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Any nerve pain recovery stories?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by tgirl, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    I would love to hear from anyone who has recovered from prolonged nerve pain, especially any burning or prickly type nerve ending pain. Thank you.
  2. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    bump. I've been dealing with the same issues in my feet and legs, nonstop for over 1.5 years. only now am I finally BEGINNING to become unafraid of them and what they might mean for me.
  3. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Sorry to hear you have been suffering too. Would you be able to tell me more about it? Have doctors been able to give you any insight into why you have these symptoms? Have you been tested? What were you doing when it started?

    Happy new year!
  4. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    Hi tgirl,

    My story is extensive! I have spent SO much time over the past 1.5 years talking about it and obsessing over my symptoms. I am now FINALLY beginning to reach a point where I need to just accept that they are there and cope the best that I can, trusting they will go away.

    Here is a post I wrote in October when I was beginning therapy with a TMS therapist, to give him a summary of my experience: (forewarning: there is a lot of complaining and some emotionally intense experiences described)

    In 2012, when I was a sophomore in college, I sustained a mild nerve contusion injury on my right foot playing basketball. (Basketball was a significant part of my life growing up). The injury really scared me, despite reassurance from my podiatrist that it would recover on its own, and I found myself constantly worrying and obsessing about the injury. It was around this time that I began to experience a strange, near-constant buzzing sensation on the sole of my right foot. This began to worry me more, and soon afterwards I began to develop the buzzing on my left (uninjured) foot. This was the beginning of a spiral of constant worry and fretting about my health. The more I worried, the worse my symptoms became. The buzzing then transformed into diffuse tingling, “crawly”, prickly sensations on both of my feet, and they persisted 24/7. I went to visit numerous physicians during this time and tried alternative therapies including acupuncture and herbal supplements. I went to UCLA where I received an MRI of my brain, C-spine, and L-spine, as well as nerve conduction studies, which all returned negative for disease or neuropathy. I visited probably 5 different doctors/specialists during this encounter. I received numerous blood tests and physical exams. No one could diagnose me definitively, but most assumed my symptoms were stress/anxiety related. I also experienced a few panic attacks during this ordeal (the first time I had had a panic attack in my life). I was placed on Cymbalta which I took for about half a year. To make a very long story short, I began to accept my symptoms (as uncomfortable as they were) as best as I could; since I was in school, I had many other commitments and I simply didn’t have the time or energy to constantly think about my symptoms. They were very troublesome, but somehow (I suppose because I was so obsessive about studying and achievement) I was able to divert my attention to my academics, and the symptoms disappeared after constantly affecting me for about 5-6 months. For the next couple of years, the symptoms would return very intermittently, but the longest they would last would be a week or two at a time, and then disappear again. I felt pretty normal again for a while.

    Things spiraled rapidly out of control in the spring/summer of 2014. Prior to these following events, I was symptom-free and enjoying my life to its fullest. Then, a few traumatic events occurred:

    1) In May 2015, my girlfriend (who I was absolutely obsessed with) abruptly broke up with me. In my entire life, this was the most emotionally painful event I had ever experienced.

    2) In May 2015, I graduated from college and relocated back home to live with my parents. My college experience was the most phenomenal and amazing time of my life. I had an extremely tight group of friends and I absolutely loved college. Suddenly, I found myself back home, alone and without friends around.

    3) From June-July 2015, I began to study for the biggest exam of my life, the MCAT. I studied for 8 hours each day, which was extremely difficult for me to do, as I was still reeling from the break-up and really struggling with the transition back home.

    In the midst of these occurrences, in July 2015 the physical symptoms in my feet returned one day when I was studying. They were so distracting and so debilitating that I could not focus on studying anymore. I was already struggling so much with the break-up and with the loneliness accompanying my transition back home, that the reoccurrence of the physical symptoms was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I began having massive panic attacks in which my chest and head would catch on fire and I would become utterly paralyzed by fear, unable to think or speak. They were so severe that I could no longer study. I ended up cancelling my MCAT and putting my life on hold indefinitely.

    Over the next few months, I stayed at home by myself, the first time in my life without any goal or objective ahead of me. This was also a traumatic time for me because, for the first time, I put all my effort into something and failed (namely, the break-up and studying for the MCAT). I could not rectify these problems no matter how hard I tried. I also could not rectify my health no matter how hard I tried. I began to suffer massive panic attacks and depression, which only aggravated my physical symptoms. I was a zombie at home, paralyzed by fear and unable to move or do anything except worry about my symptoms. I had several nervous breakdowns where my brain would shut off completely and I would vegetate, laying on my couch for hours while allowing the panic and fear to have its way with me. I began receiving CBT counselling from a therapist at anxietycentre.com beginning July 2014 and was put back on Cymbalta, which I took for about 7 months this time around. To make another very long story short, I somehow found a job as a scribe working in the emergency room which preoccupied me for some time. Around December 2014, I regained enough confidence to begin studying for the MCAT again. From December 2014 until about August 2014, I had many ups and downs but I was able to function. I could go to work and study, but on the inside I still felt miserable the whole time. I was anxious and had some panic attacks here and there. My physical symptoms in my feet remained 24/7, every second of every day. My only respite was when I was asleep at night. Throughout these months, I did everything I could to get better – I practiced daily deep relaxation/meditation, saw my therapist regularly, and tried to reduce stress in my life as much as possible.

    After I took my MCAT in August 2015, my physical symptoms in my feet magnified and transformed into painful stinging and stabbing. At this time I saw another neurologist who specializes in neuropathy, who performed a repeat nerve conduction study and once again told me that my nerves are fine and that my symptoms are simply due to stress/anxiety. Nevertheless, the symptoms became so severe that I had to resign from my job, because I was having panic attacks at my job. Since August 2015, my life has been a constant living hell. Words cannot express the degree of discomfort of my symptoms and the accompanying despair and dread I experience on a constant basis. I am no longer able to do many of the things I used to do because of fear. I am jolted awake in the early mornings every day with a tremendous sense of fear and panic in my chest and stomach. I struggle to face each day, and I count down the hours until I can go back to sleep at night in order to escape the physical and emotional torment, if only for a few hours. I have multiple crippling panic attacks during the day, where I am so consumed by fear that I can’t do anything except sit on my couch in total mental paralysis. During these episodes I experience many troubling thoughts of despair and hopelessness. My symptoms became so severe that this past week I contemplated suicide, or at least admission to a psychiatric hospital. I spoke with several therapists and close friends and family who are fully aware of my situation. My psychiatrist, once again, placed me back on Cymbalta, which I started taking again last week.

    Description of Physical Symptoms:

    On both my feet, everywhere (diffusely), I experience a variety of symptoms and sensations. These have been occurring on a constant basis since July 2014, following the series of traumatic experiences as described above. I describe these sensations as best as I can as the following:

    Tingling (bugs/worms crawling under the skin), buzzing (cell phone on vibrate, bees under the skin), prickly, stinging, hot sparks, burning, sharp/pin-stabbing, electric shocks, pulsating (like a heartbeat in my feet), hot/cold flashes in the feet, feeling of phantom water droplets, twitching, itchy.

    Very recently, I also began to experience some (but not all) of these sensations as well as involuntarily muscle twitching in my legs and (rarely) in my upper arms. However, the symptoms are still 90% in my feet.

    The symptoms occur every minute of every day, but they are much more pronounced and troublesome when I am sitting idly without distraction. These also tend to be the times when I have my worst panic attacks and feelings of despair.

    I notice that the symptoms either abate slightly or are not as noticeable when I am walking/exercising, or when I am in very deep meditation (right before falling asleep). I also do not feel them when I am fast asleep. However, at any other point during the day, as long as I am conscious, I feel the symptoms every second.
  5. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    I will also add that it's been difficult for me that there are so few people who experience my symptoms. Most people seem to be complaining about pain (back, neck, shoulder, etc.). However, surfing the TMS forum I was very fortunate to be able to connect with two other individuals who experience similar symptoms as me. I have been keeping in touch with both of them and they have been encouraging me on this recovery journey :)
    mdh157 likes this.
  6. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Introverted, I can relate to your despair. In the past I have been so panic stricken by my symptoms that I would lose my breath and feel so depressed that I just wanted it to be over. Like you, I have changed my attitude towards my symptoms. I tell myself I have been tested by the best neurologist in Toronto amongst many other doctors. I have been tested to no end. Like you, all my tests come back normal.

    May we both find our health and inner peace in 2016.

    Boston Redsox likes this.
  7. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    Debbie, did you find that your symptoms began after a very stressful or emotionally difficult time?
    Are you symptoms constant or do they come and go?

    2016 is our year!
  8. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had nerve pain for many years before I was "cure". I had all those symptoms Intorverted posted above and more and was able to get rid of them all using mind body medicine. one of the turning point for me is when my Dr. asked me to try to find someone who has die because of my symptoms or has permanent nerve damage for him. I couldn't find anyone or heard of anyone.
    giantsfan, tgirl and AnnaSchweitzer like this.
  9. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    Balto, thanks for your encouragement. When you say you were able to "get rid of them all using mind body medicine", what did you do, exactly? Did you just work on losing all fear of your symptoms and stop caring about them so much, and reducing stress?
    tgirl likes this.
  10. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    That was exactly what I did. When you don't fear your symptoms anymore two things will happen:
    - If whatever started your symptoms were still exist, still bother you (stress, trauma, life difficulty...) the your symptoms will change form. Back pain will change to knee pain, headache will change to insomnia..... this is what Dr. Sarno name symptoms imperative.
    - If whatever started your symptoms no long exist and no longer bother you, you will be cure.
    So what you want to aim for is working on loosing your fear of your symptoms and keep your mind in the positive territory. A person at peace, content, and fearless rarely sick if ever.
  11. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    I know, I feel that most people are concerned with lower back pain etc...- disheartening! Would you mind telling me who the people are that have similar issues to you? I won't be messaging them but I could at least look up their posts.
  12. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    pandagirl and riya8909
  13. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

  14. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    i have all the same issues
  15. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Nerve pain! Don't remind me. All the weird symptoms I had in my legs and feet. From pins and needles to heaviness to no feelings at all to pasms and pain,

    Remember the key to recovery is to stop fearing all the symptoms and take massive action to show your subconscious you mean business. Here's how I described in my daily log overcoming nerve pain in both legs:

    "My legs were so sensitive that without the cushioning provided by my shoes, the sciatica would flare up immediately. As I began walking through the house with no shoes I felt as if my legs were on fire, but I ignored the burning sensation and kept telling myself with a serious face and a great deal of determination, “I am not going to hurt anymore. I am going to win this one.” I continued to walk, one step at a time. After twenty or so painful steps the burning sensation became more tolerable. That night I even dared to take a few careful steps on the kitchen floor where there was no carpet to cushion my step.

    I gradually put more pressure on my feet as I walked. I did so to prove to my subconscious that I no longer fell for its defensive tricks and now believed that there was nothing wrong with my legs. I also hit myself on the thighs to accomplish the same goal and to prove that I was not afraid anymore. My children were overjoyed and excited to see me walk without shoes in the house."

    Your subconscious wants you to give up. It wants to live in fear and worry. Be anxious and feel hopeless.

    Will you give up or fight back?
    Snowman, giantsfan and tgirl like this.
  16. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Thanks for posting this Fred. I guess my fear is that I was never told the prickly feeling in my legs was caused by sciatica, which at least makes sense. I get the prickly sensation in both legs and never my feet. It kind of moves around my legs, sometimes on both legs, sometimes not. Crazy stuff. Having said that, I have been tested thoroughly and everything comes back fine. I am always told that all my tests are normal, and believe me I have been tested, but I have never been given a satisfactory explanation from doctors as to why I experience this discomfort.
  17. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Because this is area where doctors receive no training, as Sarno explains.

    You are fortunate that nothing structural was found to justify invasive treatments.
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  18. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    So you do feel this could be TMS?
  19. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    Believe me, I have done everything there is to do in terms of medical testing. I was even told by two neurologists that there is no additional testing that would benefit me. They've ruled out everything. And YET, I have these tingling/buzzing/prickly sensations in my feet 24/7 for 1.5 years. Bizarre.

    The way I see it is this: there really is no other recourse for me other than to accept that it is TMS/anxiety/stress. To continue to doubt this and search for other possible causes would only continue to stress me out and exacerbate the problem. Coming to terms with this is very difficult, because it interferes with almost every aspect of my life (relationships, work, school, etc.). But it is the only choice we have -- to accept that these sensations are here for the time being, and to trust that they will go away if we do the right work.
    tgirl likes this.
  20. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    "So you do feel this could be TMS?"

    Based on your medical tests and symptoms I would say it is.

    You can try some of the strategies I mentioned in the above post or others I mention in my book. These strategies are meant to build your confidence in yourself to push back TMS in a methodical manner while strengthen your belief in the TMS diagnosis.

    What you need to be very happy about is that you are physically fine. You are not broken. You just need to make some emotional adjustments and develop better mental and emotional habits in order to deal with those issues that create anger and rage in a more productive manner.

    This was so liberating for me. I thought with all the abnormalities they found in my spine that I will be disabled or partly disabled for the rest of my life.

    That's why once I learned about TMS and realized there was nothing wrong with my back, neck, legs, knees, arms and hands, I made plans to take karate lessons (big Bruce Lee fan!) and I did four weeks later.

    So stop worrying and start living.
    MWsunin12, Boston Redsox and tgirl like this.

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