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Back pain decreased but fatigue continues

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by venice, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. venice

    venice New Member

    Hello Everyone-

    The good news is that my back pain has decreased to just about nothing, but unfortunately I am still struggling with fatigue and wondered if anyone could provide some guidance. I am a 48 yr old female. I had excruciating back pain that lasted about 14 years until I read Dr Sarno’s book “Healing Back” pain about 2 years ago (or I should say re-read the book). Over the course of that time, I had been everywhere and done almost everything- all sorts of doctors (traditional and alternative), tests (which all came back normal), therapies, medicines, and through it all I went to a counselor and prayed, prayed, prayed. I read all kinds of books on back pain including “Healing Back Pain” which I dismissed at that time. During 8 of the 14 years I was in a very bad marriage, although I had a great support system of friends and family. The pain lessened when the marriage ended but never went away completely. I am now in a very loving marriage.

    I also had all kinds of equivalents to TMS- migraines, IBS, chronic fatigue, ankle/knee pain, frequent urination, eye/ear/yeast infections, crazy rashes, itchy ears, anxiety, depression, allergies, asthma, acid reflux, etc.

    About 2 years ago, I was at the end of my rope. Nothing had worked or provided relief except one therapy called “muscle release therapy” and it was only temporary. And for some reason I had the idea to re-read “Healing Back Pain”. This time, I saw myself on EVERY page. The back pain stopped within 2 weeks and there was no pain for about 6 months. Then it started again. I finally figured out that it started again around the anniversary of my father’s death and went away when I realized that. One thing I had not done that Dr. Sarno suggested was to resume physical activity. When the pain came back AGAIN, I decided I was going to begin playing tennis again and not be afraid. It worked! The pain went away and it is such a joy to play.

    I found this website about a year ago after viewing some great TMS success stories on youtube. It has been a wonderful resource. I have “binge” listened to the book discussion groups, specifically Nicole Sachs, Steve O’s and Herbie/Walt’s books.

    Every time I feel a twinge of back pain, I apply the 12 daily reminders and do some journaling as learned from Nicole Sach’s book and Dr Howard Schubiner’s “Unlearn Your Pain”.

    However, I still have some lingering TMS equivalents that just won’t go away- mostly chronic fatigue. There are some others like allergies, asthma, frequent urination that are not quite as bothersome and I am hoping they dissipate over time as I work through issues. I continue to work through repressed anger and have all the TMS personality traits (perfectionist, goodist, etc.).

    My question- has anyone else experienced the chronic fatigue and what did you do to improve? I have tried to apply the techniques I learned but have not gained much ground. Maybe it will just take longer. I feel overwhelmed by all the different resources, approaches, books, etc and just don’t know where to turn next. I have even tried just doing nothing and living life- but still exhausted. Any thoughts or suggestions are very much appreciated! And a heartfelt thanks to all who are on the wiki!
     
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hello Venice,

    Welcome. It's nice to hear your success story. You're doing very well. Recovery takes time.

    Your chronic fatigue may be a TMS equivalent. On the other hand, maybe you're tired because you're working hard. Journaling, pushing through fear to resume activity, working through repressed feelings, all take emotional and physical energy. That's on top of whatever other responsibilities you have, like work or family. Are you setting reasonable expectations for yourself? Are you taking time to recharge? We TMSers are terribly hard on ourselves. That's why we're TMSers.

    David.
     
    SunnyinFL and Walt Oleksy like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Venice. I lile David's reply and am thinking the same thing, that your fatigue is from working to hard on TMS. I think it's best to spend no more than an hour a day on all TMS thinking and feeling. Then do whatever to enjoy your day and evening.

    It can be overwhelming to read a lot of books on TMS and to watch videos on it. I think it's also very important to just taken some time off and practice
    meditation and deep breathing. Distractions like some exercise or a hobby can help balance our lives.
     
    SunnyinFL and David88 like this.
  4. venice

    venice New Member

    Thank you David and Walt for your kind and insightful replies! The exhaustion started around the same time as the back pain 14 years ago. I am thinking it may be a combination of TMS and working too hard on TMS (and other things). You are correct when you say we are hard on ourselves. I push and push and don't let myself slow down and recharge. And when I do decide to recharge, I work on that really hard :) I actually schedule my relaxation time. I know.... that's twisted...I should set more realistic expectations for myself. I have been trying to get more involved in hobbies (like tennis and zumba when I have the energy) and other things. I have to say it is awesome to be able to play tennis and not worry about the back pain.

    Walt...I have been binge-listening to the podcast book discussions of your book "God Does Not Want Me to Be in Pain" this week (I have been calling it 'God does not want me to be tired' in my mind). There are so many great suggestions in the book I was thinking one of them may help me with the tiredness (almost a dizzying array of suggestions). You sound like such a kind man. I listened to Chapter 8 today which is "Live in the present moment". You talked about just breathing and Eric talked about meditation. I think that is the suggestion I should follow since I heard it from you twice today actually! This is awesome to hear your response to my situation!

    I had been reluctant to post anything until I had a FULL recovery from both the back and the tiredness (yes, that perfectionism rearing its head). Well, at least I can maybe help people with advice on the back pain and someday can post my success story about the tiredness and help people with those issues.

    Many many thanks for your responses- it means so much to me!
     
  5. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member

    Hi Venice,

    It sounds like you're on your way! Meditation can be a wonderful thing to add to your self-care regimen, one must just be careful that one doesn't start meditating with the belief that it too will get rid of the TMS. What can be great about meditation though is that it build our mindfulness and in building mindfulness, we become even more aware of what we're doing. If we're pushing ourselves too hard during the day, if we're angry, if we're sad, if we thinking negative thoughts about ourselves. Interestingly enough, that process may give you a clue as to your fatigue and if it is TMS and if you may still be doing things that generate it.

    Additionally, I'm so happy you mentioned that you were reluctant to post. You are not the first - nor the last - TMS'er who has written a thought like that. Unfortunately, with many people not wanting to share unless they're 100% better, we lose the narrative of the struggle with TMS as a community. Unfortunately, that can perpetuate the idea that people just get rid of their TMS pain in 6 weeks or many of the quick fix stories in the book. In fact, many people have longer TMS journeys and have periods of good health and periods of struggle. I, myself, still get TMS flare-ups. TMS is simply a symptom of a life lived.
     
    SunnyinFL and JanAtheCPA like this.
  6. venice

    venice New Member

    Thank so much for your reply Andrew. You give very wise advice. I had done all the physical therapy with the belief that it would heal my back, so I definitely need to be careful that I do breathing and meditation for the right reasons. I definitely struggle with negative thoughts all day and am annoyed and aggravated a lot at work. I am trying to work on being aware of negative thoughts and countering them somehow as they come up. But I still haven't gotten that mastered. Any advice would be appreciated.

    I am glad I ended up posting based on your second comment. It has definitely been a journey, and a lonely one at that until I found this community. Even though the back pain got better fairly quickly after reading the book, it came back and I still had to work on some things to get rid of it and even now I have twinges of pain (but they go away very quick at this point). And now my journey continues with healing from the exhaustion.
     
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  7. venice

    venice New Member

    Hi Walt- I hope you saw my previous reply to your comments, since I did not reply directly to your post. You are a gem!
     

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