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Anxious and defeated

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Time2be, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Is it TMS? I hope so! I am so anxious and feel so defeated. It started 5 weeks ago with diarrhea and nausea in the night. Okay, the next days I felt not so good, I ate the usual stomach friendly things, camomile tea etc. The uncomfortable feeling in the stomach didn’t go away, the stool is lighter than usual (not not pale) and very soft. Sometimes mild cramps in the stomach. And the back hurts, the muscles are tense, I feel it when I massage them with a tennis ball. My doctor gave me something to block the acid in the stomach, this didn’t help. Blood work was ok, also those parameter that are relevant for the pancreas. Because, and here it comes, I am so anxious that I have pancreas cancer that I really have problems to focus on anything else. A friend of mine, who is a medical doctor tries to calm me down, tells me that it is not very likely that I have pancreas cancer. But this doesn’t help. I will have an ultrasound as soon as possible. My doctor referred me to the specialists and if it takes too long to get an appointment I will chose a private one ( I am living in Denmark, the public health system is good, but slow, if they don’t suspect cancer - and my doc doesn’t). I can tell myself a hundred times that statistically my chances are low to have this type of cancer. But all this doesn’t help.

    If it is TMS, then why? I thought I succeeded, bladder and pelvic pain gone. And then, wham, the next thing starts. I have to say that I had similar symptoms - though not that bad - earlier. Actually I would say that my TMS history started with bowel disturbances, a sort of IBS. Lots of diagnostics at that time (26 years ago) and they could not find anything. It disappeared and a year later I had bladder pain (classic symptom imperative). I had this stomach pain also four and two years ago, every time I had an ultrasound and blood work, everything fine. However, I feel the symptoms are a bit different now. But maybe I am just more anxious now. Reading stories of people with pancreas cancer freaks me out. This is a cancer with a very, very low survival rate. And unfortunelaty most of the stories start with kind of unspecific stomach pain, back pain, diarrhea etc. Rationally I know that this is the wrong way to think about it. Compared to the millions of people who have these symptoms only a very small fraction has pancreas cancer.

    And an observation: I spent now my holidays with being afraid of pancreas cancer. I also did some nice things, but it always was in the background.

    Sorry for rambling here. I guess I just need some encouragement and I need to stay calm until the ultra sound. Then the next problem might arise: can pancreas cancer really be ruled out? Or is more diagnostics needed? Oh gosh, you see which lane I am traveling right now, it’s called catastrophizing...
     
  2. westb

    westb Peer Supporter

    It will be a relief for you to get the ultrasound out of the way, won't it. I even sometimes think that not knowing is worse than actually having bad news. And I have occasionally paid to go private (I'm in the UK) for tests and consultations when I want a quick result even though the GP thinks it isn't necessary. Money well spent.

    I know it's easy to say but between now and then, can you find some small daily pleasures to focus on? I also find some of the guided meditations on You Tube incredibly helpful and soothing as I don't seem to be able to just sit without assistance.

    Just take life one day at a time, get the ultrasound done and then see where things stand.

    You're not alone with this kind of reaction. A few days ago I had an anxiety attack and a completely sleepless night about a particular symptom (constipation) as I was convinced I was having an attack of diverticulitis, which I had for real in 2008. The other scenario in my mind was that I had an intestinal blockage and would therefore need to be rushed to hospital imminently. 24 hours later and I was just fine.

    It's good that you are sharing this here, come back and do the same whenever you need to. All the very best. And keep us posted.

    xx
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  3. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Dear Westb, your words are really helpful! That also what I think, money well spent! Yes, I try to focus on something nice, a movie in the evening e.g. I will try guided meditation. That’s also a good idea!

    Just one thought: I need also to learn to be more calm. I really don’t want this kind of negative excitement any more. One can have diagnostics without catastrophizing, I guess.

    I think one of my problems is that I feel rather alone in Denmark, though I have friends here. But they don’t understand my concerns, they all think I am a bit crazy. I am originally from Germany and I still call my German friends in situations like this. They are much closer to me than most of my Danish friends.

    As far as I know one should be careful with diverticulitis. My father had surgery for that and the inflammation developed rather fast. A good friend of mine also has diverticulitis which could not been removed totally by surgery. He is careful with what he eats. So, I understand you, yes. The medical doctors that deal with the mind body syndrome also make it very clear that one first should have medical diagnostics. Not everything is TMS/ body mind syndrome ....

    Thanks again for answering! I really appreciate that! I keep you informed ...
     
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    True...and yet everything is affected by our mind and our emotions irrespective of the severity of the diagnosis.

    I have come to the point where I truly want to live well, beautifully and authentically, no matter what life throws at me.

    I'm done with the fear, the worry, the second-guessing, the people-pleasing, the hiding of every beautiful emotion in case somebody should think something.

    This is our life. Right now.

    And it is exquisite.

    Fuck fear. Fuck illness. Fuck stupid, unkind people.

    If only you could see what a gem you are, you'd shrug all this worry off in a heartbeat.

    I send you love xxx
     
  5. Caulfield

    Caulfield Well known member

    Agreed. The mind-body connection is evident in everything we experience, including structural issues such as diverticulitis (just using that as an example here):

    SOURCE: https://www.belmarrahealth.com/diverticulitis-stress-linked-diverticulitis-stress/ (Diverticulitis and stress: How they are linked and what to do for diverticulitis stress)

    Truly, the mind and the body cannot be separated from one another. Even when one experiences an issue that is deemed to be "structural," the management of stress and emotions is critical. This goes for healing injuries, the common cold and mono, cancers, connective tissue diseases (I know this personally), etc. Negative emotions will break your body down fast. This is why there are stories of some people dying of cancer before the actual cancer itself was severe enough to truly kill them, as confirmed by autopsies and their doctors.

    Time2Be, as someone who most likely fits the "TMS profile" (why else would any of us be here?), remember to take a deep breath. Feelings of anxiety, defeat, and obsession never get us anywhere. Regardless of what happens, we are here for you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  6. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Oh, Plum, and Caulfield, I am so touched reading your replies. Thank you! Caulfield, I am ’experienced’ in TMS. I managed to almost get rid of the bladder and pelvic pain (just few episodes with lots of stress instead of constant pain). I could do this because I had the correct diagnoses (that nothing is wrong with my bladder). And Plum, yes, fear, oh, how to deal with that. I would love to be done with fear, I really would. That’s the big challenge for me.
    I know (rationally) that stress influences the body on all levels. I try my best to not let the fear and the stress take over. Right now it is difficult. I have the appointment for the ultrasound on Thursday in the evening.
    thanks especially Caulfield, for explicitly saying “we are here for you”, I almost cried when I read it.
     
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  7. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Today I had the ultrasound. It was a nice and knowledgeable doctor. He could see most of the pancreas, he could see head and body, but, unfortunately, not the tail. There was air in the stomach that blocked the ultrasound. The parts he saw where just fine, also the gallbladder, liver and other organs. He didn’t speculate about what the tail might look like. He was very strait forward. He said that with my symptoms he would first have a gastroscopy and if they cannot find anything there, one could have a MRI.
    On the one hand I am relieved. Cancer on the pancreas tail is not often. But the ultrasound didn’t give me 100% certainty - but that doesn’t exist anyway. But what should I do now? Right now I am just tired. I was so anxious the whole day. A friend who is a medical doctor says that he still thinks that it is TMS, but following the guidelines a gastroscopy would be the next step.
    I think I follow the doctors advice. And do what he recommends. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  8. westb

    westb Peer Supporter

    Hi @Time2be. Good to have your update. Even though you are asking the forum what you should do I have a strong sense that you actually know the answer yourself! One of the key TMS principles is to get yourself checked out physically at the outset of starting TMS work and this is what you are doing.

    You are of course right, going forward 100% certainty doesn't exist. Things change. So once we have taken the initial, commonsense action, all we can do is to surrender to this fact, to live well and - most important of all - to enjoy life. None of this necessarily comes easy to us TMS types but personally I am so sick and tired of being bullied by my symptoms and anxiety that I'm starting to just get out there and do enjoyable things again in spite of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  9. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Thanks westb! I am not so sure I know what would be wise to do. The first step is a breath test for heliobacter pylori. I must say that I don’t understand why they haven’t done this in the first place. But this is how the system works. I think I listen to the doctors. It feels a bit like surrender, following the guidelines - it will take months to finally conclude that nothing is structurally wrong with my body.

    I fully understand your decision! Yes, have a life! I was also at this point with my bladder symptoms and then the pain went away. I guess I should have the same attitude now, also while I am having diagnostics. All this worrying leads to nothing ...
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  10. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    In a way this is also a learning process of how I make decisions and how I am influenced in the process. Everyone, litterarily everyone, tells me that I for sure don’t have pancreas cancer. They think I must be nuts to have a MRI to see the tail of the pancreas. I must say, I am astonished. Somehow scientific minded persons should be aware of the fact that if you have seen two third of an organ doesn’t mean you know that there is nothing wrong. I don’t repeat symptoms and why my symptoms could be pancreas cancer. I simply find it difficult to understand why people think you should just wait.

    Anyone here had stomach pain (mostly pressure) and pain/tension between the shoulders blades (were the bra sits)? I have sometimes tensionin this area when I am ironing, longer computer sessions or working for a longer time at the kitchen table. But now, this tension starts in the morning and ends only when I am laying down and relax.

    Okay, I made my decision. I call a private scanning hospital to have a MRI. Then I have the necessary certainty to do all the diagnostic procedures with patience. Because then, I would say I have either a gastritis or it’s pure TMS. And I can deal with that.

    I try not to put my life on a standstill, but it is difficult. I can work, that’s a good way to be distracted. But I don’t want to socialize. I tell myself that visiting a friend for a summer party would be a nice thing, but the one hour drive one way and all that talking makes me feel uncomfortable. But then I think going to the party is choosing life - instead of being at home alone and brooding over my symptoms. But, well, life can be different and at the moment I need my safe space at home. I will watch a film and read.

    Sorry for rambling here. I really hope that this is my last TMS crisis! That I learn to handle it!
     
  11. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Peer Supporter

    Yes, I have. The stomach pain was put down to a gallstone by doctors, but both times when I was on the waiting list for my gallbladder to be removed, i.e. in 1997 and then 2016, the symptoms improved to the extent that I decided not to have an operation. (I was on a waiting list because I live in the UK and the operation would have been done on our National Health Service that we all pay into.) With my back pain/tension in the bra strap area, over the years (20+ years) I've had long periods of it and other periods where it's improved only to be replace with the pain being more severe in other areas of my back...classic TMS symptoms with the pain moving about. I only wish that I had known about TMS earlier, i.e. in particular how the symptoms can be because of the brain/mind causing mild hypoxia, which can cause symptoms - not only the muscles and tendons - but also in the stomach and gut.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  12. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Thanks Bloodmoon! The health systems of the UK and Denmark are similar, I think. So good that you cancelled the surgery! In your case the between the shoulder pain is TMS. I hope mine too! Sometimes it feels difficult to breath, though I can of course breathe. Good that you found out!

    It seems that my symptoms also move around a bit. The stomach is not really problematic at the moment. It’s mostly back pain. But, as you know, I am obsessed with this pancreas cancer thing, I read somewhere that this kind of back pain can be the only symptom for pancreas cancer. And that cancer of the pancreas tail sometimes presses onto the nerves of the spine - and of course precisely where I feel the pain. And it was the tail, the doctor couldn’t see in the ultrasound. In my anxious imagination all fits neatly together.

    Really, I am not sure what to do. An immediate MRI to calm me down? But this is my anxiety talking. Or wait and listen to my doctor? I thought of having a osteopathic treatment for the back. I tried that several years before and I worked like a charm.

    On the one hand I have the feeling that I need to fight this anxiety, start to relax and don’t worry without good reason. On the other hand I think, what if the others are wrong, only I have the right intuition - it’s not really an intuition, it’s really an irrational anxiety. Anyway, maybe the anxiety is right ... what then?

    This is really difficult.
     
  13. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Peer Supporter

    The pain in my back in the bra strap area also at times felt like it was affecting my breathing. It's not surprising really because that area of the spine has the ribs attached to it and the rib cage goes over the lungs. Sometimes with the movement of my chest my ribs also hurt.

    An MRI isn't an invasive procedure (unless they want to use contrast dye) so, if it would put your mind at rest, why not? The only downside is that it will cost you money, unless you can get it for free or at a reduced cost on Denmark's health service. (Whenever I've had an MRI, if they want me to have contrast dye, I always so far declined to have it as its safety is in question, particularly with the linear gadolinium dyes http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/medicines/human/referrals/Gadolinium-containing_contrast_agents/human_referral_prac_000056.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac05805c516f (European Medicines Agency - Human medicines - Gadolinium-containing contrast agents).)

    Would an 'all clear' MRI scan result put your mind at ease about this once and for all? If it would - and you could then get on with TMS techniques and stop thinking 'physical' rather than 'psychological' - then it could be worth it. (It may be very unlikely that you have pancreatic cancer, but I don't think that anyone on this forum is likely to advise you not to pursue getting the 'all clear' from an MRI scan or other test before opting to take a solely TMS approach...because they can't possibly know whether your feeling about this is right or wrong.)

    It would obviously be against the principle of 'thinking psychologically' regarding TMS treatment/recovery, but if you had an osteopathic treatment and it eased your back pain, then perhaps it would put your mind at rest that it's not the tail of your pancreas pressing on the nerves - unless of course the osteopath tells you that he can manipulate your back away from your pancreas (which I very much doubt)!..However, any improvement through osteopathic treatment is likely to be only temporary (especially if your symptoms are TMS) and - from the way you write about this - I might be wrong, but I'm suspecting that you are not likely to stop worrying about your pancreas until you have an MRI that shows it's okay.

    Not that I'm advising going against a doctor's advice but - if an MRI showing nothing wrong would be more likely to put your mind at rest than having a gastroscopy which showed nothing wrong - opting for the MRI first might be the best option for you. (Also, something to consider is that gastroscopy may involve having a bowel preparation before hand to clear the gut of faeces and that, I understand, is far from pleasant...and can cause stomach and gut pain and electrolyte imbalances :(.)

    I wish all the best with whatever you decide to do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  14. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Dear BloodMoon, you seem to know me. Really, you nailed it. Yes, an abdomen MRI would give me the certainty I need. I will try to find one who does it without a referral from my doctor. The system here is very rigid.
    The osteopath can just help with the back pain. It will go away eventually, I know.
    Sorry, I am simply frustrated. I thought I had improved so much and now this backlash. If this is the symptom imperative, it is really strong and powerful.
    Thank you BloodMoon!
     
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  15. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Peer Supporter

    You're very welcome. I think all you can do is continue to do pleasurable and self-soothing stuff leading up to your MRI and then, when you're given the 'all clear', continue doing the same soothing things after your MRI. (I'm doing yoga nidra which I'm finding is very calming and eases any spikes of anxiety that can sometimes creep in with regard to my pain and other symptoms; this is the book I'm using https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daring-Res...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=VPYJ7J2MFZARFK4GQK3Y but there are yoga nidra videos on YouTube that you can try for free.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  16. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Thanks for the link with yoga video! I’ll check this out.
    This is turning out to be difficult. There is no possiblity here in my country to get a MRI without an referral from a doctor. I first need to be referred to a specialist and he can recommend scanning. It will take months. I checked in Germany, they would do it, but I need a creatinine test. Because of the constrast, as you BloodMoon already pointed to and warned about. They won’t do it without.
    Maybe I should follow my doctors advice .. and the advice of my two friends who are medical doctors, one even a gastro-enterologist.
    In any case, I ask to my doctor tomorrow. And see how I am doing. My stomach is better now.... maybe this is a kind of TMS crisis. I must say I feel a bit hysterical. However, a clear MRI would make me feel safe. But that’s the problem isn’t it? The solution is part of the symptom, so to speak ...
     
  17. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Peer Supporter

    The link I gave you is to a yoga nidra book; the voice-only downloads associated with the book are here https://www.soundstrue.com/store/daringtorest/yoganidrameditations (Daring to Rest: Yoga Nidra). Also, here's an article about yoga nidra which contains a video https://blog.bulletproof.com/yoga-nidra-guided-sleep-meditation/ plus if you do a search for yoga nidra on YouTube you'll find a number of videos to choose from.

    Something else that I'm finding very helpful with regard to my own anxiety is the qigong movements in this book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Qigong-Wor...1534149345&sr=8-1&keywords=qigong+for+anxiety. The movements are simple but profound. The majority of them involve using the muscles in the thoracic spine (i.e. the bra strap area) so I only do just a few repetitions of each movement and only 2-3 movements a day and find that the gentle stretching of those muscles helps relieve the tension in my back. During the movements you do deep breathing, which is very calming.
    I do obviously understand your concerns...but I do think that it is somewhat reassuring that your friends with medical training, to include one who is an expert in the field, are giving you this advice - I don't think your friends would be saying to not worry about pancreatic cancer if they didn't think it highly unlikely that you've got it.
    As it would take a long time to get an MRI done privately, you might as well follow your doctor's advice as she/he is prepared to do a gastroscopy and then an MRI if the gastroscopy doesn't show up anything (especially as to have an MRI done privately would seemingly be a slow process anyway)...

    If you do have to wait for an MRI, my advice would be to do as much self-soothing as possible to calm yourself down. I have been waiting for over 5 months to have an MRI on my pelvis and a flexi-sigmoidoscopy to determine what might be causing the pain that I have been experiencing in my rectum. I've just had the MRI (yesterday) and the flexi-sigmoidoscopy will be next month. While I've been waiting I've been doing mind/body techniques to soothe myself to include deep breathing regularly throughout the day and, over the weeks of waiting, I've become more and more convinced that the pain in my backside is TMS and I'm much much calmer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018 at 11:38 AM
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  18. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter

    I am having almost the exact same symptoms. I have such extreme nausea and loss of appetite that I've lost 8lbs since this started at the end of June. It's not easy for me to lose weight. I either have nausea or that back pain, directly in between the shoulder blades. It hurts more when I eat. I've had 3 abdominal ultrasounds all perfectly normal, save for a 2mm polyp in my gallbladder. I believe they could see the whole pancreas on the last test, the first two the tail was covered with bowel gas (normal). My pain is so bad that I can't sleep. It's been 10 nights of extreme pain that's kept me awake. My story is a little more complex though, because I've had GI issues for 2 years after a bout of food poisoning and subsequent antibiotics gave me cdiff. I've not yet been able to fully recover. All my blood tests for liver, gallballer, pancreas, and inflammatory markers were normal. And yet, I feel so miserable. I've had nausea for 2 years, but this is something else. I'm scheduled for an MRCP (MRI) on Wednesday, but my GI doctor doesn't even want me to do it because because my ultrasounds were all normal. I might still do it though. I would have to drink some iron drink for contrast. Anyway, this sucks and I'm sorry you're going throught this. I will say that my pain got worse after 2 doctors suggested pancreas. I never knew anything about that and I googled and started developing worse symptoms kind of in line with that, though I was pretty symptomatic anyway before that. I am aware it got worse with the suggestion though. Once they saw my tests results, they said, it's not that, but I couldn't get it out of my mind. Anyway, I hope we're both fine soon. My doctors think I have gastritis. Who knows. Please update and let me know what you find. Also, maybe check out the Medical Medium, if you're open to that sort of thing.
     
  19. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Hej BrooklynGal, how old are you? Younger people usually don’t have pancreas trouble. I am so sorry that you have so much pain. I would do the MRI if I were you. Just to be on the safe side. Maybe your gut system needs time to recover, probiotics and healthy food might help. If you had three ultrasounds you can be pretty certain. I also thought of having another ultrasound - maybe next time I am lucky and the see the whole pancreas.

    My pain was very mild and it seems to vanish. Backpain is not always present, there are some positions that trigger. Sometimes I have nausea, never really bad. I never felt like vomiting. So, my guess is that I have TMS, I might have had and still have a mild gastritis.
    As BloodMoon also says: in these periods were we feel insecure it is so important to do some self soothing! Thanks BloodMoon for your sympathetic advices!

    I had an appointment with my doctor today and I agreed upon that I follow his advice. We talked about the uncertainty that is part of life. He smiled and said that in my case he is 99,9% certain that I don’t have anything wrong with my pancreas. I told him that I am afraid that because he knows that I often react psychosomatically he shrugs symptoms off and might miss something. He looked at me in a very serious way and said that this is exactly the reason why is very thorough with patients like me, he is very much aware of the problem. At the moment I feel fine and I think that this was the right decision, I follow the doctor’s advice and trust in him that he orders the necessary diagnostics. When I had vaginal discharge he immediately sent me to the hospital and I had an appointment for a scan within one week.

    It is so simple: we cannot control everything. Now I transferred some control to my doctor. I trust him. I have the feeling that my symptom disappear. I simply don’t want to spend my life with anxiety. It has to stop.
     
  20. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    BrooklynGal, a medical medium? Never heard about it! I consulted once a medium who came from Iceland. There it runs in families. I am more the skeptical type, but she impressed me.
     

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