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June 21, 2022

All Up In: My Chronic Back Pain & The Book That Cured It

All Up In: My Chronic Back Pain & The Book That Cured It

This week we’re wrapping up season one of All Up In My Lady Business with a long-awaited episode – the story of Mary’s chronic pain & how she cured it.

From wearing stilettos to DJing weddings to giving birth to filming a reality tv show, Mary did everything in pain for years. Many physical therapists, chiropractors, cortisone shots, hospital visits, and surgical consults later, what ended up making everything better was … a book? Really though, it was this book. And a lot of journalling.

Tune in to this episode for the full story, then we’d love to hear what you thought about season one! Please take a two minutes to complete this brief survey so we can make season two of All Up In My Lady Business even better.

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Music. Welcome to all up in my lady business I am your host Mary nisi on this podcast all explore the fine line between having it together I'm losing your shit. Here I share my journey as an entrepreneur a mom a wife a DJ and randomly a beekeeper. I have no shame and no filter except the ones I use on Instagram. My stories of resilience a little structure and a lot of resource Wellness can show you how to take those same things and live your life with your hole. Music. All right folks welcome to all up in my lady business today thanks so much for tuning in today's episode is going to be the long tease. Episode about chronic pain pain was a huge part of my life for a very long time and it's interesting how. In all the episodes that I've done I've kind of kept referencing it but I wasn't really ready to talk about it and I haven't really told this story I've only told anyone this whole story because you know pain is such a subjective but also you know people people really love their pain and they wanted they want to have reasons why they're in pain and. You know it's a complicated story it requires to magical thinking and it's not. A very easy answer and how to deal with pain it's not like a take this pill and have this procedure done. Kind of situation and it's real long and it's real stretching and I hope that you enjoy it or at least you know if nothing else to be a relatively entertaining painful story. So I am a very physically strong person like I'm weirdly strong. Before I aged out of the that particular system of your situation when you're younger I helped a lot of people move a lot of there. Houses ate a lot of pizza drink some beer in that time but yeah I'm really strong I'm just a strong person and all my jobs have required a lot of you know physicality lifting at physical jobs you know like waiting tables working retail you know you're lifting things you're moving things you're carrying things DJing requires a lot of strength you know because if the bill to lift the equipment and stand for six hours and run around and fix things I wasn't scared about the the physical side of DJing which is weird because I think usually comes up a lot is you know do you lift all the equipment yeah I do I'm a strong person so when I started DJing weddings there really weren't very many women doing it and I was like I'm going to be like the Saucy like I'm going to wear cocktail dresses and I bought these stilettos at this Italian shoe store that was on Milwaukee Avenue that's not there anymore. I love those shoes and I got them re healed several times because I would I would wear them down to like the metal little pin that. Held the Stiletto up anyway so yeah we're these stilettos and my lower back problems started a couple years into when I was DJing and I always blame the heels I was leaving the heels is the reason why I my back hurt was because I was O teetering on these little tiny stiletto heels and that's the reason why I my back hurt and it was and you know and it's not like heels don't cause you back problems but I really blame the fact that I was having all these really bad back problems almost heels and I would go to chiropractors physical therapy I did a full series of Rolfing if you're familiar with that it's like we're like this person like basically tears. The faccia away from your muscles on every single part of your body including inside of your mouth it was horrible I did all kinds of stuff I tried this thing called me our Chiropractic where I would go to this place the woman was in Evanston and I'd be in a room there like eight massage tables and should be dealing with like eight people at once and she would like wiggle her hands above your body and then people would just start like bursting into tears it was really weird if there was a look like any kind of like anecdotal evidence that, could potentially make pain go away I tried it so then so basically I had to spin it and I had a pretty good high pain tolerance I still do and I can just muscle through it so even though I baked by back was in total pain all the time I would still go to work I would still stand there I would just you know lean on things and so I was in. Just general pain all the time like my back just kind of always hurt and I was always doing like pigeon stretches anything I could do to kind of make it go away and so I get pregnant in 2014 and I went into my pregnancy I was very fit going into my pregnancy and I love being pregnant yeah I was very active during my pregnancy I really love being pregnant like until I didn't, which was when he flipped breach a couple weeks before I was going to give birth and I spent the last month of my pregnancy miserably trying to flip him I had really did not want to have to have a C-section and when he flipped I mean I was planning on doing a natural childbirth I had done like a 10 week long natural childbirth class I had a doula like I was really planning on having this vaginal birth and I felt like a failure when I couldn't and so I have him and after I had him after I had Sebastian my body was crooked like I was like on a right angle think it was people would look at me and be like how are you standing like that I'm like I don't know but it was very painful so the chronic pain that I had been dealing with the years prior to getting pregnant. That it was it just came back horribly after I had him and I'm a very flexible person. And you know that was once I had him and I was crooked the doctors that I was seeing. We're like oh you're hyper mobile and because you're hyper mobile your joints are super loosey-goosey especially once you get pregnant with a hormone called relaxin that your body produces that is. Supposed to be so that when you go into labor and you've got contractions that your body can actually like move like your hips can actually you know expand to like past the baby through and apparently that lingers and so I was told the reason why my was crooked is because if I had like built up relaxin that like was causing the crookedness also when you have a C-section your also recovering from like major surgery and you're trying to become a parent and you're dealing with you know a newborn so finally after a couple months after I'd Sebastian I finally finally got a physical therapist and they were doing all kinds of stuff exercises dry needling manual manipulation and I feel okay I'd be okay like I would like they would get me to the point where I was feeling okay like the pain would go away and then I would like do a yoga class and I would quote unquote re-injure myself and you know like this is a cycle that I was constantly doing like I would I would be in pain I go to my physical therapist I would get some kind of relief from a procedure I'd be okay for a couple of weeks and then I would hurt myself somehow like I would you know. Garden and it would remember gardening would just mess my entire like all the things I love to doing gardening yoga pilate will it all just hurt it always hurt me the things I love to do hurt me and Dina was one of my employees and she had taken over everything in the office well I wanted to have like a real maternity leave and so Dina had taken over you know everything for me during maternity leave not I had four month long maternity leave and I didn't do anything when I got back I didn't really have a job anymore like Dina was doing all of the like the day-to-day administrative like all the contracts and done with clients all that other stuff and I didn't I didn't have a job anymore and I. I prior to having. Sebastian you know I was making all the contracts and do it all of the day-to-day stuff and then and Dina and I work I had passed some of it to Dina but then when I went on maternity leave she did at all and then when I came back she wasn't looking to relinquish it like that was her job now and all I really knew how to do was he administrative stuff and had a DJ and train the DJs and now Dina was doing all of that. And I had that point I'd stop taking it consistent mode of weddings and so you know I had gotten a nanny too. You know to take Sebastian so I could go to work but I didn't even really know what my job was and. That was when the pain the pain the pain was like so bad that I kind of became my job was like dealing with the paint like I had started so by this point is like 2015 I'm back to doing some weddings and events the pain was excruciating I'd started worrying like this brace like this or like this velcro brace thing to hold my body together because the pain was so insane and it was like it not only helped me with the payment also like straighten my body out to like it help me altogether so by this point Sebastian is a year and you know John and I are alike kind of half-assedly talking about having another kid John really was like I don't really care if we have another kid but I'm like aren't we supposed to isn't that the thing we have to do and everyone's asking me for going to have another kid and I didn't know if I wanted one which felt like selfish and weird and wrong but I'm also at that point 41 years old like can I even have another kid so all of this is in my head I don't really know what I'm doing for my job, you know I'm parenting a kid that I don't know how to be a parent because the first year of Parenthood is insane and then I'm. I remembered I went to this yoga class and I did there's this move called bird of paradise which is like one of my favorite yoga moves ones you can look it up it's really it's a very physically difficult move and while I was doing it I felt something like click clack like like break in my back and it like broke me like I threw my quote-unquote like threw my back out and it took me weeks to like feel better again to be able to like walk and but I did it like I was like I'm fine I'm fine I'm fine it's okay my body will be fine. And so I was able to kind of get it together but then a couple of months later I was in so much pain that John had to take me to the hospital. This is like a November of 2015 and I was like I am in so much pain and Noah and prior to this no one would give me an MRI like no one was like go get an MRI go get some Imaging done it was just like let's do some physical therapy and then if it doesn't work let's do the MRI and I'm like why don't we do that first for whatever reason it was like really hard to get em alright I do check myself into the hospital. I get an MRI and there I have a herniated disc at L4 5 and it was a bad one like it was a really bad herniated disc and even the radiologist who doesn't really, like the one that just like takes the images and doesn't read them I was like how are you walking like I'm not even a I'm not even a person that can read these things and I can tell that there's a herniated disc in there and I was like Yay I have an answer I have a herniated disc at l45 and that is the reason why. I'm in pain. Music. So I finally I get a cortisone shot into my spine the next day and it took two weeks but I wasn't in crippling pain anymore and I remember like the two days after I had gotten the shot I was still on morphine that they put me on morphine and I we had this huge party for toast and jam we have a party every year. Towards the end of the year called the vendor Bender where we invite all the vendors that. We work with all your along to kind of have a blowing steam off Fun Time party and I was in I was still in so much pain but I it was getting better and I remember I had to sit in a chair all night long and I had I had lost a bunch of weight because I was I was so it was in so much pain that I was basically wasting away I wasn't eating I wasn't sleeping. And I was like I got this dress that I can't fit in anymore but I was so excited to fit in this like size to dress but I was sitting because I couldn't walk it was like such a terrible. Story I shouldn't tell this part but whatever I was like it was like small victories right like I'm in a really small dress but I can barely move. But anyway I was so excited I diagnosed I can't talk about and I know it was the real problem and I could I had to shelve the baby talk now because my body couldn't take both trying to get pregnant and carrying a baby when I got this herniated disc that is like give me all this pain so I was getting better I was starting to exercise again feeling normal. And then John lost his job at the beginning of 2016 and that really sucked I mean men and their jobs they really put a lot of their identity into that but John it's just he really just I mean it's suck for him as it would suck for anybody so I'm trying to manage like my pain which was you know sort of getting better his feelings of feeling worthless and shitty wondering if we can have another kid I'm running out of time and I'm not really knowing what my job is and the pain was a very like not may be easy but was it easy attention-grabbing issue for me to deal with. Then rather having to deal with like what was actually going on in my life so. In a weird twist prior to John losing his job we have been saving up money to do a pretty big renovation on our house and then when he lost his job we had to shelve that for temporarily and I was on this Mom list and someone was like oh yeah there's a show that's going to start filming in Chicago like a renovation show. And so I looked at it and I was like well whatever I'll just apply to it there's mean you know. I'm going to million people going to apply to the show and I probably won't get it but then I apply to the show and then like almost immediately we got on the show was a very quick process I want to say we applied. At like in like the end of March and then by the middle of April we knew that we. That our show that that are our house is going to be featured on the show we were going to be not only have to pay the money that week because when you do those shows you actually have to put up some of the money but then you wind up getting more value for your money and so we had to like. You know this money was going to have to be. Paid out and we are housing renovated John didn't have a job at that point and my body was still in a lot of pain and the day after we found out that we got on the show it was incidentally the day that Prince died. And I like woke up found at the prince died and this is the day after we found out they were going on the show and I just couldn't walk I was in so much pain and I remember I was I got in my bath because it was the only place where I could feel relatively okay and I was laying in my bathtub listening to Purple Rain. Weeping like in the bathtub I couldn't I was in so much pain and I was wondering if I was ever going to be okay and if I was going to have back problems it would lead to like a crippling Oxycontin addiction and that was going to die just like Prince did and oh my God why did we agree to be on this show I'm. Because the show is going to require us to be filmed on it it wasn't like. A show where like the or show up every once in a while like weed to live in the house during the production so at this point somebody actually my piss my physical therapist suggested that I go see a sports medicine doctor. At the surely Ryan ability lab which is like a big place for. Getting help here in Chicago and I was like I'll try anything and I went to that doctor. And he looked at my MRI he gave me actually got another MRI as MRI and he's like he's like you know I can give you another shot and in your spinal cord and it might work. But I'm telling you that it is just time it's going to solve this and I promise you in two years you're going to be pain free. And I'm like it was super confusing because I was like how do you know that like how can you know that I'm going to be pain-free in two years and and like. You know why I don't it was very weird but he gave me he gave me another Cortisone shot into my disc and that one didn't work I was still in like major pain so in the meantime we start filming the TV show and it is it is really it's it was a harsh it was a harsh situation because I was in total pain the entire time and like once I watched the show, I saw I mean I was wearing that the briefs in almost every scene and I'm crooked I'm leaning on creatively on things to make it seem like I'm okay but I can tell that I'm in a brace and I can look tell that I'm in a lot of pain and it's just, really sad to watch but you know the good thing is that John did wind up getting a job and in fact it was the very first day of filming that he got the job like we were filming the very first day like the like the demolition of the house and we're like literally like mid sledgehammer and John gets the phone call but he got the job at this company and he's like mic'd up like when he gets it and I had been in the backyard when he got the phone call and he runs out onto the deck and he goes Mary I got a job I got a job and I like what and I go running up out of the deck and we're like. I'ma hold like we're like hugging and I'm crying and I'm like oh my God it's over it's over and then I hear the producer from the backyard go hey guys. Could you maybe recreate this for the cameras and so we had to like recreate John getting the phone call that. He got the job and we had to film it it was so embarrassing so. Our house is like a dilapidated mess and we're living through this construction John starting a new job you know I'm in so much pain all the time and there was one day. When. I was driving Sebastian to daycare and I remember I was driving down the street and the pain was so bad that I was thinking to myself this is like the equivalent of drunk driving like this. This feels this feels unsafe that I am driving in this. In this condition I drop Sebastian off at daycare and at this point my aunt the office the toast and jam offices were in Wicker Park which was not too far from the daycare so I drop Sebastian off at daycare and I'm like I should go home but I'm afraid to drive that far so I just drove to my office and I. Walked in the door and laid down on the ground and just started crying like I'm laying on the ground crying and Dina walks into the office some of these things where I'm like man I really feel like I'm this should go in the Indiana's Glassdoor review boss was laying on the floor weeping and I had a deal but John had to like leave working he came and got me and he's like he's a you need to see like some real doctors and not just these like groovy anecdotal pain people so. I got a bunch of referrals from people like who to go to. And I have I made and I'm calling these doctors and it takes months to get in if you're a good surgeon it takes forever to get in with them so like this was like the beginning of Summer that I like June I want to say of 2016 was when we started this process and it took me like I had four consult scheduled for that summer that we're going to start I think the first ones are going to be in the beginning of July and going through. September it was just too it took forever to get in with these guys and so I have a I survived all these appointments with Naruto had to orthopedic surgeons into neurosurgeons that I was going to go see for this to kind of get different ideas on how to deal with the pain so. Ever since I started having back pain I had people casually telling me I needed to read this book. And it would make all my pain go away and I'm like my pain is real and I'm not going to, ghost like I'm not gonna read a book and it's going to it's going to solve my problem I'm like see my cool herniated disc I've got this disc and that's the reason why I've got these pain problems and but it kept coming up I mean it's just like people kept saying have you read the Mind Body Solution by John Sarno and I'm like I know I don't I'm not going to I'm not. There's no way that the book is going to cure my pain and around this time I started seeing this woman Virginia who is a massage person who's also like a witch she worked out of her house and her house was an old Bank it was a bank back in like the early 1900s and the apartment still had the Vault inside of it or the safe as she called it and that was where her massage table was inside the vault, or the safe in her apartment and she was super mystical and beautiful and she had been pushing me to read the book almost the entire time that we'd been working together and again it's called healing back pain the mind-body solution and I had by this point been, the book because so many people had been recommending it to me but it was sitting next to my bed and I was kind of like willing it to like enter my brain via osmosis or something it is kind of refuse to read it but I owned it so at this point I go in for a massage because I was in so much pain and this is the summer 2016 my house is a mess Trump is running for president just to give you the. You know the the grand there didn't really set the scene so the massage was insane and at one point like I was one of the things were like ever like I could feel it was like a it was like an electric massage we're like the whole thing just hurt and it was crazy and at one point she randomly asked me what my labor and delivery was like for Sebastian like maybe that's the reason why bodies and pain was because I had something messed up from delivering him and I said. You know it was actually a C-section and that. I still feel guilty and shitty about and I feel like a failure as of a woman because I wasn't able to experience contractions and actually like pushing the baby out and she started pulling on she had by this point I had flipped over on my back and she started like kind of she's like hooked her fingers into my pelvic bone and sort of pulling almost my pelvis apart and but not really like just sort of like kind of just tugging on it and I began to feel pain. The most insane pain I've ever felt in my life like extreme horrible pain and it felt like I was floating above my own body looking down at me and it was crazy like it was. I think that basically. What she somehow managed to tap into as like I was actually able to feel what childbirth maybe would have felt like because I've never felt anything like that before or since and when she was done she left the safe and I got dressed, and I got off the table and all of a sudden I realize I was pain-free for like the first time in years I felt nothing I felt nothing anywhere on my body everything felt fine and I walked out of the safe and she gave me a hug and I just. Burst into tears and I cried on her for like 20 minutes like it was like I was just releasing like all of this. Pain and emotional. Craziness and I got in my car and I called John and I was like oh my gosh all my pains gone my pain is gone for the first time in years my pain is gone and he was like no way get home come home so I walk in the door of our dilapidated fucked-up house. That was I mean our house was that point was incomplete mean in complete shambles like there were no walls or was plastic walls like Dexter's kill room but it was super dirty. And I walked in the door of our fucked-up house and. All the pain came back worse than it had been when before I went to the massage and that was like the straw that broke. The nice he's back and I got in my bed and I started reading the book The Healing back pain the mind-body solution by dr. Sarno and I read the whole thing over the next two days. And believe me when I say I was as surprised as anyone to this to say this but the pain was reduced by like thirty percent and if you're like dr. sardo that book I don't understand its kind of sounding familiar Howard Stern and Larry David are both big doctor Sarno fans like it's not some quack I mean there were at least it's a person that other people have heard of. It claimed that in order to distract the sufferer from recip like from repressed anxiety anger and feelings of inferiority the brain creates pain and like the neck the shoulders the back of your butt by decreasing blood flow to the muscles and nerves and that nearly all chronic pain is caused by repressed emotions. And emotional pain causes physical pain and by like going to see a therapist or journaling about them he said that you could drag them out of your unconscious and cure yourself without drug surgery or any kind of exercises and it's not that you have to be completely over whatever it is that's causing the pain just acknowledging that that was the reason starts the end of the pain. And he claimed that this would work and he said like and it was. It's a hard thing to swallow right like it's almost like saying that the pain is all in your head and it's not that's not what it is the pain is real it is real pain. But you need to consider that your body is having a physical reaction to an emotional problem what are the things he said was that if you were to take a group of 100 people with chronic back pain and another group of 100 people without back pain and have them do and get MRIs don't all of them. The likelihood is that there would be instances of herniated discs in both groups but not both groups. Have pain and according to him herniated discs are nothing but a normal anomaly in your body something the imperfect about our bodies that does not have to cause such severe pain and he knows that there are some exceptions that there are some people who actually have. Herniated disc that will hurt. There are people that will have such bad disc issues that they will have to have some kind of surgery or whatever but he insists that a herniated disc will. Hurting the beginning but that it doesn't justify such extreme chronic pain that goes on for years in fact he goes on to compare herniated discs to white hair and older people that the change or anomaly is there but has no correlation whatsoever to pain. And it takes a lot to kind of swallow and kind of understand but one of the things that. You know the he brings up that is that we are engineered towards healing. Like our bodies want to heal like if you break your femur the largest bone in your body it will heal in six weeks like if it gets set correctly and you let it heal in a cast it in six weeks that bone will be back together it'll be solidly back together but now there's a neural path that was created between your brain and the injury so let's say you broke that bone playing football in high school and maybe you had some dreams of playing in the NFL and that break. Ended that possibility for you for whatever reason every now and then like your old football injury flares up it's because you've got a neural path. To that injury between your brand that has a lot of emotion tied to it the bone is healed but your brain hasn't gotten over it and that is mind-body syndrome or TMS which is 10 some tension myositis syndrome just the idea that it's your mind and your body. Are working together to cause the problem and so like for me like if you were raised in a house a lot of chaos and having emotions and feelings could be at worst dangerous or at least something that was made fun of or discourage because no one had the bandwidth to deal with the root cause so what do you do with those emotions and those feelings you bury them inside you but your brain is going to put it somewhere and that's in the neural paths in the body that cause chronic pain this all made sense to me. Once I kind of read it and thought about it like if you're not going to actually deal with the root causes your body's going to store them somewhere until you have the time to deal like it made sense to me but I wasn't going to let a book cure me like it just seemed crazy that like I was going to read a book and then my pain was just gonna go away. So I Googled doctor Sarno Chicago to see if there are any doctors in Chicago that. Were an alkaline of his or followed him or whatever and lo and behold I found dr. John structs and he was at Northwestern like he was in a real hospital and he was at the osher center which is like they're like hippie section like it at Northwestern where they've got we're they keep their acupuncturists and their groovier doctors but he was a real doctor he was a family medicine Doctor Who specialized in Mind Body syndrome and also a specific I also for some reason thyroid conditions so I called thinking is going to take me months to get in with them and they're like oh we can see a Thursday. And I'm like Thursday like how is that possible like I can just get in with him on Thursday so I go thinking that this is going to be. You know I actually didn't know what I was going to expect and I get in there and we met for an hour like an unrushed hour. And he talked to me and asked me a bunch of questions and actually seemed like he cared and I was in there for an hour and there was no there was no one else popping in and asking questions it was like this unrushed. Weird feeling that he wasn't forcing me out like I'm so used to going to doctors and like you get 10 minutes with them and they're like huh yep yep yep yep yep okay well and then they kind of give you whatever their analysis is that they leave. At this point I had seen two of the surgeons and both of them had said I needed to spinal fusion. And to give you how all the both of these became experiences were terrible I met with two different surgeons the first one was a really nice guy. But he was like yeah so you need to fuse your spine and I burst into tears because I was like what this is the first time I'm hearing spinal fusion I thought I wasn't just going to get like a laminectomy or like some kind of thing to kind of shave the herniation off but he was suggesting spinal fusion I had stenosis of the spine which is a narrowing of the spinal canal and a thing called a spawn do theosis I think is how you pronounce it spondee is what they refer to it as because it's hard to pronounce and it's basically that the last vertebrae in my spine has sort of detached from the rest of my spinal cord and we're kind of moving around so I spawned a theosis, synopsis of the spine and I had a herniated disc and so they were like you're gonna have to fuse l45 maybe even at to S1 or, 2 L 3 to 4 and I was like what are you talking about and then I saw the second doctor that I saw this asshole oh my God I forgot his name because of trauma but he was at rush and. He told me the same thing that the first doctor had told me I burst into tears and he goes oh okay he leaves. He left me in the room by myself weeping and I was by myself my little sister had gone with me to the first one and so she was great to like. Help me kind of get through that first woman she couldn't go to no one could go with me to the second one and I'm in this room by myself weeping the doctor just left me in there after I started crying and he's like yeah well I wish I he's like I don't know why you're crying because like this is an answer any leaves and I'm in that room just crying and then a nurse pops her head into like clean it or something and she's like oh are you okay and I go no and she goes okay and she'll is left me in there it was insane it was like are you kidding me this is like you're you're basically putting me in a body cast and you're surprised I'm crying my point of all this is to say is that I had at this point seen two different surgeons that said I needed to fuse my spine and. And dr. Strax listen to me for an hour talking about my problem and he's like okay well I know you saw this to surgeons and even in pain for years but you definitely have TMS you definitely have TMS and and he's like and I can cure you and he was so he was so confident about it. He was so confident that he could cure me. I couldn't really believe them that I was in fine you know because I just had to Super cocky dudes tell me that I needed to fuse one maybe two discs. And to have a doctor who was super easy to get in with who was just giving me way too much of his time was telling me I needed to join his journaling class and the pain that dominated my life for years which is poof go away. Like I I don't know I just was like pardon he was like yeah okay the book makes sense like maybe this is all psychological but then I had two surgeons told me to diffuse my spine and I had two more doctors doctor appointments scheduled to see other surgeons so dr. structures like okay fine he's like. Why you make an appointment with me for a month from now after you've had all your appointments with the other doctors and then we can kind of talk through your situation. And I'm like okay so I made the appointment and also around this time an article had come out in the New York Times. That said that spinal fusion has some of the worst outcomes in medicine but people still get spinal fusion in the article it says like you know when studies come out that show that it doesn't work the egos of the doctors. Are saying oh well they're not doing things like I do or those doctors are really what it is the doctors only remember the clients with success and not as a percentage so it's like well you know I might give I might do 30 of these in a month and even though only you know ten of them are fine I still do have 10 people who were fine like it's almost like that it does work sometimes is enough to just do it all the time and people in pain will do anything to make the pain go away so they're always going to have people who are willing to. Have the surgery and so I had gone through at this point for surgeons. And I just I just kept I kept Doctor shopping for a doctor that wouldn't do anything to me I guess and all four said the exact same thing and the last surgeon and by the way I had done my research I was literally getting in with like four of the best. Surgeons that I could find the last surgeon that I went to go see ask me he's like he asked me who I had seen the other three doctors had seen and he was like okay you somehow managed to get appointments with the top two orthopedic surgeons and the top two neurosurgeons in Chicago. And we all agree on what you need done which never happens like if you go see for surgeons they're already view for different opinions he's like we all gave you the exact same thing. Why do you not believe us. And I was like you know what my gut is telling me I don't need this surgery and he said well he'll be here when my gut starts talking to my back. And the Pain by this point was getting inconsistent like I would have a week where it didn't hurt and then I would have a week where it did. Like really what I think it was is that the Sarno book was doing its work because that's the thing is that part of the problem is in a sort of like covid the recovery isn't a straight line it's not like you get a little bit better and a little bit better a little bit better live better than your cured it's like. You're feeling a little bit better and then you feel really bad and then you feel better little bit better than you feel a lot better do you feel great and then you feel bad it's not like it was inconsistent. So I went back to dr. Strax and I was like okay. Let's try your journaling class let's go and I don't find mention this but dr. strike one of the things that doctors tracks had mentioned think I forgot Nick elected to say this was that when I went to go see doctors tracks he's like. The first time he's like well the way I get rid of people's pain is I have this eight week long journal in class, and that's how we cure your pain and I was and I did that might also reason why I was skeptical so at this point I go back to him after I seen the fourth surgeon, and I was like okay let's try it there will always be an eager dude with a scalpel out there just dying to fuse my spine so let's give this journaling class ago so I went to Northwestern once a week for eight weeks for this course and there were probably I think they're like. Eight or ten of us in the class and it was all white people with money to pay out of pocket for a place to go and try to write our pain away. Take the pain was all and it was crazy is like the group of people that the pain was all over the place there was a guy who realized he had been hyperventilating for two years. There was people with migraines a lot of neuropathy like where there was tingling in their fingers and toes there was a lady whose mouth who felt like she'd eaten something hot all the time. It felt like she was always sucking on a jalapeno that she couldn't get this hot feeling out of her mouth the pain just it takes on a lot of forms so we get in the class and it's like it's like you know we're in a room were all sitting at a table around like it was tables in a circle we all just kind of weird looking at each other and Doctor strikes began by talking about how we have to think psychologically about pain and that we tend to think of pain as a purely physical issue you know like stretching or MRIs or medication or find a PT or do I need surgery like these are like a physical way to think about pain. But emotions are also physical entities and initially. Like in caveman times like your emotions were were purely kept to keep people alive like you know is this a is this a situation I want to walk towards or something I want to flee from and. You know then once we evolved more more emotions kind of came on the scene like anger is a signal that you need protection and then 6 sadness it signals retreat and rest and Rejuvenation shame teaches us right from wrong crying is a physical response to an emotion and why do we accept that as the only physical reaction to an emotion. Emotions flow from one emotion to the next but sometimes in like this modern world that we live in we don't really have the time to process our emotions accurately or even identify what we're actually feeling. And then they can get kind of stuck your emotions can get stuck inside of you and that causes pain and anxiety. So I've had a therapist since I was 23. And my thought was like well I've uncovered every Rock in my brain I've been analyzing myself and dealing with my bullshit for years like like while I can buy that this is psychological why was I having pain when I already broke through every possible issue that I have. Narrator she had more issues than she was letting on so the workbook of unlearn your pain it asks a lot of basic questions that I hadn't thought about in regards to one's childhood and for me for instance my dad had a lot of mental problems. And by the time I was 10 he was out of the house and I didn't really know him very well and he wasn't a real father figure to me and I just kind of chalked it up to my mom my mom was both of my parents and I didn't really have a dad and that was fine I had friends with great dads it kind of filled that role for me my brothers were able to take on some of the responsibilities as if that was a thing that a 17 year old kid should be doing but I did kind of assumed I had no daddy issues and guess what absolutely had daddy issues the unlearn your pain book asked a lot of pointed questions about your childhood and then made you break it down by each parent and then the siblings and like what role money played in your life who was working how was work viewed how was love expressed how was like when was it expressed what was competition like in your family what we're rewards like it was a lot and I think I told myself that I didn't have any daddy issues because mine was so complicated that I couldn't even think about it and it would take too long to uncover and analyze and that seemed kind of crippling so I just didn't think about it at all ever. So the workbook broke it all down and in all of its like ugly sad detail and I did it I did the whole section on Dad and it felt so good I felt so much better afterwards it was like seeing it all right there it was like oh wait it didn't kill me it didn't kill me to like think about it and write it all down and while it's bad I didn't cause it I didn't do it it happened to me. And it no longer had the power of this giant untapped well of misery and judgment. But it also made me see my dad as an actual human with his own shitty hand that he was dealt that he really just didn't have the tools to deal with it. And then I moved on to my mom who I had a very complicated relationship with at the time that she died and my pain all seem to mysteriously start when she died, and when someone dies you don't have the ability to have the closure that you want or so I thought and I was able to do the work she's done her and oh my God it was like such a relief. Parent problems seem like they're this Mega giant thing that. Would be really amazing and maybe it's the fact that I have it in therapy since I was 23 that I had uncovered some of it and just these bit last big chunks for the ones that needed to be kind of and I'm not saying I completely solved them all but it was. It helps to unravel it and kind of take away some of its power another thing that kind of came up in the worksheet we talked about work and stuff and. It made me realize like you know I had been married like DJ marry me see for so long and I was on the radio and I started a DJ company and I was doing a million weddings I was a founding member of chirp radio I had this whole identity as like a cool young hip. DJ who ran this business and digital over the world I did you for President Obama twice and I go to buy DJ to bars and clubs but then I got married and had a baby. And when I got back to work I didn't have a job anymore and the person that was paying to do my job Dina was doing a way better job that I had been doing I didn't know what to do. But all this pain conveniently gave me a focus that wasn't holy fucking shit who am I now. And I was a parent and well my entire situation was completely unlike what mine was like growing up I didn't know what I was doing. And was I going to fuck up Sebastian like I was fucked up I looked at this baby and I was like why did I do this like I am too controlling and anxiety ridden ridden to raise him to be a normal person. It makes sense that the second IBI bring a human into the world that I would become riddled with pain and it would get markedly worse once the concept of that second kid kept coming up. So I get through all these classes and my pain while not gone was really alleviated. You know like I realized that I needed to recommit to toast and jam and start working on the business. That I've been working in it for years with no strategy just head down grinding out weddings managing the DJ's but not really trying to grow it or make any real like strategic business decisions and I've been letting it happen to me. I was basically stuck in start-up mode for like at that point 10 years I think I'd been in business. Yeah like a little over 10 years I was still in start-up mode and that was when I hired my first business coach her name was Caroline and she really helped me understand. What I was doing and get some numbers and strategy behind it and she helped me convert my DJs to employees which was something that I needed to do as at that point I had been audited two times. By the Illinois Department of Employment Security and having my DJs as 1099 contractors while it is the industry standard was quickly becoming a liability and this was all stuff I needed help on, but I didn't know how to ask and the whole myth of the entrepreneur is that you just know how to do it all. It really made me feel like an impostor like there are a lot of things I just didn't know how to do I couldn't do and why didn't I know them is this do all entrepreneurs just know how to do things. Like getting help from Carolyn was one of the most important things I've ever done for my business. This was six years ago that you know I kind of unlearned my pain like I got I got control of it and. Doing this episode it was really hard to look back on this and think about how much it sucked and how much things have changed. It's not an easy answer for how to deal with pain it's not like I said it's not like you take a pill or. Take this you have this procedure do the stretch my pain was trying to make me understand and forgive my parents. It was to make me figure out that I was going to be a good mom regardless of how I was raised and that I was going to do the best I could and that would be enough. I had to figure out the next chapter of my entrepreneurial journey and see who I was going to become now that I'm not dj Mary nisi anymore. And that I have 1/8 business bitch skills and that I need to ask for help to figure out what that means and since I since then I have invested in real estate I started another business and a Cinco work I created an online course to teach DJ's how to grow in scale their businesses I've helped a lot of business owners with their own businesses like Carolyn did for me. I sold the building and ceremoniously closed a sand and now I have this podcast and I'm embarking on trying to start a speaking career and a deeper Consulting business. And now I see the pain is a gift and when I have flare-ups now they're usually my pair of formats like this little chunky muscle if it starts flaring up and get super painful, I now think okay brain what are you trying to tell me that I'm avoiding and I won't sit on it and I'll meditate and I'll be able to figure it out and I'm not solving it or fixing it but merely acknowledging that I have some issue that I'm avoiding is enough for me to deal with it and the pain goes away this took a long time to get to that point I was in chronic pain for 10 years and three of them were severe I had three injections into my spine I almost fused my spine I was in the hospital I was on morphine I somehow didn't get addicted so I've been pain-free now for five years. And six years five or six years and the fact that I got through the pandemic without pain as say lat. This works I'm going to link to some articles and books in the show notes if you are interested in learning more. So whole a segment one of the things that happened when I was pregnant was my belly button herniated it like detached from my I don't know I don't actually don't know what your belly buttons is even attached to but mine detached and like my stomach kind of looks like Ken's penis like it I have a like the in an Audi that is such an Audi that it's just insane it looks weird and I it didn't occur to me to fix it and like every like once a month if I eat like enchiladas like my intestines will like spill out between my abdominal muscles and it hurts really badly and my doctor finally was like you need to get that fixed so I am getting it fixed on Thursday and. This episode is actually going to come out after I've had the surgery so hopefully it will have gone okay but I am kind of excited to get it fixed and actually have it look correct but I'm also excited but I am test is not spilling out of my stomach anymore one thing I am kind of nervous about is that we're moving in a month. And that means I'm not really going to be able to help much with pushing and moving things around. But that's what that's that's what my husband my son are for right packing boxes getting it together so you know. All the chronic pain ending with me getting my bellybutton fixed is that a whole last situation but it's my whole my whole belly. So this is also the last episode of the season I know I know I I managed to cram in a whole season of podcast during a. Very chaotic beginning of 2022 have we had a nun chaotic beginning to any alien ton chaotic year and. 10 years I sure feel like I haven't we will be coming back in September the beginning of September to begin the next ride of what this podcast is going to be and it has been a fun ride it's been all over the place it's had some ups and downs. Some sadness I couldn't get over and then I got over it and it was interesting to try to pull together a whole new Venture without a whole lot of planning. But I really appreciate those of you who stuck around and listened and I've gotten so much wonderful feedback from y'all kind of contacting me via my DMs and via email and texting me it's been that was a very unsurprising part of this was a all of the lovely words I've gotten from those of you who have listened and enjoyed it and in the show notes there is a survey but I would love for you to fill out it just kind of gives me an idea of what you liked what you didn't like and anything you'd like to see in the future that I can incorporate when we come back for season two so yeah so thanks to all of you for tuning in I can't wait to come back to you by that point I will be a Suburban mom. I'll be a Suburban mom which I. I just can't believe those horses came out of my mouth but here we are so have a great Christmas great Christmas have a great summer love you like a sister don't change and I will see you in the fall. Music. Thanks for listening to all up in my lady business it is written by me Mary nisi. It is produced by Christina sorum Williams and Amelia Rudy with softer. It is recorded at the toast and jam offices in Logan Square in Chicago. You can find resources and links from this episode in the show notes at all up in my lady if you enjoyed this episode and you did Smash that subscribe button and if you're the kind of person that reviews things on the internet please rate and review us wherever you listen to us it really does help people find us follow us on all of your socials and don't forget whatever you do this week do it with your whole ass thanks for listening. Music.