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Hard to get back on TMS wagon: sinusitis & TMJ

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by danielle, May 12, 2013.

  1. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Hi there, it's been a while since I posted here and really worked on the TMS perspective. I have however made a lot of life changes recently in order to resolve some internal conflicts and move in a direction I felt better about. This has been really good and has given me some periods of pain relief and increased energy. But then I just come back around again to the fibro/tmj/headache/etc. pain & fatigue. It's like I keep having to search for the next life change to make or next big insight or whatever, always trying to "fix" something to address the pain.

    I've had severe TMJ pain for many years and a lot of sinus inflammation which feel has been related to all the facial tension. But recently I've had a sinus infection, not just inflammation/congestion, and it's hard to stay with the TMS mindset.

    I had many years of severe neck pain and limited motion ever since "whiplash" 15 years ago. In the recent past with all these new life changes, I actually had *improvement* in my neck situation, being able to do more yoga where I can actually LOOK UP more easily—this is super new for me! :D But after this improvement, my sinus pain seems to have gotten a whole lot worse. :( Maybe this is symptom imperative, I don't know. It makes me want to turn back to diet & cleansing, etc. and it's hard to stick with thinking psychological when there is all this yellow gunk coming out of my nose. I don't take antibiotics (after being on long-term antibiotics for years that decimated my immune system as a kid), so I am not going there. I could cleanse or fast or something, but really I want to get to the root instead of heal the symptoms only for them to come back again. Especially because it's mostly on just the left side of my face, where I've had more pain the whole time, so it seems definitely related to the TMS tension pattern.

    So I seem to make progress sometimes when I have a big a-ha or life change, but then the symptoms just come back or change and I'm back to trying to "figure out" the next big insight so I can get rid of them. Ugh. Facial pain is such torment too.

    OK, thank you for reading this. Any help getting back on the wagon is appreciated. <3
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Bless you. Tmj is my biggest problem too although mine is right-sided so between us we have a painfree face! Quite seriously I respect all the efforts you've made to address the deeper aspects. I'm in the process of rendering such things and sadly this entails letting go of one of my longest standing friendships. Maybe it will blossom again in the future but for now it causes me immense tension.

    I'm on the wagon with you, and would desperately appreciate a breakthrough of some description. I've really done/not done everything and feel like the whole shebang is about to fall apart. Look forward to hearing other's thoughts on how best to saddle up the weary tms horse. Over at tmshelp there are those that suggest putting the old dear out to pasture and simply living your life irrespective of the pain. Cease all the digging and trying and...

    I think danielle, this is why Steve's Grail post appeals so much to me. The 'why' not 'what' of the genesis but I feel at an impasse.
    danielle likes this.
  3. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Well of course everyone gets infections now and then, just like everyone gets pain now and then, but I think we TMS'ers tend to catastrophize even minor stuff, like colds and infections. For example, when I get a cold (or feel one coming on), I automatically go to my fear place. I think, oh no, not another cold! I don't want this cold! When will it go away? etc. The last time I felt a cold coming on I tried to approach it with a different attitude. I tried not to fight it, to accept it, to think to myself, ok, another cold, not a big deal. This time my cold was much milder than usual and was out of my system more quickly.

    A sinus infection is a bit more of a pain. I don't think there's anything wrong with taking antibiotics even with the TMS mindset, but you have different reasons for not taking them. So maybe you should do the dietary stuff if you feel that will help you feel better physically. I think only extreme TMS'ers think it's NEVER okay to treat physical symptoms so that you feel better. The key is to treat your problems in a way that is primarily psychological. Treat the physical symptoms as secondary. It's when your focus goes all to your physical symptoms that you know TMS has you in its grip.

    I think it's amazing that your neck pain has diminished! You should celebrate that! And yes, it does seem like the symptom imperative. Keep focusing on feeling your emotions rather than thinking about them. That's what helps me, anyway.

    Peace to you on your journey.
  4. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Right on, Gail. I think you are on your way to a cure. You really are getting it.
    I agree completely with what you said.
  5. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Last summer my husband became very ill and was rushed into hospital where he had to stay in isolation for a fortnight and came close to dying. It was a scary time for me and for my young son whom I had to entertain (school holidays) inbetween visits. During that time I began a sinus infection, cleared by antibiotics and then two more back-to-back sinus infections over the summer after he came out of hospital. I have no doubt now that those infections were due to TMS as was the major increase in tinnitus that I experienced on the very day he entered hospital. It's painful, it's horrible and it's probably TMS.
  6. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Plum, I can relate about certain relationships and our fear of letting them go can cause enormous tension. It's like the fear of making a mistake or hurting someone else is so big that we'd rather be a bundle of pain than risk the emotional pain of the loss or regret. Here's to praying we have the strength to keep moving in the right direction of caring for ourselves FIRST. Also I agree Steve has a great point there. Glad to hear we are on the wagon together! I SO know what you mean about having done/not done everything, lol...sometimes it seems like a breakthrough is all that's left. I do feel like I gradually gain more and more insight. Writing helps but I tend not to do it much. Do you notice a lot of internal conflict about things in your life? I feel like this causes me a lot of pain. Though then when I solve one issue and get some relief, another one comes back. I think it's more my habitual pattern of reacting with tension to so many things that needs to unravel.

    Good to hear from you,
  7. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Haha, yes I am a severe TMSer so I worry about treating anything physically at all. I did finally after a week of sinus infection do a couple days of juice fasting, and it improved a lot. But today I'm eating again and already feel worse. I think I have a TMS reaction to eating food because I always worry about it making me sick somehow so there's so much stress I think it affects my digestion and then I DO have negative symptoms from the foods. So anyway I am trying to balance dealing with the infection and addressing the TMS causes of sinusitis at the same time... Anyway thanks for your comments and peace to you too.
  8. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Sinusitis has been one of my main TMS symptoms since I was about 19 years old. I stopped taking antibiotics for sinus infections at least 10 years ago because I realized that they were not helping. Instead, I began using a neti pot which helped a little for awhile. I noticed when I used the neti pot that the mucous I was getting out was completely clear. Also, the bouts would come a go quickly. (I hope I haven't grossed anyone out.) So I am relatively sure that I was not having infections. I had colds, but they acted very differently. I am just getting through a bout now because I have done some traveling and that is my main TMS symptom when I travel. I have had a phobia of travel since I was a child and my parents almost never could take me on vacation with the rest of the family. I always stayed with my Grandparents which I liked. I have pretty much gotten over most of my other symptoms, but this one has been more difficult.
    danielle and Forest like this.
  9. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Hi chickenbone :), so glad to hear from you. I really really appreciate hearing about how you took antibiotics but they didn't help. I used to use a neti pot too for clear mucus but last couple weeks it's bright yellow, and I can't use the neti pot now because one nostril is always totally scabbed over. So frustrating. Well u didn't gross ME out cuz I can totally relate!

    Interesting about referring to sinusitis as your main TMS when traveling. Also this "infection" started when I recently flew from warm Hawaii to cold Berlin, with much jet lag and climate change and much worse air purity here. Also a lot of cigarette smoke around which I'm "allergic" to.

    I'm glad to hear you made such progress with other TMS symptoms and have a clear perspective that this is hanging on but is also likely just TMS. I so want that to be true for me but I keep going back to the physical. It is driving me crazy having a stuffed head most of the time! But sometimes I get an insight, like I can see the emotional stress then the physical tension and *then* the swelling of the sinuses and the mucus. I know they're all related but this one is really kicking my butt.

    In other news, my very longstanding neck problem recently has been really improving, so I guess I'm not surprised that my sinus issues are getting worse.
  10. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Hi Danielle, It is really hard to separate the physical from the psychological when dealing with sinus and asthma issues. If my sinus troubles last long enough, I can have bouts with asthma also, but I don't get it bad. Dramatic climate changes can be hard if you are sensitive as most of us TMSer's are. There will always be both. I just want to mention a couple of things to check for. When you get your blood tests, make sure that your serum calcium is in the 9's. This will ensure that you don't have parathyroid issues that can cause really bad allergies. I doubt you do but it is something to check that most doctors won't think of. This can cause a lot of food allergies also.

    Yellow is not too bad a color. If it starts to turn dark yellow, green or brownish, you probably have an infection. As far as I can tell, there is only one antibiotic that can help sinus infections, called Augmentin (don't know if the spelling is right). This gives me terrible diarrhea and I cannot take it, but some people can. Also, drinking lots and lots of water will really help.

    I really feel for you - sinus trouble is really awful. I still have it sometimes, it has been one of my more difficult symptoms, bothers me more than pain. The symptoms that you find the most intolerable will always be the last to go, so you are definitely making progress.
    danielle and Forest like this.
  11. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ah sweetness, do I have internal conflict?
    On my best days I consider myself the poster child, so yes, definately. In and of itself this tells us both a lot. We are sensitive little chickadees and as the truly sage chickenbone repeatedly tells us, in many ways, this is no bad thing and we can fly high, way above the banality, to the highest perspective which is our gift. I truly believe that it is the perversion of this sensitivity that ails us. In my finer moments I see this for the beautiful treasure it is. At my more and mere mortal moments this amounts to pain. Take heart my love, we will truimph.

    Much love and healing to you.
    danielle likes this.
  12. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Yes, Plum. Dr. Peter Levine says in the last chapter in his book "In An Unspoken Voice" that there are 4 recognized portals to spiritual awakening, according to both Buddhist and Taoist traditions. Those are death, meditation, sex and trauma. This concept is also found in the Biblical story of Job and Psalm 23. It is also found as the dark night of the soul in medieval mysticism as well as in the passion of Christ. I used to wonder if my life had any purpose and am now discovering that it does after all.
    danielle and plum like this.
  13. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Two things.

    1. chickenbone, I love you.
    2. Is it too late to arrange a transfer from the trauma portal? I'd very much like to apply for the sex option please.
    danielle and gailnyc like this.
  14. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    I would like that too, Plum, but I guess we are stuck with what we have !!!
    plum likes this.
  15. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Hi chickenbone, I am really appreciating your comments. Yes sinus bothers me more than pain — well it is pain also, pain of the whole head when it flares/swells up. Makes life pretty unenjoyable. I don't take any meds, long history of overuse as a kid and I don't go near them. So no symptom relief (from drugs anyway)...side effects are worse anyways than what the drug would help! I am so glad to hear that you understand what it's like to be struggling with this issue and trying to approach it from the TMS angle. It's true, this one really gets me so it is a great way to channel suppressed feelings. I do believe that.

    I'm glad to hear yellow isn't that bad. I thought any yellow meant infection. It's normally a light yellow. Maybe also the color can be dirt and other pollutants my nose is filtering out?

    I had blood tests done a year ago and I looked just now, serum calcium is 9.3 so I'm good there. Thanks for mentioning that to rule that out!

    Many things for being there.
  16. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Hi Danielle,

    Do you, by any chance, have problems with gastric reflux (GERD). This can be a major cause of sinus congestion and cold and allergy symptoms. When you have gastric reflux, it often happens only when you are sleeping. The acid washes up and, if it gets into your throat, you may wake up with a sore throat. If it splashes over your adenoids, it can cause bad nasal congestion and your body will produce mucous to protect your tissues. However, I believe that GERD is very likely to be a TMS symptom, so we can have some TMS symptoms causing other TMS symptoms.
    danielle likes this.
  17. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Hi chickenbone, thank you so so much for mentioning this possibility! I have never looked into gerd before because I don't have a lot of obvious heartburn or indigestion symptoms. But I was googling about gerd and discovered what you are referring to, "silent reflux". This sounds really plausible and fits many of my symptoms. I do believe it's tms-related and due to buildup of tension etc. and I won't get medicine for it but it gives me a lot more insight into how many of my symptoms may be connected. I wake up often with mucus and sore throat and have a lot of drip and congestion and ear pain, also much tmj syndrome stuff which I'm sure is also related. I notice I feel much worse the next day when I eat a big meal too late before bed, waking up feeling like I'm coming down with a cold. It makes so much sense. And also makes sense why I feel better when I skip a meal--especially skip dinner. I wake up feeling much better. Perhaps I don't just have a nonstop cold, allergy, or infection like I thought but the reflux thing would explain a lot. So thank you so much for this redirect...and in the end it's always back to the TMS solution as well and dealing with the buildup of tension. Thanks again. Have you had issues with reflux?
  18. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I have had acid reflux for 30 years. It is now gone. I just new it was a TMS symptom. I used the power of my mind and body to push it out of my chest with lots of belching and talking to my chest. Occassionally I feel pressure as a warning bell to start working on emotional stuff. I eat and drink everything I want but do prefer a healthy diet.
    danielle likes this.
  19. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    That is good to hear, Stella. I really think most of my GERD is TMS. I think this because of the way it comes and goes. Glad to hear that you were able to overcome it. It has been one of my most persistent symptoms, although I don't have it all the time.
  20. Marla

    Marla Peer Supporter

    Been awhile since I have been on the forums but lately after some major stress my back started hurting then I started getting sinus problems again. This all happened in the past week getting worse as my first day back to work on my seasonal summer job which starts today!

    It's very busy especially first few weeks and can't take time off, so the fear of being sick has been making me sicker!

    Handling the sinus with natural things, rinses, tea, diet, etc. thought it was better but felt worse yesterday.

    I really feel it is TMS again because everything started from stress related problems and fear is making it worse.

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