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Day 4 Doctors, distractions, moving pain

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by HPJM, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. HPJM

    HPJM New Member

    "What was the most disheartening thing a doctor has told you about your symptoms? In what ways have you kept that in your mind?"

    Luckily for me, the doctors never found anything. I say luckily because it might have made me more convinced it was a physical problem. I had an ultrasound and MRI on my shoulder which showed minor aberrations, or potential structural problems but nothing out of the ordinary. My GP couldn't find anything, but was sympathetic. The first orthopaedic surgeon I saw said there was nothing there and he said I was fine. The second identified a potential problem, but it was very tenuous and he wanted to just check out the area with surgery. I postponed it and luckily read Sarno's book before then.

    Despite all these visits I began to read a lot and speculate what I had wrong with me, it was almost like I wanted there to be something wrong with me. This excessive preoccupation and fear was clearly a distraction strategy, and it gained more power the more I read online about possible structural damage etc. It's ironic, the more the pain troubles you, the further away you go from it's true cause.

    I've always cared very much about what my body looked like, I used to be into bodybuilding and the gym was a huge part of my life. So it would make sense that the TMS focused on my hips and shoulders: distracting you from a main hobby is very distracting.

    Speaking of the gym, I went again today. Less pain. No hip pain, shoulder pain again down to 1. Felt a bit of elbow ache yesterday but cognizant of the fact that the pain is likely to move around.
    Smiles likes this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    JP, it's kinda funny that you wished your pains had been physical. And that doctor who wants to open you up to maybe see if he can find anything structurally wrong ought to hang up his license. A surgeon did that to me once, opened my stomach to see if he could figure out why I had a bowel obstruction. He found nothing to indicate why that was. I figured it was emotional stress and now that I know about TMS I am sure I was right.

    Another doctor, a leading cancer surgeon, wanted to open my neck because he saw a tiny pimple on it and said it was cancer. I insisted on a culture be taken first and he strongly objected until I insisted. The culture showed a tiny water pimple which was no cause for alarm and soon went away.

    So I take doctors with a large grain of salt.

    You should be glad tests show no physical problems. Now I urge you to believe your pain is TMS, from repressed emotions and/or a perfectionist or "goodist" personality. The SEP program will heal you and also make you a happier person. Here's a recent post by a fellow who said he has healed 95 percent from the program.

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely read Healing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with a TMS doctor because it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  3. HPJM

    HPJM New Member

    Thanks for the inspirational story Walt. These give me a lot of hope.

    Yeah it is funny I guess, but I was so desperate for the pain to have a reason, instead of just randomly being there, and that led me down the path of physical explanations all of which failed to explain my pain. I agree that some doctors seem overzealous to pathologize and operate.

    Every day that passes now I believe a little bit more in TMS. And I fit the personality descriptions to a T.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, HP JM. I think we can usually self-diagnose ourselves, maybe in most cases even better than a shrink. I had a roommate years ago when I had some sleepless nights and he played amateur psychiatrist, coming up with dozens of reasons for my insomnia and anxiety. It led me to having a panic attack!
    I later realized my problem was I had worn myself out working two jobs, then quit both and had no work or money coming in. I should have realized tha right away. Since learning about TMS I can handle those situations and others much better.
  5. Smiles

    Smiles New Member

  6. Smiles

    Smiles New Member


    I am on day 4 today and just answered the same question...What was the most disheartening thing a doctor has told you. I was told that my MRI looked like the spine of someone in their 50s and not of a 20 yr old. They did not find anything, but.......Why am I in so much pain????? There has to be a mistake. I was told that I should see a Neurosurgeon, so I made an appointment that actually would have been today until I cancelled it last week. In the mean time I had been going to physical therapy and was told by the PT that I probably need a new mattress, I should NEVER sit in a soft chair, I must ice the area several times a day and wear this back brace. I kept telling him that my back did not hurt it was my deep glutial muscle all the way down my leg where the pain was.

    I was so frustrated, every time I would wake up in the morning and get out of bed the pain would start. Sometimes I thought it impossible to get through my shower. The internet can be a wonderful resource but it can also be doom when you start comparing your issues with the world. I remembered reading Dr. Sarno's book back in February and one patient noted that they had to read the book twice so I thought,,,I am going to give it a try then I found this website. I starting paying more attention to when my butt and leg did NOT hurt and I starting thinking about why that was. I cancelled my appointment with the neurosurgeon and got rid of the back brace. When i feel like things are beginning to act up I nip it right then and tell my pain that it is not going to try to outsmart me. I know it is my subconcious working and I tell it to knock it off!!!! I am stunned when it subsides! I walked two miles on Saturday morning and it felt great!

    I just find all of this so fascinating!!!

  7. HPJM

    HPJM New Member

    Hey Smiles. Yeah I almost drove myself mad with all the possible problems that my shoulder could have. Keep going, you are definitely improving!

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