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Back in pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jilana, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. jilana

    jilana New Member

    I am so frustrated right now.
    I've been doing the reading, self talk and the journaling and was really starting to get some relief. I actually had two days where my pain was subsiding a bit. Then yesterday I went to the beach and when I got in the water my back instantly went into spasm. I had a hard time getting back up onto the beach and then had a lot of pain packing up and limping to the car. I got home and cried as I paced because even laying down hurt now! It felt like square one :(
    I'm still in substantial pain his morning and trying my best not to panic and stay focused. I know that my fear makes everything worse but it is just so hard to not get hijacked when the pain is so severe. I am continuing to talk to my brain but its ignoring me for now.
    How do I relax the muscles that have been in spasm? Has anyone had a similar experience to this? I know it's my brain messing with me but man it is so convincing!
    Jilana
     
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've noticed that as long as my TMS is active almost any kind of change can trigger symptoms. For example, I noticed this summer that going up to 10,000 ft from sea level seemed to make my symptoms worse. If lowered oxygen levels are, as Dr Sarno maintains, one of the causes of back spasms, that would make sense. But I think you'll notice as you go along in the recovery process that it is definitely not linear, and you will experience ups and downs and various triggers, both physical and unconscious, that will set off your symptoms. Tell yourself that your back spasms in response to your dip in the ocean are only temporary. If you have Dr Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain, listen to the first "Mindfulness" meditation on the enclosed CD. Schubiner's guided meditation provides instructions for detaching yourself from emotions, thoughts and transient symptoms. Of course, you could stretch, ice or take a pain pill too. But all those remedies only provide symptomatic relief. Detaching your mind from an obsessive preoccupation with your TMS pain is the real remedy. I'm sure there'll be others chiming in with additional words of wisdom about your pain relapse. Like any conditioned response, TMS will occur like that out of the blue because it takes quite a while to reprogram your habitual pain pathways.
     
    eric watson and Forest like this.
  3. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    Hi Jilana:

    I've had a similar experience, but not with back pain. It seems that TMS will continue to catch one off guard until the hard work of reversing our thinking is completed. This is so hard for me and I am seeing why the work needs to be done EVERY day. In reading Steve's book he talks about carrying Sarno's book everywhere he went. This struck a cord with me.

    As far a relaxing the muscles is concerned, perhaps visualization will work. You could picture the muscles relaxed, smooth and so limber you could do a back bend :)

    Susan
     
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  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    So right you are, Susan! Reversing your thinking is really the hardest part of deprogramming your TMS. Easy to understand in a purely theoretical, intellectual way just from reading HBP or any of Sarno's other books. But actually putting it into practice and changing the obsessive thought patterns so characteristic of the Type T personality, as Steve O calls it, is the real nut to crack before deep healing can take place. Takes persistence, a lot of courage, plus hard, hard mental work. What's that that William Blake, the English Romantic poet said, "I will not cease from mental fight until I have built Jerusalem in England's green and gentle land"? Think TMS can teach you what Blake was hinting at symbolically.
     
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  5. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    MorComm:

    Wonderful response! I have a lot of work ahead of me. The courage is surfacing more and more every day. Today I journaled an angry note to the doc that originally diagnosed me with Fibro. There is no such thing! My pain is diminishing and my spirits are lifting. Steve's book is so very helpful.

    Getting a diagnosis from a TMS doc on Friday helped as well. I will see a TMS psychologist this Friday. I feel that I am doing all the right things to recover. Doubt has slipped in a few times, but it fleeting. The "work" I am sure will move me forward.

    I want to get back into exercise, that is my next goal. I also need to journal more to change those deep negative thinking patterns I've developed over the last 3 months.

    My TMJ is gone. I stopped wearing the mouth gaurd and it disappeared as did the back pain that came suddenly around this time next week. I've also been able to will away the headaches and migraines I was getting last month. I say go away Harry Headache. So far so good.

    Thanks again for the motivation!

    Susan
     
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  6. jilana

    jilana New Member

    Thanks Susan and MorrComm.
    Sunday was a low point when I wrote this post but I'm feeling much better now. I'm happy to say that my rebound was much faster than it used to be and my painfree periods are getting longer. I'm back to feeling hopeful and doing my best to keep the faith. Here's to all of us moving toward complete healing.
     
    yb44 likes this.
  7. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    Good for you, Jilana!
     
    eric watson likes this.
  8. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician

    Jilana,

    I wonder if the fact that you dared to give yourself some time to enjoy and just "be" triggered something in you. I don't think simply going into the water could physiologically make those changes in your muscles. If anything, if this were anatomic or physical, I would expect the buoyant effect of the water to take pressure OFF your joints and muscles.

    Challenge yourself to consider the unlikelihood of the water per se causing your pain. And don't-don't-don't begin to associate a beautiful day at the beach with an onset of pain. In fact, could it possibly be that you allowed yourself some time to relax and just "be" that you began to feel pain? I say this because I have had many patients over the years begin to have pain with a leisure activity. Why would this happen? It all comes back to the perfectionism and the guilt that we should not be taking a break, we should be doing something more productive.

    But as I tell my patients, it isn't just simply having the guilt that causes the pain - but the conflict (and resultant rage and anger) that comes between the guilt of being good to yourself and desperately wanting to enjoy and be good to yourself.

    In other words, think of these opposing thoughts as opposing plates of earth at an earthquake fault line pushing against each other, like this:

    I WANT TO BE GOOD TO MYSELF (plate one pushing downward)
    --------------- conflict (repressed anger, existential anxiety, rage)--------------------- (fault line)
    I FEEL GUILTY BEING GOOD TO MYSELF (plate two pushing upwards)

    When opposing thoughts conflict, they "push" on each other with opposite force, like tectonic plates of the earth. The result? Conflict creates much emotional energy (anger, rage, existential anxiety), similar to the unimaginable pressure of two pieces of earth push on each other at at a fault line.

    In TMS, physical pain results to keep this struggle out of our awareness. Pain occurs to protect us from the emotional energy and uncertainty that could result from these conflicting emotions.

    I hope my explanation is helpful to you.

    Don't stop pushing forward. Don't get discouraged and DO NOT stop going to the beach!!

    Kindly,
    Dr. Zafirides
     
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  9. jilana

    jilana New Member

    Hi Dr. Zafirides and everyone else,
    I havent checked in for awhile because I am completely pain free now!! I still can't quite believe it because it got worse before it got better but now I'm free of pain. Eeeeeeeeeek, I just love saying that.
    I'm now going to the beach, sitting for long periods of time (which I hadn't done in years!) and just signed up for a yoga class. Yes, a yoga class. I can't wait.
    As a TMS survivor I'm wondering what people do to celebrate? I feel like I should be throwing a party every day to celebrate geting my life back. How can I mark such a momentous milestone? Ideas?
    Hugs and health,
    Jilana
     
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  10. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I WANT TO BE GOOD TO MYSELF (plate one pushing downward)
    --------------- conflict (repressed anger, existential anxiety, rage)--------------------- (fault line)
    I FEEL GUILTY BEING GOOD TO MYSELF (plate two pushing upwards)

    As usual, Dr. Zafirides, you hit my nail right on the head! Your little diagram perfectly matches the conflict I've been facing since my mother died in January 2001. I want to have fun after years of taking care of her with dementia following my father's death in 1997. But I feel guilty about being good to myself because I feel that if I sell my parents' house and take off and enjoy myself, I'll betray my departed parents' sacrifice going back for three generations. That's why I got a herniated disk six months after my mother died almost at the moment the lawyer signed the paper transferring ownership of the house to me. Id vs. Superego - the classic conflict that generates TMS pain symptoms. So simple when I see the conflict charted out in your diagram. No wonder my symptoms started improving when I took some of my equity and bought a BMW Z3 (a car I had wanted for at least 12 years) and started taking trips up to Tuolumne Meadows where I've crafted an identity as a rock climber and first ascentionist. No wonder my symptoms also go down whenever I leave the house that my maternal grandfather paid the down payment on.

    I can see how resolving TMS often involves learning to be kind to yourself. I guess whenever you self-consciously force yourself to be perfect and good, a kind of psychic disequilibrium builds up that has to be balanced out someway or the other if you want to avoid TMS or some other kind of physical symptom developing? Sounds like you have to see the conflict clearly and rationally though before you can do something about fixing it?

    Thanks again.
     
    eric watson likes this.
  11. Michael Reinvented

    Michael Reinvented Peer Supporter

    Hi Jilana,

    That's GREAT news. I could feel your enthusiasm jump off the screen. I reckon you should throw as many "parties" as you can handle. Let those that supported you know how much you love em. Present the brand new, pain free Jilana.

    And... post about the "aha" moments in recovery. Sharing will only help inspire others..
     
    eric watson likes this.
  12. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Jilana,
    That is amazing news! So glad to hear you are pain free!
     
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