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Fear of Shoulder blade pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by fredb, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Hi to all. I have posted on this site before and received some very helpful and friendly advice. However, whilst I am convinced my problem is chronic tight muscles over and around my right scapula causing an ache and burning sensation and people here have already suggested it is TMS, I can't seem to banish my inherent fear of this symptom even though I also believe it to be psychological. My GP has put me on 40 mg Duloxetine to both help with the pain and my mood. I am not happy taking this medication and have read the horror stories about withdrawal.
    I know if I could just release this irrational fear, I would start to heal and withdraw the medication. How does one just lose fear that is constantly with you even when you know it is totally irrational. Many on this site have suggested that fear is the fuel for TMS. Should someone have any tips, I would be so very grateful.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    What have you done so far? Books or programs completed?
  3. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Hi Jan. Thank you for your interest in my enquiry. By the way I am from the UK, so not a great deal of interest, apart from Georgy Oldfield and her team over here.
    To answer your question, I have read, perhaps hundreds of posts on this site and checked out and dipped in to both available programmes, but must admit I have not completed either. I am now pretty sure that the medication I am taking (duloxetine) an antidepressant that is also meant help with pain, is also causing me anxiety and nervous symptoms, which is no helping with my overall anxiety and fear of my upper back pain. Upper back (scapula) is not featured a great deal in success stories and although I know TMS can cause a whole host of different symptoms, like others here, it is always comforting to hear from others who have had success with "exactly" the same symptoms as you.
    I know this is a totally irrational thought, but that is the way my mind is taking me at the moment. I guess, as my wife tells me, I am obsessed with my self and my pain, but how else can you be when you have chronic pain? I have read Balto's success story and so wish I could take a leaf from his book and just day (and mean), to hell with it, I am giving up with fear. If you have any advice Jan, it would be most welcome. One thing I would be interested to know, is how many on this site are from the UK. Do you know how that could that be determined Jan?
    Best wishes.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Many members don't enter their location into their profiles, for anonymity, which is fine with us. I suppose you could do a keyword search on how many posts include the word "whilst" instead of "while" and try to figure out how many different users that is - but now I'm just being silly. Which is how seriously I'm taking this query.

    I am going to be blunt, and perhaps offensive, but I think your wife is right, you're showing signs that you can be honest with yourself, and perhaps you need someone from outside to also be blunt at this point.

    The answer to your question is that even if I thought that we could find this out by perusing the deep statistics of the forum (IP addresses?) I wouldn't bother, because like the other admins and our founder, I am a volunteer and I have WAY better things to do with my time - specifically, to talk about what it takes to heal from TMS.

    Here's a question for you to ponder (and if you had ever taken the SEP seriously, you would recognize the reference): is it possible that the very fact that you think you want to know this could be an indication of personality traits that might lead to TMS? Or: is it even more possible that this question is just another lovely little distraction created by your fearful brain to keep you from progressing?

    You can turn this around, but you have GOT to get into a completely different mind set. And to do that, you need to commit to a program and stick with it. For you, with a highly distractable fearful brain, I would say that you should do the SEP if you want a free program. Or @Nicole J. Sachs LCSW if you're willing to pay for her program (which costs less than two sessions with a TMS therapist).

    Good luck!
    Baseball65 likes this.
  5. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Hi Jan. I am so sorry that I appear to have upset you. That is the last thing I would wish to do to any of the helpful people on this site. My interest in how many people on this site are from the UK, was only incidental and purely out of interest. I had no other motive. I considered just generally posting the question to see how many answered. However, it is really of no importance. Incidentally, I'm afraid I did not understand the first para of your reply, with references to whilst and while, it must be a US thing? Jan all I am desperately looking for is help with dealing with my totally irrational fear of the pain I'm experiencing. So many others including yourself have conquered this and as I mentioned ,Balto just seemed to shut his fear down in an instant. I simply do not know how to do this without help and I am sure the medication I referred to is hindering me also. Anyway, I am will try to complete the SEP and again sorry if I upset you through a misunderstanding.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Fred,

    I’m from the UK. We have lashing of gorgeous rain this morning which is such a relief from the heat. There aren’t many people from the UK here, but as @JanAtheCPA says, it’s hard to really know as most people tend towards anonymity.

    Right shoulder pain and upper/mid back pain is one of the many forms of TMS/tension I’ve experienced over the years. It was an early one and back then I didn’t know about TMS and approached ‘treating’ it physically. I saw a chiropractor and a masseuse. The lady who massaged my back once asked me when I had broken my shoulder, I never have. I’ve never experienced anything of that kind yet my TMS/tension was so extreme, it pulled my shoulder out of joint. Weirdly enough this never frightened me. It was more of a curiosity.

    Then came the day when my partner received a devastating diagnosis (see My Story), and my TMS flipped a loop and returned to a previous site with vengeance leaving my shoulder to heal and rest back in place without my even realising it.

    The TMS symptom imperative was Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia (or Type 2) and I spent years in misery before it was even diagnosed. Then I spent a long time trying to believe it was TMS and seeking corroboration. Then I gave up. And then I started to heal. Again, all in My Story.

    There is comfort in misery but it is a form of wounded intimacy that can keep you stuck. It’s a phase of healing that you must face down, and this is where the emotional, psychological element is at its keenest. Fear is a funny thing. Every one of goes through it and dear Balto is a beacon and voice of sanity for those who struggle.

    Healing comes with understanding what TMS is and this comes with knowledge. This is why Jan is pushing you towards committing to one of the programs here. Reluctance to do this signifies resistance and is in itself something to gently tease through. It’s time to shift attention from your body and to your mind and heart. What’s going on in your life? What was happening before the pain started? These inquiries we can help with.

    Meantime have you explored Claire Weekes?

    Plum x

    Edit: to clarify, what has your doctor told you about your shoulder?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    fredb likes this.
  7. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Hi Plum, yes quite a change in the weather, but for me a welcome change!
    Thank you for your response, which is very reassuring to me. With regard to my exchange with Jan, I was truly only asking how I might determine how many UK members knew about this useful site. I had not intention of trying to contact anyone or anything like that or in fact expecting Jan to further my enquiry. I think Jan misunderstood my intentions, but I am grateful for her observations and will investigate further use of the sep, as she has suggested. You yourself have clearly been through the mill so to speak and are now able to offer sound advice to newbies like me. I will check out your story Plum. With regard to the emotional side of things, I have tried so hard to uncover any deep seated emotions that would have contributed to my tension, but appear not to be able to determine anything from the distant past. However, I can identify a number of traumatic periods a few months before my pain came on out of the blue, but being aware of these and reminding myself of them does not seem to help whatsoever! I believe my only fear now is fear of the pain and that has resulted in my GP prescribing an antidepressant (duloxetine), the taking of which (because of the horror stories associated with withdrawal and side effects associated with this drug) is causing extra anxiety for me.
    Anyway, thank you again Plum, it is good of you to respond. If you can think of anything else that might help, I would be very grateful to you and to Jan likewise.
    Regards from a very wet south east England.
    plum likes this.
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sweetheart, it sounds very much to me like you’re trying too hard, not only to heal but in general. We can be really unkind to ourselves sometimes, and pain is really an example of this. Don’t worry about the meds, and for gods sake stop googling! It’s possibly the worst thing to do if you’re prone to anxiety. If anything is on your mind, either post on the forum and/or do a search here because you’ll find someone somewhere has been through the same mill.

    So...have you read anything about Claire Weekes yet? I affectionately call her the Patron Saint of Anxiety Sufferers. There really are a lot of posts and resources about her on the wiki, including some audio and YouTube links. Do take some time to explore. Most of us need to learn how to look after ourselves and this always involves changing how we speak to ourselves. We have to learn how to be kind to ourselves.

    Plum x
  9. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Thank you again Plum, you really do know how to inspire positivity and you really have had a hard time yourself.
    I have read Claire Weekes book, but that was many years ago. I will go on line and look her up again. She explains nervous illness and recovery so well. I think I need to get off the meds as soon as is possible to do without fire consequences. They are definitely dumbing me down. I take your point about looking after yourself. I have so much on at the moment, much of which I don't think I can achieve, the way I presently feel. Just one question Plum. How do you shed the fear of your symptoms, even when you know they are not serious or threatening? No one has told me I have any serious condition.
    It is just about them being constantly with you!
    I know this is an irrational fear, but I can't seem to shift it. I am clearly obsessed!!!
    Thanks Plum. You have helped and giving me some faith in the TMS approach. You have had worse than me and had success.
    Best wishes
    plum likes this.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    What is your fear?
    Tell me about it.
    What words does it use?
    What imagery?

    Plum x
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh Fred, I'm sorry! I want to assure you that you didn't upset me at all. I was just trying to give you a push to look at your brain's desire to keep distracting you from what you need to accomplish here, that's all - but I can be kind of a hard-ass about that sometimes - a technique which can obviously backfire :sorry:

    Not to worry - @plum is your antidote. She has taught many of us that to successfully do this work, we need to learn to love ourselves, and especially learn how to soothe ourselves.

    plum and fredb like this.
  12. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Hi again Plum and thank you again for your inspiration. Your questions, whilst difficult for me to get my head around and answer, have somehow opened up an avenue for me to explore. I can't explain what my fear actually is, or why it exists,which gives me serious food for thought over this. Quite honestly there have been far more things in my life (including very acute pain) than my current pain symptoms which should have made me more anxious than I am now! I guess in terms of words, I would say "why do I hurt so much, how long will this last and is this 'IT' now and for ever"?
    Whereas any hurts I have previously experienced have always had an identifiable reason e.g. broken bones/sports injuries etc,with a known end in sight. I guess this is just a bit different /mysterious and thus frightening. Maybe my TMS faith is not as strong as I thought it was. Thank you Plum for opening up my mind to an area of thought I would not arrived at without your help.
    Good wishes to you and yours.
    X Fred.
  13. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Jan thank you for your kind response. Perhaps a hard ass approach is what I need at times. It is the approach my wife takes most of the time. I will think more about soothing my nerves and listening and interpreting what my brain is trying to distract me with, even though I find this a difficult concept to work through and with. I guess eventually I will grasp it, but the whole emotional thing is very difficult for me to experience. I have no trouble with where thoughts might be damaging, but feeling emotions, especially related to past experiences is often very difficult for me.
    I will however work on it.
    Thanks again.
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    It’s not a matter of faith.
    It’s entirely about understanding.

    I say this as a particularly slow-learner when it comes to grasping what TMS is. People often say TMS healing is the Knowledge Cure. I disagree. As an old Chinese proverb states “To know and to not do, is to not know”.

    Knowledge is pure book-learning.
    Wisdom is experiencial. It comes when we understand in our bones what is going on. With TMS you have to get low down and dirty with your emotional self, and incredibly honest. Tinkering on the surface just leads to raking over the same stuff.

    You have to become a gardener of your soul.

    You are welcome my love.
    God Bless You and all you hold dear.

    Plum x
  15. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Hi again Plum and sorry to be a nuisance but I cannot retrieve "your story". I appear to be blocked from seeing your profile? It is only open to those I guess you agree to seeing it. I have searched on Plum and checked out many of your posts, but not found your full story, which as you highlighted to me on one of your replies, I would very much like to read.
    Can you help with this please. Also I did not answer your question about my doctor. My GP really has no thoughts on this except medication. I have had an MRI and whilst it showed much age related wear and tear the consultant really did not have s clue except and I quote " you may always have this pain" and comments about winged scapula, which I understand is of no significants.
    He sent me for a nerve test EMG, which was negative. I did this all privately, looking for a quick fix and it cost me a fortune! I have used two physiotherapists.
    One made it worse and the other however did think I was catastrophyzing the issue, which is probably to some extent true! I now after nearly a year after referral (not unusual for the NHS), I am to see a pain consultant at the local hospital. I know this is not in line with Sarno's theory on cure, buy I intend to attend, just to see what comes out of the appointment.
    Anyway Plum, I have taken up enough of your time, but if you can advise how to search for your story I would be grateful.
    X Fred.
  16. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you click on my avatar, and then click again, it’ll take you to the right page. You do need to be logged in though. Anyone on the forum can read my story. I only limit non-members from reading it.

    My other half has woken so I shall sign off for now but will address the rest of your post later. x
  17. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Got it. Thank you Plum.
    I don't want to sound cheesy, but you are such an inspiration to me with how you appear to cope. I think I used to be just like that. Doing everything for everybody, but now seem to have completely lost that capability. Perhaps it is with the coming of age?
    Best wishes and good luck with your day ahead.
    Thanks again for your interest in my problems and for your very prompt replies, especially given your commitments and busy times.
    X Fred.
  18. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you for those kind words sweetheart. I’m touched by them.

    Actually I need to edit my story but it won’t let me!
    I no longer do so much for everyone because it pushed me over the edge. It wasn’t the caring part that challenged me but rather a series of profoundly unpleasant experiences that left me feeling completely wretched. I no longer have anything to do with my mother-in-law or pretty much the rest of that family. On the flip side I learned a lot about boundaries.

    I’ve also learned to ask for help and for the most part people have been pretty good. I’ve had to metaphorically sit on my hands a few times to stop myself diving in to certain situations. My brother very wisely reminded me that I’m not responsible for other people’s lives and choices. How true this is. Not always easy when dealing with elderly family, and finding the balance between tending to vulnerability on one hand and age-old bs on the other is a challenge we all face. I’m endeavouring to do this with more grace.
  19. fredb

    fredb Peer Supporter

    Dear Plum. Thank you again for your reply. I will try and leave you alone now.
    You have been such a comfort to me,o such a short time too. I have to say your brother's words about not taking on responsibility for other people's lives is very wise indeed and oh so true. I think initially that is what got me in the mess I am in today, but that is another story. I do hope your partner is doing ok now.
    Best wishes and if you do have time, please keep in touch.
    X Fred
  20. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Fred, it’s ok angel. I come and go from here as needed, and when here I like helping people so please don’t worry. You strike me as one of life’s gentle souls and as such you need to learn to care for this beautiful quality. The world can be horribly bruising and it serves us well to learn how to be fully ourselves in ways which enable us to be sensitive, yet strong.

    You may even be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and/or an empath. Both are gifts to explore to see if they apply to you, and if so, there are ways to nurture them.

    Plum x

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