1. Our TMS drop-in chat is today (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM DST Eastern U.S. (New York). It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support. Enrique is today's host. Click here for more info or just look for the red flag on the menu bar at 3pm Eastern.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Post shingles struggle, would appreciate hearing thoughts

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by MWsunin12, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dear fellow forum members,

    I was so happy to have found Sarno and all of you and was able to get beyond my pelvic pain over the course of five months. Feeling blessed.

    Then, a couple months after that, I had an intense upper back pain that I didn't recognize as the beginning of shingles. Shingles went down my right arm, wrist, hand. Very extreme pain and sleeplessness for 3 weeks and now lingering stiffness and nerve pain, some numbness, etc. The doctors said this was to be expected, but now 5 weeks past the break out, I'm feeling shame and frustration…and even other nerve symptoms.

    The shame and frustration come from the feeling that I didn't process the emotions from the pelvic pain before fully and perhaps GAVE real issue of Shingles to myself. I write for a living, so having my right arm be taken out for a month was costly. I feel like I sabotaged myself. I know shingles is an actual illness, but I have noted that everyone I've talked to that had them, got them under stress and during repressed anger. Unless it was a one-time trauma like someone died or something like that.

    Is it reasonable to think that lingering nerve pain is TMS? I tried to stay away from the google and looking up long term problems, but of course, the ER doc and my own GP had to tell me their patient horror stories of suffering for months or years. It is glued in my brain.

    This has opened a new can of worms about self-anger, resentment of my own choices mostly, and fear of physical pain.

    Is illness, real or psychological, a form of self-sabotage?

    Thanks for reading, if you did. Having depressed thinking about 75% of every day. Any positive thoughts would be appreciated.

    my best to all of you,
  2. sjcy

    sjcy New Member

    Marcia, I can relate to your concerns. I am struggling with some symptoms right now that are possibly indicative of actual physical illness, and wondering, "did I do this to myself?" I've written earlier on this forum about having dealt with issues from childhood and yet being blindsided with the fact that I was neglecting current sources of stress, frustration, and anger.

    I do think that repressed anger can affect one's immune system (it probably has mine), but other factors are involved too, such as genetics and environment. And I do think that illness can be a form of self-sabotage. However, it's not generally a conscious choice, and becoming more angry, especially at yourself, is not going to help or change anything. The real struggle is to learn to forgive ourselves, live at peace with ourselves, and deal with the issues causing the stress or anger.

    Yes, shingles can cause lingering pain, but your psychological response to it will have a lot to do with how well you endure it and how much it limits you. Good luck and keep us posted!
    plum and MWsunin12 like this.
  3. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you so much for writing back. Some days are better than others, which gives me hope. I hope whatever you're dealing with can be eliminated with self-compassion. The anger is brutal to ourselves. Today I felt a sadness of lost time and the pain was worse. I guess it's about living in the present, letting past go. I appreciate the time you took to write back.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, "guys." I had shingles once and it was really rough. It did take some time to completely feel better again. Try not to feel sad about lost time.
    Everything happens to us in its own time. Being angry keep pain coming. I was angry about something this morning and just laughed it away. I felt beter right away.

    Here are some quotes I like, about living in the present and laughing...

    Joan Rivers: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why they call it the present.”

    Oprah Winfrey: “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

    HalleBerry: “Don’t take yourself too seriously. Know when to laugh at yourself, and find a way to laugh at obstacles that inevitably present themselves.”
    mike2014 and MWsunin12 like this.
  5. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, you're such an angel on these forums. Tons of respect your way. Thanks for sharing about having shingles. Steve O's new short book is good. "It's not about healing the pain, it's about healing the cause for the pain."
  6. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Hey Mw. I so sympathize. I've had shingles, and the pain can be intense.
    I have struggled with TMS prolonging an illness, but before I get too carried away with the blame game, I try to cut it off by listing my "gratefuls." For instance,
    • "I'm grateful that TMS has given me an awareness of mind-body interactions."
    • I'm grateful that I've learned some tools to deal with anger and other emotions."
    Otherwise, it's easy for me to get caught in a feedback loop of negativity.
    Hope this helps.
    mike2014, plum and MWsunin12 like this.
  7. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you Gigi for your kindness. I'm in an anxiety cycle, too. It helps me to think of being "blessed" or "grateful" for this so that I can become better in the long run. Gratitude is so much…and sometimes the last thing I think of because of fear. Damn fear! I think I'm mostly "sick" of my negative thoughts getting first priority in my brain. Thank you for responding to me. May you have health and happiness.
    mike2014, plum and Gigi like this.
  8. Jay1953

    Jay1953 New Member

  9. Jay1953

    Jay1953 New Member

    Sort of embarrassing. I had shingles twice in a year that did not present in a typical way and thought it was TMS. I took the anti vitals and it got much better, but I still have residual pain and I am not sure if its TMS, post hermetic neuralgia or a combination. I am board certified in 3 medical specialties including dermatology. I see see shingles weekly in my practice and did recognize it when I got it! I had the zoster vaccine before I got shingles the first time. I got it in the same place almost 1 year to the day apart . It presented with neck pain (not unusual for me). I took the TMS approach the second time. Like the first time it kept getting worse--but this time to a 10 1/2 pain level. After 2 weeks I saw my physical therapist. No relief. A week later I started to get the skin symptoms. I took antiviral for 10 days and got better, but still I have residual pain of a 0-7 intensity level. I did take pain meds at the peak of the pain before I recognized this as shingles.
    mike2014 and Lavender like this.
  10. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jay, I had a message exchange with Steve Ozanich. He is the author of "the Great Pain Deception." Have you read his book? It's a classic here on the forum. Steve told me that he believes Shingles to be a symptom imperative of TMS, which makes sense since Sarno wrote that many skin conditions are related to TMS.

    I still have occasional nerve pain in my arm, one year later, and I can say…for certain…that it is related to when I have higher times of worry or anxiety. Sarno said that TMS will take advantage of previous injuries or where our fears about health lie to distract us from our emotions. I think that is true. I know that physicians say the nerves are slower to heal than the muscles. This is probably also true. Most of the TMS "experts" would say that anything called "neuralgia" is actually TMS. This is a relief to me.

    What has helped me the most is to tell myself: even if it's a combo of actual physical slowness in repair of the nerve or anxiety causing my brain to recreate the pain, I have to keep looking at the underlying cause, hidden or suppressed emotion.

    I also think that this increase in public awareness of Shingles, the constant commercials, etc. is creating more and more cases of them.
    I was highly-aware of the commercials, wondering if I should get the shot though I wasn't in the age group yet, fearful of how often I was hearing about them….and BAM.

    Do you feel in conflict about your medical practice? My flare of shingles was work related and self-pressure and fear of not keeping up.

    Here's the irony: I STILL have fear of shingles, because even as I type this to you my arm has pain sensations.
    Steve Ozanich told me that he is still impressionable to symptoms that people describe to him.
    I would say it's almost comical, if it weren't so sad.

    I would also write pages of childish emotion, seriously, and then rip them up and toss. I'd be so embarrassed if anyone saw them, but Sarno says we all have that inner little-child rage. I know he's right. Writing it out helped me.

    I'm sorry for your struggle, Jay. I know it well. But, I also think we can get to the other side. You will.

    Robatsu, mike2014, plum and 1 other person like this.
  11. Jay1953

    Jay1953 New Member

    Thank you Marcia-
    After I joined this form my discomfort decreased significantly going along with TMS. I think my brain thought it could hang on to the concept of post herpetic neuralgia. I really do not have any real stress in my life but I do feel angry often for really no good reason. The acute flare of shingles was a 10 1/2 on my pain scale. The bizarre thing was that almost one year to the day I had exactly the same thing with it's onset again on vacation in Colorado. From a medical standpoint the shingles vaccine is really not a very good vaccine, despite what the pharmaceutical companies lead the public to believe. I had taken it a year before my outbreak and before I bought in to the whole TMS concept.
    Thanks again-
  12. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    In my second week of this now, it certainly can be described as an explosion/eruption from within. I was actually hoping it was a symptom imperative so that I might see a backing off of my usual long-term pain but no go. The combination of the two is pretty overwhelming and with that degree of pain it is very hard to pause and adjust one's thinking.
  13. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Please, if you are open to it, do the following for yourself. Take L-Lysine (an amino acid supplement in capsule or tablet) 500mg every 4 hours without food. Take Olive Leaf (an herbal supplement) every 4 hours. Look at what you eat and then look online to see the Argine - Lysine ratio. Foods that are high in Arginine (corn, nuts, oats, etc.) are what the virus feeds on. Foods high in Lysine hamper the virus. You can find the ratio of what is high in Lysine by googling the food and the words Lysine ratio. Olive Leaf is a natural virus killer. So is Licorice Root.

    I have completely changed my diet since Shingles and feel better all the time. Doctors don't tell you about nutrition because it's not a recommended course in their training, so few give advice on nutrition.

    In addition, there is a product called EMU oil that you can put right on the rash. Google it, along with Shingles and see what you think. Mostly, I hope you will look at your diet. I know Sarno says it's not about supplements and various foods, but I respectfully disagree. Most of us probably eat diets high in Arginine because those foods are more readily available.

    The other thing that really helped me was to take long, warm baths with baking soda in it. One cup per bath. Rinse off well.
    I'm so sorry to have you experience this. If you are in the states, and can't get out, VitaCost.com has everything I recommend and will ship it to your door at a discount.

    Peace to you.
    plum likes this.
  14. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    Thank you much Marcia.. At the onset, I found an earlier post from you that recommended the Lysine, and began to take as you directed. I do follow a very healthy diet as a rule, having a relative who is knowledgeable on that subject, so I researched that aspect right away.
    First trying a topical natural salve purchased on the Internet, I just discovered that an OTC one containing Lidocaine, ( as my Dr. had directed) is giving more relief than the other, albeit temporary. Also, I am using a stick- on gel pack for the weird headaches. Thank you again for the tips and well wishes and your reminder to be diligent with the Lysine. Will do! P.S. I am on an anti-viral medication as well.
  15. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lavender, Just thinking of you and hoping you are doing okay. This will pass. Sending you good thoughts for fast recovery.
  16. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    Thank you for your kind note Marcia. I really believe that support from others helps us to get through things. The rash is finally showing an indication that improvement is within reach. As had been mentioned above, the nasty inner stuff that preceded the breakout, however, is still going on. I see where Jay1953 began with neck pain and I did too, However neck pain is not normally a part of my pain problem so I never suspected it was shingles. Still taking the Lysine. I also benefited from both your words and those of JANtheCPA that "this will pass." Over the years, the other TMS pain deal has been so constant that I could not believe that it would ever pass. Without hope... well, you know the rest. But with the shingles, despite that pain level, there is an end in sight and that fact changes a person's way of experiencing the pain. Best regards!
  17. Robatsu

    Robatsu New Member

    I know this was posted in 2017 , but when I just read it for the first time it was almost as if you were describing my experience with shingles over the past 4 years. It was great to hear Steve Ozanich view about this which has given me hope that it’s a TMS issue.
    Thanks you
  18. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle


    I do truly believe that our fear of the pain keeps it going. Shingles was extremely painful, but I think my mind started to loop the pain.

    When I feel upset, those nerves still firs up occasionally. But, I think our minds look to distract us with the things we will worry about.

    Please know that it can and will be all the way better.

    Do what you can to calm your nervous system by distracting yourself with things that give you joy...even if it's something simple like looking at photos or reading, etc.

    It's not a permanent thing. You just got into a loop of expecting the pain and so your mind is telling your body to produce it.

    Just sending you some hope and light. Do the programs on here. Also, read Steven Ozanich's book if you can.

    Also, look at your diet. Virus grows in a system that is too much sugar and acid. Also, if you eat too many foods that are high in Arginine, like peanuts, oats, chocolate, shellfish, walnuts, corn. Eat foods that are higher in Lysine. You can find them online. Just google "foods higher in Lysine than Arginine."

  19. Robatsu

    Robatsu New Member

    Thanks so much for the reply , I agree totally with what you say. It’s been 3 years now and it’s good to hear someone talk about this issue. I’ve read and learnt a lot about TMS fusing this time. The loop is a good way to explain the way the nerve pain comes and goes depending on the stressors of the moment. I believe the neuralgia is my stress response to life stress and with the work I’m now able to control it to a certain extent.
    I’m currently reading The great pain deception and and read most of Sarnos books more than once. In the divided mind he talks about nerve pain (neuralgia) which was great to hear.
    In Australia there are many cases of shingles these days and hence many advertisements in doctors surgeries about the dangers of the virus and PHN afterwards. Like Sarno said about the reason for the increas in RSI etc is same for the increase in Shingles ( ie it’s in vogue )

    Once again thanks so much for the reply
  20. ariel233

    ariel233 New Member


    How do you feel now ?

    I'm actually 22 on got shingles 6 months ago, I started treatment just after 6 days but after 2 weeks with mild pain I recovered 100%
    (But I really was stressed to get the long lasting PHN).
    However, for the last 3 weeks I got the nerve pain and burning sensation again and I'm not sure if its TMS or PHN.
    Because the main reasons to develop PHN its older age, severe case of shingles and being with background illness and I'm nothing of it.
    And if it's really nerve pain so why I was pain free for 4.5 months and what suddenly changed ?
    Also I have history of FMS and IBS symptoms the got better after reading a book of Dr John Serano from 5 years ago.
    Based on what I wrote, I really think its TMS and I hope to get better ASAP.
    Robatsu likes this.

Share This Page