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Do I have TMS? Please answer!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by cirrusnarea, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Oh, I meant to address that. My pelvic pain is not the result of trauma or accident. It happened out of the blue one day. I believe the trigger point and stretches helped as I see the pelvic pain as being 75% cured. However, in those books there are many cases of pelvic pain that began by an inciting incident, such as trauma sitting in an uncomfortable position for a long time, etc. I'm beginning to see my pelvic pain as TMS, but that doesn't mean it is in your case. I'd get those books as your next step to recovery.

    As Bruce suggests, you may very well have TMS, but it may be a good idea to seek out the books and the treatments for CPPS I mentioned. That way, you have ruled something else out. And if it works, awesome!
     
  2. scorsese

    scorsese New Member

    I sat in a very uncomfortable position in a car for about 30 minutes, that was the trauma to my pelvis and back.It hurt like hell for a few days .I have had problems ever since in my back and legs.
     
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    And I rode for 1300 miles in the back seat of a old Volkswagen bug all the way on bumpy roads across Nevada and Utah non-stop. When I got out I was stiff and sore, but a couple of days later, no problem. And when I fell out running in 2007 my fall was no more serious than a slide into 3rd base playing baseball in a sand lot. Yet within a couple of weeks I was completely disabled. From my experience, I'd say that the injury itself is incidental to the development of chronic pain. As Dr Sarno is found of saying, "The femur - the largest bone in your body - doesn't take longer than 6 to 8 weeks to heal". When the pain doesn't go away after that span of time, you have to start suspecting that something psychological is coming into play.
     
    Anne Walker likes this.
  4. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, Cirrus, the more you write, the more it does seem as though you have TMS. Back in College(almost 30 years ago!) I spent a year with pretty intense pelvic pain. I thought I had cancer or something. I saw a bunch of specialists and tests and they came up with nothing. Eventually it just went away and then one day I realized that the pelvic pain had begun just about the time I discovered my absolutely favorite Russian professor was dying of colon cancer. I couldn't believe that I hadn't made the connection the whole time I thought I had some kind of pelvic cancer and was seeing doctors. Now, so many years later, as I finally put together the pieces of my lifelong struggle with a Mind/Body Syndrome that I didn't know existed, I see clearly that it must have been TMS. I had realized on my own that the pain was created for psychological reasons but I didn't have a clear understanding of what this would mean for my life and future. Just a few years ago I had a terrible time with my bladder. Once again I saw doctors, specialists, and had several possible medical explanations but none of the medical "cures" seemed very desirable or reliable. So I suffered through, very anxious, very concerned that it would continue and I wasn't sure how I would manage. And eventually it went away. It would come back occasionally(the painful bladder spasms) but I learned how to comfort myself and trust that it would pass. I hadn't had them for years and then as I began concentrating on the TMS, they came back one afternoon really bad and my first thought was "oh, no, not this too!" but then I stopped myself and said "wait a minute, I may not be sure my neck pain and head pain is TMS but I am positive these bladder spasms are. You go away! I am not paying any attention to you!" and thankfully they did go away in 4 hours.
    I think at first the advice to not focus on the the physical symptoms and think psychologically can be a little confusing and I confess for me, sometimes very frustrating. The pain is designed to be very distracting and in this regard, our subconscious is masterful. How can we focus psychologically when the pain is so distracting? And in my case the pain generated a lot of anxiety which is very disturbing and hard for me to calm. Well, that is the whole point. It takes a lot of concentration, energy, discipline to think psychologically when you have been stuck, suffering in pain for so long. And then the thought that we are supposed to do all this hard work and not think about this distracting pain or be able to monitor our progress by whether our pain had gotten better or worse is maddening. But I think you'll find that it you start digging and stick with it, you will really get to know yourself in a new way. You will make profound discoveries that will change the way you relate to the world(for the better). And I can't believe I am saying this because I still want my pain to go away someday, but the world will become bigger than the pain and the significance and focus on the pain will decrease. So I encourage you to start taking the steps to think psychologically. It is well worth the effort. And mindful meditation is also very instructive and helpful.
     
  5. scorsese

    scorsese New Member

    Thanks Cirrus, i have read all the books and no results trying to think psychologically. I am going to get the book Healing Pelvic Pain at the library and book trigger point acupuncture or massage therapy and cancel my chiropractor appointment, he was only helping my back.
     
  6. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Sure thing. Just to let you know, the trigger point therapy I was talking about was not acupuncture. Few people with CPPS have had results with acupuncture. I went for one session so I can't say I really gave it too much of a chance.

    I'm a crossroads with the whole thing like you are. I know the back pain is TMS, so that is leading me to believe that my CPPS is TMS too. I have a book Unlearn your Pain which lists CPPS as a TMS condition. So, like you I'm trying to figure the whole thing out. Just keep looking for the answer as I have. By the way, there are tons of websites for CPPS in males that offer help.
     
  7. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Hi Anne,

    Yes, I'm really getting convinced of it myself. Here's a thing that's puzzling me though. So many people say their pain started when something big, whether positive or negative, was going on in their lives. As with your case. Nothing was going on in my life at the time. I have some stressors, my family, church, and work for example, but nothing big. Also, Sarno talks about repressed rage, such as in people with abusive pasts. I don't have any of this. I am generally not an angry person, and that could be that I'm repressing that anger, but I also have little to be angry about. When going through Unlearn Your Pain, I keep being asked to bring up times in my past when I was angry. I have a couple, but none where I was so angry I wanted to kill the person. I just have a few traumatic experiences, which could be enough to bring on the TMS. But it seems most material on TMS was not written for this.

    Also, annoyingly enough, not only does physical activity make the pain worse, but I wake up in pain every morning.
     
  8. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Everyone,

    Last night while discussing these matters with you all, and listening to Healing Back Pain on audiobook, my pain went away almost entirely. In fact, you could say it was completely gone, but just a little stiffness. When I woke up, I woke up in pain again. What do you guys think?
     
  9. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Cirrus, there are some people in which just the knowledge of their diagnosis is enough for them to get the syndrome under control and they have immediate relief from their symptoms. They read a book and their pain leaves. This does not always cure them for the rest of their lives though and sometimes they end up working with therapists years later with a symptom that is much more persistent. This is a very complex syndrome and I understand your desire to understand and to find answers. You may not have some big obvious stressor that triggered your symptoms. But you may be reacting to stress in such a way that it is creating tension and causing you pain. Some people have huge stressors, traumatic events, repressed anger and they don't have pain. They don't have TMS. Monte Hueftle's book called "The Master Practice" is also very interesting. He frames it more in terms of how we are being in the world. Are you in worry? Sometimes the things that cause tension with someone with TMS is very subtle. I read Sarno's book 20 years ago and I desperately searched for the source of my trauma that would then miraculously take my lower back pain away. It didn't work then but it is starting to work now and that is because I am approaching it much more patiently and organically. I am really becoming aware of my thinking patterns, the internal bully, how hard I am on myself etc. Take a look at Alan Gordon's program on here for recovery. It is very good. Do you recognize yourself anywhere there? Somehow, and this is one of the more difficult things, you'll really have to work like hell on it, but you need to try to stop monitoring whether you have TMS by the pain levels. My pain was almost always worse in the morning. I think it was especially true since I wanted so much to wake up pain free and have it all be over. I don't think I that's the case anymore because I have worked so hard on not waking up and automatically trying to assess my pain levels and then decide whether is is going to be a good or difficult day. Start noticing when your thoughts are in the future, when they are in the past and when they are in the moment. Whether you woke up in pain again this morning is absolutely no indication of whether you have TMS or not. Having trouble convincing yourself and doubting the diagnosis is very common. Sometimes it is a process. For me I decided to move forward and commit to do the work even though I struggled with the 100% belief everyone says is necessary. I keep an evidence sheet and you should write down that the pain lessened while listening to the Healing Back Pain. Each time you add some evidence and the list grows, you get a little stronger in the diagnosis.
     
  10. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Anne, thanks for your encouraging words.

    I feel awesome today, once I got over the initial pain I woke up with. My goal for the day is not to be concerned with my symptoms, just to live my life. If I feel pain or stiffness fine, we all do sometimes. Just don't become preoccupied with it. I went for a short walk. I moved a mattress into the shed and cleaned my bathroom, 2 things I've been afraid to do. And I feel fine. Am I going to go out and lift 50 lb rocks again? Of course not, naturally I'd be in pain if I did that, I'd strain my back because I'm out of shape. But the key is, I'm not afraid to go back to my everyday life. It's only Day 2 and I feel so much better. I'm really confirming to myself that it is indeed TMS. I just have to be comfortable with the fact that the pain may come back. I might wake up again in pain or have a painful day at work, I need to convince myself that these symptoms are going to come and go.

    I started the evidence sheet and added this to it. Thanks for your help!
     
  11. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Back pain crept up a bit when I was playing the guitar and when I was walking around the room talking to my girlfriend on the phone.

    Here's a question, why does physical activity such as standing up, walking around, and working bring on the symptoms if there's nothing wrong?

    So this small set back has me thinking. When I had a good understanding that my problems were TMS related, the pain subsided. But the pain creeps up when I have my guard down. Then I can't look at it rationally. All I can think is, I'm in pain and I want to be out of it. If it means sitting down and taking it easy will take it away, then that's what I'll do. There's also the fear that it will get worse. There's been times when the pain was really bad. I don't ever want to go through that again. It kinds of keeps this hanging over my head as a threat. Not just the pain, but the fear of losing all enjoyment in my life because of the pain. Such as losing my girlfriend or my livelihood. Like, I handle it now, but what if it became so bad I had to stop working? Interestingly enough, I noticed my pain subsided while typing this.
     
  12. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi cirrus,
    Any strain you get from pain will make it stick or make it worse. So accept the pain as something that's there and get on with what you want and can do at that moment, don't give it attention in any form as that creates strain and thus... don't be worried if you do, it is natural, you will slowly get better at it.
    Next thing, give it time. You will slowly learn to get less and less strained from things like pain or other things. Like your fear of losing enjoyment, loosing your girlfriend and livelihood. You are very sensitized right now so you will react very strong to anything. This will slowly get better in time as your system will become less sensitized, but you need to be patient because it can take some time.
    Understanding that your problem is TMS is just a firm base that should ease your emotions from now on. You may doubt it once and a while, but read back your findings to affirm yourself that your pain is so related to any emotions you bear. The sudden understanding of the nature of TMS eased your fear, so this probably explains the progress you felt.
    Why does physical activity bring on symptoms? Maybe you are fearing an onset from it? You may be conditioned to get more pain from activity, I know I did. Also, if there are any cramped muscles at play, moving could indeed be painful, which creates a strain in you and there you go...
    Give it time cirrus, give it time... be confident that you will slowly get better and better. You discovered the cause so whatever may hit you, you know you will conquer it sooner or later.

    all the best!
     
  13. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Because TMS pain is a conditioned response that gets associated with various physical activities like running, walking, biking or sitting at your PC. I think Alan Gordon gives a very good explanation of the phenomenon in the video that appears at the start of his TMS Recovery program:

    http://tube.majestyc.net/?v=t6LuFkMsadw

    No one is sure exactly how this form of associative conditioning takes place, but Dr Sarno seems to think it occurs at the start of a TMS episode when you first start feeling pain and you start associating it in your mind with certain activities or postures. To give you an example of just how quirky this can be, whenever I ride my road bike the pain in my back and leg goes down. However, if I ride the stationary bike upstairs at the gym, my leg and back and knee hurt afterwards; that is, until I go downstairs and wash my hands in the bathroom: then my back and leg pain disappear as I walk out the door onto the street. Thinking about washing my hands breaks down the conditioned pain response. In other words, the stationary bike upstairs is a "hurty" bicycle for me that I've come to associate with back and knee pain and sciatica in my left leg. I suspect this bicycle makes me hurt because it was the only one I could ride a couple of years ago when my TMS pain was really bad, hence it's become associated in my mind with back pain, knee pain and sciatica. Lately, though, as my TMS has subsided, I notice that the association is not as strong as before. Now, I ride the stationary and there's maybe a little more pain afterwards. But I still walk downstairs from the weight room smooth and confident and pain-free. Seems like the conditioning can take quite a while to break down, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't challenge it and treat it like a illusion or bad dream. Personally, I think it's essential that you find some kind of way of distracting yourself from the associative process, breaking the old programed pain cycle.
     
  14. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thank you both so much.
     
  15. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ok, Cirrus, one last piece of advice. Focus with all your might on the evidence sheet, concentrate on the times when in such a short time, you have already experienced relief. Once the pain returns or comes back even stronger, use all your discipline to switch your focus. Start belly breathing, think about what is going on in your life even if you think nothing big is going on, how do you feel? Not, I feel like I am in pain and I don't know why. Try to connect with how you are really feeling. It may feel strange or vacant but that is only because you are not used to doing it. Keep trying, breathe for patience, trust, add to you evidence sheet. Notice when you are stressed, in worry, creating tension, anxious. Slow down. Write down your negative thoughts and then write down a counter argument, why they may not be the truth, the other side. You have made so much progress in such a short period of time, be very encouraged by this. Getting out and enjoying yourself is absolutely the right thing to do. You are fine, reinforce that thought anyway you can.
     
  16. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thanks, Anne,

    I am happy with the progress I've had in such a short time, but it's because so many others have already paved the way for me. Without this site, the internet, and Dr. Sarno, I would still have no idea what was going on.

    I had a session with my psychologist today, and read him the homework I did. I was in tears. He is convinced my pain is psychosomatic as well. After I was done crying and getting all this emotion out, he asked me about my pain level. I had no back pain, and very little pelvic pain.

    So, I am really convinced I have TMS now. It's just hard when you're in pain, all the logic and learning goes out the window. I have work ahead of me, so this will be the true test. I had a 3 day weekend to help me recovery. Thanks for your help. It's been a rough 7 months. And when I say 7 months, I now realize I have had TMS symptoms probably since the 3rd grade and these have multiplied since then.
     
  17. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I know I said that was the last piece of advice, but just one more, this is important. You wrote:
    "There's been times when the pain was really bad. I don't ever want to go through that again. It kinds of keeps this hanging over my head as a threat. Not just the pain, but the fear of losing all enjoyment in my life because of the pain. Such as losing my girlfriend or my livelihood. Like, I handle it now, but what if it became so bad I had to stop working?" Cirrus, I think EVERYONE one has felt this way to some degree. We have all suffered deeply with this syndrome and none of us want the suffering to come back, but this is fear talking. Fear is what feeds the syndrome and what makes it more likely the pain will return. So learn to recognize when the fear is talking and then figure out a way to disarm it anyway you can. It is not protecting you. It is definitely not helping you. It is only perpetuating the cycle.
     
  18. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think I was writing while you are writing. I am so glad you have a therapist to work with and congratulations on such a great first session! You are doing great and I am sure this will be a life altering experience that will enable you to live a long, happy and pain free life. Makes me happy. I had a hard day at work because I suddenly got a lot of pain and numbness in my front teeth and tip of my tongue. I kind of feel silly because I know logically that this has to be TMS but it still had me going with a lot of anxiety and panic. It is a process. My nose and front teeth are one of the last places on my body that TMS hasn't created pain. But I am feeling more and more confident I will get to the bottom of it.
     
  19. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thanks again for your help Anne, I printed what you wrote and my evidence sheet and keep it in my wallet now.
     

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