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Day 1: Awaiting test results

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Buckyblue, May 8, 2021.

  1. Buckyblue

    Buckyblue New Member

    I have had various symptoms throughout my life and many tests that have yielded very little in the form of a diagnosis. I am 37, male, father of two children and married....I have been through two “bouts” of depression with anxiety (probably health anxiety) a constant fixture which further exacerbated my symptoms. I am coming around to the idea of TMS largely due to my history of mental health issues, wide ranging symptoms, and lack of other logical reasons that I feel the way I do. I am about 60% there to fully believing this. I will list my past symptoms, current symptoms, and tests that I have had completed.
    Symptoms (past):
    1. Chest pain with back pain that felt like I was being stabbed though my heart. I had every test completed for heart issues and nothing....this was from 2008 to 2016
    2. Nausea, gallbladder problems, all sorts of IBS symptoms....these flare up every now and then, but I can trace it to nerves.
    3. Focusing problems with vision, ocular migraines
    4. Headaches
    5. Floating sensations, lightheaded
    6. Feelings of weakness
    7. Fatigue
    8. Back pain
    9. Thigh tightness and pain
    10. Tingling fingers and hands

    current symptoms:
    1. Calf pain and cramps. These are bilateral and do not seem to follow any pattern. I can ride my bike without any discomfort then 2 days later they cramp up very tight and I focus on my walking.
    2. IBS symptoms
    3. WORST CURRENTLY—-forearm pain. This pain started in my right elbow then turned into forearm tightness that seems to be going to my left side as well. It is a gnawing, burning, tight sensation that comes and goes and makes it difficult to move my arm without pain. It makes me feel weak and I find myself avoiding certain movements to avoid feeling the muscle pain.
    4. The above, in turn, makes my hands hurt and makes me feel like my muscles are weak or fatigued. Then my fear kicks in and makes me think MS, ALS or some other neurological disorder.
    5. Odd fingertip sensations that make it feel like my sense of touch is off. Sometimes they are less sensitive, and sometimes more sensitive.
    6. Pain in my shoulder blade (actually underneath) my right shoulder blade that comes and goes throughout the day. It is always there it just varies in intensity.

    The above are making very anxious and the cycle continues.

    I have had MRIs, nerve tests, bloodwork, all panels, Lyme test, etc. I am currently awaiting the results of another EMG and a follow up MRI on my brain, neck, and spine. As I mentioned, I am very anxious about having a neurological disease, but I hope the reaffirmation of the negative test results will allow me to move forward with the TMS diagnosis. I also want to note an odd anxiety thing...when I even start to think about my arm symptoms not going away or being a major neurological issue, I get a sinking, sickly feeling that hits my stomach almost immediately.....

    Any support or advise is greatly appreciated.

    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  2. birder

    birder Well known member

    Let me guess: just when one symptom starts to ease up and you're breathing a sigh of relief, the pain shows up somewhere else, right? Everything you describe sounds like classic TMS. You've been well and thoroughly tested. As a husband and father, you have a lot of responsibility. Your focus is almost entirely on your physical symptoms. What might they be distracting you from? A lot of men worry that they won't measure up, as a parent, a partner, a provider. And while what I don't know about men could fill volumes, I do know this: that worry often turns into anger, and resentment. Tough to think about.
    If you haven't already read Sarno or Ozanich, that would be a good place to start. And an evaluation by a TMS physician would help you turn that 60 percent into 100 percent.
  3. Buckyblue

    Buckyblue New Member

    Haha, yes my symptoms come and go, but it is throughout the day. I wake up and scan for symptoms (bad habit), and I go with that feeling until the next one takes over. The other odd thing is, is that if I am active with my forearms they really don’t hurt that much, it is before and after or when they decide to stiffen up. Also, my calf pain will come and go like this as well.

    you are spot on with the feelings of worthiness relating to being a father and husband...I would also add a bit of shame, at least that seems to be the topics that come up most with my therapist.

    I am a perfectionist and it has not served me well. I also seek to maximize everything I do from purchases to vacations...from the little I have read these traits lend themselves to this syndrome.

    I really appreciate the reply, it helps me think that I am headed in the right direction.
    birder likes this.
  4. birder

    birder Well known member

    From one perfectionist to another: you're headed in the right direction! Try one of those books. You'll be gobsmacked.
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Out of the list of ten and the current six there are only two that I have NOT had. And before I read Sarno, they were overlapping and persistent. I think the much more relevant identification though is that I was a 30 something year old father of two who had perfectionist tendencies.

    Even if they find 'something' it doesn't rule out ALL of it being psycho somatic. I'll even raise the bet by saying I have never met anybody with a 'neurological disease' who I haven't ,upon learning about their personal situation, been bet-a-thousand-bucks sure they were suffering a mindbody disorder.

    I Have a tumor on my stomach, but it only hurts when I am under extreme stress (I forgot about it until I read your post)
    I broke my back in a fall in 2013, but didn't know about it until I was dealing with the tumor (LOL)..never had pain
    I have stenosis, degeneration, herniated whatever all over and bone on bone grinds everywhere....and I am 100% pain free, work in construction and play baseball a LOT. I just spent the day chasing my dogs and doing yardwork....

    but that marriage? The Job? The feeling of never being good enough, but always trying? Trying to be a perfect parent? THOSE I have been through with a fine tooth comb. When I began looking at those, the list went away. Any time a new symptom comes up, it means its time to look again... but they are fewer and farther between.

    Sarno first suspected mindbody stuff after reviewing patients 'other symptom' list, and yours is textbook TMS
    Buckyblue likes this.
  6. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Hope that tumor is benign...
  7. Buckyblue

    Buckyblue New Member

    Thans for such a reassuring reply. It is still difficult for me to really wrap my head around the mental physical connection, which is surprising given I have had physical anxiety symptoms my whole life. I have just started reading the Sarno’s back pain book and I can’t help but get caught up on the passage that stares that abnormal EMG results are often found in TMS patients. The reason I am hung up on this is that I was hoping that a negative EMG result would exclude me from having ALS, and therefore allow me to move forward with my healing and mentally be able to fully accept TMS as my issue.

    either way, I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful response.
  8. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are bringing up nomenclature I had totally forgotten about. YES, I had discernible nerve damage according to EMG tests that were done multiple times with multiple physicians. In particular, I recall, my left side which had been numb/in pain the longest had 'damage' to the nerve....makes sense after reading Sarno... If Ischemia (restricted capillary blood flow brought on by tension) is at the root of the symptoms, any system that relies on oxygen and blood flow (all of them) is going to be compromised . My legs had atrophied considerably over the year and a half I limped around. I was numb almost always mixed in with pain and peculiar symptoms like feeling their was broken glass under my skin.

    ...and when I read "Healing Back Pain" over and over and over and did everything the text implied to get well , I was back to normal in a matter of weeks. I was excited and scared. Excited because I thought I had found a solution, scared because my brain kept going "Yeah, but YOU are different because of ________" (fill in blank with a variety of obsessional fears about what the "pro's" had told me)

    In fact, it was the first time in my life I was excited to be dead average...and I was! This was not a popular belief in '99. Meanwhile, I have been healed from 5 weeks out after reading it until now with only a few relapses that might add up to a few weeks out of 22 years...and there was always a new underlying problem and the same text worked every time to heal myself.

    Screw what the doctors say. My favorite Sarno quote is "Therapeutic eclecticism equals diagnostic incompetence"...and the army of surgeons and doctors I consulted with all had a different diagnosis and a different solution. As soon as I treated it as TMS, I got better fast and have remained so... reading your story, its about a ditto of mine. I can't imagine we're that different.
  9. Shirley

    Shirley Peer Supporter

    I am revisiting this wiki because it helped me so much when I had my first awareness of TMS with chronic back pain in 2014 and I just thought I'd check in. Once I found this and did the program I had no more pain issues for 5 years -- at that point I returned to the wiki which didn't seem as monitored as it was when I first found it, but the Alan Gordon Educational program is great. I have since been able to see other mindbody attention-getting events (skin flareups, TMJ, mysterious Raynauds syndrome, abnormal precancerous cells in uterous) that I now understand to be my body trying to help me pay attention to my emotions. I want to recommend something that has helped me this past year, which is the podcast of Nicole Sachs, a therapist who was helped by Sarno at a young age and still a huge enthusiast. Her podcast is called The Cure for Chronic Pain, and she also has a closed Facebook group which I have not seen as I'm no longer on Facebook, but I expect the community developed there might be not-unlike what I appreciated as so helpful when I found the wiki in 2014. You CAN heal and your body can help you by bringing your emotions to your attention. Don't give up!
    Balsa11 and Zuz like this.

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