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Ever had your doctor worry that TMS was something else?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by MusicLover, May 4, 2018.

  1. MusicLover

    MusicLover Newcomer

    Because of my crazy medical history (posted THIS the other day), I see a few doctors each year for annual check-ups. These are necessary visits to make sure everything is OK after my cancer bouts.

    Last year my oncologist did her usual poking around and became alarmed at my neck & shoulder area. She suspected something was amiss and immediately ordered a CT scan of the area. I told her I thought it was tension (I didn't mention TMS), but she really thought something else was going on.

    Scan came back OK -- no trouble. The area in question was the upper trapezius area, which I now know is one of the areas Dr. Sarno targeted as a primary TMS spot.

    To calm this area down, I've done massages, chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, trigger point therapy (on myself), ice, heat, anti-inflammatories, stretching -- just about everything that can be done, I've tried.

    This morning, after an especially awful nightmare, I woke up with this area (both sides, but especially my left) feeling like it was on fire. Sharp stinging pain. I can see now why the doctor thought something physical was going on. (In a way, something physical is going on -- but TMS seems to be the cause.) I mention my left side because it's also the left side of my neck that had a nodule appear 9 years ago -- one month after my father committed suicide and my life became beyond stressful at that time. (That nodule was also scanned and deemed harmless, though it's still there.)

    Anyone else have similar experiences? My first reaction this morning was panic that some dread disease was raging in my neck and shoulders, but when I stopped and thought about what got me so rattled (the nightmare, plus work stress, a dental/TMJ problem, and a difficult family situation earlier this week) -- I'm thinking it's just TMS, period.
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  2. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Sounds like TMS. You had the CT scan, you were cleared. It sounds like you've had a lifetime of body stuff, so full acceptance of TMS may be challenging. But FULL acceptance is necessary. I'm only now really understanding that after working with the TMS idea for the past 3 years. I thought I had fully accepted it, but I wasn't being honest with myself and as a result, had a nasty flare up that I'm now dealing with. In our modern age it's very hard to repudiate the structural diagnoses because they're all around us. I essentially avoid seeing regular medical doctors unless it is absolutely necessary.

    Dr. Sarno is very clear in his treatment of TMS: all physical attempts to "fix" the pain must be stopped because they reinforce the idea that it is structural when it is not.

    Good luck!
  3. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    When you ask this question, I'm assuming you mean the sharp stinging pain. I have had every kind of physical sensation ever mentioned on this site emanating from this area. Although it has taken 4 years for me to slowly get to this stage and I still continue to slowly improve, most days I don't notice anything. But if I have any tension going on or I start thinking about it, depending on the amount of stress, it will feel tight and at it's worst a little tingling sore and itchy. I have muscles in this area that have slowly been relaxing, but I still have a muscle knot that crops up in times of stress. I'm left handed and I think my body is getting ready to do battle and is tightening my muscles.
    What do you mean by a nodule? Do you mean you have a benign tumour there or do you have a very tight muscle knot? What was the oncologist concerned about, this nodule?
  4. MusicLover

    MusicLover Newcomer

    Hi Eileen,
    I was asking if anyone had ever gotten his or her doctor concerned about "something going on," when it was just TMS and nothing else. My neck nodule is a benign "bump" that hasn't changed in 9 years. Doctor isn't concerned about it. What she was worried about, last year, was that my upper trapezius "felt different" on one side than it did on the other. The scan showed nothing noteworthy. I do hold an incredible amount of tension in that area -- apparently TMS, plus weightlifting & camerawork & lousy posture & more.

    I also was asking if anyone had pain in the upper trapezius area (sharp, stinging or otherwise) that was TMS and not anything else. It gives me peace of mind to know that others have TMS in this part of the body.
  5. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    Hello! While it is often helpful to read about others with the same symptoms to help you believe, it can be a problem.

    "givesme peace of mind to know that others have TMS in thispart of the body."

    That peace of mind could lead to new symptoms if you don't work on the causes of TMS. That peace of mind could be coming from a focus on symptoms rather than emotions, which feeds the unconscious cauldron that Sarno said is overflowing. Alan Gordon has written about how we do things to avoid anxiety, but in the end they contribute to our symptoms.

    Hopefully I'm wrong about what is going on for you!
    MusicLover likes this.
  6. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Hi MusicLover,
    My optometrist is overvigilant (in my opinion) after missing a detached retina and retinal tears in my eye that I noticed symptoms of a few days after my annual appointment 2 years ago. When I went for my checkup last month for example, I realized that I have to not tell her the nuances of what I see when I describe colours and objects to her in eye tests. I love art, colours, and shading, and can see subtle differences, but I could tell she was concerned when I said for example, "This triangle is lighter than the previous square." and "This red has some grey in it whereas that red is more saturated." She then sent me home with an eye chart to put on my fridge, which I didn't put on my fridge, because I would develop TMS in my vision if I got that concerned about it. The previous checkup she had the opthamologist check my eyes thoroughly because my two eyes dilated at different rates, which the opthamologist determined had probably always happened.

    With your cancer history it's not surprising the oncologist is this vigilant. After my eye appointment I almost made a post similar to yours, but then I thought I'll appreciate that my eye doctor is so vigilant, but I will also recognize why she is this way now and I will not allow myself to get concerned. If I did, I would develop TMS vision symptoms.

    I hope this reply helps you.
    MusicLover likes this.

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