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Hello - Introduction

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by SDGirl, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. SDGirl

    SDGirl New Member

    I'm SDGirl, 35 yr. old mom with two young kids and a great hubby living in a beach community in SoCal. I'm still in many ways wondering how I got here. Its been a really horrible three months. Apologies to so many of you who have been dealing with things for many years.

    My story: After having my second baby a year ago, I started experiencing neck pain - I thought it was due to computer work, lifting kids etc. and I think probably there were some pulled muscles etc. but at the end of February, I was in the middle of a pretty grueling work week and traveled to several cities, with a high stress new business pitch. On the plane home, my thumb started twitching, my arm felt weak and my shoulder and neck ached. I started seriously freaking out - I of course googled which sent me to scary, scary disease sites and within days I was convinced I was dying. I know this sounds so dramatic. And it was. I was terrified. At the same time/literally the next week I was visiting my dear grandmother who was dying - she was, is my hero - so, so important to me. I started spiraling down. More neurological things, numbness in face, back, down legs. Neck pain worsening. I was so consumed by what was happening in my body - I felt completely helpless. At the end of March my grandmother passed and I was dealing with deep grief over her loss - while worsening.

    I went to the dr. who sent me in for a nerve study - came out normal - but as I continued to worsen she sent me to neurologist - who had MRIs with and without contrast done - meanwhile pain worsening, numbness down arms - thumb still twitching - feeling more "twitchy" throughout body - extreme anxiety started. MRIs normal except for slight protrusion in c6-7 -

    Saw chiro who said my neck is forward causing pain. Never thought of that before - all of the sudden my neck is beyond in pain.

    Additional background about me - I had a brain tumor - benign as a kid that was surgically removed and until now no problems. So I do have some health background that comes into play.

    Beginning of April the Insomnia started - 26 days of insomnia - Finally I resorted to getting some Ambien. This has helped stop the cycle - and now I am not taking it daily.

    Neuro said - its not neurological - you need to see a Rheumatologist. Pain gets worse, still twitching. What is this? RA? Fibromyalgia? What is happening to me??? Many blood tests later - all normal - he says - You have myofascial pain that is essentially impinging nerves down your arms. You need get your back muscles and shoulders to calm down and relax.

    Sent me to physical therapy - Actually I have enjoyed it because they do soft tissue massage and trigger point release - but still I felt worse! Until I read Sarno's book and immediately said - THIS IS IN YOUR BRAIN! I admit the pain is less - but the twitching is WORSE in my hands. Does anyone else deal with these scary neuro issues? They give me such anxiety!

    I have been trying to uncover personal issues. Until this happened I considered myself really cool, calm and happy. But I think under the surface I have been stressed and perhaps losing control.

    I am still trying to figure out this whole "rage" issue. This is tough for me because when I say my childhood was happy, I mean it was really, really happy. I have an absolutely wonderful relationship with my parents. I am also in a very happy marriage. I have uncovered some major stress issues that have some anger - such as my baby girl who cries and whines a LOT - which is hard to deal with. My job I think is more stressful than I have given it credit for....

    I would love feedback from people. I really want to get well - and be there for my family and have a healthy happy outlook. BTW, three days no advil and ran the past two days. My shoulders and neck hurt as I write this though....
  2. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    You look like a very happy Mom.
    I have found with myself that when I try to analyzing what is going on in my body and my mind takes me to all these dark places,
    the pain gets worse. This is what was happening to me in November 2012. I had all these wild symptoms from electricity going
    through my legs, sciatica pain, neck pain.... I started to realize with worrying about what it was, was causing my autonomic
    nervous system to rev-up and symptoms increased.

    I think when you have had a past medical problem; this could cause fear and that could decrease oxygen flow which would cause pain
    and various symptoms. Even when consciously you may feel in control; your body and mind may still remember the trauma during
    your early childhood years which would cause symptoms.

    What has worked for me was to capture the first thought that wanted to go down that thinking of: could it be this, could it be that?
    I started to accept this is a mind/body reaction. I had to and still do keep telling myself this is because of certain fears I have.
    I just keep talking to myself in a loving way and help by subconscious understand what is happening in my body is psychological.

    I read a book called Rapid Recovery of Back and Neck Pain by Fred Amir and Dr. Brady's book. They both suggested visualization.
    I would visualize myself doing activities without pain. I could not even walk to my office. The visualization really helped, significantly,
    along with deep breathing.

    I now acknowledge the fears, I struggle with and know they are at the root cause of the pain. I dismantle these fears by acknowledging them
    and looking them straight in the face. Then, I go on with my day and stop obsessing about why I have the pain. Just remember the
    pain wants to intimidate you and paralyze you, so all you do is think about the symptoms and what is the cause. One way to dismantle
    the TMS is just not to fear the symptoms and understand that something deep may be going on in your heart and mind. Sometimes,
    journaling can help with the psychological stuff. For me, when I got back into living no matter how bad the symptoms were and
    became less concerned about them, the symptoms lessened.

    There is so many wonderful people who will support you on this site. We are all here for you!!!
  3. SDGirl

    SDGirl New Member

    Thank you G.R.! this is the first time in my life I have ever experienced anything like this - especially the crippling anxiety around my physical symptoms. I am so eager for complete healing. Appreciate your feedback and advice.
  4. MarkV

    MarkV New Member

    Hi SDGirl...from OC! :)
    First off, I feel your pain! If you can read my "personal story" in my profile, I have had mysterious throbbing pain in my upper left arm for 26 months now. No one could diagnose me after seeing 25 docs and having every diagnostic test imaginable (multiple times). Like you, I am (was) a happy, health individual.
    But I can tell you with 100% confidence now my symptoms are due to TMS so stay engaged on Sarno's program. My sense is the term "rage" really encompasses more than what we typically think of the word. For me, it is a combination of fear, anxiety and anger all bottled up into a "reservoir of rage". As I've come to understand my problem now, my arm is a barometer for all major stress, tension, even agitation, that is going on my life now. I'm learning to deal with this successfully now and the pain has greatly diminished.
    Like you, I've felt the fingers numb and tightness/compression all thru my neck, shoulder and upper arm. As you come to recognize BOTH your repressed and suppressed emotions, this should hopefully improve big time.
    Wishing you all the best,
  5. SDGirl

    SDGirl New Member

    Thank you Mark! I look forward to resolution. I can definitely say that just three days in my neck pain has resided SO much - so much so that I haven't taken Ibuprofen in the three days or applied any of the OTC pain patches I was wearing - BUT then my arms started having pain, feeling weird and thumbs feel "buzzy" and numb. Even weird feelings down legs - feeding the anxiety. This is a symptom of TMS right? My symptoms really started from more of a neurological perspective and then went to pain, but I am guessing that its all related to TMS somehow. Thanks for the support - I really appreciate it!
  6. MarkV

    MarkV New Member

    My pleasure, and I can totally relate to all the symptoms you mention ("buzzy", numb, tightness, compression, etc). Like you, I saw several Neurologists and had multiple nerve conduction tests with no identifiable results. I literally was told by the Chief of Neurology "I have no idea what is wrong with you!"
    I'm not a doctor, but believe my/our symptoms are due to oxygen deprivation as Dr. Sarno suggests. It tightens the whole area up, compressing it, and causing it to throb down our arm by restricting blood flow too. If you feel tenderness in your shoulder, as I do, then that's even more evidence. Once you can gain mastery of it with your mind, acknowledging stress & tension factors, your pain should diminish significantly as mine is finally doing.
    Hope that helps...all the best.
  7. SDGirl

    SDGirl New Member

    Thanks so much Mark - yes, in fact - The rheumatologist basically told me - you have myofascial pain that I believe is impinging somehow at the shoulder creating this. (of course he tried to get me to take a bunch of pills to relax me - which I declined ;) Yes the backs of my shoulders and backs of arms are definitely tight. I really appreciate your feedback! Its been such a crazy few months - I literally feel like I have been tested for everything and this is so pathetic but at one point - I really wanted the Celiac panel to come back positive so that I would have something to attribute all this too...but now, after all this time, I can really believe that its due to the oxygen deprivation. I didn't mention this in my original post, but in addition to my grandmother, my work, kids etc. three weeks ago my husband's best friend and a friend of mine took his own life - devastating all of us. My back got terribly painful at that time and I know that my emotions are all a big part of this. How long did it take you to conquer/ master the stress & tension? I feel like I have it down sometimes, but then I get a twitch in my thumb and all of the sudden I'm back in anxiety-land with full on numb thumbs.
  8. MarkV

    MarkV New Member

    We've traveled similar paths -every test I took (MRI, XRay, etc) I was SO hoping for a definitive result and always so disappointed. I went 2 LONG years with this and, amazingly, on my 2 yr anniversary bought "Healing Back Pain" on April 11, 2013. I immediately grasped the idea and stopped all treatment & tests and journaled all my emotions. These past 2 months have been incredible as far as the progress I've made, but there undoubtedly have been hiccups. I really feel I've identified the vast majority of my stress factors --both repressed (unconscious) and suppressed (conscious) - and slowly mastering control over them. These past 2 weeks are the best I've felt in 26 months! So...it takes time and don't get discouraged with each flare-up or numbing/buzzing. Just use it as a learning curve on your road to recovery. Remember, you're possibly dealing with possibly 35 years of emotions that have to be confronted so be patient -but vigilant - in identifying key stress factors.
    Truly sorry to hear about your friend. I've noticed, for me, current stresses all contribute to the "reservoir of rage" equally so be mindful of everything in your life --going back to childhood to present day. It starts with awareness and then not allowing yourself to get caught up with negative thoughts. So next time your thumb twitches, stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself what's going on with your thoughts in your mind. With focus and discipline, you can catch the pain quickly and work towards alleviating it.
  9. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    how about trying journaling? What stresses you? We are not taught to look at our FEELINGS. How do you FEEL about your baby who whines? What are you FEELING when she does this? WOrk issues?

    try one topic and see how it goes. See if you can find anger, sadness, fear or guilt. Even if you dismiss this possibility at first, come back to it later to see if there are any feelings.

    I did a program years ago where we had to feel those felings and I was lost. till I tried it every day. then i realized that I did have those feelings! even the counter feelings, grateful, happy, secure, etc. took some time to really look at an FEEL. This is a new concept for many of us and takes practice!

    I had the numbness and tingling and it was bizarre. I was scared at first of course (and MRI showed things to othat made me more scared) but when I learned of Dr. Sarno and read his books, things fell into place.

    Best wishes for healing!
  10. SDGirl

    SDGirl New Member

    Thanks so much Mark and Lori for your comments. I have a practical question for you. I pretty much have neuro symptoms all the time (pain comes and goes) - I'm trying to figure out how the "feeling" works? Do you just sit there and think - what am I feeling right now? I feel like my neck/back pain is doing SO much better now that I stop and breathe and say "brain release some blood to my back!"- but then I feel like other pain has cropped up - my shoulders for example - hands and thumbs are "buzzing" and I have fasculations in legs. I know this isn't "pain" so its a little different for me than it seems like a lot of people. Did you guys have anxiety along with your symptoms? And have things progressed quickly or slowly - do they come back? Many thanks for your feedback - you both inspire hope.
  11. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    It is a good sign when the pain moves around. Your mind is trying to distract you from starting this program. It is a reinforcement that you are on the right track. I had the electrical race track zooming around my body when I started. I only told one friend. I knew she would believe me and not think me crazy.

    Check out the 37 day Structured Education Program (SEP) on this site. It is a wonderful place to start on an amazing journey of learning about yourself.

    Everybody heals at their own pace. A time frame can not be attached to your healing. I read the book and had some pain relief...wow. Starting the SEP provided more relief...more wow. I have to journal regularly to manage my pain and depression which I will probably have to do the rest of my life.

    You will do just great.

    Welcome SDgirl.
  12. MarkV

    MarkV New Member

    Stella articulated it beautifully and I agree it's a good sign when you have TMS "on the run"...like a fugitive! Mine has moved around my entire upper left quadrant of my body, confirming I don't have a physical problem in one specific spot as I was originally led to believe.

    As for your "feelings", you definitely want awareness to your physical symptoms. More importantly, bring awareness into your mind to try to assess what is going on in your head (stress factors, anxiety, tension, etc). And, yes, I always feel anxiety when my arm flares up --usually it's about expectations (the huge ones I place on myself and/or what others say to me).

    This sounded crazy to me at first but Dr. Sarno suggests talking to your brain (p.78). I literally tell my brain I see thru my tricky mind and I refuse to be in pain anymore because I know this is now just a psychological disorder causing physical symptoms and there is NOTHING physically wrong with my arm. It works...thoughts have wings!
  13. SDGirl

    SDGirl New Member

    Thank you all! Mark I read your story! Wow, you have been through a lot - I think we call have. I'm so glad to hear that you are all recovering. I am working on this. Feeling like a setback today - I really felt like my upper back neck were so much better and then last night and this morning - It migrated to the other side hurts a lot. I have been trying to wrack my brain about what emotions are going on, and telling my brain to STOP! I know what you are doing. Its really crazy how its moving around. I can't wait to be pain/numbness, twitching and tingling free. One of my biggest problems is that for the past two months I have been really suffering from insomnia as well - so I feel like the lack of sleep just really, really compounds everything. I'm less able to let tension go after 4 nights of getting just 3-4 hours of broken sleep a night (a whole nother issue to tackle).
  14. MarkV

    MarkV New Member

    Insomnia definitely just perpetuates everything, making it harder to focus on resolving TMS. With something so deep, complex and chronic like what many of us have, I think it requires gradual, incremental steps towards recovery. There is no magic bullet or quick fix. I would journal my progress each day and though it didn't feel like it one day after the next, each week I could see I was progressing with diminishing pain. You have to stay adamant in your belief it's TMS and not fear it. As soon as your mind wanders questioning if it's a physical disorder, your mind is winning. Stay vigilant.
    This may be harder for you with your family, but I carved out serious "me" time to focus on this every day. I've also totally gotten into Mindfulness and Meditation as it grew my awareness to my thoughts and helped me quiet them --such powerful disciplines!
    This all takes tremendous work but it becomes a top priority when your suffering becomes unbearable. So keep working thru your challenges and stay focused on Dr. Sarno's message --the "reservoir of rage" will start drying up!
    Stella likes this.
  15. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    This has been true for me as well. I don't see progress day to day but rather week by week. Even that is iffy--maybe month by month is more true for me. When I think back to where I was 6 weeks ago, I am much better now! Three months--wow! But yeah, day by day I don't really notice much difference. This can sometimes be frustrating, but I just remind myself of where I was 6 months ago and I feel much better.

    For example, I remember back in January or February, driving past my old running/walking route and suddenly feeling like crying, wondering when I'd ever be able to run or even walk again. It was awful. Now I am walking 30 minutes a day. I know someday I will run again. Maybe it won't be for awhile but I know it will happen and the progress I've made so far keeps my spirits up.
    Stella likes this.

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