I have been reluctant to post my story because I felt I have not recovered because I still had fear. However, I have recovered. I now understand that I can control the fear. I hope my story helps others who are just like me.
In November 05, I suffered severe pain to my low back while I was 8 months pregnant. I took it easy and after I had my baby, my back pain was completely gone.
June 06, severe attack of back pain when I sneezed. Pain did not go away as quickly as the prior time. Went to doctor, had MRIs, showed bulged L3-4 and severe ruptured disc at L4-5. Doctor wanted to immediately perform surgery. I opted to take the conservative route instead.
THE ONLY REASON I POST MY PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS IS TO GIVE SOMEBODY ELSE WHO MAY BE READING THIS SOME HOPE THAT THIS KIND OF PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING AND YOU CAN GET BETTER.
September 06, a former co-worker recommended I buy Dr. Sarno’s Healing Back Pain. I read the book. Nothing happened. I found this forum and read and reread past posts. I read the book again and again until I believed.
I work in an industry where physical injury causes pain. For the past five years, I have had all kinds of clients who are disabled for years and years because of injuries to their backs that were not nearly even as bad as my physical diagnosis. This was my “aha moment.” I met clients that would come into my office with canes, couldn’t bend, reach, sit, stand, etc. and then I would meet their doctors who would state that their injury was permanent and they were at maximum medical improvement. I WAS ALREADY CONDITIONED TO THINKING THAT A HERNIATED DISC IN YOUR BACK MEANT A LIFE OF DISABILITY.
Once I no longer felt pain, I feared that I would feel the pain again. So naturally, I babied my back and took it easy. My husband would tell people that I was approaching 30 with a 70 year old body.
Everything that I did would cause a twinge, pull, burning sensation. Once I would feel that twinge, I would do nothing – sit my butt down on the couch and hope that my back would get better. It was a vicious cycle that I could not stop.
Gradually, I pushed through the pain, stopped sitting on a heating pad all day/night, stopped taking muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, etc., and GOT OFF MY A** AND STARTING MOVING. And guess what, I was no worse than with them. I did these in baby steps and it seemed like at the time there was no progress being made, but I made progress looking back.
It was so bad that I was not able to do anything except go to work and come home. The toughest thing for me was to be a mom to my baby. My baby that was weighing over 25 pounds. This is where the conditioning came in. With my diagnosis, doctors put restrictions on their patients of no bending, lifting or lifting over a certain amount of weight. Bull s***. But unfortunately I still could not get this out of my mind.
I spent about 6 months being completely pain free but living in fear of further injury. During this time, I was constantly guarded with every move I made.
I recently found out I was pregnant again and it was not planned. Pregnancy was not a bad thing, rather a very happy occassion for me and husband, but I feared that I would not be able to carry the baby because of my weak back. My weak back. There it was, I would never be better because of my weak back. I was pregnant again and I could not even bend over to pick up my 25 pound son that I already had. I realized that I was not better and I was losing all progress that had been made. I was panicking and could not focus on anything other than my weak back.
My husband made me take a few weeks off work and we traveled far away. I spent time with my husband and son without the pressures of everyday life. During this vacation, I suffered a miscarriage. It was a hard loss for us but we both understood that things happen for a reason.
It was during this break from my life, I was able to take a look at all of the stresses of my everyday life and spend some time on me.
During my vacation, I was completely free with my body. This was not planned, nor did I even try to push myself physically. It just happened. My husband told me that I was fun again and that his wild young wife was back!!! I swam in the ocean, ran (even fell down on the beach, rolled in the sand with my son, lifted my suitcases, etc. and I overcame the biggest obstacle – bending over and picking up my son. I now bend over and pick him up, throw him in the air, swing him. All 29 pounds and growing of him.
I am no longer guarded. My body is no longer tense. I have taken control of my body. I am carefree again. I felt a twinge earlier this morning in my back, but then again, who doesn’t? It’s part of our body’s plan.
My left knee has popped very loudly for years and each time it does I can really feel it. I have never been afraid og the popping nor have I ever put any thought into this popping because to me it was just my body. That is how I am now treating my back. I have recovered from my bulged and herniated discs and I have a normal back now.
My back muscles stayed so tight in my low back all the time because this was my TMS spot. So naturally, every time I would do something I would fee that twinge, pull, pain, etc. because I expected it to be there. In almost every thing you do, your back muscles are involved. No wonder I was guarded in every movement.
I am a person who tries to be the best and have the best. This is who I am and I have no control over this but I also realized that this is causing my stress. I am making changes that I feel good about. My last day at work will be at the end of the month. We have put our very large home up for sale and have began looking for a smaller home – I no longer wish to compete with family, neighbors, friends, etc. (I don’t even think they ever realized I was doing this.)
I will be focusing on the things that I forgot I loved to do. I will be driving across the country in a few months to visit my brother with my son. Normally, I just jump on an airplane. I want to enjoy the country and spending time in the car with my son. I will then be visiting my other brother who lives in the very south of the country. Both trips will take several days in the car and overnight stays at hotels with my son. This is much more challenging to me than getting on an airplane. I will be doing volunteer work for a while and enjoying my time with my husband and son.
I have never journaled. Maybe if I would have it would have come easier for me, who knows. I am on the fence about the journaling and I am glad it works for some and then others nothing. Dr. Sarno gave me my diagnosis. I was the only one who could pick my treatment plan.
I have my life back.