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

Day 4 - getting worse

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by BrendaLynn, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. BrendaLynn

    BrendaLynn Newcomer

    I read The Mind Body Prescription almost a year ago. I feel like I accept that I have TMS but I have made no real progress. A couple of months after reading, I got a psychotherapist because the knowing and believing wasn't enough. Therapist wasn't family with TMS treatment and I made zero progress. I had a stressful, ongoing life event happen shortly after that distracted me from the recovery program.

    I've been in chronic pain since a car accident in 2007. I had severe sideways whiplash. I'm a text book example of TMS or at least I think so. The injury got better, then got way worse 6 months in. For a few years, I was unable to do much of anything. I was pretty much home bound. I developed a severe anxiety disorder. Walking around my very small block caused me pain and I had to push through serious anxiety just to make it around the block. My life as I knew it, gone! I worked from home 10 hours a day, 6 days a week when I was injured. it was all I could do to push through and keep the job for the next 3-4 years. The job was stressful and I grew to hate it. I finally stopped working in 2010.

    In 2011, what ultimately finished me off was silent migraines. I get the flashing light auras in my eyes and am temporarily blinded. Thankfully, I don't get the headache pain, ever. The blindness must be enough to scare, distract and affect my life. I seem to get them in clusters, sometimes for a couple of months. I never know when they'll hit so they kept me from going anywhere alone when they get bad. I took Reiki (hands on healing) classes and was certified through three levels of this in 2012 and started to regain some of my life. Started hiking again (I'm a Nature/Landscape photog), started venturing out away form the house with others, and then alone. The pain is hit and miss, it comes, it goes. I get through it. Although at times, I've been totally suicidal when the pain is severe and lasts more than a couple of weeks. When the migraines come, they shut me down. Depending on how long the clusters last, I am back to square one, afraid to leave the house alone. Sometimes afraid to go anywhere or participate in hiking or other activities even with others. I still keep pushing and I don't shut completely down like I used to. However, this means I've found myself in some very uncomfortable situations with a blinding migraine; out driving, in the woods and I have to hike out when I can barely see. I've had two in the past two weeks while out shooting photos, one at the grocery store. thankfully, I've been having them for a couple of months so was prepared. I wasn't alone and had backup to drive me home. It is exhausting, as I am sure all of you know. Beyond frustrating.

    I guess I didn't mention, in addition to the migraines I've had chronic neck pain, TMJ pain, shoulders, upper back, mid back, low back pain, sometimes knee pain, either knee, tinnitus and off and on blurred vision. I've also experienced severe bouts of eczema, painful awful eczema on both hands. Currently, I'm in the middle of a migraine cluster, 2 months. For the past several days, I have acute TMJ pain across the whole side of my face. thankfully, that comes in bursts. Excruciating for minutes and then fine. Rinse. Repeat. Right now, it's 430am and I can't sleep because the pain wakes me every hour or so. I did my best to keep going out of the house, but I'm spent. I had an awful migraine experience the other day while out. I'm homebound for awhile.

    I do have stressful, emotionally painful events going on in my life and have throughout this nightmare. I'm connecting the dots, but so far, it's not really helping to alleviate the symptoms. I think the periods of normalcy in between flare ups is starting to make me more frustrated because it's like I get a taste of having some parts of my life back and then boom/smack, I get knocked back down again. Sometimes for months. I'm hoping if I stick with this program, I'll make some progress. I keep telling myself I CANNOT LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE! And I keep on living it. I am exhausted. So anyway, I thought I'd make a post since I'm up in the middle of the night and staring at the walls is getting a little boring.

    Thank you to whomever created the free recovery program and for this forum. :)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
    Balsa11 likes this.
  2. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Oh Brenda, I'm so sorry for your pain. It's hard to even think straight when blinded by migraines or other severe pain. Sometimes the first step is just to endure.
    Steve Ozanich in his book describes a life brought to a halt by pain, and how he managed to turn things around. You may want to try reading it.
    Have you tried the Structured Education Program (SEP) on this wiki? You can move through it as quickly or as slowly as you'd like. I loved the way that it led me to journal about issus I didn't realize were issues, and the way it directed me to so many good resources.
    Keep on keepin' on. Blessings to you.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  3. BrendaLynn

    BrendaLynn Newcomer

    Thank you for the book suggestion. I'll look for it. You just described my life "brought to a halt by pain (and migraines)". I am hoping to turn it around. Finally. I think the SEP is the answer. And yes, I'm doing the SEP. That's why I posted. I'm on Day 4. I've been trying to look at emotions past and present in an effort to heal the TMS. Clearly that didn't work. I'm hoping the SEP is exactly what I need to get to the other side.

    Thanks again! :)
  4. MellieV

    MellieV Peer Supporter

    Hi Brenda! You didn't mention it, but I hope because of the fact that your post is titled "Day 4" you are doing the SEP. I know it's not much, but I hope that me saying I know exactly what you are going through can help just a little. I found that being on here among people who can TRULY relate is refreshing to me.

    With that being said, I can personally relate to a lot of the ailments you've written. I too have eczema on my hands. Funny enough, an old eczema scar on my arm, from when I was in my early 20's that hasn't itched me in over 15 years, just started itching me like mad! I even woke up with my arm bleeding a few mornings ago. No doubt my brain trying relentlessly to find old wounds, and familiar pathways of distraction. I also have tinnitus, dealt with dizziness in the past, and my main pain problems are my back, knees and feet (you can look back for my Day 1 post on here to see how far I've gone medically to try to remedy these problems, despite the fact that doctor's couldn't find any "real" problems besides discs).
    The fact that you have had times of wellness amidst this is proof enough for me that you have the stuff it takes to overcome this! I am finding the journaling so helpful in getting to the bottom of a lot of my pain. I'm also finding my triggers.

    Have you tried any other techniques? I would look into positive affirmations (I like Louise Hay's "You Can Heal Your Own Life"), tapping (I like Amy Scher's techniques because they are super easy), meditation, and of course prayer if you are religious or spiritual (I love Joel Osteen's online prayer group, and Colette Baron-Reid's outlook on spirituality in life). These are just some google suggestions for you, but there are soooo many others you could integrate into your daily routine.
    Good luck to you, and don't give up. Hope to keep hearing about your progress on here!
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi BrendaLynn,

    Welcome to the Forum and the SEP. Many others before you have used Dr. Sarno's work to get their lives back, and I wish you the best success as you dig deeper in this approach.

    I was scheduled for nerve surgery, could barely walk because of severe foot pain. I was isolated and always trying to get better. Two or three months after embracing the Dr. Sarno approach, I did my first ski mountaineering trip in many years, hauling overnight gear and food for many days. I got my life back. In addition, my long term residual "whiplash" pain of many years subsided.

    I recommend you also do, soon, the Recovery Program at the Wiki. It focuses on teaching survival skills right off the bat, like learning to disregard symptoms. Your statement that you are in a "cluster" for example indicates an orientation, based on conditioning, that you're pretty sure you'll have more of this, before it subsides. These are important viewpoints to begin to question. Gently, not beating yourself up!

    An example from my experience is that one night I was out trying to bicycle through a large muddy playa and got lost. I had to get off my bike and push very hard with my feet, mud all over the tires. I had not used my feet like that in probably 4 years, that hard. And I thought "Boy, my feet will really hurt, especially tomorrow morning" as was the pattern (conditioning!). Then I caught myself thinking this, sure of my thoughts, and I sat down on the bike and realized that it was just a thought, that none of my thinking had to "come true." The next day my feet were fine, and this was a huge breakthrough.

    As you go along, and in the Recovery Program the instructions are given: develop a list of exceptions to the conditioning, exceptions to the symptom patterns. Go here and scroll down to Alan's video lecture, which explains this technique.


    Other skills that will help you right off the bat in that program are not worrying about the symptoms, and working with the Inner Bully.

    Andy B
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Brendalynn. I echo what the others have replied. A car accident several years ago would not keep hurting you. Your stressful job very likely caused your pain. Working as a nature photographer is wonderful. I would have gone that way for a career but writing took over me and I have been a fulltime freelance writer of books and magazine articles for the past 40 years. I hated my job before, with an insurance company, and had back and other pain.
    When I quit and began freelancing, the pain went away. Freelancing can create anxiety because income is not steady, but then look how many people ahve lost their jobs. No one can fire me!
    Balsa11 likes this.

Share This Page