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Chronic Pelvic Pain/Rectal Pain - Good Old TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by donavanf, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    This is a follow up to a previous post, entitled "Anal Fissures, Pains in the A$$ and Encouragement Needed".

    I am reposting some of it, as it still applies...

    I have a lifelong history of TMS from infancy colic to childhood tummy aches, teenage chronic earaches and sore throats, to young adult issues spanning the gamut from allergies to back pain. As an adult in my 20's my TMS manifested as IBS, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (diagnosed at the time as "non-specific prostatitis"), all kinds of weird pains, all showing no definitive medical diagnosis. "Anxiety" was ALWAYS the main diagnosis, lol. I have endured much, including the death of both parents, and may other terrible traumas, but I've managed to survive and grow into the 50 year old I am now. I feel blessed, despite it all.

    I skated through my 30's (relatively) pain free, but at age 42, in 2013, I had a nervous breakdown, resulting in severe Neck Pain, Back Pain, Shoulder Pain, TMJ pain, foot pain, panic attacks, crippling anxiety and depression, you name it. It took me years (and a lot of money and wasted time at chiropractors, PT's, neurologists and dentists, and well meaning but misguided healers of all kinds) before coming upon Dr. Sarno's work and it changed my life. I was able to heal 95% of my neck and shoulder pain, back pain, all of it...through serious introspection and self-discovery. I saw Dr. David Schecter, read all the TMS books I could find, became active on the forum, worked a bit with Nicole Sachs, and went full force with treating TMS. It took a lot of work, and I still get pain, but now I know what it is and can get out relatively fast. Dr. Schecter told me I have "TMS on steroids"...I fit the personality to a "T", pun intended. I am a perfectionistic, people pleasing, obsessive, repressed rage, catastrophic thinking, overthinking, 'gooodist' and I fit the perfect bill for TMS. I've had (and cured) pain from my toes to my teeth, my head to my stomach, my back to my hips, and beyond. I believe that almost all chronic pain is TMS, or has a HUGE TMS component. Including what I am suffering now, and suffering, I am. It's a medical condition, and it has (or had) a physical cause, but I think my TMS personality is protracting my pain. I need help.

    In late October of 2020, I developed an "anal fissure" which is basically a "cut in the butt". It started a few months after a serious throat infection earlier this year, requiring me to be on SUPER strong antibiotics for over a month, leading to constipation, which eventually, opened an anal fissure. At first I thought it was just a hemorrhoid, and I was treating it with all kinds of creams and crazy fiber supplements, ice, heat, etc. I was making it worse and worse. I didn't go to the doctor, until about 6 1/2 weeks later, after I began to bleed from the rectum and have serious pain, and I became quite alarmed.

    I went to see my GP, who is very good, and to my surprise, he could not find a hemorrhoid. Seeing the agony I was in, he immediately referred me to a Colorectal Surgeon/Proctologist. The Proctologist saw a fissure immediately, and told me they can take weeks to months to heal, but most (95%) do not require surgery. The good news is it isn't cancer. The bad news is it led me into the worst pain of my life, months and months of spasms of the rectum, specifically the muscles of the inner anal sphincter (autonomic nervous system/pelvic floor). HORRIFIC.

    I reached out to Nicole Sachs and to my amazement she has had both professional and personal experience with these issues, and said it is "Good Old TMS". And I should treat is as such. She was empathic but firmly warned me to treat it aggressively as TMS, and not fall into the trap of thinking medically. Unfortunately, because I have a medical student background, that has been damn near impossible.

    Here is where I am now...

    According to my last visit to my colorectal doc, the fissure is basically HEALED! He said it is so small as to be barely be visible. He also said my rectal sphincter is OUT of spasm and the pain I am currently experiencing (a horrible amount of pain which has now spread to my prostate, penis, lower back and sacrum, buttocks, tailbone, piriformis, IT bands, sciatic nerve and entire butt) is "PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION". Colorectal doc said there isn't much more he can do. He does not think the fissure is causing the pain anymore, as it's almost gone!

    Surgery isn't necessary as it's basically almost healed and "botox therapy" (the other treatment for fissures) won't help as the sphincter that was in spasm is no longer in spasm. It has "spread" to the muscles of the low back and pelvis. He sent me to a Physical Therapist, specifically a pelvic floor specialist. This is a repeat of what happened in my 20's! Only FAR more painful.

    So, to the Physical Therapist I went, last week. She confirmed pelvic floor dysfunction, but to my amazement, she said that pelvic floor dysfunction is from TENSION, specifically, severely tightened and spastic muscles, inside the entire base of the pelvis, that affect the entire reproductive and eliminative areas due to NERVOUS TENSION, ANXIETY and STRESS. It's "freeze" as in "Fight, Fight, Freeze". She suggested I read "A Headache In The Pelvis" and I did. It's a TMS book that doesn't know it's a TMS book. The entire thing is Sarno central, under a medicalized guise. She did some pelvic floor release through targeted massage and also did a rectal trigger point release, which was mildly painful but helped. She also gave me some homework of stretching and breathing, and recommended the curable app. Luckily, she's a fan of Dr. Sarno and knows about TMS. She thinks this is my brain on fire. She wants to see me 5 or six more times. She believes I will fully heal, if I do the work. Which is both mental (stress relief) and physical (massage, stretching, yoga, breathing).

    So, now what? She helped me, but if I keep seeing her, am I "medicalizing" this?

    Has anyone cured pelvic floor pain/rectal pain/bladder pain, etc using TMS methods?

    I know the answer is yes.

    PS- This year has been a "Steven Ozanich" year for me, in terms of catastrophic stress. I've been dealing with this while simultaneously caring for an ailing spouse, dealing with unemployment, a global pandemic, horrific anxiety attacks, agoraphobia, working from home, lack of physical activity, and a very severe fear of leaving my house. Also, a change of job, enrolling in online school, a caretaker relationship, barely making ends meet, argumentative family issues, the works. Most stressful year of my life, by FAR, and I have buried two parents and almost been homeless. This is far worse, and feels even more traumatizing than that did. I'm in hell.

    Ok, so....what are the chances this PAIN IN MY A$$ is 100% TMS and HOW do I relax, release, trust it's TMS and let it go? How? Any ideas?

    This is absolute misery.

    Help appreciated, truly.

    Thanks for reading my novel.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
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  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    So very sorry to hear of your suffering, Donavan.

    Yes, your symptoms are 100% TMS. The way to address them is the same way you addressed the other TMS symptoms you have overcome. You are experiencing the symptom imperative. It is all the same. I know from experience how easy it is when new symptoms occur to fall into the medical rabbit hole. But you are aware that is where you are. You have demonstrated from your previous successes that you know the way out. You just need to commit to it. You can do this.
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  3. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Yep, I agree with @Ellen . I can totally relate to the agoraphobia and online school can be frustrating when everything takes longer to get done. You have so much more on your plate than me, a young full time student, so kudos to you for getting through the year. Plus we forget how lucky we are just to be alive and safe in these times.

    Just be real about your feelings. The capitalized words mean you really needed to vent. Don't let it build up. Those sharp twinges and spasms will come and go like cramps and it totally makes sense that it can move around anywhere in the body. There's plenty of pelvic issue etc. stories on here, so you're not alone! It hurts, sometimes a lot, but it's not permanent. Make time for you. Get enough sleep. Every time you feel tense- exhale exhale exhale slooowly (Ujayi Breath is really good for this). Keep turning on that relaxation response. Make time for socializing (on Zoom). It's ok to go out to a quiet place fully masked. It's ok to cry. Don't be afraid of working out, just ease back into it. Fresh air is good:) I'm not great at this one but unplug more, especially from the news.

    Tldr; The PT's advice is totally reasonable. Don't forget to focus on self care and prioritizing your own needs. Every time something goes off track, get back on track.
    donavanf and westb like this.
  4. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    Thank you for your support… Do you have any recommendations as to what I might do specifically for this? What I did before was affirmations and journaling, as well as telling myself that nothing was physically wrong with myself. That’s the only hitch I’m having, as this started with a real medical issue (fissure) that has gotten better and better despite the symptoms getting worse and moving (TMS). But my medical doctor told me that the fissure has almost fully healed, he can barely see it, it’s mostly scar tissue now, and wouldn’t be causing these new pains. PT agreed, and said that these kind of things can start off a nervous system disruption cycle that causes pain and muscular spasm after the medical issue is healed or almost healed…like a nervous system PTSD/trigger. AKA: TMS. It’s like I know mentally that it’s TMS but I’m having a hard time with the “medical” event as instigator. But Nicole Sachs herself told me she thinks fissure pain is 100% TMS.

    What might be a good first thing to do for me? Also I’m noticing that the physical therapy is making me worse, maybe I should just look at it as exercise and walking, stretching… If I look at it as physical therapy for a “pelvic floor disorder” it gets worse. I also have a lot of exercise phobias and I am way too sedentary. But when I exercise it gets worse at first… Thoughts?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  5. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Keep the area moisturized, sensations sometimes might be more obvious if you're going to the bathroom or something. It doesn't have anything to do with physical activity though so you're good to go. Ease into it, do something you enjoy, pay attention to something else, and it's ok to admit it hurts. It's all TMS and it's coming up because other things seem burdensome at the moment. Spasms hurt but are not structural disorders, they're entirely stress related. So for something like this, getting into a normal routine is better than a body part specific routine. PT is for rehabbing a broken leg or physical injury. If it's pain management only, find something that's fun and relaxing.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's very common for TMS to start from a medical/structural cause. It's harder to overcome because we hold on harder to the belief that the problem is medical and not psychological. So I suggest working on solidifying your belief that what you are experiencing is TMS and the cause is psychological. I would keep reading or listening to material on TMS. Write down your reasons and logic for knowing it is TMS. You've already consulted trusted sources, like Nicole Sachs, who told you it is TMS. Maybe see Schecter again if you can--anything to build your belief.

    Many of us here on the Forum are lifetime, varsity-level TMSers. I, too, have struggled with it all my life and remain amazed at the creativity of my subconscious in coming up with new and unique forms of TMS. But I eventually overcome it, and I know you can too.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  7. MommaCat

    MommaCat New Member

    Years ago I had a hysterectomy. I had the pain in butt thing ( horrid) that sent me to the ER. They said it wasn't from the surgery..it was muscle spasms. I took a flexeril and it went away, so they were correct. Thinking back I was under a great deal of stress, so I'd say TMS was the problem. I'm not a doctor but that's my guess.
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