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Dramatic and fast TMS recovery story

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by AnitaV, May 20, 2021.

  1. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    I would like to share a story of a recent bout with TMS that I experienced. I will share it in detail because I think it could be helpful in understanding the nature of TMS.

    Seven years ago, I recovered from over a decade of crippling foot pain, as well as bouts of eye pain, back pain, and wrist pain, thanks to Dr. Sarno's work. My primary symptom was severe pain at the bottom of my foot which was usually diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.

    You can read my story here: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/my-tms-success-story-crippling-foot-pain-plantar-fasciitis-wrist-pain-eye-pain.5224/ (My TMS Success Story (crippling foot pain - plantar fasciitis, wrist pain, eye pain))

    I also wrote a TMS recovery plan based on my experience here: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/my-tms-recovery-plan.12499/ (My TMS Recovery Plan)

    In the years since my recovery, I have continued to work on learning to feel my emotions and stop repressing my true self with the help of an amazing program at A New Life Center (www.anewlc.com). When I do repress my emotions, I exhibit new symptoms, but I have learned to see physical symptoms as a sign that I need to do emotional work, and have continued improving my emotional health as a result. I have been able to resolve every physical symptom that has come up using this approach.

    That all brings me to my current story: in February of this year, I hit my toe very hard and thought that I broke it. This was new territory for me, as pretty much all pain that I have ever experienced was TMS. Here, I had a real injury that required rest and healing time.

    About two weeks after the initial injury, I was feeling much better and decided to take a walk. About 10 minutes into the walk, I started feeling pain in that toe. I turned around and went home, and by the time I returned home, the pain was intense.

    I was very upset, and believed that I had walked on my injured toe too soon and had reinjured it. I went back to resting, but for the next two weeks, my pain continued to be very intense and did not get much better. I was emotionally distraught, and fell back into the same patterns of anxiety that had plagued me for so many years in the past. I kept thinking that I had caused some sort of irreparable damage to myself by doing too much too soon. My pain was not getting better the way it had when I initially injured the toe. I was overcome with anxiety and fear.

    That brings us to the interesting part: I was making dinner one evening with my foot resting up on a stool. I decided then that I must not be healing because I am using the foot too much, so I should get crutches and use those until the toe gets better. I felt tremendous relief once I had made this decision. My anxiety went away and I stopped worrying about the toe.

    Then, when I took my foot off the stool and stepped on it to walk to my dining table, the pain was gone. I was completely shocked. Just a little while ago, every step had been extremely painful, and now, all of a sudden, it did not hurt anymore. Then, when I stepped on my other foot, I suddenly experienced sharp pain in the bottom my foot, just as I had in my many years of "plantar fasciitis".

    I took a few more steps and had the same experience - almost no pain in the foot with the injured toe, and strong pain in the bottom of my other foot. I immediately realized what was happening. The pain I had been experiencing in my injured toe in the two weeks since my toe was TMS. The purpose of TMS is to cause fear, anxiety, and distraction to keep you from experiencing negative emotions. At the moment that I decided to get crutches and stopped feeling scared and anxious, the toe pain stopped serving this purpose, so my mindbody created pain in a different location to try to continue distracting me. Thanks to what I have learned through my healing journey, this distraction did not work.

    I understood what was happening, did some emotional work, and my pain was gone very soon after. I had an x-ray scheduled for the next day, and it showed that my toe was not broken after all, it had been sprained. Much of my pain was coming from my fear that my toe was broken, so after learning that it had never been broken, the little pain that was remaining disappeared.

    I hope that this story helps illustrate the nature of TMS, and how dramatically your pain can appear, shift, and disappear. It also illustrates that TMS pain aims to be as believable as possible, so it will often show up at the site of an injury, where you are already expecting to have pain.

    Remember, you are strong, you have the ability to be in perfect health, and with the right knowledge and work you can overcome any TMS pain!
    Colly, BloodMoon, JanAtheCPA and 3 others like this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for sharing your story and insights. I, too, have seen quick recovery from relapse once I understand and accept that what I'm experiencing is TMS. A change in belief is very powerful.
  3. mugwump

    mugwump Well known member

    A very inspiring story of yours Ellen. Thank you for raising awareness and courage.
    Ellen likes this.
  4. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    i totally agree that change in belief is powerful. in fact, it is absolutely necessary isn't it? but this is the dilemna. a conscious belief can be changed, but getting the subconscious to agree and accept it fully is the mystery. i can't figure how/when or what makes that "light" come on for some and not others. the words and the logic are sound, but the reality of the games the mind plays is still an enigma. this volley b/t the brain and the mind in itself creates tms. aargh! why are we so damn complicated? lol
    Balsa11, BloodMoon and Ellen like this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have thought about this a lot over the years, but still don't understand how beliefs are changed. I know it can happen quite quickly at times, but don't understand why.
    BloodMoon and TrustIt like this.
  6. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Many thanks for posting up your story, @AnitaV.
    I had a slightly similar experience to yours involving the 'psychological' response to using aids; in my case with some of the relief being quick/immediate, but the brain's response being gradual.

    I suddenly got wrist and thumb pain in my right hand for absolutely no apparent reason (I hadn't bashed my hand or anything). It was like a car had run over my hand, but I could still move it around a bit. I told myself it was TMS and kept using my hand as best I could - typed with it, brushed my teeth etc, despite the severe pain. The pain then got worse to the point that it felt like a truck had run over my hand; it became excruciatingly intense, and there was a lot of restriction of movement too; I could no longer type or brush my teeth (not even with using an electric toothbrush) or do many other things, for instance, I couldn't wash my left arm pit.

    This forced me to use my left hand for everything (I am right handed) and my husband had to help me wash my left arm pit and do other stuff for me. I wanted to be independent of my husband as much as possible though, so I bought two sponges on a telescopic sticks (the kind meant for washing the dishes) and I could just about manage to use them with my poorly right hand to wash and dry my left armpit...and, even though I knew that the advice is not to use aids when symptoms are caused by TMS, I nevertheless invested in a short daytime wrist and thumb brace and a longer nighttime wrist and thumb and arm brace. These helped me cope with the pain as they supported my wrist and thumb and I told myself that the symptoms would go away as, although I was using aids, I really knew that this was TMS...and if it wasn't TMS and the symptoms were actually of a physical cause, the braces were what would be recommended by a doctor if it were tendonitis (and if it were tendonitis I would want to rush into having a surgical procedure for it anyway). This 'rationalisation' of my using aids was a tremendous emotional relief. From then on I just got on with life as best I could and, even though the pain was still horrendous, I basically stopped fretting about it as I knew that I had done the best I could for myself either way, whatever the cause of my wrist and thumb pain.

    Two months later the restricted movement and severe pain had gradually reduced and then ceased altogether in my right hand (apart from the odd twinge)...and I believe that that was because I had stopped my anxiety about it and instead of focussing on my thumb and wrist, I was focussing as much as possible on other things, paying as little attention as possible to my thumb and wrist. I believe this told my brain that it was pointless to keep hurting my thumb and wrist.
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
    TrustIt likes this.

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