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Day 1 Back on the wagon

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by beifeng, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. beifeng

    beifeng New Member

    Hi everyone, lurker of a few months here. Around February of this year, I started getting intense bouts of testicle pain, stomach discomfort, and mild traveling joint pain. Went to doctors several times over the next few months and, of course, found nothing. The pain and discomfort were so bad, I spent most of my days going to work, and then going home and lying in bed. By April (after I started to work from home), all of these weird symptoms had mysteriously vanished. Thought that was the end of it, but the testicle pain returned in May with a vengeance. Desperate for some relief, I looked up some stretches I might be able to do to resolve it. I was shocked to find that a couple simple stretches did, in fact, resolve it. However, within a couple days, I noticed the pain had moved to my left foot. Doctors were incredulous and did not think this was related, but as a young guy who is relatively healthy, I could not help but think these two pains were connected. Over the course of two months, this pain came to invade just about every joint in my body, to the point that I could not even do a push-up without being in excruciating pain.

    Unable to find any evidence of a medical problem, autoimmune or otherwise, my doctors basically did nothing but tell me "you're too young to be in this much pain." Yeah, that's my line! I would alternate between days of complete exhaustion and sleeping 12+ hours, to days where I could not sleep at all. Then around the end of June, I woke up one day with the feeling that my entire body was on fire, with intermittent burning, shooting, prickling nerve pains everywhere. Every time I would try to fall asleep, myoclonus would force me awake. I felt like I had been run over by a truck. Along with this I had, seemingly overnight, developed some autonomic dysfunctions: irregular bowel movements, some urine retention, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, strong/fast heartbeat, and just stomach pain in general. I am still dealing with a lot of this five months later.

    At first I suspected all kinds of things: MS, gluten ganglionopathy, post-viral syndrome. I first discovered Sarno in early September, and immediately blazed through as much as I could find on TMS. I read Ozanich's book, read through tons of success stories on this forum, amassed as much information on neuroplasticity as possible, listened to nearly all of Nichole Sachs' podcast, and signed up for both Curable and DNRS. As I worked my way through meditation, journaling, and visualization every day, I started to notice that certain symptoms were abating. I started to be able to sleep (somewhat restlessly) through the night. Stomach pain was nearly gone. Shortness of breath was completely gone. Basically, the only symptoms that remained were the painful sensations and allodynia everywhere.

    I think I may have gotten a little too cocky though. I stopped being present for most of these exercises on a daily basis, thinking that I didn't need them anymore. While it may have been true that I didn't "need" them per se, their absence from my daily schedule, I think, led me to fall back into habits of focusing on the physical and catastrophizing. Within the past week or so, I have had a lot of trouble sleeping, and the stomach pain and digestive symptoms have returned. On top of that, the nerve pain all over has seemingly become worse in some respects over the past few days. I think this is because I unconsciously returned to the habit of approaching this condition physically, and tended toward living around pain relief even though superficially it seemed I was living life more. In reality, I was self-medicating (alcohol) a lot more because it dulled the pain. But that's not really a solution.

    I think I have struggled with the acceptance of TMS for as long as I've known about it. I fit the personality type exactly, and was really gung-ho about it for these couple months, but I think I still have nagging doubts, probably because I haven't yet had nearly enough tests run to assuage concerns that I might have a neurological condition (hopefully these are coming sooner than later). But I am here because I am looking to return to some kind of schedule and take back the power from all of these weird symptoms. I think it's probably important for myself to remember that, even in the case of structural/brain damage, healing is possible.

    Random anecdote: in 2016 I suffered from severe trigeminal neuralgia for about three months. It was constant. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't focus on anything. I finally decided to go to my doctor after it worsened on a trip to Europe. He said he didn't know what it was, but also said something along the lines of, "keep in mind that these things can disappear on their own." And within a couple days, it had gone from the worst pain I have ever felt down to nothing, and I never needed to return. I think that belief and the general lack of fear I felt (because I never did any Internet research at the time) led to a disappearance of the pain.

    Thanks to all who have taken time to read this. I am hopeful that I can develop true outcome independence and make it out of whatever this is!
    Hedger likes this.
  2. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    Boom . . . you ended with a key statement. For some, like me, the symptoms never fully go away. Mine are mostly gone. A few keep popping back up here and there, but they only annoy me, as opposed to previously being debilitating. I thank outcome independence for this. When the symptom pops up, if you worry, it gets worse. If you don't I think it generally stays mild or goes away. I think this outcome independence requires making TMS thinking a permanent habit. It takes a lot of work to get to the point where your default mode is to not care or worry. The SEP is great for building those habits, so I think you will find success. Good luck!
    beifeng likes this.
  3. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Same here, almost the same exact symptom.
    Checklist: thoughts, nerves, self care

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