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Good news leads to confusion! :)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by SSG, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. SSG

    SSG Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone! Well, its been a little while since I've been on here. It was recommended to me that although I have suspected TMS for awhile, that I should see an MS specialist before moving forward to help with TMS confirmation. As with many...I was very fearful of this diagnosis after having a questionable MRI one year ago!

    Update: I saw a MS Specialist two weeks ago, and learned some very good news. I do not have MS. He said I don't need to come back, that he is not even "on the fence" whether or not I have this disease. So, you would think I would be ELATED, and I think a big part of me is truly relieved and thankful. In fact, I expected the next morning to wake up anxiety and pain free! I had been given a new lease on life! However, I was not. Unfortunately, my anxiety and pain have continued.

    A few days before my MS Specialist appointment, I decided to go ahead with a knee MRI (at the urging of my sports chiropractor). The MRI revealed some "cartilage defects" and possible meniscus problems though thought to be from an old injury. Believe it or not, this actually gave me peace and brought the fear factor about MS down a few notches. The orthopedist said he didn't really know...from the MRI, I should be feeling pain in one area, and my pain is somewhere totally different. So on to PT I go. I do believe I have some muscle weakness, so hopefully this PT will help, but deep down in my heart of hearts...I don't feel like this is structural. I remember 20 years ago when I truly injured my knee, and this pain is something totally different.

    So, this leads to my confusion. Where do I go from here? Everyone on this site has been so kind and supportive, and I value your opinions. You are like a big family! I know that one of the huge factors in overcoming TMS is taking the fear out of the equation. Thankfully with the good news from the MS doc, I have been able to lower the fear considerably. However, I have feared this so intensely for so long...it is a hard pattern to break, and I also find myself in general fearing that the pain will never go away. Thankfully, I am able to go about my day, but considering my pain occurs with walking, it is pretty much with me ALL DAY. Months ago I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so I know this is a factor. So, what to do? What to do? Thanks for listening.
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    SSG - I am going to give you some advice based on my own personal experience. I truly sense from your post that you are already beginning to get it, but you clearly have TMS and it is taking the lead. Look at what it put you through with all the anxiety, fear, and DISTRACTION that you might have MS. You don't even get to take a small break and revel in that fact that you don't have MS before your mind is onto something else. Why not put that energy into tackling TMS? You have everything to gain! Fearing that the pain will never go away is what makes TMS so powerful. I would make the commitment to dive in and really work on the TMS. When you are having doubts, focusing on the pain, spending time diagnosing potential structural causes, try to recognize that this is make TMS so effective at distracting you.
    yb44 and Ellen like this.
  3. SSG

    SSG Peer Supporter

    Thanks! You are right. There has been no break. I had looked forward to the specialist appt for 6 months and thought once I heard the good news that it would be like Christmas! So it was disappointing that upon hearing such good news there was little change in my physical/emotional symptoms. When you ask--what do you have to lose? Well, I think that if I dive in to healing TMS, and it doesn't work...I will be devastated.

    My husband thinks this is structural, so for me to stop the PT and not go back to ortho would be prolonging the pain in his eyes. This has been a tough year for our marriage. I have been consumed by this fear/pain. To have success with treating TMS, I know you have to totally discredit the structural argument. How were you able to do this? Did doubts linger? Was family supportive?
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    The SYMPTOM IMPERATIVE in action! From a TMS perspective, GOOD NEWS creates pain just like bad news can--going on vacation can cause TMS--just like going to prison can. Humans and even single celled organisms crave HOMEOSTASIS--their "comfort zone". Disruptions to our homeostasis, that fill up our TMS reservoir of rage to overflowing, result in psychosomatic symptoms.

    "My husband thinks this is structural, so for me to stop the PT and not go back to ortho would be prolonging the pain in his eyes."

    "This has been a tough year for our marriage."

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
    Ellen and SSG like this.
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    SSG - These are all really good questions and I completely relate. My husband has in his own way been patient but not exactly supportive. He refuses to spend any time sympathizing or holding my hand. He clearly understands that what is going on with me has to do with something psychological but I don't think he understands how serious it is. The pain is real. Its not just "in my head." I think he is one of those people that would read a book and recover from TMS. He has a long history of just making up his mind and just doing it, he doesn't suffer from anxiety, he is not a worrier. He is very strong and positive in his outlook. I learn from him. On the other hand, he is not a nurturer. I have had to learn not to talk to him so much about my pain and strangely enough, this has been good for me. I hate to admit it, but as I have learned not to think and talk so much about my physical pain, it has helped me to control my TMS. Yes, doubt lingered with me for a very long time! I have been actively working on my TMS for a year and a half. The thing is, you could continue to work on the structural diagnosis and this might make your husband happy but would it help you? The pain in your knee may improve and then some other pain might appear. Its hard to recognize the two are related. I did this for 20 years!!! Panic attacks, anxiety, pain...so much time and energy gets spent trying to fix it and survive it, that we miss out on life. It does take its toll on a relationship. Its not enjoyable to live with someone in pain. We do not feel like we are choosing pain, and we are not consciously choosing pain, and so it is hard to understand how our parters could be unsympathetic. I was married for 17 years before my current marriage and when I mentioned to my ex-husband that I had TMS and explained what it was, he said something about how if I had figured that out sooner we would still be married. That made me so angry because in the end he treated me terribly and had affairs etc. Perhaps if he was a better husband I wouldn't have TMS! Ha ha. TMS is not as tangible as a structural diagnosis and so it is easy to write it off or leave it as a last resort. We are underestimating ourselves when we do this. TMS is a veil of pain and anxiety that keeps us from acknowledging and experiencing our true selves, what we are really feeling. It is so empowering to lift the veil, to experience what you truly are feeling, to look clearly at yourself and what you have been through and accept it. You deserve love, you deserve respect, and you have to start by loving and respecting yourself. It can be very overwhelming, confusing and excruciating. It is not as comprehensible as a ruptured disc, a torn meniscus, or repetitive stress injury, but it is true and inescapable. If you really commit to working on your TMS, I feel very confident that you will report back in a few months to a year that the process of overcoming the TMS has changed your life. Its hard to put in words but it is much more than just having the pain subside. I can't believe I am saying this, but in the end that is secondary.
  6. SSG

    SSG Peer Supporter


    Thank you. I believe our husbands were made from the same cloth. :) Mine has very similar attributes, and I totally get how that in some ways not being able to talk about it with them is sometimes helpful.

    I also agree that the structural problems are so much easier to deal with than the unexplored territory of our emotions and the physical effects.

    Thank you for your openness and encouragement. I do deserve love and respect and it's been a long time since I've truly felt that from myself. I want to feel the empowerment of lifting that veil that you speak of. I'm a little scared, but know in my heart that I am just chipping the iceberg.
    Anne Walker likes this.

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