27 Jun Pain, pain go away.
Pain. We all have our relationships with, and definitions of, pain. There are certain kinds of pain that I don’t mind, that I even like a little. The soreness in my muscles from a long run the day before is a reminder of something accomplished. A little bit of emotional pain can lead to cathartic art.
However, right now I’m dealing with debilitating pain and it’s making me crazy. The last couple of months have been stressful, but on the surface I didn’t think of it at as the most stressful time of my life by any means. Still, it was clear that it was getting to me when my hip started to ache and my calf began to tighten up. I have struggled with hip/leg pain in the past and I know 100% that it is caused by stress. I figured that I had a grip on what was going on and that I could stave off a full blown leg meltdown. I was wrong.
About two months ago as we struggled to finish our film, “Battle for Brooklyn”, we were also struggling with two daughters and other stresses. I first noticed a stiffness in my hip and I concentrated on staying relaxed and made an effort to swim several times a week. However, the tightness continued to slowly increase. By the time we released the film in theaters a week ago, I was having trouble walking. By the end of the weekend I could barely stand.
For nearly a decade we have been trying to get a documentary off the ground about Dr. John E. Sarno. He is a doctor based at NYU medical center who treats pain as a symptom of TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome). His treatment is based on the idea that the pain is caused by the autonomic nervous system constricting blood flow – which causes muscles to spasm. Why does the autonomic nervous system do this? To protect the conscious mind from “dangerous thoughts”. The pain is real, and I am a full believer. I went to Dr. Sarno 8 years ago when my leg pain was so bad I couldn’t move and a doctor told me I had to have surgery. I recovered a great deal by following Dr. Sarno’s methods. However, this time the stress was too much. I’m fighting back though by staying calm.
It hasn’t gotten a lot better over the last week but I have been trying to meditate and de-stress. Pain Pain go away. Come again another day.
**** editor’s note **** It’s hard to look back at this 3 years later because now I know that only a few short weeks later I was slammed to the floor in excruciating pain. In fact I was stuck on the floor of the office for nearly 2 weeks. The good news is that this episode kicked us into gear to re-focus on making the film!