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A curious tale

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by yb44, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    A couple of weeks ago I felt very stressed and anxious. I had all sorts of pain and physical symptoms as a result. I was worried about a friend due to have surgery for breast cancer. She is in her 70's and although she is in good health otherwise, I was very concerned. She, on the other hand, took it all in her stride. I was worried about the hospital performing the operation and sending her home on the same day. This happens with the NHS. She was even warned she might be sent home the same day or at least the day after. She was also told this operation might not be her last. They wouldn't know for a few weeks if she would need further surgery.

    The surgery was performed under a general anaesthetic. The 1 1/2 hour procedure took 4 hours and there was a slight complication. She also had radiotherapy. I saw her that night at the hospital. They decided to keep her in. She was a bit groggy but otherwise okay. The nurse offered her an OTC paid reliever. She said she would save it for later as she wasn't feeling any pain.

    The next morning she was discharged. I had arranged to stay with her for a few nights. I arrived at her home in the afternoon and relieved another friend. I expected her to be in bed. Was she heck. She was up, fully dressed and chatting away, as she does. She was in no pain and had not taken a single painkiller all day. She told me the other women on the ward were having a similar procedure. She said they were worried and anxious about how they would cope at home since they were being checked out on the same day of the operation. One woman apparently was clutching her husband's hand and wouldn't let him go, she was that terrified. These women were all in a great deal of pain, unlike my friend.

    I was absolutely exhausted by all the worrying I had been doing. My friend wanted me to stay up late that night and watch DVDs with her! The next morning My friend continued to be free of any pain. She had some discomfort but nothing that sent her flying to the medicine cabinet. The box of painkillers remained unopened. My friend thought it curious that she felt no pain and kept asking me if she was just weird. I talk to her about mind body stuff on occasion. We are both migraine sufferers so she does have pain sometimes. I told her that because she wasn't fearing pain or at all anxious about anything, she had evaded the pain that all those other women were suffering.

    What do you make of all this?

    P.S. My friend had her post op appointment this week and apart from radiotherapy, she won't be needing any further surgical procedures in the foreseeable future.
     
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi there YB - it's good to hear from you - and this is a really good story!

    I guess you could say that I had a similar experience when I crashed my bike in the fall of 2008, and had a minor fracture of my left femur. It was damn painful, I felt very debilitated, and I became really upset after the x-ray confirmed a break, because I thought a hip fracture meant weeks in bed. As soon as one of the ER docs told me that I could have pins inserted and be on crutches the next day, I totally relaxed. I had some ibuprofen to take the edge off the pain, and never did take any pain meds other than that, even after the surgery, although they tried to load me up with all of that opiate crap. Before and after the surgery, nurses kept coming by to ask me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10. I found this really irritating, because I simply didn't care, so I came up with an answer to make them go away, which was "I used to have cramps worse than this." LOL!

    So as far as I'm concerned, you are right on - your friend had very little pain because she didn't fear either the procedure or the aftermath. Pain, after all, is created by our brains to alert us to a possibly dangerous situation. If you are convinced there is no danger, your brain will relax and stop sending out hyper-pain signals. Just enough to remind you not to do something stupid, post-injury or post-op.

    And here's a good example of how we help each other on this forum: maybe I can apply this to my next dental procedure! I'm a complete baby when it comes to being drilled on, and I need at least one more crown :^(

    So, girl, how are you doing now? I can totally relate to getting TMS symptoms from being worried about a friend, and I'm really happy for your friend (and you) that her experience and prognosis are so good. Writing about it here will probably help - but doing a closer examination of your gut reactions and feelings surrounding the experience would probably be a good thing to do. If you're like me, you've got fears about illness that are related to fear of the future. Maybe some journaling would bring those fears out in the open so you can have a look at them, then your brain will have to back off from the old TMS distraction game.

    Keep us posted, and "talk" to you soon, I hope :^)

    Jan
     
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, yb44 and Jan. I've been looking at some past postings and read yours.
    It take a lot of courage but not fearing surgery or worrying more may be needed is
    mind self-control we learn from TMS techniques. You're both learning them and I've
    learned many of them and am still learning. How are things going now for you both?
    I'm doing fine. No back pain. Learning more every day from our TMS community of friends.
     
  4. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    Funny you should resurrect this post now. I am not doing so good, Walt and neither is my friend mentioned above. I have no doubt there is a connection. I know about and accept TMS principles in my conscious existence but I think it is a case of 'talk to the hand cuz the unconscious ain't listening.'
     

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