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Choose yr TMS battles wisely

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Mala, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think everyone posts and replies to others' posts with complete compassion.
    It's a great group of caring people trying to help each other. I feel so good being a part of it.
    vickiw52 and Forest like this.
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    North Star, do you approve of Mala calling a TMS physicians's learned response "ARROGANT' and "IGNORANT"?
  3. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    @North Star, I also read Mala's post as a reminder of how important it is to be checked out by a doctor (preferably one who knows about TMS) to rule out structural causes. There's a reason Forest often says that this is a peer community and that people should see a TMS physician to rule out structural causes. (I think he even starts out all the Tuesday night discussion groups with this disclaimer.) It's not just a liability issue; it's an issue of safety and well-being, and it's an important one we really shouldn't overlook.

    Alan Gordon also posted about this very issue pretty recently in one of his Ask a TMS Therapist responses:

    This process is very different from the damaging experience of having doctors identify structural causes, when in fact symptoms are really TMS. Mala's original post, as I read it, was about the consequences of not going through that first process of making sure everything physical has been ruled out. As @Cap'n Spanky said, whether or not the fibroids were TMS or not are just irrelevant at this point.

    Now that I've said that…

    @North Star, I couldn't agree more about writing with sensitivity. This is such a wonderful and supportive community, and much of that stems from the overall respect we have for each other. Disagreements are bound to happen but I have found more often than not that this community handles such disagreements and differences of opinion with a foundation of mutual respect for the other person's experience, and the other person's choices. This thread left me a little unsettled because I felt a lack of that respect. TMS healing is a tricky road, and a path that so many others don't understand, but we all understand it here (or rather, are trying to understand it). Without respect for each other we simply don't have each other, period.

    We don't all have to agree -- God, wouldn't that be boring -- but really, let's remember we're here to help each other, not tear each other down.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Of course no one "approves", but let's remember that Dr. Sarno, in whose honor we run this forum, was called those things and much more in his career. I'm sure he's still being called those things by readers on Amazon. And yet my impression is that he was typically gracious and compassionate to those not ready to accept what he had to offer.

    I don't know the physician you're referring to, but anyone who engages in the profession of healing is going to be dealing with the negative reactions of people in fear. The good ones learn to take it, but the best ones learn to react with grace and compassion - especially, I would like to think, a TMS physician.

    That's what I got from North Star's response. Simply that those of us giving advice must be able to accept negative reactions, and we must also take the compassionate high road toward those who are still suffering.

    Becca, Forest and North Star like this.
  5. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    TT, My approval/disapproval is irrelevant. (Though I will say I wish I were more brave like Mala to speak what's on my mind when I feel I've been treated badly. It probably would speed the healing along with my TMS. ;))

    I don't have anything else to add to the discussion other than to amen what Becca and Jan added. :)
    Forest and JanAtheCPA like this.
  6. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    OH BOY - I hope all the fighting and name-calling that goes on over at the other forum is not starting here.

    This is always an upsetting topic. I remember last spring a woman with pelvic pain for several years, who thought she had TMS, turned out to have very advanced ovarian cancer. I felt really bad about it. I left that forum when it was suggested that her cancer was actually TMS. I thought this was cruel and that these individuals, whatever their opinion about psychology causing real disease, should have kept their opinions to themselves. I think we can agree that, when we talk about TMS, we are not talking about real diseases and physical conditions. But I also realize that there is not always a clear line between the two. My husband ,a retired physician who dealt with cancer most of his working life, thought that cancer is much more about genetics than psychology. Of course, there are other opinions.

    Mala, I am so happy to hear that the cause of your pain was discovered and you are on the road to recovery!! Best Wishes!! And I agree that one should always get checked out. You are very brave to have come forward with good advice.
    Markus, North Star and Mala like this.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well I guess I'll keep my "drivel" to myself from now on--purely in the interest of the advancement of TMS science of course.
    Markus likes this.
  8. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Thank you all for your posts, good wishes & messages.

    When I posted here it was with the sincere intention to ask ppl to 'choose their TMS battles wisely'- to make sure their condition(s) did not get worse or even become life threatening. This was not to scare anyone rather it came out of my own personal experience.

    This forum serves a great purpose in bringing about awareness of certain mind body conditions but I'm not sure everything is TMS & until I do know for sure what is or isn't I am the only one who can take responsibilty for my health.

    I have been able to some extent relieve neck & back pain thru mind body techniques which include reading books, meditation, ignoring the pain, understanding the idea of how we can change the way we think about pain etc. but the pain that was related to the operation I had was different. Perhaps my instincts already knew that or maybe I wanted it to be TMS . I don't know. I tried ignoring the pain but it didn't work. If I increased my activity the pain would increase dramatically.

    I have had the fibroids for a lot time. A couple drs told me that fibroids should shrink after menopause but here I was 7 yrs post menopause with no sign of them shrinking & then 2 years ago the pain began. They could not however say that removing everything would sove the pain problem. Scans would only show at most 3 fibroids . In India drs will actually do a laproscopic examination & tell u what's wrong. Here in HK they would not do that saying that if they went in, they would do everything one time.

    Until I went to see the most recent dr. He was able to reproduce the pain by pressing on my fibroid, the one that was very close to the cervix & also when he did an ultrasound it showed that that particular fibroid was 'vascular'. He did not like that.
    He called me in 3 times to do the same test again to be sure it was indeed the problem & then I scheduled the op.

    It was tough & the situation inside was horrific. There were 13 fibroids ranging fom 7cm to 2cm in size along with a bulky uterus. The cause of the pain, the fibroid from hell, had attached itself onto everything inside the pelvic cavity. I had what is called an abdominal subtotal hysterectomy & a huge 6 inch scar to show for it.

    It is hard to diagnose pelvic pain in women especially. It could be so many things but that is one of the reasons we need to be vigilant without of course obsessing.

    When I posted on the other forum recently I got a lot of support from a lot of my tms friends but was also told by some that my condition was TMS & that I probably created it. Now if dr Sarno had examined me & talked to me and told me that I had TMS I'd be inclined to listen to what he had to say but this was someone whom I do not know has the authority or qualifications to do so. I was told to stop posting as I was scaring ppl away & that I was a TMS failure. There were personal attacks .That hurt! Its cruel & insensitive. Ppl who say things like this need to back it up with a lot of sound evidence.

    Open discusssion is just that. We may or may not agree on certain aspects & nothing is either black or white at this stage when it comes to TMS but that does not mean we should not voice or opinions . We have a lot to learn from each other but we do need to be respectful of each other at the same time.

    So here I have told my story, perhaps answered some questions you may have asked. I've been as open as i possibly can . If anyone needs more info feel free to either post here or message me privately.

    I wish you all the best.

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
    Markus, Abundance72 and North Star like this.
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi everyone,

    As the administrator of this forum, I have moved three posts that used to be here into another thread:

    @Tennis Tom had taken issue with @Mala's description of what happened at the other post and challenged her on it. A user brought his posts to my attention and it looked like things could go downhill fast. A flame war might erupt, but even if one didn't, other forum members may leave because the hostility simply makes everything uncomfortable. I feel that those conflicts of this sort can be very damaging to a community, and I care too much about this forum (I've put 15,000 hours into building this nonprofit!) to let that happen here.

    I called up Tom and explained to him that I would be moving his posts to another thread. To his credit, he accepted this very graciously. I also spoke with Mala to check in with her as well.

    I will post more later, but I just wanted to make a quick post now so that people know what has happened.
  10. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    (I began writing this last night and a lot has happened since then. I'm a slow writer, though, so I'm just going to post it as is.)

    Hi Mala, I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling better! No one deserves to be in pain, and I think that if I had an orange-sized benign tumor connecting my colon, bladder, and pelvis, I'd definitely want it removed, too. My girlfriend actually has fibroids. Luckily, they are small, but she may end up being the mother of my children, so I know that I would want to make sure that she got the best medical care possible and that all of the plumbing was taken care of. :)

    It has been terrific to read this thread and see all of the excellent points being made. Our community is having a conversation not just about Mala's initial post, but also about how we want our discussions to run. It seems like a very valuable conversation to have. An online community can be an amazing thing, but it requires a lot of upkeep and intentionality if it is going to be the best it can be.

    People seem to want a community where everyone has a right to their own opinion and is encouraged to express it. But we seem to want a community where we can express that opinion in a respectful or nice manner. Further, there seems to be a resistance to the idea that we can control what others say (even if we can ask them to say it in a constructive way).

    Similarly, people seem to prefer that points be made about the topic at hand (TMS) but that criticisms of other people's character or actions isn't very fun to read, doesn't teach us anything worth knowing, and doesn't make it fun to come back here. Discussion and debate is fine, but let's make it about our ideas and experiences rather than about other people's failings and failures.

    As the administrator of the forum, I am so glad that people had the courage to voice their opinions. I've got more to write, but it's been a long night, so it's off to bed for me!
  11. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    • You Can't Be Everything To Everyone (So Stop Trying)


    JANUARY 21, 2014 4:35 AM EST

    The other day I received two angry emails from people who’d submitted to my site, but hadn’t gotten published on it. I’d apparently also let someone down because they sent me a Facebook invite for a birthday party that I didn’t make it to.

    That same day, my cousin, who’s more like a sister than a cousin, told me she’d been angry with me about something for four months. I’d had no idea. I listened to what she had to say and did my best not to defend myself but, (a) I truly didn’t remember saying what she’d said I said, and (b) It didn’t make sense to me why she was upset, even after she spent 47 minutes explaining.

    Still later that night, a piece of my writing was rejected for a major magazine I’d been pitching. I wanted to get back in bed and zipper my mouth shut. I wanted to stop writing. I wanted to shut down my blog.

    I felt swallowed by life. I gave myself seven minutes or so of feeling sorry for myself. I reread an email from a friend who is a well-known author:

    “Jen, I allow myself 15 minutes to feel like sh*t. Then I say f*ck it and move on. It's taken me years to get this good at it. Years of tears and self-loathing. Have a donut and a cookie and move on.”

    So I made a pot of coffee.

    And then I remembered what I know to be true but sometimes forget: you cannot be everything to everyone. You cannot make everyone happy. Just a little reminder today for you. (Who am I kidding? It’s for me, too.) For all of us.

    You cannot be everyone's friend, mentor, companion, lifeline, confidante, airport picker-upper, publisher, soulmate, meal ticket, patter-on-the-backer, lover, mother, feedback giver, wine pourer, yoga buddy, movie date, editor, nail polisher, fiasco fixer. Not everyone will like you. You won't like everyone.

    Let me reiterate: You ABSOLUTELY cannot make everyone happy. (So stop trying.)
 It's a no-win situation. It'll drain you and leave you like a pile of coffee grinds. People will be disappointed for various (often weird) reasons. Sometimes those reasons will make sense, sometimes not. Sometimes those reasons will be fair and sometimes fair is just another word for a place where they have funnel cakes and roller coasters.

    So stop worrying so much. There is most definitely someone out there who doesn't like you or feels you've failed them. But, on the bright side, the really blinding bright side, the I-need-my-glasses-this-sh*t-is-so-bright-side, there are many people who love you, who think you're the greatest thing since sliced bread, who could've never made it through X, Y and Z without you, who trust you, who care for you, who would lay down in front of a Mini Cooper for you, who think you are as hot as Gisele Bündchen, regardless of what you look like on the outside. Just look at you, you greatest thing since sliced bread, Gisele-ish person, you.

    So let's do our best to keep moving forward with less second guessing and worrying, less "I-wish-everyone-loved-everything-I-said/did/wrote/wore." Less, "I am a bad/mean/awful person because I had to say NO."

    Let's try not to intentionally hurt others but for the love of sliced bread (with gluten), let's give up worrying so much, people pleasing, and all the other time-sucking, love-wasting, energy-vampirish things we do.

    Here's to being human. My coffee mug to yours.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  12. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    As a fulltime freelance writer for more than 40 years (my only source of income), I know what rejection is like.
    In one day's mail I got rejections from editors for a magazine article and for two book outlines.
    I felt like crawling into bed, but instead I sat down and wrote a travel article and within a week, I sold it.

    I live by the philosophy of Arthur Ashe, the former tennis star, who said,
    Never give up, no matter what the score is."
    Seraphina and North Star like this.
  13. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree that it's important, even essential, to comment on posts and offer advice as friendly and compassionate as possible.
    I think most people do that, but if sometimes someone seems a little too strident, I'm sure they don't mean it.
    I think we in the wiki are a great bunch of helpful, supportive folk.
    Anne Walker and North Star like this.
  14. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I completely agree, Walt. Well said. I think we have a great group here and really respect and appreciate the friendship of everyone in this thread.
    Mala, JanAtheCPA and North Star like this.
  15. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks so much for stepping in, Forest - I hope to see your vision of this forum continue and will support that vision in any way I can.
    Ellen, North Star and Forest like this.
  16. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Jan, thank you so much for your support! Likewise, I am thrilled with the great group that we have here.

    I think it's something worth standing up for because I've seen other forums be torn apart by feuds between the different members. Conflicts can take over the entire site because everyone feels that they need to get the last word. Third parties can feel drowned out and good friendships can be lost in the melee. Overall, the site becomes a much less pleasant place to visit and loses members.

    I really want to thank you and everyone else who spoke up because what you did here was tremendously valuable. As an admin, I can move or delete posts, temporarily or permanently ban members, or make other changes. Sometimes those steps are necessary because feuding parties won't listen to reasoned arguments (emotions can do this to us!). However, most of the time, people are good and don't want to be perceived as jerks. That's when it's so important even for us conflict-averse TMSers to have the courage to stand up and let people know how we feel (I'm looking at you, @North Star - you won some real admiration for speaking your truth!).

    Of course, while forum members like all of us here are the primary ones in charge of keeping a pleasant and collegial culture, the the role of forum moderators and administrators is very important, for when things get out of hand. Without adequate support from staff members, more moderate and thoughtful members can rapidly burn out. It takes an awful lot of work to provide this type of support, and I certainly don't feel like I'm a natural at it. But the more I do it, the easier it gets and the more confident I become. Having a terrific forum community full of thoughtful, smart people makes it so very much more rewarding.

    I like to think that our community is very special, but there are, literally, many thousands of other online communities out there of roughly our size. While they may specialize in a video game, V6 mustangs, or orchid cultivation, there are some similarities because human nature is the same. Over the last five years, I've spent a lot of time researching what other forums do. Looking at other forums can provide extremely helpful guidance on how to handle difficult situations in a professional and compassionate manner.

    One thing I would like to do is to write out, as clearly as I am, some guidelines for participation in the forum. Doing this protects everyone and helps prevent problems before they even start. Because running a forum is really a collaboration involving all of the participants, I would be honored to have as much feedback in this process as I can get. If anyone would like to help with this process of providing feedback or would simply like to learn more, I encourage you to send me a private message. Just click on my picture and then click on "Start Personal Conversation."

    That's it for tonight!
  17. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest, what kind words, tiphataTHANK YOU! I too have been part of different forums over the years. And these weren't hobby forums - they were forums that covered topics that can carry an emotional load. The areas that we need the most support and fellowship in, IMHO, have the greatest potential to blow up because they deal with such sensitive issues. Like this forum. We all have TMS because, in part, we care so much.

    I must get back to packing boxes. Our house closes in a few weeks and then we are off to sunny ARIZONA!

    Sending you all love and a hug, too.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  18. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Say what, North Star? Sunny? Are you sure about that? I'm hoping you don't get swept away!:eek:

    North Star likes this.
  19. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    The monsoons must be stirring up their fuss, eh? hahaha I'll take it any day over snow in September or June! And if we do get swept away, perhaps it will be to a warm sunny tropical beach where there will be a massage therapist waiting with a frosty drink complete with a little umbrella in it. One can dream...:cool:
  20. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Heh, get back to your packing, girl :D

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