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Getting worse, before getting better?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Thomas12, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. Thomas12

    Thomas12 Newcomer

    So here I am, two weeks after reading Dr. Sarno’s “Healing Back Pain” and about a week out since listening to “The Divided Mind”. And to my surprise, the pains in my back I am experiencing have gotten much worse, not better. I am 99% sure that I do have TMS despite a "successful" disk surgery (herniated disk) about 3 ½ years ago. I am now a 40 year old man and continued to have odd problems since that surgery with pain that has “moved around” my hip, calf, right side, left side, etc. I have seen the standard myriad of doctors (physiatrist, acupuncturist, pain doctor, sports medicine doctor, chiropractor, multiple physical therapists, etc). Even before the back surgery in my late teens I have exhibited many other symptoms of TMS like G-reflux, tinnitus, asthma, allergies, burning mount syndrome, panic attacks, just to name a few. So you can see, I am 99% accepting of TMS and would be 100% all in if I probably had known about this syndrome 20 years ago. I was diagnosed with OCD in my early 20s and my current primary care physician has not ruled out being bi-polar as both my father and younger sister have both been affected by manic depression.

    I have made the decision to see a psychologist. This week I will see him; first time I will have seen a psychologist since the loss of a child about 8 years ago. (Yeah, I know this is starting to sound worse and worse). In addition I have a lot of baggage I’ve been carrying around since childhood. I’d say I’m probably in that 20% Dr. Sarno references about needing psychological help. If there was a “Poster Child” for TMS I may make the cover.

    My biggest question: Can any of you recall actually getting worse, before getting better once accepting TMS as the diagnosis? The pain I am experiencing now is very reminiscent of the herniated disk I had before surgery. It is a little different as it seems to affect both sides of my body where the latter affected primarily my right side. I also don't have the huge burst of pain upon standing after sitting that I swear was in my soul before surgery. I take this as a good sign because TMS “moves around”. I now am wondering two things of why the pain may be getting worse.

    Is it:

    1) Because this time I have accepted that TMS is the problem I have really been thinking about my psychological state and all the internal rage I have. Could I be getting closer and closer to the real problem and my subconscious doesn’t like it? So, it’s giving my all the pain it can so I don’t reveal the true devil.

    Or is it:

    2) My obsessive tendencies of trying to figure out where my psychological rage is actually from is causing me to internalize or think about this too much. I simply need to accept that the problem is all in my subconscious and ignore it or as the great Elsa said, "Let it Go, Let it Go". (Any of you with small children, should get that.) So, I need to focus on my life and simply knowing that no long term damage is being done, hence this should aid in my healing.

    I have resumed normal physical activity and I don’t worry about my back. Well, I do worry about it but I now know and tell myself constantly, this is not going to hurt me, I’m strong. There is nothing physically wrong with me with the exception of oxygen deprived nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. Let me clear something up, when I say I have resumed physical activity that doesn't mean for the last 3 1/2 years I've simply laid in bed or on the couch. I have always continued to run from time to time (although not competitively any more), work quite hard, wrestle with my kids, play sports with my kids, do yard-work and a host of other things. Heck, I want to stay very busy. I now have just recently realized I don't need to be so scared of doing those things like before.

    Sorry for the long post but don’t know how anyone could really answer my "quick question" without a little bit of history first.
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  3. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Its very important to be busy and do things you love,but there is also time to be with one self
  4. Thomas12

    Thomas12 Newcomer

    I thought it would be a good idea to post back here hoping it may help someone else. I originally posted back on July 12, 2015. It's August 9th and where am I now? My back pain is a non-issue! (By the way Tennis Tom, I got a good chuckle over your one word response.) I'd love to go on and on about all the feelings I have about TMS. But for me, the biggest thing with a person that has high anxiety is to "not think about it". For some that may not be too hard but I was one of those few that required psychotherapy. Not thrilled about the anti-anxiety meds I'm on but what can I say....no more back pain. And if I do get a twinge or sharp pain it's mental stress and anxiety.

    Thanks all for reading. Time to go for a family bike ride.
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Thomas 12. Librium got me through three years of anxiety about 40 years ago (I'm 85 now). Keep believing in TMS and if you need the meds, take them. Just keep believing that TMS emotions are causing your pain. They didn't increase for me when I began believing in TMS, but they have for some others. Psychotherapy helped a friend's wife recover from deep anxiety. It was a form of mental journaling that we do in TMS.
  6. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    It's very common for the pain to increase after finding about, and accepting TMS. In my experience this is a good sign for you. I've also seen some of the most dramatic conversions once they begin to read or learn about TMS. It's amazing really. The increase and the decrease in pain are good signs.

    You do realize that your back surgery never did anything right? The power of your mind healed you. (assuming you had TMS)

    I've seen thousands of poster children for TMS. But my face is still on the cover.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  7. Thomas12

    Thomas12 Newcomer

    Steve, Where the heck were you a month ago? I really could have used your advice. Ha! Just pulling your chain. I feel so much better these days it's amazing. Now when I have heartburn, back pains, butt pains, or whatever I don't think, "What did I do?" Instead I think, "What's on my mind?" Psychotherapy is a tremendous help as well.

    At first when I read Sarno's book I was on board with most of his thoughts with the exception of the back surgery. Before I had surgery I would have an explosion of pain in my back every time I went from a sitting to standing position. Sitting was very uncomfortable as well. The second I awoke from surgery that pain was completely gone. Granted, it felt like someone beat the living crap out of my back with a baseball bat. But the explosion of pain was gone. And I very slowly got better. Maybe 80% at best.

    After I started feeling better about a week after my first post I really thought about that surgery. Maybe it was a placebo. I was then on the fence about 50/50. It's been about a month now and I'm now about 90% sure that I may have been able to get better without surgery IF I could have dramatically calmed my anxiety and given my body and mind a chance to heal. Nevertheless, what's done is done. Would I have another surgery? Yeah, if I was in a terrible car accident and fractured my back, neck, arms, legs....you get the point.

    So often do you guys get newbies like me to the forum? Since this stuff is so fresh in my mind I'd like to offer some insight to others. I know it's hard for some to remember how bad it was. I'm sure I'll soon forget as well.
  8. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Thomas12... You Rock! You sooo have the TMS number down... Your great sense of humor will be helpful moving you into your recovery also. Walt and Steve are my rock stars for reminding me to not take things so seriously. Life is to be enjoyed. As I recovered - the TMS definitely got worse as I kept challenging my brain's habit to send pain. But I really did learn how to laugh at it and appreciate its tenacity in trying to make me believe the pain was physical and not psychological. I spent some time treating the TMS like a small child who felt pushed out and thus lashed out with symptoms. Once I understood that compassion was needed, the pain started melting - like who doesn't melt - when faced with showers of love and compassion. Keep us posted!dancea
    Grateful17 likes this.
  9. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    Thx that was great about treating tms with compassion as a small child

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