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Time to play "Is it TMS?" - Round 11 (Maybe 12? I've lost count). Any help is much appreciated!

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Pepé_Silvia, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Pepé_Silvia

    Pepé_Silvia Newcomer

    Hello TMS family,

    After discovering/reading all of Sarno's books in Jan '19 and bingeing the videos, I'm 1000% sure TMS is what I've been dealing with for the past nearly 17 years. Part of recovery is to share and be heard, so I thank you in advance for reading this. (Adding a complete history of my pain/treatment at the bottom, for more info and in case it may help others).

    I wholeheartedly believe in Sarno's work, and that TMS is real and that it must be what I have. Despite TMS's constant limitations on my life, I've still managed to travel, go to grad school, and build a decent career. I'm proud of those accomplishments, but I hate the person TMS has made me into - fearful, cynical, anxious, jealous of others who don't have it, etc.

    I'm still powering through physical activity, telling myself there's nothing structurally wrong with me, recognizing that the first TMS symptoms came on at an extremely stressful time in my life. But there's just one small problem I'm having with recovery...

    ...I haven't gotten even an ounce of pain relief from it.

    It reminds me of the scene from Kill Bill when Uma Thurman tries to regain use of her legs. All she needs is to wiggle her toe first - once she knows that little bit is possible, she knows she can get her whole leg back. That's how I'm feeling - I just need that little bit of relief to tell me it's working, and that TMS is indeed what's going on here. That would give me the motivation, confidence, and willpower to see it through.

    My current TMS issue is hip/knee/ lower leg pain. I had meniscus surgery after an accident, recovered fully from that with PT,...then had another accident a few weeks later, and have had this pain for almost a year now. Doctors' best guess is mild lumbar spine nerve compression, but as we've seen in cases on here so many times, that's probably not what's causing it.

    I have a few questions I'm hoping to get help with on here:

    -Sometimes, the medical treatments I've gotten for TMS actually work! Most don't, but I've been fortunate to have successful results with some of these treatments, like trigger point injections, wearing arm splints at night, physiotherapy/chiropractic, and medication. The books may say it's placebo effect, but then why would some treatments work and others not? Either way, maybe it's not actually "fixed" though, because when one problem is remedied, something else just seems to pop up in another location soon after.

    -Exercise and resuming the activities I once loved: I know Sarno says to quit doing the PT exercises/massage tools associated with injuries, but honestly, I enjoy doing them and they've gotten me into pretty decent shape. And I like the feeling of rolling a lacrosse ball or foam roller on muscles after a workout. I've come so far with fitness and I don't want to just give it up, but also understand that the idea is to take focus off of the TMS physical ailment and giving it power. Can anyone advise on this?

    -For the people who have been cured or noticed progress - when did you first start noticing some relief from the pain you've had for so long? Does the pain come back (temporarily) as soon as you notice the treatment is working?

    -Finally, is every weird pain TMS? Like if you really are typing in an awkward hand position day after day, could you be getting real nerve damage pain or is it always TMS when it's something like that?

    All in all, this round of TMS is probably the least life-disrupting pain out of all my issues. I can still live pretty normally, minus being able to work a fulltime job (which causes lots of constant stress in itself).

    If you're still reading, thank you, and I hope you can give me some guidance here! Below is more information bout my pain history if interested:

    This latest bout started after a knee injury that required medial meniscectomy surgery. I did 6+ months of rigorous PT, and it got better!...for two weeks. Then I clumsily fell off a foam roller in January '19 and it's been the classic TMS symptoms:

    -Constant, chronic dull "burning" sensation in hip and lower leg (nerves - Saphenous and Peroneal)
    -MRI and EMG show very slight compression in lumbar spine, doctor's best guess anyway

    -No visible swelling, no visible anything

    My history with, what must be TMS:

    Age 20: Carpal tunnel syndrome
    Started when: First desk job
    Lasted: 2 years
    Treatment:: Cortisone injections

    Age 21: Intense numbness in forearms
    Started when: Painting a fence
    Lasted: 10 years.
    Treatment: 80% fixed with trigger point injections/Gabapentin

    Ages 26: Ulnar tunnel syndrome
    Started when: Computer usage
    Lasted: Still going, off and on
    Treatment: Under control with acupuncture and sleeping with elbow braces

    Age 31: TMJD
    Started when: ????. Possibly stressful relationship.
    Lasted 3 years
    80% treated with surgery and physiotherapy

    Age 35: Knee/meniscus
    Started when: Walked into a big potted plant (yes, seriously)
    Lasted: 2 years
    Treatment: Surgery, PT...Improved significantly until....

    Age 37: Knee again/hip/lower leg
    Started when: Foam rolling slip-up
    Lasted: Stiiiilllll going
    Treatment: Cortisone injection, PT, chiropractic, acupuncture, exercise, Graston. Not much is helping :-(

    I will say though, I do believe it is possible to get better. That being said - it's really, really difficult to believe that I can make this pain go away just by the power of thinking differenty.

    I may not be seeing any relief now, and no two people have the same stories, but I would like to hear yours even if it's a little different.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Pepé_Silvia, and Welcome to the Wiki/Forum,

    Your check-in is like many who have come here, and many who get better, perhaps by tweeking/going deeper into the "work."

    Beyond reading, have you done journaling, per Dr. Sarno?

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/section-1-introduction.4628/#post-28646 (Official Thread - Section 1 Introduction)

    Also, I highly recommend the Structured Education Program at the Wiki.

    Your steadfastness in continuing to be active despite symptoms is great. And yet for most of us, it is not the whole approach. So diving more deeply ---Dr. Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain workbook is another great resource ------ is recommended.

    Your list of questions/doubts is a good one, and shows the depth of your study. I'll address each briefly.

    The parade of relief's and movement of symptoms can be endless. With each symptom, get cleared by a physician or two, asking the question "is this dangerous to my health?" Or "can I delay treatment safely?" If you're OK to not treat medically, then avoid this, and all other alternative treatments, and "go Sarno." This parade of reliefs undermines getting to the real source.

    Avoid this completely unless and until you're doing it only for the shear pleasure of sensation. Not doing it to loosen up or fix pain.

    Pain will come and go. The more you monitor it, the more it arises.

    90% of them are, and the 10% that aren't will go away soon anyway ---but make sure you're not ignoring a real potential health problem!!

    Logan Cale likes this.

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