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Entering the next phase?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Weston, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Weston

    Weston New Member

    I'm on my fifth day now of focused effort on reducing TMS pain, and I've got to say, things feel different. For one, my knowledge of the origin of my pain appears like a shield I can use against it (though it's awkward to handle). I have spent a lot of yesterday and today in what feels like a very difficult struggle trying to hold up this shield, while my pain, which has much more practice, fights against it.

    It has been an emotional roller-coaster. I have moments of clarity where I understand that I have TMS with absolute confidence and the pain seems to melt away for a little, and then I have upsets (generally when I'm at the computer, testing myself) where I'll walk away in pain, discouraged and worried. I understand now (at least partially) what people mean when saying that getting through the treatment will be difficult. It's even hard to read some of the success stories now, because I want to already be there myself so badly.

    I've been using some techniques from the Amir book (Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain), particularly visualization and affirmation. I woke up this morning with my mind prompting me to wrestle with it, like a puppy that wants to play (though it was much less friendly than a puppy once we got going). First, I had persistent pain in my right hand from the day before, so I focused on getting it to 'melt away,' with some success (certain thoughts bring it right back though). And then I began an attempt to visualize myself typing without pain, promising myself a larger coffee today if I could do it successfully.

    This was a very interesting experience. It was extraordinarily difficult to not activate pain with the visualization. But I see this as a good sign. It just convinces me further that much of what I'm experiencing is the effect of conditioning a pain response to computer usage: I can see that walking up to a computer and placing my hands on the keyboard freaks me out! I can feel myself anticipating the pain as I reach for the keys (and it seems to start just before my fingers are actually there!). It was also interesting because my stomach was doing lots of grumbling and felt somewhat nauseous during this.

    Anyway, I hope to be a little better after today. I'm getting a better grasp of the fact that this is going to happen incrementally for me (7 years is a long time to condition something I suppose).
     
    Forest and JanAtheCPA like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It sounds like you are starting to notice how stressful situations change your symptoms. That is a really good sign. Use that new awareness to gain confidence in the approach and to identify areas you need to address. If you notice your symptoms increase on your way to work, why. The pain is both a distraction and a message. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

    And of course you want to recover as soon as possible, but doing so will only keep you thinking physically. It is difficult at first, but the goal is to really get to a point where you are not trying to overcome pain, but to change how you react to stress. When you begin to change how you view your symptoms, they will begin to fade away.

    Visualization and affirmations are a great tool to use. They can really help you build up confidence in yourself. I know for me the best thing I did was to start typing again. It was hard at first, but I continued to remind myself that I did not have a physical problem, and in time, the pain went away.
     
  3. Weston

    Weston New Member

    I haven't been able to observe the pain in connection with stress yet, but it does seem strongly tied to worry. If I can get myself to not worry it almost disappears. I've noticed in my right hand especially that if I'm worried and check how it's doing, I'll start getting a fairly sharp pain there. I think I'm maybe halfway there to associating arm/hand pain with thoughts/emotions -- but, at this point, if I become to involved in what I'm doing I'll relapse into my old habits of concern for the physical.

    I think I've been spending too much time trying to attack this directly, rather than being patient and letting my mind adjust to this new interpretation. I wish I'd have discovered this ideas sometime earlier than a week before moving across the country to start a new computer job :) I'm going to have to do a lot of typing the next few days though, so I'm going to try to just forget about everything else, but remind myself that the pain isn't physical.

    Thanks for the tips, Forest.
     

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