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Day 8; thoughts so far

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Archie, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Archie

    Archie Peer Supporter

    Firstly I am VERY glad I was directed to Dr Sarnos work as it has given me hope. Secondly I have stopped the dietary restrictions which I had thought would improve my symptoms, and consequently am feeling a lot "freer" (although I still have the occasional anxious moment as I eat a previously "forbidden food"!). Thirdly, I am coming to accept that I am a very anxious, perfectionist, person, despite always trying my best to appear calm and laid-back. And lastly, I just hadnt realised how much STUFF there is buried under the surface!
    EllieBoo22 likes this.
  2. EllieBoo22

    EllieBoo22 Peer Supporter

    Archie I’m on Day 2 and I’m so glad you brought up your experience with dietary stuff! I’m starting to question my own dietary restrictions in relation to my pain. No wheat and dairy strictly for 1.5 yrs. It made my pain so much worse, but now that I’m reading and rereading Healing Back Pain, the idea of conditioning and the fear I have about accidentally eating it or getting cross-contamination is making me question if it’s just another TMS manifestation..? Rationale has always been that wheat/dairy would increase inflammation in my body and then everything would fall apart within the 12+ hrs following consumption and I’d end up in tons of pain continuously for anywhere from 4 weeks to many months. The thought of throwing caution to the wind and eating it again frankly terrifies me I’ll fall back into pain so I’m wondering at what point did you have the confidence to do it/how confidently have you accepted that dietary stuff is just another TMS facet?
  3. Archie

    Archie Peer Supporter

    Hi EllieB0022, I go on a forum for RLS and there are constantly people there who are managing their symptoms through dietary restrictions or who say that if they e.g. have a drink or chocolate, then the RLS flares up and they cant sleep all night, etc. So I started to follow the no FODMAPS diet - no wheat, gluten, lactose, diary, etc etc etc, and also the anti-inflammatory diet. I was also considering vegan because some people were having success with that too. Interestingly, some also said that after a couple of years, what they were doing no longer worked. But, probably like you, I spent hours and hours of research, purchasing books, finding alternate foods, to try to manage my symptoms. Very hard work. When I started reading the TMS stuff, and the fact that you have to stop the various treatments, to "show your brain" that you believe the TMS, I realised I was going to have to work towards this. I also take supplements, and use a vibrating pad at night. I also realised that times when the symptoms were very bad were when there was a lot of stress/anxiety going on, which links to the TMS. So, I decided to stop all the food stuff, although I do have a very healthy diet anyway, but for the moment keep the pad at night. I do believe the TMS diagnosis, and have been doing a lot of self-talk about it, but still have symptoms, so am not going to stop the vibrating pad until I feel further along the process. Eating the forbidden foods has made no difference to my symptoms at all and I use that to increase the self-talk affirmation that my condition is a TMS. It has been very freeing, albeit scary at times. I also realise what a lot of fear I have around this condition and anxieties that it will "get me" if I am not careful/ eat wrong stuff etc. But, the fear is all part of it, so I eat on regardless :). You could do it gradually to help you adjust and feel less afraid.
    EllieBoo22 likes this.
  4. westb

    westb Well known member

    Thanks so much for starting this thread @Archie, and welcome @EllieBoo22. My principal symptom is IBS, including severe bloating and rectal spasm but I also have a history of severe back problems. When the IBS first started in 2011 I was advised by a naturopath to eliminate gluten, refined sugar, yeast etc. For about six months this worked like a dream, no bloating. ( I should add here that for much of my life (I'm 69) I have battled eating disorders of various kinds so my eating was at times extremely chaotic, lots of refined, carbs, sugar and so on, sometimes in large quantities.) Then, even though I was not deviating from the naturopath's eating protocol, the bloating started to return, which in hindsight tells me that while eating healthily was a undoubtedly a good thing the real problem was elsewhere.

    A few years ago I discovered this forum and read some of the Sarno books and started hanging out on this website. I identify totally with the personality type, goodist, worrier, anxiety ridden, perfectionist, difficulty with managing emotions, and so on. Since 2011 though I have never abandoned the naturopath's eating recommendations in my search for healing. I consulted nutritionists, tried FODMAPS, tried different supplements, read many many books, to no avail. So, like Archie, about a year ago I started gradually introducing different foods I had hitherto not allowed myself. No difference in symptoms at all. I accepted the TMS diagnosis and really accepted that the answer to my issues lies a lot deeper than what I am eating.

    I still have IBS attacks which at times trigger the lower back pain and spasm. For me, and I only speak for myself, it's about managing and living well with my current condition on a daily basis. By doing this I am giving myself the best chance of physical healing. I try to be present in life, soothe myself and my overwrought nervous system, get active again as far as possible, even though some days this is hard to do and I just collapse in front of the TV and wait for the weakness and bloating to pass. I read a lot about TMS and I listen to meditation/relaxation CDs and get into natural surroundings as much as I can. I am also exploring different spiritual paths and concepts.

    Because of my particular history I have no desire to go back to doughnuts and icecream as a major food group though :bored: and I actually enjoy and appreciate the healthy way I eat now whether the IBS is acting up or not - it's such a relief after years of binging. So my advice to anyone with TMS who is concerned about re-introducing different foods is to go slowly and gradually, ease yourself in and pat yourself on the back and soothe yourself as you do so.
    EllieBoo22 likes this.
  5. Archie

    Archie Peer Supporter

    hi westb, its a real leap of faith to change the practices which we believed were helping manage our conditions. and as I said earlier, it was only when I started to reintroduce the FODMAPS that I realised how much fear and anxiety I have around the whole thing - and I completely agree, we shouldn't expect ourselves to do it all correctly immediately; reintroduction slowly and with self-soothing is a very good idea. Fortunately I was never keen on doughnuts !
  6. EllieBoo22

    EllieBoo22 Peer Supporter

    Archie, thanks so much for sharing! Since reading your post earlier this week and spending many hours anxiously trying to make a decision til finally gaining the courage, I have since stopped the dietary restrictions. I have found no drastic shift in my pain aside from occasional bouts of falling back into it and it moving around (which I am now paying attention and seeing how closely it ties to my stress level and emotional state). ie had a very stressful few hours at work the other day and almost immediately had pain in my shoulder, hip, and mid back- out of the blue after several pain free days. Normally I would say to myself "crap, got wheat or dairy contamination some how" but this time with awareness I was able to make the direct connection and not blame it on wheat/dairy sensitivities which I truly don't believe I have anymore. Talk about some cognitive dissonance in the first few days eating it again- I was so nervous, I felt like I was about to commit a crime! Ha! Thanks so much- you helped give me the courage to taking that next step to accepting the TMS diagnosis :)
  7. EllieBoo22

    EllieBoo22 Peer Supporter

    westb thanks for sharing your story and encouragement! In this process I just keep reminding myself that healing isn't linear and just like you said, to stay present and aware and not be so hard on yourself. Cheers to all the progress you have made!
  8. Archie

    Archie Peer Supporter

    You are very very welcome EllieBoo22 :) :) :)

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