Let’s get started at the beginning. Tell me about how your symptoms first began.
26 years ago, in 1995, it started wtih a classic slipped disc. I couldn't move, I was crawling out of bed to use the bathroom, etc. - the normal things that you hear about regularly. I took 4 weeks off of work, laying in bed. There’s been many ups and downs in the 26 years. Essentially it's never been the same [as before] again since it started.
Looking back now (knowing what I know now about neuroplastic pain) 26 years ago was a very emotional time of my life. A lot was going on. And as a result of knowing what caused it and about neuroplastic pain, I’ve also established that it had presented prior to 1995 and it’s presented many times since. I’ve had a mixture of arm pain, knee pain, heartburn, the classic IBS, fatigue, serious heart palpitations.
That’s a lot to deal with at once. What was going through your mind while this was happening before you had any more knowledge of what might have really been going on?
As you can imagine it was complete fear, thinking my life was ending. Particularly with the heart palpitations because that was a heart defect called supraventricular tachycardia. I think what happened there was that I did have a genuine structural problem with the heart and these bouts of arrhythmia, but when that stopped, I then developed the fear around it happening again. So it was very challenging.
With all of these things I went the normal route of getting x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, injections - the normal route that we all take. But my main day-to-day symptom was chronic back pain and it’s only now that I discovered that I could link that and other significant times of pain in my life to having TMS / neuroplastic pain.
Since you have made this perspective shift, started letting all of this out, journaling and going through the Curable app, what's changed so far with your physical symptoms?
It’s been a really big improvement. I am not pain free yet - and that's a phrase I just don't use to myself because I don't see it in the frame of pain anymore. It’s more framed as what I can do now, and how my sensations (as I call them) stop me or not. Generally they don’t nowadays.
I’m doing things that I want to do. And that can be everyday things like cleaning, cooking, washing, the normal things that everybody else does. But it also means the things that I love and enjoy like motorcycling and clay pigeon shooting.
I’ve got my interests back. My world has gone from very small to there's no size to it now - it’s as much as I want to do. And that has been a game-changer. It’s incredible that it’s made that difference.
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