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Admitted success then instantly pain was worse

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by WantToBelieve, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    So, I've had some real success using TMS techniques over the past two years. My pain is in my feet and it started in 2001 and gradually worsened to where it was unbearable by 2010-2013. Anyway, my improvement was VERY slow going, but gradually it did improve. In November, I had a pretty significant situation where I was able to walk through Disney World for three days without a wheelchair. We walked 20,000 steps per day. I really felt it was a huge success and while the pain wasn't 100% gone and the walking/standing at Disney, wasn't pain-free, it was a huge improvement. I had always told my TMS dr in chicago that I would speak on his patient success panel when/if I was pain-free. I've been delaying telling him about my successes for fear that admitting to these successes, could cause TMS to put me in my place and ramp up the pain again. Two days ago, I finally told my doctor about my success at Disney in November and let him the know I'd be ready to speak on his panel. I even told him that I feared by sharing this success that perhaps my pain would increase just to spite me. But I said that have the awareness that this could happen, I should be able to quickly combat it and stop it, if it tries to go that route. The very next day, I decided to take my daughter to a museum. This is an activity that in the past I would have avoided at all costs. But I was excited to go because I felt I was nearly cured and would be able to sail through the museum at least 90% pain-free. But no such luck. We were there only 2 hours and I had only done about 2,000 steps (I have a Fitbit which has really shown me how much I do actually do on a daily basis and to be happy about what I do!) when my feet started to really hurt. I was discouraged but tried to tell myself it was just the TMS testing me and that I don't have to be fearful of this and that I'm not going to accept this pain right now. Well, it just kept on hurting and getting worse and worse. I did the whole day with small breaks here and there, but I was frustrated.

    It makes me question everything...will it ever let me fully be pain-free? I even question if there is something medically wrong with me again. C'mon, I thought I was past that.

    Should I just accept that even after 2 years and with my big break through, it's going to be 2 steps forward and one step back?

    I end up thinking that maybe this is as good as it gets. I've come so far and I should just be grateful that I'm walking at all.
  2. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    The fact that you stated that you were anxious about declaring yourself pain free in case this jinxed your recovery only for exactly that to happen is really no surprise. In a way you set your subconscious up for a fall and it obliged rather nicely. I have to say I have probably lost count of the number of times I have been in the bath or whatever just daydreaming about something or other just for the thought to pop into my head ' oh, I've not had a flare of pain for at least a month and am doing really well' only to wake the next morning to a terrible flare even though I haven't done a single thing physically that could have caused it. It has happened so many times that it just cannot be coincidental.
    Wendyc likes this.
  3. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    thanks for the reply huckleberry. I think this is insane! I mean, I get the brain is trying to protect us from something when TMS symptoms begin, but re-starting symptoms just because you happened to think about how you haven't had a flare. It seems the brain is purposely working against us at that point.

    It's discouraging to think that all throughout life, if I happen to think about how I'm doing well, bam, I might find myself in pain the next day. What about the people that say they are cured? Or does it just happen less and less frequently?

    I thought by being aware of the possibility of this happening, that I could prevent it. So, there is no way to prevent it? I'm now on day 3 of my pain being more than it was prior to me letting my doctor know how well I was doing. He ended up emailing me that I could talk on his success panel this summer and now I'm angry at don't feel like a success.
  4. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    I know it goes against the general consensus but I think it's best to view this out of the Freudian aspect of Sarno's thesis and rather within the field of neuroplasticity etc. I think the more and more you are able to switch off the monitoring and checking in with the pain then the more you do actually retrain the nerve pathways etc. It's obviously something that has really developed overnight so it is no surprise recovery isn't linear or necessarily swift.
  5. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    I 100% agree with the retraining of the nerve pathways. My TMS doctor actually felt my pain was more of learned pain and faulty pain signals being sent to my feet. Then reinforcing the pain cycle b/c when I stood, I'd anticipate pain and then the pain would worsen. So I completely believe in this. But recently I was the opposite. I completely believed I could sail through the museum pain-free. I was so confident and excited to do it. But it was the opposite.

    In these situations it's hard to not think about the pain and monitor it and wonder when it will go away. I'm continuing on with my normal routines and trying to enjoy but the increased pain makes it harder. I'm trying to be kind to myself and not get down about it and just sit and take more breaks, but I know that makes me frustrated. I'd be lying if I said, I don't mind that I need to sit and take breaks. I'm trying to roll with it, but it's hard. I won't give up!

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