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Beat back pain through sarno. Can't beat this other stuff...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by TomPNY, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. TomPNY

    TomPNY Peer Supporter

    a Brief history..
    About two years ago my son was born. Life was good, but very stressful. A month after his birth I "injured" my back picking up a very light kettlebell - something I do constantly with no issue usually. MRI showed horrible L4L5 and L5S1 herniation, etc- you all know the program. I had several months of PT, pain, new chairs at work, special pillows, special shoes, etc. I eventually found Sarno's books, read them, and long story short - I beat it. It went away and never returned.

    In fact, about two months ago I was deadlifting, and felt my lower back "go out" again - same feeling as before. Couldn't even stand up. I went home, iced it, rested a couple of days, and was back to normal in a few days once the muscle tension calmed down.

    With that said I seem to have picked up an accessory to my back pain that has assumed center stage. About the time my back healed for good, my arms started falling asleep at night. Different nerves - it didn't matter. Ulnar, radial... left arm... right hand. Completely random. I got really scared because they would also ache during the day,etc - and I work at a computer constantly so I went to a doc who ruled out things that keep me up at night like MS, RA, etc.

    This has come and gone, but what has also arisin in the past year is the feeling like my joints are all constantly popping, and pain at all their attachment points. Especially my wrists and hands and knuckles. My shoulder pops all the time too. Sometimes my ankles. Beyond the popping, there is some persistent throbbing too at some of these connection points. my wrists grind and pop and are gritty when i rotate them... same with ankles. My shoulders pop when i roll them. it gets old

    On the same note, I can go to the gym and lift like crazy if I want with minimal impact, so its not stopping me from doing anything. Its just burningly painful, annoying, and makes me feel sore all the time, or like my joints are going to pop out, or my knuckles need to constantly be cracked... yet when I crack them they burn.

    I got really obsessive about this over the year. Trying to find food reactions that might be causing this, stopped working out, doctor visits, all of this.

    I know TMS. Ive beaten the back pain. But I'm having such a hard time convincing myself that this is it and I can beat it. When it was my back, I had one spot to focus on and deal with. One to ignore, forget about, move on from. This pain is all overthe place and moves constantly. I am up writing at 4 AM right now because I can't sleep because i' unable to get comfortable. The same thing happened last night as well. I just toss and turn and can't find anywhere I am comfortable.

    I know I have to buy in 100% that this is TMS because thats how I got past my back issues - but this is so broad and moving and diffcult to trace. Anyone experience this and get pst it? I just finished reading The Great Pain Deception and think its great.. but at th end, I'm still dealing with this massive discomfort that I can't seem to get past.

    advice is appreciared. I know this stuff works. I'm just having trouble buying into it on this one... still feel like it's something else even though I've been tested. like I'm going to go to the doctor and they're ging to say "oh lets do this blood test... ahh. I see. you have THIS horrible disease. I'm sorry."

    Thanks for you help. Been dealing with this for awhile. The pas few years had me get divorced, remarried, have a kid, lose a brother, have a nepew kill himself have both parents get sick and rushed to hospitals and eventually into nursing homes, job stress, weight and eating issues... you name it. And I feel like this is really taking over on me.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  2. TomPNY

    TomPNY Peer Supporter

    Wow. The only post in the support forum with no responses.
    Sorry I asked.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, TomPNY.

    I guess I didn't see your post before or I would have responded.
    Your last paragraph tells me your new symptoms are from TMS because of all the stressful things that have happened to you in the past few years.
    It is a lot to cope with and meanwhile you are in pain.

    I am no psychologist but think you need some help in that direction. I suggest you use the "Ask a TMS therapist" program, completely free, which will get a reply from a TMS theapist especially good in helping with psychological healing, at


    I also think my post today on relieving anxiety, stress, worry, and fear will be helpful.
    I expect it to be up today in the general discussion subforum.
  4. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    Hi TomPNY,
    I am glad Walt has given you some good advice, but please do not take it personally that you did not get any replies straight away. It can just depend on who is on the site at any given time and it is easy for a posting to get lost amongst the others. Also remember that most people on the site are dealing daily with their own pain and so it is not always easy to concentrate. Although I have no personal experience of the symptoms you have, I know from this site that it seems many, many conditions can be classed as TMS. You have the proof yourself through your own back problems. Plus, it is no wonder your body is rebelling with all the things that have happened to you in the past years. Can I suggest that you
    try putting aside some time each day to look after yourself. Meditating for example. Read through this site for success stories and don't put any time pressure on recovery. It will happen. Good luck.
    Ellen likes this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi TomPNY,

    Many people have recovered from pain that is all over the place and moves around, myself included. Many of us with those symptoms were diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which is clearly TMS. When I still had pain, my joints often popped and felt gritty, so I know what that feels like and that it can be worrisome. But for me it went away when the pain went away.

    You didn't say what you are doing to work on your TMS. Often when TMS returns after success recovering from the first bout, it comes back in a manner that is more challenging to get rid of and may require a different strategy or strategies to achieve recovery. Have you started one of the structured programs? There is a free one on this site called the Supported Education Program. It is good step by step program for recovery. There are others you can purchase. I did Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain and feel it is great. You can order it from Amazon. And keep reading books on TMS and success stories as Sheree suggests. This will help build your belief in TMS for your current situation. Also, look at Alan Gordon's Recovery Program on this site, which has great information and strategies.

    Best wishes......
  6. TomPNY

    TomPNY Peer Supporter

    Thanks everyone for your responses. I apologize if my comment was a bit abrupt. It's getting tough to wake up in the middle of the night all the time to every joint popping and my hands asleep feeling exhausted. I was on a business trip when I wrote this out of desperation. I feel like I've read a dozen books on this but can't getpast the research and into the doing. It's like I still have do much to learn. I own unlearn your pain from when I had my back issue but cleared the back pain before I got into it. I will pick it back up. This is feeling a lot tougher to tackle and I'm struggling a lot with where to begin. I keep feeling like I need to go to a doctor again and keep going until they diagnose me with one of these awful diseases I fear so much. Some days it's barely there... But I know it's under the surface. Other days it's a burning rage through my body. It's so hard to not try to look at something external. Was it something I ate? Tonight it happened again. Flew on a plane all day to get home. Slept a couple hours. Woke up needing to crack all of my knuckles and feeling my whole body pop and snap as I rolled around only toget out of bed and step on two sore feet that coached and popped when I stood in them.
    Another Ativan and another night on the couch.

    Thanks for listening. This isn't easy to share.
  7. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    Oh TomPNY - I feel so sorry for what you are going through. It seems that your body is in such a heightened state of tension. Not getting a peaceful sleep is adding to your misery. Very, very tough for you. I take on board that you have read a lot, but am wondering if listening to a CD will be more beneficial to you. I remember Steve O saying in his book that he found playing a CD over and over was a better way of getting through to his brain. The other person I like to listen is Claire Weekes. Also Alan Gordon has a very reassuring voice.
    We all have that voice in our head that tells us we must have that dreadful disease as yet undiagnosed. I have found it helpful to tell someone. Actually saying it aloud, can make it lose its power. Sometimes, I have actually laughed at myself as I realised how far-fetched my thoughts had got.
    Keep strong, and remember we are all here for you. xx
  8. TomPNY

    TomPNY Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the encouraging words.
    I will revisit my Claire weeks cd.
    I don't know who Alan Gordon is.
    I purchased the program by monte today.
    I'll work on this. I need to take it on.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    TomPNY, here is some info about Alan Gordon, from our TMS host-guru, Forest:

    Welcome to the Alan Gordon Recovery Program Subforum! This subforum is designed to allow people an area to discuss and receive feedback on the Alan Gordon Recovery Program.

    TMS practitioner, Alan Gordon, LCSW, has developed and contributed a free TMS recovery program to the TMS Wiki. Alan Gordon describes the goal of the program to generally provide you with a deeper understanding of why you have your pain, how it’s being perpetuated, and what steps you can take to eliminate or significantly reduce it. In addition to telling you what to do, it will show you what to do, via clips of recordings of sessions with actual TMSers.

    Alan has been working on the program for about a year, and it ties together many of the themes from his webinars and presents important skills that we can use in our healing. I feel honored that he would donate the program to the nonprofit and consider it a terrific example of how we can pull together to help each other out.
  10. TomPNY

    TomPNY Peer Supporter

    Cool. thanks. I will check it out.
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your last paragraph, as Walt suggested above, certainly provides a good deal of evidence about why your TMS symptoms have been intensifying and ganging up on you. I think Dr Sarno's metaphor about the "pot boiling over" is very apropos in your case. Each person has a psychological limit - mitigated by such factors as having a soother in their life - before psychological stress factors begin to produce physical symptoms. I could take working my contracting business and living out of suit case while traveling around the country quite nicely until my parents both collapsed and my father died, thrusting me into a caregiver role for my mother with dementia. I could even take managing a wrongful lawsuit and working in the professional services division of a Fortune 500 company to generate income for my mother's care. However, when my mother died and I no longer received emotional support from her as a soother that's when I began to go TMS symptomatic. In other words, that's when I reached my breaking point. Because of your previous TMS episode, you must realize that you already have what Steve Ozanich calls the T-type personality. But all the stuff you describe piled up on top of that were obviously extending you beyond your stress threshold. Other than completely changing your TMS personality, it sounds as if you need to take a break, distance yourself from these problems, and simplify, simplify, simplify. Easier said that done, right? For me, it wasn't a quick process by any means, it's taken 10 years to get over all those stressors concentrated into a brief 5 year period. Takes patience, intuition, and a lot of practice. We're all only human and can only take so much before the mind begins to bleed on over into the body.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
    Sheree and Tennis Tom like this.
  12. TomPNY

    TomPNY Peer Supporter

    Steves book is fantastic. It really got me dialed in. But I came out of it last month when I finished it as having an information overload. I couldn't compute what to do next.
    Im regard to taking a break and puttimg in some distance... I'm the guy that can't sleep the entire time he's on vacation. I was off for two weeks and it wasn't till about day ten before I was finally shutting down a bit. Having a break or some time off seems to exasperate my symptoms rather than give me time to heal. I know my attitude on it is wrong because before I take a break, I try to make everything as done and complete as possible, so I end up walking into a vacation after saving the world three or four times.
    But what is really coming out of this for me is that I need an action plan or a sort of script that is applicable in all cases regardless of the pain location or severity.
    Still learning. Thanks.
  13. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just goes to show how perfectionist personality traits are just as important as the objective factors in your life that appear to be causing the stress. I know it takes about 5 days of living in a stress-free natural environment before the quality of my consciousness slows down and gets in tune with my new reality (streams, lakes, glaciers, trails, rain, snow, hail, ice etc. etc.). The point is, I suspect, that this means that what really has to happen to relieve self-imposed stress is for the absolute quality of your consciousness to change and become more relaxed. But we all seem to love to hold on to our neurotic habits of mind and resist change, don't we? Our psychological defenses become so entrenched we can't imagine letting go of them even though we know in our hearts we should and must do so to achieve mental health and equilibrium. I guess that's why Freud called them neuroses!

    I do think that doing 15-minute sessions of mindfulness meditation or else the kind of breathing exercises advocated by Michael Brown first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to sleep at night can help make you more detached from the stream of mental gossip that keeps reinforcing your obsessions.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
    Sheree, TomPNY and Ellen like this.
  14. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    That is really good advice from Bruce, and thanks to Walt for passing on the info about Alan Gordon.

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