hamstring injury two yrs ago. I had xrays, labs, MRIs, multiple drs, PT. but somehow, it just never got better and if anything worse. I had pain every single day and refuse to feed my fear and start at ground zero with the doctors again. If it's just because I'm anxious or growing older, what can they do anyway? I have a huge mistrust of doctors because it took them five months to "discover" my hamstring issue and led me on a fear-inducing path of "could be this, could be that"... All I know for certain is that I don't have any life-threatening issues. But my HUGE fear that literally keeps me from leaving home and withdrawn is that I will wind up unable to walk eventually. I've always been a crazily active person, it defined me on a soul level. As my pain took over and anxiety tag-teaming right along with it, I lost myself, my joy, my hope, everything... Sorry for the ramble. Rough morning... I feel so hopeless. I fight like hell everyday, still walk around, even if tethered in my house, up to 2 miles a day and ride the recumbent bike 20 min a day... Waiting... Waiting, with that last sliver of hope, maybe this will be the day it starts improving. (and yes, ALL of this coincides with some of the worst life upheavals and emotionally stressful events I've ever had happen to me..) Even counseling provided little to no relief, no ah-ha moment, no turning point.
    What am I doing wrong??
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Most of our stories here in TMS land are very similar...like drunks at an AA meeting
    I had that same warning....that I risked paralysis if I even JOGGED again. Somewhere on this forum or another is my 'story'. I won't bore you with it (because it's the same as yours) However I broke that fear of jogging by going on a dead sprint as fast as my little chicken legs could run (they'd atrophied from 18 months of non-use). You have to challenge TMS. It is an adventure and it is work. Just not the work that the 'sytem TM' wants us to be doing. That is the one they can charge money for.

    That 5 months to find the 'right diagnosis' is because there wasn't one. Like I wrote earlier...you keep going to them and they have to find a 'reason'... they never ask you 'how's your personal life? How is your marriage? Do you like your Job? How is your relationship with your Mom and Dad?

    e.g. They never even mentioned to me that I was BORN with a congenital fusion until I had been in the system for a year. "You must have been in pain your whole life!" They said to me
    "No... I was F-ing tarzan until about six months ago when I had a terrible/near suicidal painful issue regarding my marriage and another woman and my children"

    It was easier to have back pain than look through that messy, shameful, painful pile of shit.

    ..and i WAS IN THERAPY for other issues (mostly anger, alcoholism) before I got my pain. It wasn't until I learned that those issues CAUSED the pain that the pain subsided. The pain will hang around until you tell it you don't need it anymore....and the subconscious brain is usually lagging behind our awareness. I still love that poem "Pity the heart, slow to learn what the swift mind beholds at every turn"

    That was awesome. It applies to lots of stuff but especially TMS

    You are not 'doing' anything wrong. You need to Start Looking IN DETAIL (writing, discussing with someone you trust) at all of your life. The truth is usually hiding in plain sight

    The daily reminders. The three R's. Refute the diagnosis, Recondition your mind, Return to activity

    none of us are special. We all went through the same muddy messy field to healing. But it's absolutely real.
    Benjiro and Lunarlass66 like this.
  5. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    I'm so grateful for your replies. Thank you. It always feels really comforting, albeit temporarily, to know, others have been where I am now. I just can't seem to trust my own body anymore or completely refute the physical findings... The truth is, that Stenosis, hamstring tendinopathy, bulged discs, arthritis.. All of that may have been there for months, years, and I was working, bending, lifting(not like Hercules) but certainly without pain or fear... Up until I had those damn MRIs... How can one know what is structural pain and what isn't? ... And numerous posts here say they can overlap.. Aghh! Why is acceptance so damn hard?? In my defense, I have more pain today than yesterday and my brain is stuck on, 'it's your compressed spine causing all the hamstring pain Nance"... Which reinforces fear of movement and anxiety... Blah, blah, blah... TMS sucks!! And if you tell anyone about TMS, they look at you like you've lost your mind. I wish there were definitive proof of its existence... Btw, I've had anger issues too, along with the pain. It does that to you after so long.. Like being imprisoned in your own body. That lack of control generates a ton of rage. Again, thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it very much.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  6. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    Think psychological.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to work very well for me. I have to take little steps towards normalcy and try to learn to live with the symptoms. In the past, when I was told to learn to live with the symptoms, I was furious. Now I have realized that there is no other option. There is no magic recovery waiting for me. I have waited and searched for 13 years. It is time to start living my life.
  7. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    I'd definitely like to read your story.. You mentuoned it's on the site somewhere.. Do you know where I could access it? You mentioned they told you that you have a congenital fusion.. Is that why you have stenosis? I have a feeling mine is from previous surgery... The level above my surgery shows the beginnings of stenosis... Ever read the horrifying and bleak prognosis?? For me, it'll be like putting a butterfly in a peanut butter jar...
  8. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    "And numerous posts here say they can overlap".... mostly people who haven't recovered. Still clinging to that technological wunderkind.

    I am a huge fan of science. One of the Rules in Physics/science is that if there is ONE piece of evidence that your theory is incorrect, you better toss it and find a new theory. That is what triggered the whole development of quantum physics (black body radiators...but I won't bore you) The reason your cell phone works is because classical physics couldn't account for something so it started a whole new branch of science.


    The MRI finds stuff ALL THE TIME that the person has no symptoms from.... yet the arrogant cocky Medical industry, knowing full well the principles of science (meaning their idea that x=pain) are NOT supporting their conjectures.

    Like I said. Science was once quite sure that flies and rats were spontaneously generated by garbage.

    Here. The Sun is closer to the earth in January than it is in July...why is summer not in January?
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  9. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here you go... the story is 11 years old. The only addendum would be that I have now had more 'real' accidents (including breaking a vertabrae in my back falling two stories) and have still had NO return to pain, minus one day 'ticklers' here and there...ineveitably when I am having a life or relationship issue. I am still a construction worker, can still carry 100 pound bags of plaster all day and have zero restrictions (other than my lack of skill...LOL)

    http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1836 (TMSHelp Forum - "My Victory over Pain" ..By B.Ballsickstyfive)
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  10. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Wow, I'm moved to speechlessness..
    You've been through so much. I feel like a fool for complaining.
    You're a real live walking, talking miracle. What I wouldn't give to have that happen. It took immense strength and courage. I commend you.. Thanks so much for sharing. :) Nancy
  11. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes... I feel very blessed. But it is a blessing that is available for all of us. I get a little preachy sometimes because I hate to see people suffer. What Dr. Sarno did in his life was nothing short of miraculous.... questioning the very fabric of the system he was indoctrinated into. And... I complained with the best of them until I got results. (LOL) Just look inside and you will find it there.
    Lunarlass66 and Tennis Tom like this.
  12. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Well, your "preaches" are welcome and awe inspiring... And this may sound a bit ridiculous, and I feel stupid to share it.. But I do worry that age is a factor. What if it's too late? What if it's inevitable age related change? I just turned 51 last week. Got osteoporosis and arthritis to look forward to. What if men's backs are better equipped for recovery? (larger central canal space)... Obsessive, "what if" merry-go-round. Fun stuff. In my mind's eye, I see myself moving limitlessly, as I did just a couple of years ago..
    It's the hardest thing I've ever gone through. Those mainstream docs and high tech diagnostics really do tremendous psychological harm to people like us.. Being a sensitive person has become a curse.
  13. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi lunarlass,

    I see others have answered your questions but thought i'd chime in with some experience. Seeing an MRI report can be so scary! But if it makes you feel better i've had patients whose MRIs read as "significant" or "severe" stenosis and it has zero correlation with their symptoms in most cases. Stenosis that causes the severe kind of disability is pretty rare. It doesn't necessarily worsen over time and certainly is not inevitable that it would impinge your spinal cord in such a severe way- this really is quite rare! Hope that helps.
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  14. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Dear Mindbody PT...
    In addition to baseball65's kind and helpful responses, yours is especially comforting, after all you are an expert in the workings of muscular skeletal conditions. I've just been so hung up on my MRI findings, I literally have nightmares. Having had a previous surgery over 20 yrs ago planted a permanent seed of fear of my back... I have a million theories and though the specialist who reviewed my imaging said "eh, normal wear and tear", I see my spine as a weak and vulnerable battlefield... Like I abused it just by living and having worked in fast paced, active childcare for 30 years...
    Now, in addition to pain, I suffer from severe anxiety and fear of movement... It's something in seven months of effort, including PT and counseling, I just haven't been able to overcome... I admit, I'm an OCDer and a Googler.. Google for medical info is POISON to any TMSer..
    And I truly thank you for your response. It helps more than you know.. :)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  15. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Btw, my MRI says mild disc bulges in all but one of the five lumbar, laminectomy, discectomy on l4-5...l5S1 severe disc space narrowing, tiny superimposed protrusion... DDD, facet joint OA.. and l3-4 borderline central spinal stenosis (and the internet paints a very bleak picture of the inevitable progression of age-related central spinal stenosis, including intractable leg pain, I have leg and back pain now and everyday to one degree or another for the past 7 months ) and mild scoliosis...GEEZ! When a beloved pet or animal is in this shape, they euthanize it! How can ANYONE not fear such findings? And I'm not trusting of doctors so much anymore because they tell you a zillion things and it can't logically be ALL of those issues at once causing all the trouble... So, that's when I begin to open my mind to the TMS theory... After all, there's simply NO way this much stress, in addition to my past two years of major, unprecedented issues, didn't bring on any of this.... Too coincidental.
    I'm rambling again, my apologies and thanks again for taking the time to help me.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  16. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    MRIs can be scary. Luckily all those words don't mean much for pain or function! My lumber MRI also looked bad with herniated discs (tho I'm a bit younger so didn't show degenerative changes yet but I'm sure it would in 10-20 more years!)...and google makes it all worse. TMS is freedom from all of this :)
  17. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Hi mindbody pt.. Do u have any idea what "borderline stenosis" would mean and why the spine guy didn't even mention it? Also that was on the level above my surgery, so I wonder if it's related at all.. Also, that was listed in the "findings" on the report.. The final impression says "no significant spinal stenosis" SO CONFUSING!!
  18. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    There are many folks living with spinal stenosis with absolutely no back pain. I have a 94 year old aunt who had a CAT scan that looked like train cars that ran off the track. Again, they were looking for a bowel problem and there was plenty of incidental findings by the radiologist.
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  19. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Thank you Click, that is amazing and very reassuring. May I ask, is your aunt still mobile? That's my greatest fear, that and unremitting pain for the rest of my life... Sorry that this sounds so morbid. :(
  20. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Dear Lunarlass66...OMG yes and she runs around withe her little walker. She does have a knee issue every once in a while and that's about it. Tramadol 1/2 tab takes care of it. I am telling you the truth. She is more concerned about getting to Bingo and the gossip in her senior apartment. Never really complains !
    Lunarlass66 likes this.

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