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Hay fever

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by patrickj, Mar 26, 2023.

  1. patrickj

    patrickj Peer Supporter

    Hi all

    Has anybody recovered from hay fever with the TMS / MBS approach?

    I know Dr Sarno wrote that hay fever is TMS but anyone had success?

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey, @patrickj - I guess it must be that time in the UK right now, eh? I'm at the same latitude in the Pacific Northwest where we've had a really late spring, and I'm only sneezing a little bit so far - although that might also be because this year I am fully retired from my tax practice and two stressful volunteer jobs.

    So yeah, I get hay fever/seasonal allergies, from mid-February to mid-April since 1999 - which happens to coincide with the US tax preparation season. I actually only had very mild symptoms off and on during my life until moving up here, and then moving to an office near a lake surrounded by alder trees (which are just nasty weeds imo although the wood makes for good smoke in a BBQ ) and suddenly I was in misery, just as tax season (7 days a week, 10 hours a day) was gearing up. I was suffering, as were my office-mates, who were keeping the same hours and had to listen to me sneeze constantly and moan about my streaming, itchy eyes. I gave in, went to the pharmacy, looked at the gazillion OTC allergy meds, and decided to try a nasal spray that had no time restrictions, no known side effects, and no known interactions with other drugs (developed in Europe apparently) - and it totally relieved the symptoms, like 50% in 24 hours, 90% in less than a week. I used it for those two months for about twenty years after that and it was always effective. Even "after Sarno", and realizing that the timing of my allergies was not just coincidence, I really wasn't in a position to reduce my stress level during tax season, and the spray worked great, so why the heck not use it and eliminate that particular source of stress - even if stress caused it?

    But then I've never considered myself a Sarno "purist". Mind you, if the only choices were risky drugs, I would have had a lot more incentive to go full TMS on the symptoms.

    Which brings me to my take on allergies and TMS.

    - We know that allergies are an inflammatory immune system response. An auto-immune response, in fact, but one that is related to an environmental trigger (I am purposefully saying "related to" rather than "caused by").
    - Unlike "pure" TMS symptoms, allergies, along with asthma which is another inflammatory immune response, are responsive to medication, and that response is typically pretty consistent.
    - Those two things being said, allergies and asthma are KNOWN to be exacerbated by stress - this is particularly well-documented with asthma (where stress can also be a trigger on its own).
    - Which to me, raises the question: which comes first? Stress or inflammation? I have this exact question about my RA diagnosis in 2020 (another autoimmune inflammatory condition, one which requires taking medication). In three years I've never seen anything to convince me that it wasn't caused 100% by stress. My rheumatologist certainly has no other explanation to offer.

    The #1 question on this forum has naturally always been "is this TMS or is it a "real" physical condition?" We are only human, after all, and we are always hoping for the certain answer, the black-and-white guidelines, and the clearly-marked path. Sometimes it's obvious (and the obvious answer, by the time someone lands here, is usually YES), but when it comes to the stress-based inflammatory conditions, I firmly believe that it really is a combination. And also, IMO, a big ol' chicken-vs-egg question.

    Anyway this is just another good reason for us to remind people to be medically checked out before assuming that something is "all" TMS. If they do have an inflammatory condition, they can still work on symptom and especially stress relief using TMS techniques along with following medical recommendations.

    Seasonal allergies are pretty benign for the most part, so I would say that how you treat them is up to the individual - although if you're the one with the allergies, and with everything else you're working on, maybe just find an over-the-counter drug that works, and give yourself a break.

    That's my take. Anyone else? It's always an interesting topic!

    I hope you're hanging in there, Patrick.

    Booble, TG957 and patrickj like this.
  3. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I’ve had seasonal, pet and household allergies.
    Since doing tms work I have very few pet allergies. But molds snd grass cutting can still get to me. Seasonal allergies are pollens and saps. I have had them my whole life, since birth. I believe these are “real” - some but not all allergy meds completely clear them up. But because of TMS knowledge I stopped taking any allergy meds unless I have a symptom. Previously, Dr’s told me to stay on them at all times.
    I, like @JanAtheCPA am not a Sarno purist. Theories have evolved as science evolves. Like my thyroid disease, some say it’s all tms -but it runs in my family. So my tendency is to monitor it as self care but not worry about it.
    Interestingly, my spouse has been under a lot of work pressure this last week and feels he is having allergies.
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  4. patrickj

    patrickj Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the reply Jan.

    It’s not started yet because I’m allergic to grass pollen which is June-End of July over here. But true fear has started and the anticipation. It makes me dread summer. Which I understand probably doesn’t help.

    Medications don’t work for me, I’ve tried them all. A nasal spray maybe helps a little bit.

    As you know I struggle with many chronic TMS symptoms and this one just adds to my woe each year.

    I only started getting hay fever approx in 2014. I’d never had anything before then. TMS people would say it coincides with moving into our own house with my wife and working full time etc, ie becoming an adult.

    I believe it started when I was playing ball with my nephew. The ball went into a massive overgrowth of weeds, bushes etc. I went in to get the ball and since then I get horrendous hay fever.

    I’m not doing well generally. Last week I had 3-4 days without the pain in my sides / back / neck and headaches etc because the pain was replaced with buttock, knee and lower leg pain after playing football. That pain eased a bit and now I’m 100% back in the grip of my usual side / back pain. The last two days have been especially bad.

    I have noticed I’m generally worse on Fridays and weekends because I work from home on Fridays and then it’s weekend. I think because Mon-Thur I leave the house to work at 7:30am and am out all day my pain is less. It’s always there but it’s less. The Friday comes and bang it’s back.

    I am not relaxed at home, I find it very stressful at home because of parenting and house chores which never get done. My house is very untidy and dirty. It’s certainly no sanctuary.

    I’ve got really into spirituality which began with Joe Dispenza. I spent the weekend in a rabbit hole of NDEs, sacred secretion, Tesla, dimensions, frequencies, etc etc

    An issue I’m dealing with is every new TMS technique I try that doesn’t work lowers my belief in it. I tried the hypnotherapy, I tried meditation, journaling, learning etc etc and none of it has helped. Then I read the dreaded success stories where everyone is getting better. But not me of course.

    I know what you’re going to say by the way that I am defeatist and pessimistic and that I always say “but not for me”

    But the seasonal allergy thing I just have to write off June and July as the two worst months of the year.

    Take care

  5. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you are already worrying about allergies then the problem, perhaps is more the personality type of getting stuck in worrying. If the house is dirty, set time aside to clean. Little at a time, and begin to realize that some level of dirty and messy happens with kids and families. It is an opportunity to explore why this bothers you, and the overall meaning of perfectionism in your life.
    I think your mentioning that you have engaged in many tms techniques and not feeling them “work” may hint at the difficulties we often have taking what we’ve learned into daily practice.
    The fact that you play football is amazing to me, and not surprising you feel muscles having done some work afterwards - they did! What about congratulating yourself on a job well done? Focusing more on today and now instead of worrying about June?
    patrickj likes this.
  6. patrickj

    patrickj Peer Supporter

    Thanks for replying

    Yes I’m certainly a worrier. Always have been. I have terrible health anxiety. I remember being a little boy and being terrified I had cancer / aids all sorts. I had a panic attack at 6am the other day because I couldn’t wee (I have shy bladder) so my thoughts were “I’m going to have to go hospital and get a catheter”

    Yea you’re right about not focusing on June and enjoying the moment… i try.

    I resumed full activity 8 weeks ago as Sarno said and my aches pains and problems have not improved 1%, they’re in fact worse. My knees hurt now and my ankles. Im 35 so I probably just have to sadly accept the days of running and sports are behind me.

    I’ve had a spiritual awakening recently and am just surrendering to God from now on.

    I have learnt a lot from all this TMS work, but none of it has worked.

    Thanks again.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Patrick, in the interest of making sure I've covered everything, I'm copying some things from recent posts (quoting myself). These were written for someone else, but I've bolded certain items:
    I have noticed certain things about people's success or lack thereof, in the eleven years I've been hanging out here, which I will share with you since you asked. Mind you, I'm a retired tax accountant, not a mental health professional, so keep that in mind.​

    First I don't believe there is any such thing as someone who can't recover from TMS symptoms. HOWEVER, there are definitely people, particularly those with childhood adversity, who are extremely resistant to doing the deep emotional work which is required in order to recover. The characteristics I've seen in these people tend to be:

    Giving up on a program or a therapy as soon as it makes them uncomfortable, claiming that it's not working.

    Seeing themselves as victims, and being very attached to their victimhood.

    Unable to be emotionally vulnerable in a therapeutic program or setting. Sadly, the brains of some emotionally resistant individuals can be extremely skilled at blocking the efforts of even very skilled therapists to break down walls that have been created over a lifetime.

    Childhood trauma/adverse childhood experiences are almost always associated with emotionally resistant brains, which is why Dr Sarno recommended psychotherapy for people with trauma. Unfortunately the resistant brain will find a reason to give up quickly.​

    You definitely won't get anywhere if you don't take emotional risks. This IS the bottom line between those who experience recovery and those who do not. That being said, since I brought up the issue of childhood trauma I must also say that if someone has trauma, doing this effectively and without creating more trauma requires professional therapeutic support, not self-help programs.​

    I guess the real answer to your question is that anyone CAN recover, but there are definitely some individuals who won't be able to do so with self-help programs, because their traumatized brains are simply too resistant, and too skilled at maintaining the repression that was required in order to survive the trauma.​
    [from Day1 - knee and leg pain, thigh pain, weak arm | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome) (tmswiki.org)]

    And in a new, riveting and well-written story posted today, the poster described what it takes. I know you don't want to read success stories, but I feel like this one could be extremely relevant to you. FWIW, the poster is male and from the UK - and it took him at least a year to recover:
    I journaled about everything in the darkest possible terms, plumbed the depths of the psyche, opened every can of worms and really let all the rage and grief out. I’d write 1-3 pages at night, then re-read it in the morning. Some days I’d stare into this abyss for 90 minutes. I’d usually come away with less pain and, strangely, more hunger. This way, I didn’t have to parade my feelings in public (one of the main fears of men with TMS, since we’re taught from an early age by our lovely schoolmates that any show of weakness is generally exploited) and rarely did I actually shed tears; merely acknowledging them in private was enough.
    Recovery from possible severe autoimmune disease | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome) (tmswiki.org)

    Speaking of recovery times, @TG957 had this to say to someone else today:
    And if you've looked into her story at all, you'll know that Tamara's eventual recovery took 2 full years.

    Look, with the caveat that you've heard from me before, which is that I'm not a trained mental health professional, I nonetheless feel that you have all the signs of extreme emotional resistance, avoidance and repression. I really, truly do not want you to just give up and accept repression as the default, because it's so incredibly detrimental for your long-term health, never mind your current health. But it's going to take emotional vulnerability, and you expend a lot of energy running in the opposite direction of vulnerability. Since you aren't ready to take that risk, then take a break, and maybe try working on just this: bulding self-regard and self-compassion to replace your victimhood. Even this will probably require professional help. I wish you all the best.

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  8. patrickj

    patrickj Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much Jan, amazing response as per.

    I am going to read up on these other people’s stories tomorrow.. I may message the UK member too.

    I have really bad knees now. And ankles. I resumed full activity and it made me worse. I’ve tried Sarno methods for 2 years now and I’m probably worse.

    I’m probably just too old now to run for 60mins a week. Pathetic isn’t it.

    As I said, I surrender to God now and trust in His plan for me.
  9. theacrobat

    theacrobat New Member

    I had diagnosed grass pollen hay fever for years and years, sometimes pretty bad, usually around exam time at school (not a coincidence). I forgot to include it in my success story because the list of symptoms was so ridiculously long (click on my profile if you want the story). Anyway, as I got older and my other symptoms worsened, my hay fever receded – probably because I had bigger fish to fry by then! As I was recovering using Sarno's method it improved even more. Now it hardly bothers me.
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  10. patrickj

    patrickj Peer Supporter

    Good to hear. Thanks for commenting. June and July are a write off for me generally, especially with any outdoor events etc.

    I don’t expect to recover from any of my symptoms, I’ve tried and given up. Glad it worked for you though.
  11. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    Oh, allergies. I have thought so long and hard about them.
    Our body encounters something, our brain says, "Hmmm....what the f is that" or "Oh, I remember you, I don't like you..." and it pours out histamines. Very biological as it all happens without an ounce of thought on our part. Anti-histamines can somehow stop or slow the release or maybe they do something else. But again, all very biological and autonomic. Our conscious thinking not involved.
    So then you have to wonder, even though it is all biological, happens outside of our control, can I teach my brain that certain things are safe and don't need the histamine action? Why do some of us have bodies that are on higher alert than others? Is it genetically evolutionary? Do some of us come from stock where we needed to be more watchful to survive? And what about the TMS kinds of emotional trauma or childhood experiences?
    It's a real puzzle, isn't it?
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  12. patrickj

    patrickj Peer Supporter

    It certainly is.. interesting that I didn’t have hay fever at all until about 2014. Since then June and July are a write off. In fairness, the last year or two have improved slightly, simply because I can manage it a bit better and maybe the nasal spray I found helps a bit. But now I have a 2 year old and obviously she wants to be outside. And my wife’s family, and most people in fact are sun worshippers. I’m the opposite. I like to be in coats. I like the rain and being inside with a cup of tea.

    But yeah as you say, it’s completely unconscious isn’t it. I believe my histamine bucket overflowed when I went into a massive bush looking for a ball in 2014. That sent an overload of pollen into my system and since then my system is on high alert.

    Just another symptom to deal with. But in June/July I am unbearably depressed. Waking up in pain, chronic fatigue with an added does of burning eyes and runny nose etc etc. Good times.
  13. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    I hear you. I live in a tropical rain forest. Mold knows no bounds.
    I did do a fun made-up exercise to stop the discomfort of strong smells. When I encounter a strong smell that would normally start the histamine dump, I associate with a positive memory. For example I was suffering from the strong fragrance of the neighbors mock orange trees when they bloom. It's super strong smelling. So when walking by I said to myself, this is the smell of way back 30 years ago when I moved to this location. The tropical smells. How excited I was to be here, etc etc etc.
    With each yukky smell I encounter, I do the same. I've eradicated nearly all so that I no longer am saying hundred times a day, "What's that smell?!?"
    Funny, yah?
  14. theacrobat

    theacrobat New Member

    Sorry to hear about the RA diagnosis. Have you tried TMS treatments on your RA and obtained any symptom relief? I'm writing a book about my recovery and I'm currently looking for success stories of people who have recovered from/improved officially diagnosed autoimmune diseases using TMS methods.
  15. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @theacrobat, I just wrote to Patrick and included a brief recap of where I'm at with that - let me get the bookmark - it's in the last paragraph here: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/suicide.27024/#post-139730 (Suicide)

    I've written more extensively about the rapid onset of my symptoms and eventual Dx alongside an incredible amount of self-induced stress (perfectionism, goodism and mindlessness) that was directly related to the pandemic shutdowns in March 2020, on top of several years of intense distress over outside national dysfunction. The pandemic-related stuff did me in. Here's an older post with more information about onset and treatment, including therapy with a TMS practitioner. I really dug myself into a perfectionism/goodism hole back in spring 2020: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/psychosomatic-arthritic-pains.21368/#post-137118 (Psychosomatic Arthritic Pains?)

    I was recently on the web site I go to for technical RA information (specifically about methotrexate, such as how to take a break to optimize vaccine responses, how to use folic acid, safe alcohol consumption re liver) but in this case I was interested to know what a "standard" RA informational resource was saying about remission - and I was surprised that they report a fairly significant number of people who experience remission within a fairly short period of time (two to three years). However, they included people with "seronegative RA" which IMHO is just TMS. I found the statistical analysis to be more than I wanted to fully understand, but my sense was that the majority of short remissions were in fact these "seronegative" patients. As far as I can tell, SRA translates as "sure looks like RA except you don't have any measurable inflammatory markers", and we have all seen many stories here from people who experienced fairly serious symptoms at some point in their lives, which resolved on their own when an outside stressor also resolved. Thus I am now completely NOT surprised that a significant percentage of SRA patients would experience spontaneous remission. "Significant" does not mean all, of course. For some, SRA, because it is TMS, does not resolve as long as they seek a medical-only solution and don't address their mental health.

    What I really want the medical community to look at much more seriously from a mindbody perspective is the onset. They have no problem saying that stress will increase inflammatory autoimmune symptoms, but most are refusing to entertain the possibility that stress can cause autoimmune conditions. Gabor Mate, MD knows this is true, of course, even though he didn't address AI specifically in When The Body Says No (after all, he was concentrating on the big things that scare most people, like ALS, Alzheimer's, cancer...) I have no problem drawing the same conclusion for the rest of the inflammatory conditions - because no other explanation has yet been found. All they keep finding are associations - but association is not causation. Chicken vs. egg. At some point, those of us "in the know" must find and maintain faith in our own truth.

    We'll see what my rheumatologist has to say in June. I have a feeling that my "recovery" from RA is going to be tricky to pin down, because let's be realistic - the goal requires reversing a measurable inflammatory response - a so-called "real" physiological condition, never mind the cause. That being said, I am a great believer in the power of self-healing, which I know I can achieve concurrently with following doctor's orders. A year's worth of CRP blood tests at the very lowest end of the range gives me a lot of hope.
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  16. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    It's so tricky, isn't it? Why our bodies create inflammation.
    As an infant, I had chicken pox. My brother was 5 years old. He had 2 pox on him. The doctor told my mother it wasn't chicken pox. Then my sister who was 2 years old had a normal amount of pox. And then me, about 6 months old was covered from head to toe in pox. I had pox in my mouth. Up my butt. In my girl parts. My mother said it was the most disgusting thing.
    Why did I inflame like that? Was it because my mum had a cold when I was born (she did) so I had weird antibody/immune system? Was it some kind of genetic defect in the immune system? Or was it because my mum was of the generation "let them cry" when the babies are distressed? Was it because my mother was overwhelmed with parenting a baby plus two little kids while she was only age 26?
    The answer to this question would sure help me in understanding all the various things I have that differ from the "norm" and shed some light on the nature versus nurture of these conditions.
  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is the one I would lay a heavy bet on.

    This is where my fraction of an ACE comes from, which is from a time between about ages 4 and 8 when I felt isolated within my suddenly big family, because my parents produced three more kids every couple of years after me. This translates to zero on the ACEs test because it was so short-lived, but it undoubtedly fed the anxiety I was born with (which was probably because I was the first child of an older mother with three years of marriage and a miscarriage before me). Thus a lifetime of TMS off and on for decades until my age 60 TMS cascade.

    Yours is the opposite side of the same coin being the youngest, but of course we are born with the capacity to absorb anxiety from our caretakers. If not in utero.
  18. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    It's fascinating if a 6 month old baby (and I'm not even sure I was even 6 months) could have an overactive immune system because of an overwhelmed mom. I think it could be any of the possibilities I've listed. I wonder if there is any research on people who were born while the mother was sick with a bad virus. Which could be both immunological issue or because baby whisked away and not given to the mother.

    Regardless of the cards we are dealt, it's nice to know that there are things like TMS we can do to minimize or stop the impact.
  19. theacrobat

    theacrobat New Member

    I read those posts. Glad to see you're improving. Do I have your permission to include your post in the suicide thread in my upcoming book as a success story/anecdote? I can make it anonymous or pseudonymous, whatever you prefer. One of the main hangups I had about using TMS methods was that I thought I had autoimmune pain (jury's still out on that one, hence I'm looking for officially diagnosed people to strengthen the case). Sarno's references to Norman Cousins (I recommend his book Anatomy of an Illness, if you haven't already read it – he had a very high sedimentation rate), hay fever and how systems like the CNS and immune system are 'unconscious' and how the CNS regulates the immune system kind of tipped the balance for me. Who knows, reading about your improvement, attributed partly to TMS knowledge, might help some people to make the leap. I've contacted lowella. Do you know of any other success stories of autoimmune patients using TMS treatment?
    I agree onset should be investigated. The way mainstream medicine conceptualises stress as merely a 'factor' in these conditions is questionable. A simple study of autoimmune patients using TMS methods would also be interesting. If TMS healed it under empirical conditions, then that would de facto prove onset is 100% psychological. It's a tricky one because physical interventions/drugs at least for some chronic pain conditions definitely seem to prolong the pain by reinforcing the notion of a physical cause (I never took medications). I often wondered if autoimmune is a case of SIBO/inflammation (where present) as an immediate physical cause/mechanism of disease manifestation in the body, with the root cause being in the unconscious mind. Do you have a link to that RA website study you referenced?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2023
  20. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, @theacrobat, so many questions! And interesting ruminations, which as you can see I've also contemplated frequently since 2020. Along with the topics of severe COVID, "Long" COVID, and supposed vax reactions (all of them related to inflammatory responses, which I think are stress-based).

    Sure, I don't mind. It's a public web site, after all, and I'm already pretty anonymous (I take great care to remain so) but maybe just use Jan A or JanA in your writing.

    I don't keep a list, no, nor any memory (my head is still full of increasingly-useless tax law and weirdly specific financial information about my former tax clients - no room for all the TMS stories we get!)

    This is where things get twisty. For one thing, someone with a measurable autoimmune conditions NEEDS to take the medications because once you've got a measurable inflammatory process going on, you've got to put a stop to it. As I've described in other posts, when I was diagnosed I sent my records to Dr. Schecter and asked him if I could treat the RA "as TMS" and he said without hesitation that I had to follow my rheumatologist's orders (ie, take the medication) otherwise I was risking joint damage and possibly heart and other damage. BUT he also said that of course I could continue to assume that the RA was stress-based, and to apply my TMS knowledge and skills with a goal of achieving remission, which he has seen in other patients. I had of course been applying my knowledge and skills for two months by then, without any letup or even temporary decreases or fluctuations in the crippling pain and swelling. Starting on prednisone (while the methotrexate took effect over 8 weeks) provided IMMEDIATE relief, which gave me space to start regrouping and regaining equilibrium and equanimity. I also started seeing a TMS coach recommended by Dr. Schecter (I still see her every two weeks). I reduced and eliminated the prednisone as soon as I could, knowing how detrimental it is in the long term. Any side effects from the mtx were so mild I can't even remember what they were - maybe a bit of dizziness? Which is one of my stress symptoms anyway, which is why I don't believe in the often lengthy list of "possible" but non-serious side effects, because they could so easily be the result of anxiety about having a diagnosis and taking a new medication. Whenever I take a med, I do, of course, pay attention to the serious side effects, but I also assume that I won't experience those, because I always check on interactions with my BP med, I don't have risk factors, and I am generally very healthy.

    Look, Dr. Sarno himself said that sometimes you just have to take the medications before you can do the work. I'm not saying you are wrong when you say that physical intervention can prolong the symptoms - but with the right mindset, medication (even a Tylenol) can be a very effective tool to provide a boost and get back on track.

    It totally depends on that mindset, however.

    Which brings me to the website I use for technical RA info, CreakyJoints - Arthritis Support, Education, Advocacy and Research

    It's a very nice patient-advocacy website with what I feel is well-curated and authoritative content - but I don't engage with it for anything other than pure technical information. The problem I immediately saw when I tried reading their advocacy articles and personal stories as that the focus is very far from the self-healing mindset of someone with TMS knowledge and skills. They are all about patient advocacy, long-term support, lifelong coping, changing medication when your old one no longer works, "talking to your rheumatologist", "talking to your friends/family about your condition" and, inevitably, about the other conditions that people report, including our two favorite TMS conditions: fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Sigh.

    And sure, the "coping" articles all mention stress-reduction (it would be malpractice these days to NOT mention stress reduction) but they don't come close to touching on the long-term stress and distress of emotional repression that is at the heart of TMS practice.

    And you know how I mentioned having virtually no side effects from the methotrexate? Which is a cancer drug (at fifty times the dosage) and thus scary for a lot of people (my doc did a very good job making it not scary). The site recently posted videos of interviews with patients about their experiences with methotrexate, which people describing noticeable side effects, which sometimes abated a bit with time and became "bearable" or which caused them to eventually switch to a different type of med, or were so bad they had to switch right away. I found this pretty fascinating, leading to all kinds of thoughts, but of course you can't measure this kind of thing. I am thrilled that the mtx has worked so well, because it's been used very effectively for decades, the risks are low, and the alternatives are not great (back at my initial Dx, my rheumatologist said I would now notice how many TV drug ads are for RA or similar conditions! These are the expensive biologics with high risks of infections and depression and other shit. No thank you!)

    Here's the page where I found the study/discussion about RA remission rates. I didn't have the patience to parse this out in detail - perhaps you can apply your analytical mind to the reported outcomes given your interest in researching this in more detail!
    I also just found this page: Failure to regularly monitor, adjust DMARD therapy can impede RA remission – CreakyJoints which is really interesting to me, because my rheumatologist did recommend increasing my weekly methotrexate from 15mg to 20mg in 2020, sometime within six months after I started it - and it made a big difference in dropping my CRP level at the next test, which continued the downward trend and has been consistently on the lowest level for at least 15 months. Which is why earlier today I decided not to wait until June, but to message my doc and ask if I can go back to 15mg and see what happens between now and when I see him June. In any case, I think this supports my sense that medication can be an excellent tool for getting a handle on physical symptoms in order to facilitate even more self-healing.

    Whew - I go on too long, but, like you, I am quite fascinated by this stuff, especially how non-linear it is.

    update: my doc already got back to me and said yes, let's go back to 15mg and see what happens in 8 weeks when I do labs again. Asking for what I want!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2023
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