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Back at my Old Job and MY TMS Pain is back

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JH11004, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. JH11004

    JH11004 Newcomer

    I worked for many years at a job and during my time there I developed bad back pain. To keep a long story short, I was diagnosed with TMS and saw a therapist. The pain got a little better but never really went away. I wound up changing careers for what I thought was my dream job. This job was extremely physical and while the pain was still there in the beginning and at various times after, I have been almost 95 percent relieved of pain. During my time there I did some soul searching and realized that job wasn't what I really wanted and I went back to school and my old job (because the hours were perfect with my school schedule and I enjoyed it). My first day back to the old job and my back pain started up again. I haven't had this form of pain in months and have been pain free for more than a month. Now all of a sudden the pain is back. I am worrying that it will be there for as long as I work at this job (it involves working with kids) and to make it worse, my career that I'm going to school is similar. A big part of me is worrying that it will be like this as long as I'm in this line of work, meanwhile I left a good career to do it. Please help.

    P.S. This job can be hectic with a lot of kids wanting and needing help at once, could that cause issues with my back?
  2. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi jh11004,

    I only have one child to take care of -mine- and I have found it extremely stressful at times. I can only imagine how hard it would be working with a bunch of them!

    I'm just going to venture a guess right now, but could it be that you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself about the career decision you made? Making decisions is something that can be hard for me some times because I'm telling myself that's it the end all. I pressure myself by thinking if I do something I later regret then it can never be changed or that I'll never get used to the new situation. I try to diffuse some of that pressure by reminding myself that things usually work out and when they don't, I can always make the necessary adjustments.
    mdh157 likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi JH11004,
    Let me first say that I was a school teacher for many years, and it was stressful --and rewarding. I also had what I now realize was a TMS issue, which was debilitating whiplash which I even treated with prolo-therapy. My "problem" was looking down at the shorter children. I couldn't stand the pain of looking downward. Amazing! The pain was so bad I quit working for several months.

    I wonder if you have considered that this may be a form of "conditioning" where the pain, once started in the new/old job has an association with this job. Like Dr. Sarno says about Pavlov's dog. Then the fear coming up helps cement this into place.

    I think that since you have cured yourself pretty well once already, I would build off that success and try to treat all this pain as TMS. There is no other explanation right? Once you have this conviction, that is at least half the battle. Then you can associate the pain to the stressors that arise, or your emotional state or the pressures. See through the pain to the causes of the pain: which is TMS.

    It sounds like you are afraid the job is causing TMS. Think about that! TMS doesn't have a cause except our internal world. Look at the internal experience. Your fear that it is "happening to you" from "outside" should probably be inquired into. Dr. Sarno said that the stressors do not need to be taken away; it is understanding the actual causes of the pain that makes the cure. Your fear is a cause. Your responses to the stress of the job may be a cause. Whatever else you learned using Sarno before--these are the leads to the real causes.

    I hope this helps!

    Andy B.
    Lizzy and Zumbafan like this.
  4. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    I echo what Andy says, "TMS doesn't have a cause except our internal world".

    Something I read on this forum was, feel your pain as rage, and not a body issue. Ask yourself, why am I doing this to myself? The answers will come to you.
    Lizzy likes this.
  5. JH11004

    JH11004 Newcomer

    Thank you guys for the advice! I know 100 percent that its TMS and I'll even admit that when I was on my way back to my old job the thought popped into my head saying "I hope the pain doesn't come back at this job" and boom the first day back the pain was there. The problem I have is stopping the worrying, the fear, and panicking once the pain is there. I start feeling overwhelmed and thinking about the pain non stop. I start the cycle all over again. Any tips that worked for you guys on dealing with this day to day?

    Another fear that I have is, even though I was pain free for over a month, and feeling good for many months before that, I dont really know what I did or how I did it. So Im worried "how do I do it again if I dont know how I did it in the first place".
  6. JH11004

    JH11004 Newcomer

    As I say "I'm 100 percent certain its TMS" I have to admit that doubt does creep in and I worry is it the type f tension and stress of this job that cause the back pain. Once that happens, I go back and forth on worrying.
  7. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    How I stopped thinking about pain all the time was to learn you are master of your thoughts. Emotions follow thoughts, and you have the power to reject all thoughts which disturb you.
    So you close your eyes then deliberately think of something that makes you happy. I think of a particular fishing trip I had as a girl, remembering as much detail as possible, the weather, the sounds of the water, the smell of the sea, etc. So, when you have chosen your new thought experience, do it every time you have a fearful thought about pain. To start with, you may have to do it hundreds of times, but that is what neuroplasticity is, retraining your brain to a new happy default setting. I hope this makes sense, it worked for me. It is just one of many strategies.
    Be gentle with yourself.
  8. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    If you make up some tms songs to a verse of nursury rhymes, they are easy to run through your mind while you are busy with the kids, all kinds of things in life that engage you. I have done that and it allows me to focus on my job etc, but still run info through my mind, they are so simple and the tune in so engrained.
  9. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    You might treat the fear and worry the same way I treat TMS. Say to it "Stop the fear, I am willing to feel my emotions!" I used this very successfully using "Pain" instead of fear in the sentence, when I felt the pain.
    Lizzy likes this.
  10. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    If you have doubts then you are not 100% certain it is TMS..........trust me, I am in the same boat. Def sounds like you have a lot of career-related stress. Keep working on the "It's TMS" mentality and if you haven't already, read The Great Pain Deception.
    Lizzy likes this.
  11. lazydaisy

    lazydaisy Peer Supporter

    As an outside perspective, it's just too coincidental the pain started the same day. Of course it's TMS. You had no obvious injury, you haven't been doing repetitive things enough in one day to actually cause pain for a physical reason.

    So, what is upsetting you? As someone above said, instead of focussing on the pain and the what ifs, focus on, 'What am I feeling'. It's hard, because many of us are used to 'getting on with things' and not feeling our emotions. Just acknowledge the emotion, and let it go, whatever it is.
  12. JH11004

    JH11004 Newcomer

    Lazydaisy, it is way to coincidental. I had a really easy, non stressful day today at work and still as soon as I got pain as soon as I got there. I just struggle with how to get rid of the pain. Thanks for all the great post everyone!
  13. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Sounds like conditioning. You said it yourself, "I hope this pain doesn't come back". Why did you believe it could come back? I don't mean in general, but why do you specifically think it? What do you believe about the pain that isn't true?
  14. JH11004

    JH11004 Newcomer

    Thats a good question Lizzy, any tips on figuring that out? lol I try to think about it but I have difficulty a lot of times getting anywhere.
  15. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Lol is right, I was going to have you tell me how to figure it out!
    For what its worth, I talk to myself about how symptom isn't realy in my foot, skin, or whatever. I am hoping the SEP is working from the inside out, so to speak. This "thing" is powerful, but like grasping fog. How can I help, when I don't know how I stopped my pain? But the fact is I did, so did you. Fascinating. Haha, I should stick to posting positive thoughts!
  16. JH11004

    JH11004 Newcomer

    I read an article on this website and it says that breaking the pain with conditioning "happens only through a deeper understanding, by breaking associations." How do I find those associations though. I try and think of these but I feel like I get no where.
  17. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Well......I guess my sub c didn't read that article. I have a lot of baggage, but I don't think I did much to understand my associations. I know I was having issues with my walking partner, and I couldn't go walking for 6 mo. However, those issues are unresoved, walking as exercise was the easiest thing to get back to. (I broke my foot, but after it healed I had "plantar faciitis", even though I didn't fit the parameters for it. My foot hurt even though it shouldn't have) Things like going up and down stairs, sleeping, and wearing slippers were triggers. I was able to wear my slippers when I thought about my 85 year old grandma running around in them because no one told her they had no support. After that I laughed at myself and made myself wear them-even to run up and down the stairs!

    Every one here is a little different. So, I share my a bit of what I think worked, but we have to come at this from kind of a back door, so what really worked for me? I know I read this forum like crazy before I ever joined, maybe it was reading so many people in same boat. I know it sure encouraged me.
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lizzy, we all draw support from each other. TMS has brought a lot of wonderful people together.
    Lizzy likes this.

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