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Dealing with setbacks

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by walllc643, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    How do you guys manage physical setbacks? What techniques do you employ to remain steadfast in your belief of the diagnosis even in the face of pain flare-ups?

    I'm new to TMS and working hard to condition myself to view my pain from a psychological perspective, but it's HARD! It is very difficult not to give into panic, hopelessness and doubt when the pain creeps in. I would love any advice for coping with these setbacks, or feel free to just chime in with some commiseration!
     
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve Ozanich writes about his recovery from back and leg pain in his wonderful book
    THE GREAT PAIN DECEPTION. He says he kept up physical activity including golfing
    despite the pain. He healed through that and total belief in TMS causing his pain.
    He knew all about setbacks.
     
    Janine28, Bodhigirl and walllc643 like this.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi. Setbacks can be so disappointing and a real challenge. I found that each time you handle a setback and not let it derail you into your old thinking patterns of fear and doubt, the shorter it is. I have survived a lot of setbacks! Initially, I was pretty dramatic about it. I would feel a lot of despair and tons of frustration. I was so ready to move forward and an unexpected setback is really aggravating. And how do we know its really a setback and not proof that there really is something structurally wrong. In retrospect, it is almost humorous because my subconscious reached in and pulled out every trick in its bag and I fell for it every time. Now when I have a setback I consciously choose not to go down that path. I often feel fear and anxiety over the pain but I also recognize that this is just part of it for me. Its hard for me to feel pain without feeling anxious about it. If I start thinking about a potential diagnosis, seeing a doctor, google research... I stop myself and force myself to think of something else. I love procrastination so I tell myself that if it doesn't go away in a few weeks, then I will evaluate again. I try to recognize how I am feeling, be in the moment and move forward with my life. I am not in pain so much anymore so this has gotten a whole lot easier. I still have my moments. I could probably search on this site and find out when my last really bad flare up was. I remember one where the piriformis muscle and then running down my back leg was so painful it was difficult to drive, walk, concentrate at work. That one really got me for a few days. The difference was it only got me for a half a week instead of for months or years. Now I am much more confident that it is just TMS and I can do this. Stick with it. You will get there.
     
    breakfree, MWsunin12, westb and 2 others like this.
  4. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    Thanks Anne. I really identify with your description of the suffocating fear and doubt that accompanies a symptom flare up. I'm an extremely emotionally reactive person so it is often difficult for me to maintain a realistic perspective in the face of pain. This is something I'm really trying hard to address. Once that pain==>fear==>pain==>fear cycle gets going, it can be tough to break out.

    I really hope that I can learn to view each flare up as an opportunity to stay the course rather than succumb to the pain.
     
    breakfree and Anne Walker like this.
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    You will. Really try not to allow yourself to project too much in the future when you are having a set back. Yes, you are in pain in that moment, but truly, it could change in the next. The only way to leave the door open for that is to not allow your mind to run the show with scary, what if thoughts: "What if this lasts forever? What if this is different than the pain I had before and now it really is serious? What if I am supposed to be doing something to fix this and if I wait, its too late? What if I never am pain free? What if I can't control this TMS? What if I can't support my family? What if I am dying and I don't know it? What if...." Or you start beating yourself up because you feel you have done something wrong... There are actually a million ways we perpetuate the pain but the common thread always is: is it distracting you? How can you find a way to not let it distract you and to think about what it might be trying to distract you from? I have also discovered the less I try to figure out and find "the reason" the more connections I make. Persistence wins the day, I know that much.
     
  6. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Fear of a setback is where I am today. I had pinhole gum surgery last Thursday and I am still sore sometimes. There is no neurotic pain going on at the moment but I can remember so many times when I should have been healed and out of pain but the unconscious got a hold of the pain and just kept it going, intermittently, holding me hostage via fear.
    This time, I have TMS firmly in the front of my mind. And also the knowledge that I am cleared for exercise, that I am going to do everything I can to stay healthy, comply with the liquid and soft food requirements, keep the area clean and NOT BE A PERFECTIONIST about the whole thing. It either works very well, kind of well or not very well and none of them are terrible outcomes. I cannot control outcomes in advance. I can only be where I am, right now, acknowledging my tendencies to latch on to pain instead of feeling disturbing feelings.
    Thanks for being here. I so appreciate having this place to visit, to do the work, to read and remember, that this recovery is truly one day at a time. As one of my patients said, "It's a rental." A rental can be a great car, for today.
     
  7. sjcy

    sjcy New Member

    I've had a setback this week. In March I started walking regularly and eating better, and pretty soon started feeling much better physically. Then my foot pain came back with a vengeance--right about the same time that some houseguests arrived who are difficult to have here and whose presence causes me a lot of emotional stress. I was getting unhappy and panicked, but then I remembered TMS. So I did some work on my emotions, took two sizeable doses of ibuprofen, rested a bit this afternoon, and already I'm feeling much better. I was afraid I'd have to quit taking my walks, but now I can see that the intense pain was largely caused by the stress of being around some difficult people.
     
    breakfree likes this.
  8. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Well, the feared setback has occurred, though certainly not as expected. My mouth is healing just fine, but the symptom imperative has perhaps created four migraines - including an astounding double aura - in fifteen days.
    Needless to say, I am humbled and dismayed. I try to see them as spiritual. Without much luck.
    I have assured my inner kid that I am here, surfing emotions, that there is a path we are on that is fulfilling and mysterious, scary and wise.
    Still, the auras come. One came during meditation the other morning. Today, it was immediately after meditation, just before I was going to exercise. I am not stressed out! I am not depressed or particularly anxious. (Well, the other night my husband was late coming home and he's never late. I immediately feared he was dead in a car accident, which is very very very old thinking. So we joked, I'm not depressed any more BUT I had a brief anxious psychosis. Heavy sigh.)

    I made the mistake of Googling frequent migraines, as I haven't been a frequent sufferer throughout 45 years of having them periodically. Apparently, I fall into a risk factor of TWICE AS LIKELY TO HAVE AN MYOCARDIAL INFACTION/Broken Hearted Event at the moment. I am promising to stay off the internet when it comes to all things medical, just for today.

    I am waiting to have a stress test and echo, after having a concerning EKG a few months ago at my general physical. The cardiologist told me not to be too worried, that my heart was just kind of a CURVED HEART (am I yelling?) - more curved than it was eight years ago, last time I was checked. People in my family tend to die from sudden heart events, so this is something to follow through on, for sure, but fear is only going to give me more to stress about.

    I have shown up for my morning regardless. I attended a meeting, I worked at my desk. I engaged with other people in a warm manner, not sharing about the migraine. It's just too much information. But here? Here I can lay it bare rather than carry it in my body.

    It's only 1:30 in the afternoon but I have done a lot since I got up. I am going to take a book and my iPad into the dog's sun-filled room (if the bright light doesn't amp up the pain) and read with them and watch another season of HBO's "Girls" which is wonderfully mindless and, thus, restful. The book is about the Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known which is currently my favorite term of art. I knew it long before I heard the words and the words capture an experience I have been trying to articulate most of my life.

    Maybe once I find my words, my body will say "uncle" and let me relax some more.

    Thanks for listening, you guys.
     
  9. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Well, the feared setback has occurred, though certainly not as expected. My mouth is healing just fine, but the symptom imperative has perhaps created four migraines - including an astounding double aura - in fifteen days.
    Needless to say, I am humbled and dismayed. I try to see them as spiritual. Without much luck.
    I have assured my inner kid that I am here, surfing emotions, that there is a path we are on that is fulfilling and mysterious, scary and wise.
    Still, the auras come. One came during meditation the other morning. Today, it was immediately after meditation, just before I was going to exercise. I am not stressed out! I am not depressed or particularly anxious. (Well, the other night my husband was late coming home and he's never late. I immediately feared he was dead in a car accident, which is very very very old thinking. So we joked, I'm not depressed any more BUT I had a brief anxious psychosis. Heavy sigh.)

    I made the mistake of Googling frequent migraines, as I haven't been a frequent sufferer throughout 45 years of having them periodically. Apparently, I fall into a risk factor of TWICE AS LIKELY TO HAVE AN MYOCARDIAL INFACTION/Broken Hearted Event at the moment. I am promising to stay off the internet when it comes to all things medical, just for today.

    I am waiting to have a stress test and echo, after having a concerning EKG a few months ago at my general physical. The cardiologist told me not to be too worried, that my heart was just kind of a CURVED HEART (am I yelling?) - more curved than it was eight years ago, last time I was checked. People in my family tend to die from sudden heart events, so this is something to follow through on, for sure, but fear is only going to give me more to stress about.

    I have shown up for my morning regardless. I attended a meeting, I worked at my desk. I engaged with other people in a warm manner, not sharing about the migraine. It's just too much information. But here? Here I can lay it bare rather than carry it in my body.

    It's only 1:30 in the afternoon but I have done a lot since I got up. I am going to take a book and my iPad into the dog's sun-filled room (if the bright light doesn't amp up the pain) and read with them and watch another season of HBO's "Girls" which is wonderfully mindless and, thus, restful. The book is about the Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known which is currently my favorite term of art. I knew it long before I heard the words and the words capture an experience I have been trying to articulate most of my life.

    Maybe once I find my words, my body will say "uncle" and let me relax some more.

    Thanks for listening, you guys.
     

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