1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 3 Exercise? - I'm in no shape to exercise!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by bluesboy63, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. bluesboy63

    bluesboy63 Well known member

    Haha, stole that one from Jerry Seinfeld, but it holds true to me, only for different reasons. I'm in no shape mentally to exercise and I'll tell you why. One of my biggest problems, since I was 5 years old is anxiety; specifically health anxiety. I've reached the point that where I am so in tune with every pain, every tingle every twinge of my body, and get so freaked out about them that I think every single one is something horrific. Adrenaline is my enemy. My fight or flight response is strong but nearly always unwarranted. Simply expending enough energy to get my heart racing sends me into a tizzy. I know this is ridiculous but it has stopped me from exercising for years and I was a really good athlete during my lifetime. Luckily I have never had issues with my weight so it hasn't effected me in that respect but now, I'm what I consider weak. If I do work out I struggle because I haven't done it for years and convince myself that there's something seriously wrong with me. WOW, does that sound certifiably crazy but there you have it. I'm not afraid to share any aspect of what I've gone through or am currently going through. I'm not ashamed and if even one person can relate to it and it makes them feel better then we're all better for it!

    By the way, 2 days in and the TMS is worse than ever. It's hitting me from nearly every spot it's ever hit me in my life and there's a list a mile long. Guess I'm on the right track...
    Stella likes this.
  2. danny1943

    danny1943 New Member

    I was wondering-are you having very severe almost debilitating pain? The worst kind for me is the almost inability to walk when the pain in the back of my legs takes my breath away and I shutter. Right now I'm somewhat better. I think what has helped me the most so far is the determination and perseverance to witness the pain and try to keep a steady mind. Now I know that seems impossible sometimes but if you keep trying it will have an effect. Also I've recognized that I cannot stop my mind from thinking all sorts of thoughts about the pain and how it's taking my life away. I've found that although I can't stop the thoughts I have the ability to chose what I want to think about. So I practice trying to keep a pleasant thought constantly on my mind in times of despair. I just keep saying it over and over no matter what is happening. One of the things I've learned about TMS is that although the pain is still there after some time your reaction to the pain changes. And with that as time goes by the pain begins to lessen. It takes practice. If you truly believe you have TMS then never forget that there is nothing physically wrong with your body. Just the fact you've found this website is a huge step forward for you.
    Lavender likes this.
  3. bluesboy63

    bluesboy63 Well known member

    This is exactly what TMS is supposed to do, get you focusing on it.

    I no longer have debilitating pain. I did at one time but my initial belief in the TMS diagnosis took most of that away. Don't get me wrong, I still have pain moving from place to place, always, but it's not what I would call debilitating. The fact that it's there at all is why I'm here. For me, the TMS hits me in much worse places; not to lessen what your pain is, just that it hits different people in different ways. My big triggers are anxiety, digestive issues, and vertigo/equilibrium. I'll go weeks feeling like a bobble head doll from the vertigo. I'll turn my head and it takes a split second for the room to catch up to where my eyes are. IT SUCKS! The digestive issues are horrible. If I know there's not a good bathroom situation, I'll talk myself into the worst panic attack followed by the urge to GO if you know what I mean. This causes me to avoid situations, not do things I used to do. I haven't golfed in over 5 years because the last time I did I had an IBS attack in the middle of nowhere on the course and almost didn't make it to the bathroom. Now I avoid it altogether. Flying is another horror so I'll dose myself with Imodium "just in case" and won't eat till I get to where I'm going. All of this stems from perfectionism; fear of embarrassment. The worse part is when everyone's solution is, "you're being ridiculous". That may be true but for me it's also very real.
    Lavender likes this.
  4. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    Hello and welcome Danny1943 and Bluesboy63. As you continue viewing the forum you will find many participants reporting similar symptoms.

    Bluesboy63, as to the embarrassment issue, authors Claire Weekes, David Burns, and David Clarke define that issue as sort of a secondary fear after the onset of the first fear, and it is based on the “what if” and fear of what others will think if you have a melt-down in their presence. The Burns workbook asks the reader to visualize what they would do if the situation were reversed; if someone was ill, for instance, in front of them. Looking at it from that perspective, most say that they would not ridicule but rather show compassion for the sufferer and may even give aid or assistance.

    However, many of us here have carried these thought patterns for so long that they are second nature. I heartily agree with the approach that attempts to create new neuropathways in the brain. Haven’t achieved this yet, but I am 100% certain that fear, stress, and/or anxiety fuel these pains, weird as it may seem.
    Wishing the best outcome for all of us.
  5. bluesboy63

    bluesboy63 Well known member

    Lavender, thank you so much. Your insight into the embarrassment issue is right on and actually helped me see why I view it the way I do. When I was in 8th grade, for some reason I developed these horrible facial ticks; I used to call them habits because I couldn't control them. Once I became aware of one and managed to control it, I'd develop another one. Now this was 1975 or so and bullying wasn't looked at with the shame that it is now. In fact, it was almost encouraged, "builds character"! This horrific bundle of nerves I had become, which manifested itself in the form of nervous twitches wasn't met with compassion, it was met with shame and ridicule in the form of an extreme bully. To this day, I see the guy on Facebook as he pops up as a possible friend from my past and I give my computer the middle finger! So much for being a grown up! Anyway, thank you again for bringing that to light. It definitely needs to be dealt with since I'm experiencing a heightened level of symptoms just writing this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again, Bluesboy. I'm 86 and do some easy senior citizen exercises both sitting and standing, in videos at youtube. They're easy and help keep our muscles moving. You might try them.
  7. MellieV

    MellieV Peer Supporter

    Hi Bluesboy! That crazy vertigo problem popped up for me as one of my "new" symptoms after my originals started to fade with this program. It literally woke me out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom. You described it exactly as I had it, "takes the room a second to catch up with my eyes." I knew for sure this was yet another physical symptom trying to scare the shit out of me. It lasted the whole next day, but I talked myself out of it after recognizing it for what it was - a new distraction. While I thought I was dying, the next day everyone told me, "So what, maybe you have an ear infection" or "I get lightheaded all of the time, but I just don't complain about it." I must admit, fear did get the best of me as usual, and I slept practically sitting up for the next three nights, but never had it again.

    Anyway, I too was a victim of merciless bullying in my early teen years. Funny enough, I had a chance encounter with my bully at an event years ago, and it turned out her life was a mess, she was an addict, victim of domestic abuse, etc. I didn't approach her, but a cousin of her's who was there told me. I almost felt sorry for her - but not really. Not very grown up of me either!
    I wondered if you've journaled about that...when your tick developed, your bully, your life at that time, etc. I bet you will make so many connections to your present personality that are linked with that time. I know that my incident shaped who I am for sure, and it was a lot deeper than I thought. I didn't even realize until I stepped outside of it and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. It might help you remember that you are not that little boy anymore, and neither is your bully.

    Sorry this doesn't have much to do with your original post, which was about exercising LOL!
  8. bluesboy63

    bluesboy63 Well known member

    Haha...no, that's awesome that it veers off track. Much like a therapy session which is what this really is, at least for me. I haven't journaled about that time yet simply because I'm determined to complete this structured program and I'm sure it will come up. Just writing about it on here is therapeutic. I know this because every time I start writing my symptoms go crazy! These things are so deep seated with me because they've been there so long doing what they want to me that it's difficult to talk myself out of them. It usually works with the back pain, which has been abnormally bad since starting this, but I can't shake the vertigo just yet. I started getting "dizzy spells" when I was 5 years old and I'm 52 so... They went away for decades but came back around 10 years ago. Gotta figure out why...
  9. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    I can totally relate. Every little tingle, twinge, cramp, itch or twitch can get me going with TMS. In regard to exercise, it is tough. I have been wheelchair bound for six years. My muscles have atrophied. However, each day, I am up an moving now...slowly...and cautiously, I see changes in my muscles after 2 months. You can do it. As Walt mentioned, there are many great senior exercise DVD available on Amazon. I think I have them all! I am 54. Some are seated, some are standing in one place. I like the Leslie sansone ones as they have good music. Some of them make me laugh hilariously because of the actors. But that gives me a sense of fun to giggle at what they are doing.

    I also just turn on my favorite music and have a "dance party" for myself. I am certain I look ridiculous, but I am finding how much I missed listening to music. I have downloaded tons from iTunes. This in itself may be a good exercise for you if you can find a place where you are alone. I try to find a variety of music that gets me going. Lately it is the j. Geils band.

    Congrats on day 10. I just completed day 42.
  10. Sudonym

    Sudonym New Member

    Well thanks for reminding me of another traumatic time of life to put on my Past Events list. I was bullied horribly all through junior high school. Sucks!!!

    I really struggle with exercise, too, and in my case it does affect my weight. I can't even do anything about it right now, because all my life I've only been able to motivate myself through abuse - calling myself names, listening to that internal Drill Sergeant, projecting for myself a miserable future where I end up obese and alone. I have to learn to find a different way to motivate, and until I do, no more abuse. That is hard!! I think it's going to take awhile to learn a new technique, and until I do, I'm just going to have to be ok with the extra pounds.

    I really appreciate Lavender's comment above. It reminds me that I am always far harder on myself than I am on my friends and associates, and that I am learning to be a better friend to myself over time. It would make you laugh, if you could hear my internal self talk these days. I sound more like a doting mother of a 3-year-old than the Eternal Critic or the Drill Sergeant. Every morning when I'm going through my morning pain reduction rituals I am whispering "It's OK, kiddo. You're OK." Fortunately I live alone or they'd put me in the loony bin. :)

    I'm learning to fit gentle exercise in with my daily activities. When I go to the grocery store, I try to jog most of the way. When I'm coming home, I do curls and rows with my grocery bags. When I watch TV, I'll watch while marching in place, or on a stationery bike. Sometimes it's hard to remember all the ways you can exercise, just because we've gotten used to going to classes or the gym. I imagine it's hard, too, if you're used to being more of an athlete. But whenever I think about exercise and hear "I can't!" I'm just gently replying, "Then what can you do?" and doing that. It's working way better than bullying myself.

    Just completing day 10 myself. Yay us!
  11. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Peer Supporter

    I sat in a chair all day and did not leave my house for 4 years except for doctor's appointments. When I went to a doctor's appointment it would always be in a wheel chair. I thought if I sat in a chair long enough that my muscles would have plenty time to recover from pain. In front the opposite happened--my muscles went south.

    I also used Leslie Sansone dvd's to get back into shape. I would start with 1 minute of walking of the DVD and then gradually increased my walking time over a month. Once I could do that, then I moved to walking outdoors. After a year of gradually increasing my exercise, my muscles became strong again. Now my muscles are just as strong as they can be. One of the happy days of my life is when I walked into the doctor's office and when he asked me what I did to make such a recovery from neck, back, and leg pain.
    plum and mike2014 like this.
  12. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good on you. I imagine the look on your doctor's face was a picture.
  13. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I turned to yoga to get back into shape after decades of debilitating TMS. It worked well for me, and now I have also added cardio and strength-training to my exercise routine. I wrote the following post about my experience with yoga:

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/what-hatha-yoga-has-taught-me-about-pain.6512/ (What Hatha Yoga has taught me about pain)

    Hang in there. It is common for TMS to get worse before it gets better. You are on the right path.

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