The truth is there is nothing wrong with me…
…physically that is. It’s a huge relief that hasn’t quite sunk in. But it needs to, if I’m to stand a chance of getting rid of this chronic back pain that I have endured for over six months.
This morning I went to see my GP to discuss the results of my X-ray, MRI scan (for my lower back) and the blood test I was advised to have.
The conclusion was that I have a flatter than ‘normal’ back (I don’t have a curve in the lower back where I should have one) and a herniated disc, but nothing pressing on a nerve that would cause any pain down my legs. I’ve had pain down my legs; this just proves that is either emotional or just tight muscles (or a mix of both!). I have pain in my lower back constantly, but there is nothing in those results that accounts for this pain.
“Surgery is not advised” said my doctor, “and you can carry on running”. Not that I had any surgery planned or intended to stop running!
But it just shows, to me at least, the importance we give to the opinions of people in the medical profession. I realised that, although I thought I had fully accepted my diagnosis of TMS (tension myoneural syndrome) I hadn’t really. There was still a thread of doubt that my pain was caused by a structural abnormality.
I realised I have been muddling along for a few months, trying to get better, but still (unconsciously) seeing the pain as the result of something wrong with my body, and not with my mind.
From the insightful book ‘Dr. John Sarno’s Top 10 Healing Discoveries’ by Steve Ozanich: People who believe their body is broken remain in pain. Those who believe their body is okay, tend to heal.
So, it really is high time I 100% (not 99.9%) believed that my body is NOT broken. I have, what Dr. Sarno would call, ‘normal abnormalities‘ in my spine. The spine starts to degenerate from the age of 20 (yes I was surprised by this fact too!), and many people have herniated discs without any pain, or any knowledge of them. If spinal structure is the problem in back pain, then why does the rate of back pain drop off after the age of 50?
(From page 15 of ‘Dr. John Sarno’s Top 10 Healing Discoveries’) We are far, far stronger than we think we are. Healing occurs when you no longer fear the pain. It takes confidence – and fear is a lack of confidence. As long as she fears the pain, she will have reoccurence.
As for my blood test, I’m low in iron. Nothing more, nothing less. I have some iron tablets to take and I may as well do – I’ll be needing lots of it for the physical training I plan to do!
Rigorous physical movement teaches the brain to react differently to movement (Steve Ozanich again).
So, I left with my ‘certificat medical’ to prove it’s safe for me to run and with my goals firmly set in my mind: a half marathon in May, a marathon in September and an ultra run in October! (shit I’ve said it now, I suppose I ought to now enter those last two ;))
Have confidence my friends. Work on the fear. Understand where it is coming from, and don’t stop moving.