Right after I got married (age 26) I began to have a number of shoulder/neck issues, and although they were very painful they never lasted more than a week or so….I would soon forget about them and except for a laundry list of ‘cautions’,I was pretty much 100% functional…until
One day,working on the set of ‘Star Trek IV’ I felt a spasm in my left butt cheek as I dragged a giant ladder,a full Hudson sprayer and a coil of air cable across the stage.It was excruciating…It was near the end of the workday so I ate a handful of Advil and ‘toughed it out’.I awoke the next day and it had subsided a bit, but over the course of the next month it vacillated between burning spasm and dull numbness. I was beginning to lose the use of the left leg,and my lower back was in agony. I walked by pulling my trouser leg with my hand.
Finally, I had to leave work to see a Doctor …ASAP…the spasm had moved all the way up to my middle back and was un-freaking-bearable. The Doctor Xrayed my spine and told me to take some painkillers and take it easy for a few days.He said My spine was ’tilted’ a bit,but he wasn’t qualified to make a further diagnosis.He also sent me to an orthopedic specialist .
When I finally saw a neurosurgeon at S.C.O.I. in Van Nuys,I had the mandatory MRI and follow ups….bad news.The ever present,never figured out Herniated Disc !!
He also ran me through a series of EMG’s,range of motion,measurements and other tests and was the bearer of all the wonderful news I spoke of in the first paragraph….
My Boat was sunk…I was 32 years old and I was going to have to be careful the rest of my life…No more Adult Baseball,No more picking up my boys , no more hard labor (My only livelihood)
Well…I didn’t like what he told me so I proceeded to do a ‘Grand tour’ through the entire orthopedic community of the greater Los Angeles area. I would alternately try : Physical Therapy ,Drugs Chiropractic,Drugs, Prayer,Drugs, meditation,drugs, traction,drugs, Lumbar support ,drugs,belts,drugs,magnets,drugs,shoe lifts,electrostim,drugs,Epidurals,drugs,trigger point injections,drugs,drugs and drugs.
NONE OF IT WORKS…..I knew after 10 months of failed attempts at returning to ‘normal’ that SURGERY was the only way out.
Jan 11th,1999 I went under the knife to ‘clean out’ all the offending material that was the alleged culprit for this unbearable pain. My Surgeon who had been an NBA Team physician at one point assured me I had a 90% plus chance of returning to my life as it had been.
8 weeks after the surgery I was WORSE….My Surgeon who had been so cocksure that I would recover mumbled into his little Dictaphone “patient has less than 25% chance of ever returning to his previous occupation…..”…I wanted to throttle him !!! How did 25 % come out of 90% ???? !!!!!!!
I was relegated to the Chronic pain clinic. Here I was introduced to all kinds of the same crap I’d been through for the previous year,except more of it…voodoo medication combinations,shock treatments that were irritating at best and 8 hours a day of therapy.
By now my Leg had atrophied to a toothpick, and the sciatica had moved into the other side as well (pre-surgery actually) …I had gained 20 pounds and looked like a Giant chicken..Big old Barrel chested Boiler on sticks…walking around with a cane. All I needed was a Louisiana Accent and I would be ‘Foghorn Leghorn’
I was having trouble in my marriage,and used to lay awake in bed (in agony) wondering if I could muster up the courage to drive off of Las Virgenes Road (Malibu Canyon) and make it look like an accident,so my wife and sons could collect my Life insurance. As far as I was concerned,my life was over….useless,whining and a bleak future of pain was all I could see…no more Sports,No more job,no more fun,no more nothing.
One afternoon as I hobbled around my apartment, I noticed that I was slowly losing the use of my hands…I began to drop things and couldn’t control my fingers .I felt a numbness creeping up my spine,and by about 4PM in the afternoon was beginning to lose feeling in my midriff,chest and ultimately my mouth…a complete and total neurological meltdown.
I was taken to the Emergency Room. They were unfamiliar with all the Neuro-meds I was on and My very caring Chronic pain Doctor wasn’t answering his pager. After their umpteenth attempt, the E-room doc insisted that I drink the liquefied Charcoal that they give OD victims to Neutralize any drugs still in the stomach/digestive tract. Besides being terrified,I was now furious!!
I had heard of a Book By a Doctor John Sarno. I had seen him on TV twice (I think it was 60 minutes and Oprah) and had early on in my journey, had his book recommended to me by my downstairs neighbor. I laughed off the premise as stupid…My pain was real.Real as the screen you’re staring at,real as a heart attack…
None the less,exasperation drove me to drive to the Bookstore and pick up a copy.
I was absolutely FLOORED. From Page one and onward ,I was on each and every page as he described pain,it’s victims,their personalities and their psychological profiles.It was like someone had followed me around my whole life and documented me like an animal on ‘National Geographic’
After one reading,I called up the chronic pain center and told them I would no longer be attending their party.
I also called up my case supervisor from Workman’s Comp who had been pressuring me to enroll in ‘vocational reassignment’. I told her I wanted to try a new plan on my own,and that If I wasn’t better in a month,I would go wherever she sent me with no argument.Thank Heavens,she agreed.
I continued to study and apply Dr. Sarno’s theories,suggestions and idea’s like a man possessed.I ran my first sprint in a week (I had been told I risked paralysis if I EVER even jogged)….I was in a Batting cage hitting 80MPH fastballs in 3 weeks…I returned to my 12 hour a day job in the fifth week…I was ready at 4,but it took me about a week before anybody found something for me to do.
…so…In spite of all the dire warnings and diagnoses,the prognostications and the forecast…I now do whatever I want,whenever I want with ABSOLUTELY,POSITIVELY NO PAIN !
No restrictions,no therapies,no ‘be careful’…nothing.
for going on 8 years now.
Oh…about once a year I will have a quick ‘squabble’ with my body…couple days…maybe a week…but I just get out the old dog-eared copy of “Healing Back Pain” by John Sarno,re-apply the principles and than forget about it.
I Played some Baseball today….I can make the throw from deep in the hole at third no problem,even after taking the whole winter off (I live in Tn. now)….I got back into skateboarding last year and have learned how to ‘drop in’ to a pool from the top,get some grinds and FALL…I fall all the time.
Since my recovery I have been drilled right in the spine with a fastball,had an entire movie set collapse on me,and have had so many falls I have ceased counting them.I never worry,because I am OK…it never even crosses my mind that I might be injured or get hurt.If you had told me I would be this carefree at age 40 when I was contemplating suicide at 33, I would have fancied you mad.
There is a solution. It works.Period.
After thousands of dollars in Surgical procedures,therapies and medications it took a $12.95 book and a month to recover fully. Actually better than fully,because I no longer have to be ‘careful’…
I have recommended this book to hundreds of fellow sufferers…Most laugh it off…Out of the 20 or so that actually read it cover to cover ,amongst my acquaintances we have a 100% recovery rate.
…but it’s soooo hard to get someone who will drive across town in traffic to pay another hundred bucks for another ineffectual treatment to actually pick up a book.
They just don’t believe it can be that easy. It is..that easy.
Before your next surgery,or chiropractic appointment or P.T. workout..
Read John Sarno’s “Healing Back Pain”
…but only if you really want to get better.