Case Study – RSD/Post-Operative Pain: Tracy

This case study describes Tracy’s chronic headache, full-body pain and epilepsy

disclaimer: results may vary

Tracy’s interview, recorded during one of the On-line Tutorials:

Tracy was 23 years old and enjoying a very active life in the Royal Air Force.  She loved the life, full of sport, and lots of fun. All should have gone smoothly, but Tracy developed a backache which was so severe, she had to be discharged from the RAF. The pain originated after she had had an operation when she was just 19 years old to remove a benign tumour that was attached to a rib.

Tracy’s love of sport continued despite her backache, and she worked at a leisure centre, keeping herself fit by anyone’s standards.   However, life was about to deal Tracy another blow.  Tracy was driving her car along a leafy lane one evening when the car slipped off the road, straight into a tree.  Tracy had serious whiplash and back pain, but worse of all, she began to have fits, one every few days.

This meant that she could no longer drive.  Her hours at the leisure centre were reduced to allow her more time to rest.  There were many days when Tracy could hardly move, but resting seemed to make her backache worse, so even though exercising was painful, Tracy continued to push through the pain.

The pain clinic at the hospital put Tracy on a buprenorphine patch to deliver a continuous stream of pain relief, and an oral medication, tramadol – another strong pain reliever. However, it did little to stop the pain.

Tracy also suffered terrible headaches, with searing, off-the-scale pain, in addition to the debilitating backache.

In December 2007, Tracy began Resolution Magic.  She kept a daily record of her pain. At first, she worked on her headache, and it took a few weeks to reduce the pain down to a slight headache.  Once the headaches were considerably reduced, she began to work from the top of her back, downwards.

There were times when Tracy felt desperately miserable.  Understandably, she had been dealt a terrible hand. Whether it was a logical, or an illogical feeling, Tracy used some of the Resolution Magic techniques on this feeling of depression, and it lifted.

No-one has ever worked harder than Tracy to reduce her pain.  Instead of doing the exercises for 5-10 minutes every couple of hours, she did ten minutes on and ten minutes off for many days.  After all, she had many hours at home, and there was nothing more important.  Having experienced some success in the early days with her headache, there was every reason to expect that she could conquer this back pain.  And she did.

The first full day with absolutely no pain was heaven for Tracy.  Looking back, Tracy could see from her records that there had been times when she thought the programme had failed.  The roller-coaster line on her chart showed how the pain had dipped and then escalated, sometimes right back to her original levels.  But each time it dipped, it stayed lower, gradually reducing the peaks, and lowering the troughs, until that wonderful day when there was no pain.

Tracy knew that she shouldn’t expect every day to be pain-free, and she just trusted that gradually there would be more and more pain-free days.  Slowly, after a few months, Tracy did become permanently pain-free.

That left Tracy with just one problem.  The fits were continuing.  Twice a week, or more, Tracy would be told that she had just had a fit.  She had no warning, no knowledge, it just happened.  I had not been presented with anyone with the symptom of fitting before, but Resolution Magic does no harm, so I suggested a particular exercise for Tracy, and she set to work.

Whenever she had a fit, at some time later in that day, Tracy sat down by herself, and went back to the last thing she could remember, before the fit.  Then she did the Resolution Magic exercise.

At first, we didn’t expect any change, but almost immediately we were surprised. Tracy’s fits halved.  Instead of two a week, she had one.  And then they continued to dramatically reduce until months went by without any fits.

This was, in anyone’s eyes, astounding.