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Daniel L. Perineum burning

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Abbo, May 12, 2016.

  1. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member




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    Question
    I have perineum burning also myofascial pain. I have been doing the program for 5 months now after 2 years of pain. I can ignore my glutes and thighs where the myofascial pain is but I cannot ignore the perineum burning. I have found that by applying a small ice pack to the area it cools me down and allows me to continue walking my two and half miles in the morning and one and half miles in the afternoon. What I am asking is am I reinforcing my pain? Am I using the ice as a placebo? I don't think I can get through the day without using it just the once.
    Your opinion and advice would be so appreciated.
    Thank you
     
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    First a story:

    One summer in college I traveled to Guatemala for a few months with the hope of learning Spanish. I spoke very, very little of it when I first got there, so I was relieved that my host-family had a daughter who spoke fluent English! I knew that I’d be fine as long as she was around.

    On the second day of living my host family, the daughter told me that she was no longer going to speak to me in English, for it would slow down the rate in which I would learn Spanish. Frustrated, I agreed.

    Later that week, I had eaten some food that didn’t sit well with my stomach. I won’t go into details, as they’re not pleasant, but I ran (literally ran) back from school to the house with my host family. I threw open the front door and immediately saw that there was a plumber in the bathroom fixing the toilet!

    This was probably the worst possible moment for the toilet to go out of commission, so I hurriedly ran to my host-sister and with ever-increasing panic, asked her what to do – in English. She responded in Spanish, and I had NO IDEA what she said. I kept repeating myself in English, and she’d respond in Spanish. After what felt like an hour, I took a deep breath, and started to understand that she was telling me that I could use the bathroom in the house next door.

    The end of this story isn’t very interesting, other than that I ran next door and was happily greeted with an empty, clean bathroom.

    So, why did I tell this story? To this day, I will always remember the Spanish word ‘vecino.’ Not because it’s a particularly interesting word, but rather because it is the word that I learned at that very moment when my host-sister was telling me to go next door to use the house of their neighbor (“vecino”).


    Now, to your question:

    Yes, you are reinforcing and enabling the pain, just like my host-sister would have done to me if she had spoken to me in English. My host-sister was wise enough to know that while it would be extremely painful for me to not be able to speak to anyone for quite some time, it would be most beneficial for learning Spanish.

    Just like the anxiety and pain (literal pain – try eating four street hot dogs in Guatemala and you’ll know what I mean) I went through regarding not being able to use the bathroom, you too will have a moment or two of panic and pain as you teach yourself not to reinforce the pain with an ice pack. It will not be pleasant and there will be moments when you want to give up and use the ice pack, but in the long run, it’s worth it.

    That said – you don’t have to go cold turkey. You can ease yourself off the ice pack slowly if you want. The goal is to keep yourself from staying in a heightened state of panic as you wean yourself off of the ice pack.

    Pro-tip: As you take you take the ice away, you will probably start to feel heightened emotions. This is common. You might cry more than you’re used to, or feel more agitated than normal. All of that is fine. It’s healthy. Don’t let it scare you – just feel the feelings and know that they’ll stabilize soon enough.

    I hope that helps!


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