1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 1

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Cheryl, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. Cheryl

    Cheryl Peer Supporter

    About 20 years ago I discovered Dr. Sarno through a friend of mine. I was having lower back pain for no apparent reason and after reading The Mind Body Prescription, I was completely cured and became devout believer in TMS. I used Dr. Sarno’s books through the years to help with other manifestations including IBS which I had been diagnosed with in my early 30s (I am now 62). The symptoms all but went away with occasional short-lived flare ups. However, 4 years ago I had to take tetracycline antibiotic. After taking it for a week I had the worst nausea and stomach pain of my life. I immediately stopped taking it but the pain did not go away but just got worse. To make a very long story short…in three months I lost over 30 pounds and ended up in the emergency room. I had a CT scan of my entire torso, blood tests and other things I can’t even remember but they all showed nothing wrong. I was referred to a gastroenterologist who did a endoscopy and colonoscopy and found only minor stomach inflammation which he explained wouldn’t cause the pain. I hoped hearing this would cure me! But it didn’t. Mind you I had no medical insurance at that time and was paying out of pocket the full costs of all this….adding more stress!
    My GE explained to me it was the ol’ IBS with constipation and that it can come and go and the tetracycline was very, very hard on the stomach and that triggered a recurrence of the IBS. He explained that the brain had learned pathways, painful ones that had now taken over (these are my words as I can’t remember the exact terminology he used). We tried all the usual medications for acid reflux, intestinal spasms etc. Nothing worked and I was losing my mind! I got caught up in the medical world of trying to find a cure. He started me on amitriptyline to try and numb out the nerves. We started with 10 mg and ended up going up to 100. I still had bad bouts and extended periods of stomach pain..mind you I have always had times when my gut was perfectly at peace and I could eat and live normally. Over the past months I have slowly weaned myself off the amitriptyline since it seemed useless for the last few years and had undesirable side effects.
    This winter while digging deeper into Sarno/TMS I found, read and completed Dr. Schubiner's book Unlearn Your Pain. I was symptom free for about two months..a real record for me! I thought I was cured and felt so proud of myself for doing the work, I was just so happy and relieved! However in the late spring two things happened 1) my elderly mom passed away after slowly declining. I was shocked and happy that the symptoms did not return during the stressful time of her dying and then the funeral and the sadness and emotions that come with that. And 2) My GP started me on Lipitor (I had tried Mevacor a couple years earlier and my stomach really acted up so I stopped it). However, this time I thought since I had been feeling fine I would give it a try. Immediately I had terrible cramps and stomach pain. This was in June( 2014) and since then I have had bad almost relentless IBS again. I was blaming it at first on the Lipitor but after a while I realized that was not the culprit but TMS was once again....thus I am re-doing Dr. Schubiners program (online this time), hoping it will reinforce what I have learned. I know I have MBS although at times I feel myself letting some doubt creep in.
    I am sorry this is so long and perhaps confusing but once I got started it just came pouring out. I have had no terrible stressors in my past just the usual childhood doubts and fears and personality traits such as low self-esteem and goodism, just to name a couple. I would love to hear from anyone else that was diagnosed with IBS and is having success. I know this works, it is just frustrating that it is taking so long. Thanks for the ear!
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Cheryl, that is more stress and distress than anyone should have to go through, I'm so sorry.

    I was never diagnosed with IBS although I think that if I hadn't discovered Dr. Sarno and this forum in time, (three years ago at age 60) that I would have ended up with the diagnosis. Among many other symptoms.

    So we are the same age, and the other thing that struck me is that I also lost my elderly mother this spring, so I'm feeling a sisterhood to you! But that wasn't the worst of it. Two years ago, July/August of 2012, my best friend went into hospice, my youngest brother suffered debilitating brain damage due to cardiac arrest (an undiagnosed heart muscle defect) and my friend died two weeks later. My brother had another fatal arrest 18 months later while making remarkably good recovery in brain function. It was devastating, and the sad fact about my mother is that she simply gave up, and died on April 15 this year (and yes, I really am a CPA and I actually think she did it on purpose so I would have to raise a glass of champagne to her on every April 15 from now on)(you have to try to find the humor in most of this wacky life of ours).

    Thank God that when this all started in 2012, I was a year into learning about TMS and all of the very effective mind-body practices that go along with it.

    One of the things that really really helped me get through those days was the little bit I had learned about Existential Psychotherapy, practiced by our own forum participant, Dr. Peter Zafirides, MD. In EP, the theory is that our reactions to just about any event in our lives can be explained by one or more of the four Core Issues, which are: Freedom, Isolation (or Abandonment), Meaning, and Mortality. When I lost two important people in two weeks, I think the only thing that got me through that period was being able to recognize and allow myself to really experience (instead of repressing) the abandonment and isolation, and also to get in touch with my own fears about death and mortality. To say nothing of Meaning - as in, "is there any meaning in this?". It was very comforting to have these concrete concepts to somehow latch onto, and then allow myself to make the connection to what was going on with me. Self-therapy!

    Dr. Z used to have a website with his podcasts and articles, but it seems to be suspended - however, his podcasts are all available here for free on iTunes. # 091-095 are specifically about Existential therapy and, who knows? they might be helpful to you.

    The other thing that I'm thinking would be good for you is a big whopping prescription of Self Love. Now, there's a wide-open topic, with a TON of resources. The best resource I know for self-acceptance is the web site Sounds True. They have a lot of free programs, and OMG, the original Self-Acceptance Project is still available! (http://live.soundstrue.com/selfacceptance/ It's free, all you have to do is give them your email address (you'll get no more than a couple of emails a week, usually less) and you can listen to or view all of the interviews with their wonderful authors and speakers - or you can download either the audio or the video programs (each one is 30-40 minutes) to your computer or device and listen on your own (I have the complete audio collection on my tablet). I have since purchased some of their other programs, because they always have sales and they are a good value.

    Here's an old thread with some suggestions (including the S-A Project) for books on self-acceptance, including the venerable You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/a-book-on-learning-to-love-yourself.1745/

    Cheryl, I am hoping and wishing for you nothing but the best, for peace and health and self-love. Keep us posted, and I also expect that someone with IBS will chime in with their suggestions for you!

    (whew, talk about a looooong post!):p
    Cheryl likes this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. You have been through a lot, but have been successful in using Sarno's theories to cure your symptoms in the past, so you will have success again.

    I used to have IBS along with fibromyalgia, migraines, and a host of other TMS equivalents. I no longer have the IBS, fibromyalgia, or migraines, and am making progress in healing my other symptoms. One thing that has been important in my success is recognizing when the phenomenon of conditioning is a factor in triggering my symptoms. Perhaps because taking a drug (tetracycline) was associated with one bout of IBS, when you took a new drug (Lipitor) your brain made the same association and created IBS symptoms again. I addressed this type of conditioned response by telling my brain repeatedly, that just because X happened, there was no logical reason for Y to happen. Eventually, this worked and the association was broken. You could also look at it as learned neural pathways, that now have to be unlearned.

    Welcome to the Forum, Cheryl! I wish you the best in your recovery. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
    Cheryl and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Cheryl. I too am sorry you're having pain, but like the others am glad you are working again on relief by
    believing in Dr. Sarno and TMS.

    I've been watching the new Ken Burns tv miniseries on The Roosevelts and it is wonderful.
    I didn't know much about Teddy R. but was a boy during the 1930s Depression and a teenager in World War II,
    so FDR was a hero to me and everyone I knew. Most people had two portraits on their kitchen walls.
    On one was a painting of someone's idea of Jesus and on the opposite wall was a portrait of FDR.

    Watching the tv series I learned a lot more about Eleanor Roosevelt and have a new very high regard and
    respect for her. She was unloved as a child and later after she and FDR married, he cheated on her, so
    she never felt loved by him, either. She turned her feelings of being unloved and unwanted into caring about and for
    others. During the dark years of World War II she said, "Courage is more exhilarating than fear." What a wonderful
    way to look at life, isn't it? She learned self-acceptance and it made her probably the most admired woman of
    her generation.

    I believe you are doing what she suggested. It takes courage to fight all you have been suffering.
    Cheryl and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. Cheryl

    Cheryl Peer Supporter

    Dear Jan, Ellen and Walt,
    Thank you all for responding to my post. It means so very much to me! I will probably re-read your posts over and over...they are just the type of encouragement I need. I am planning on looking into all your suggestions Jan, it looks like a wealth of knowledge there! Ellen, I think you are spot on about the association with medications. I was going to say that I can't believe I didn't see that but the new me is easier on myself so instead I'll just be glad I was smart enough to come to this site and ask for help! Walt, I am also watching the Roosevelts but am a bit behind and haven't gotten to the Eleanor part. I admire her so much and am going to remember that wonderful quote.
    For some reason I am having a very hard time getting over this bad patch which gets me impatient and makes me doubt my ability to conquer it at times. But I am mostly optimistic and even more so now that I am utilizing this site. I am looking forward to updating you with my successes as well as with my questions and frustrations! I am very grateful for my three new gurus.
    Ellen likes this.

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