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Do I have TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by composingkeys, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. composingkeys

    composingkeys New Member

    Hi All,

    First of all, is there a TMS doctor I can see in Los Angeles area?

    Here is my story.

    I'm a 31 years old male. I've been a musician since 15. I started out on drums and jammed until my elbows would sometimes get hot. I switched over to Piano at 16 and played it a lot at home. It had melody and rhythm all in one. I began taking piano lessons and found that I realized I didn't like getting any sort of criticism. My Dad always points out the negative and tends to "take over" when he cares, otherwise he usually isn't interested. I think this rubbed on me and made me sensitive to any criticism because of hearing him complain so much and not getting enough confidence in myself.

    Anyways, I would play Piano for hours and hours. It was a way for me to express myself and at school, I didn't really fit in much and felt kind of alone. Oral presentations made me nervous and I wasn't into sports. I wasn't picked on in school so much and nobody really disliked me but I didn't really have friends at school except say one that I hung out with at lunch.

    At age 20 or 21, I got pain in my elbows that were really severe. I am on the computer a lot playing games, or composing on the computer, or playing piano, etc so I figured it was an injury. It got so bad that I could barely hold the steering wheel on my car or hold a mouse.

    I saw a chiropractor for 10 sessions who diagnosed me as having Tendonitis by looking at me. First session I got some strength back in my hands as I didn't realize they were weak but after that, no benefits and I felts stuck. I exercised and stopped computer use or writing. Nothing seemed to help. I then went to Prolotherapy for 3 sessions for injections and they too didn't seem to help. A Hand Surgeon looked at my hand and said because I didn't have numbness that I didn't have Carpal Tunnel.

    I was really angry with God as my Piano teacher told me he felt impressed to tell me I was a professional and plugged into the source. My Piano teacher studied piano for 20 years. I took that as answered prayer as I asked God to tell me what I should do with my life and my Piano teacher told me I was profession the same day or next day from that prayer so it made me very angry that all of a sudden I couldn't move in my life that I was stuck and in terrible agony.

    About 6 months or so, I started feeling better and took a job at a music software place. The 2nd or 3rd day the pain returned and I almost quit but felt too embarrassed to already want to leave so I figured, I will stay 3 months or 6 months to have a good work credit. The Pain started to go away in time at my job.

    I ended up lifting something a year ago at our once a year convention we attend at work and got hurt with my low back and did a stressful work comp situation. I was very anxious about what would happen. Would I get fired? I eventually got an MRI since I started getting sciatica like pain. It seems my leg has this presence in my calf that sometimes goes to my feet but I don't really feel anything in the upper thigh part. Sometimes it can become painful and radiate other times it just a presence and sometimes no pain at all. The MRI checked from L3 to S1. They showed nothing extreme, no herniated discs. 8 sessions of physical therapy seemed to help as I was going through it but then it seemed to not make any longer term difference. It was very confusing on what was happening. In addition to my low back hurting I have pain when I sit and my SI Joints seemed to be the cause I think. I wasn't and still am not sure what is going on. They did SI Joint injection on me and nothing happened until about 3rd week I started feeling better but then by 4th week it all got very painful and I was still unsure. I just wished somebody could tell me exactly what was happening. Fast forward a year, I am trying to see a chiropractor to see if I may have SI Joint issues and hoping some manipulations would help that area. Sometimes my low back will start to feel very sensitive like sunburned almost and I can feel it around the whole back into my hips from left to right. If I press on my low spine, it will sting at a certain place. The more I messed with it or felt around the sunburn feeling, I started getting aches or burning feeling. It can keep me up at night but then it goes away later on that day and seems to not act up. It can almost go away for awhile.

    It seems I am getting stacked up with problems. When I am unfamiliar with how to deal with something, I tend to over react and freeze at times. My arms are hurting in the elbows both Tennis and Golfers elbow regions. My wrists seem to hurt and into my thumbs and index fingers. I feel like an "old man" having all these issues like what is wrong with me? I thought I was having Rheumatoid Arthritis but the Rhematologist said there were no obvious signs in my blood but I could still have minor kind despite this. I started have Gential pain and groin pain. Pain would hurt there with a flaccid state and ejaculation could cause irritation. I finally found a site discussing symptoms are related to Pelvic Floor Dysfunction for that but I'm thinking maybe even that is TMS or from Anxiety tensing down there subconciously.

    I feel stuck in my composing career cause I feel I can't rely on myself when my arms hurt like this and I feel frustrated that I am living at home. I thought my job I got at 22 would be temporary until my music took off but it still hasn't yet. I have gotten some awards but financially not much and I feel anxious dealing with people I don't know, that I will be criticized. I therefore try to please to avoid this and try to be a perfectionist to avoid my work having problems that can exhaust me.

    So I'm not sure what to do. I find anxiety is something I deal with. I stopped letting the symptoms get me so much and have avoided Panic Attacks that I had 5 years ago but still get concerned about new situations about coming off stupid to others. I seem to have an underlying insecurity.

    Is it possible that TMS is to blame and not structural? My arms seem strange to me to have so many issues and to flare up or come and go. I don't even know how to "diagnose" the issues. My low back doesn't have herniation and maybe I did really get hurt but my mind used that area to continue it to act up? When I get stressed or worry about it, it seems to get worse. I'm still unsure if it is the SI Joints or low back or both as it tend to play tricks on me.

    Thoughts? Sorry this is so long, I just thought the more background info the better.

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
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  2. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

  3. Nattycakes

    Nattycakes Peer Supporter

    I personally think you have TMS and thank you for swallowing the Red Pill ;)

    Here are the steps I took to get back into balance... And my life will NEVER be the same! I've had neck pain, a bulging disc in my back, (yeah right ;)) hand pain, anxiety, pretty much TMS reared its head erry which way when I was fighting it... It was a freaking trip through hell.. But I did the dirty work and now my life is absolutely AMAZING! But GD did I learn patience! And also how to not be afraid.. I can honestly say I'm pretty much not afraid of anything anymore.. TMS put me through such a loop.. That I know that I have always been through worse in comparison and I know I can handle anything!

    1. Read 'The Divided Mind' By Dr. Sarno
    2. Read 'The Great Pain Deception' By Steve Ozanich.. He is an amazing man. Probably one of my favorite people in this world. He helped me more than anyone... His book will help you understand your brain and psyche.
    3. Get therapy if you can afford it from Alan Gordon or one of his amazing therapists.. I worked with Derek Sapico. We should all have therapists.. NOT doctors ;)
    4. Howard Schubiner also has a great book process and his book is great!
    5. Dig deep within yourself and find your shadow and don't be afraid of it!
    6. MEDITATE... Meditate... Meditate

    Good luck!

    <3 Natalie

    P.S. I used to care what other people thought and had a hard time with criticism as well.. But now that I don't care and am authentic to myself my life is a million times better! Be true to you and amazing things will happen! I mean honestly... Will what that person say matter a year from now? Five years? This is YOUR reality. Not theirs. You get to do what you want with it!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
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  4. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    It sounds like you been threw the gamit of dr and test without and organic or structural issues...I would recommend starting the sep program to get in touch with your repressed emotions....go threw the program and if you are still having problem a tms Therpist would help for a few sessions to dig deeper where you can't reach....or any Therpist this as been my experience. Remember the process is a journey.

    You will soon be getting other advice from this great tms family you have joined,don't worry you will get better.
  5. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Hi, Yep, that "feeling like an old man" sounds all too familiar to me. Since you're in LA, I strongly encourage you to go see Dr Schechter. I live up in the San Francisco area and I flew down there to go see him. Having a doctor that understands TMS made a world of difference to me. If I were you, I'd call as soon as possible and make an appointment. The cost for a TMS evaluation is not as much as I thought it was going to be.
  6. composingkeys

    composingkeys New Member

    Do you think the Pelvic Floor is TMS as well or an actual physical problem? It seems to cause pain in the groin, Anus region as well as genital pain. There are special Physical Therapists who do Pelvic Floor. I haven't been evaluated for that. Also, what kind of test can they do on the hands elbows? The hand surgeon just looked at it but didn't run any actual test and determined it wasn't carpal tunnel. I don't know if there really is a test to run. The chiropractor didn't do a test but just look at it and said tendonitis from my description. I guess I would feel better if there were some sort of test to rule out. Maybe Dr David Schechter could rule those things out?

    How much does Alan Gordon or one of this therapists cost? Do they accept insurance? How many sessions do you think it would take?

    What is the SEP Program? Where do I find that?

    Thanks for everyone responding thus far. It helps me feel like TMS is most likely the culprit.
  7. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

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  8. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    If you live in Ca then you are all set if live another state its $100 per session via Skype or phone.
  9. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    I have had rectal spasms off and on for the past 1.5 or so years.......they would wake me up at night in excruciating pain. Doc said it's probably Protalgia Fugax, which is a benign condition of unknown origin....the more I think about it, the more I think this syndrome might be a TMS manifestation. There is no med explanation for it. Have not had it for the past several months since my current symptoms started.
  10. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    had this briefly after my back was feeling great...bam, as I was sitting on the throne. symptom imperative!
  11. Nattycakes

    Nattycakes Peer Supporter

    It is about $130ish a session.. I would do it if you can... But he does have that great free program too.. Usually insurance doesn't cover something like this. They have a website and phone number you can call to ask more questions. It will take as long as it needs. It is the best investment you'll do for yourself though. And also read read read. The. Books. Especially SteveO's The Great Pain Deception.. Great help at understanding the psyche and the mind body connection.. The way it REALLY is.

    I can tell you all day long that you have TMS. I see it everywhere I go.. In old 80 year olds who think they have arthritis and athletes who 'injured' their knee.. We're not meant to be in chronic pain.. There is only 10% of the population that believes in this.. But of those who do.. Statistically I'm not sure of the exact number, but it's like 93% that HEAL! Hmmmm pretty interesting ;) good luck!
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  12. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    I think Dr Schechter can help you to identify what might be really a physical issue and what is probably TMS. I think that would be great first step while perhaps you also start reading some of the books that have already been recommended here. With the correct diagnosis and with Dr Schechter's guidance, you can then follow his treatment plan which ultimately might heal you on it's own. If you need, you'll discover together if he recommends therapy.
  13. composingkeys

    composingkeys New Member

    I found out that Dr. Schechter is out of network in my insurance so it's going to cost much more than I was hoping. I'm hoping that Dr Schechter will be able to confirm if I have TMS or if part of what I have is TMS and then give me some tips or therapy if needed I can go but not returning visits as I don't think I can afford it unless it gets a lot cheaper the next visit.

    One worry I have is that yes I do have an MRI but it is only on my lumbar area and not in my SI Joint area, nor do I have actual "tests" to give him for my arms and hands or pelvic floor other than symptoms so I am concerned that without tests he won't be able to rule out that it could be a physical issue or not. Saying "well it could be" will then leave me wondering "what if" and it seems with TMS it is very important to firmly believe it is the cause of the pain. I hope he will be so experienced that he will be able to know without requiring tests but on the other hand, I feel like actual tests will be a way to rule out. It can be frustrating not knowing what is going on. I don't know if there are even "tests" you can run in the elbows, wrists, joints in hands to rule out structural issues?
  14. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    Doubt is all part of the process. I to was very skeptical and worried if I had something wrong. The truth is even after you do go to a tms doctor and get a rubber stamp, it's still up to you to carry out the belief. People will help you along the way but the decision is ultimately up to you to believe you have tms.

    Fear is the next hurdle you have to overcome, because if you do have tms, which I believe you do, there will be work to do. Most people, not all, will get the symptom imperative, where you will have new symptoms show up once the old ones heal.

    I have been where you are and know that you can heal. You have come to the right place. Just give yourself some patience and compassion. You are in for a fun journey and hang on for the ride. you will thank us at the wiki later, goodluck. We are what we believe.

  15. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    you put in black and white….in the end its up to you to believe no matter how many tms dr you get a rubber stamp from…I believe if you got a clean bill of health from your pcp…the answer is quiet simple.

    I went to a tms dr and found it to be a total waste of time, yes he spent some time with me and dug a little deeper to my emotional issues but over all did not leave that office with anymore belief in tms.

    It was not until I saw a therapist and she brought some obvious things out of me which led me better down that rd. I still have my doubts and I am still on meds but everyday I continue to practice and get help from this great community.
  16. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    understandable doubts and many have them, as I do still. what I try and do is look for anomalies in pain symptoms. like a pain that has developed without prior strain or pain that moves.
  17. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    BR, you've repeated that assertion several times and called that doctor a quack. I think you should qualify that statement with it was not beneficial to you. According to the TMS literature 85% of ailments are TMS. There are darn few TMS doctors on this planet and those that have the open-mindedness to attempt to bring that into their practice should be respected, unless there is something else that is going on. The general public wants a quick fix, a pill, a treatment or a surgery. When they hear it's stress and you need to look inside yourself and change your thoughts and your life from a doc, they generally go see another doc who will give them what they want.

    A TMS physician's job is NOT to fix you, it's to diagnose the 15% of ailments that are genuinely structural that can be fixed by an rx, PT or surgery. It sounds like your TMS doc did his job. Yes it costs money, so do rx's and surgeries and a lot of time recovering from them. I paid about $400 dollars for some pain patches recently that did nothing. I think your money was well spent versus if you'd gone to a conventional doctor and been told to do surgery. Insurance can be a trap leading you down the allopathic road. Paying $500 out of pocket to get out of pain and back to functioning is a bargain, if insurance companies knew about TMS and included it in the medical/industrial process they would save tons of money.

    Going to a therapist since the TMS doc's diagnosis didn't help you is the next step and hopefully it will do the trick for you, for most people getting an all clear from a TMS doc is enough. Dr. Sarno said psychosomatic (TMS) pain is a PROTECTOR and not a punisher like Freud postulated. Maybe TMS is doing it's job for you as a defense mechanism at a time in your life when that is what you need.

    Good luck,
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  18. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    It'll cost you $375 for that first visit. You'll get a 45 minute consult and thorough diagnosis. Follow up visits are less expensive. When I went, I didn't have any tests, xrays, or MRI's. I just went through my initial appointment last week and I'll tell you from my own perspective... I needed it. I was very much doubting that my shoulder pain and knee pain were TMS induced. Having Dr Schechter look at both and give me a diagnosis was exactly what I needed. I agree with TT, it's much better to spend the $ on seeing him. You are in a privileged position there in LA already... I had to pay for a flight to LA and a rental car on top of the money for the appointment. Of course, everyone's different, but this is the next step that I'd recommend.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  19. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    I did say it did not increase my belief in tms anymore after visit?
  20. composingkeys

    composingkeys New Member

    Did you have to do a followup appointment yourself or was the initial visit enough? I imagine if anything else is really needed it would be either a test or therapy or just knowing what he diagnosed and then reading books more on TMS and not letting pain frighten but just to move through it.

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