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Hello! New here

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by inymyfruitcup, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. inymyfruitcup

    inymyfruitcup New Member

    Hi there,

    My name is Kyle, I am a 24 year old male currently residing in Phoenix, Arizona and I have been on quite a journey!

    Starting around 5 years ago (fall of 2010) after a trip to the dentist I begin to have very severe headaches that wouldn't budge no matter what my PCP prescribed. They were the kind of headaches that started at the base of my neck and wrapped up around my eyes. They were with me day and night for probably just under two months.

    During this time, the headaches started to fade but they were replaced by new symptoms. I began to have shortness of breath, excessive post nasal drip, and a rapid thumping pulse. Thinking it was allergy related I saw an allergist who ruled that I was allergic to certain molds and pollens. He prescribed inhalers and tried 3 or 4 different allergy medications. None of which helped.
    He referred me to an ENT to do a laryngoscopy to see if I had GERD, which could be causing my issues.
    I saw the ENT, and the test did confirm I did have light evidence of GERD on my vocal folds.
    I also began having digestive issues, so I transitioned to a gastroenterologist who did a endoscopy to rule out celiac or see if there was anything else going on. The results stated that I had slight GERD, but that is about it.

    I saw no improvement on medication, so I had him order a abdominal ultrasound per the suspicion (on my part) that my gallbladder was causing my problems. My gallbladder, kidneys and liver all checked out fine.
    He then refereed me to an endocrinologist to see if I was having adrenal problems that were messing with my nervous system. She did a full endocrinological work up and found nothing remarkable (see a pattern here??).
    Looking over my file, she noticed there was a note about on my abdominal ultrasound that my PCP didn't catch. It mentioned something about a dark area or mass, so she ordered a MRI which found a tumor down on my psoas muscle, it was biopsied and found to be benign. I had it removed a few months later just to be safe.

    After all this, I went the Mayo Clinic and saw nearly all of the same times of specialists, and had tons of lab work done as well as a new endoscopy, a barium swallow, and new spirometry test. Nothing remarkable...

    I took some time off of doctors and began having some back pain. I went on to see an Osteopath and a few Chiropractors all to find no relief. I decided to see a Rheumatologist just to see if by chance it could be some sort of autoimmune condition. She really didn't come up with much, but we talked about how it seemed possible that I had Ankylosing Spondylitis - an autoimmune arthritic condition. At this point I was so sick and tired of doctors, and after learning that there was nothing a doctor could do for this condition I decided to just call it quite with my time in the medical community. We didn't seem to have too good of an understanding of each other. This was during the spring of 2013.

    I didn't really see a doctor until August of this year, and was sort of working under the assumption that I had Ankylosing Spondylitis since I seemed pretty fit and I had no idea what else was wrong with me since I was medically "sound" in pretty much every other way. I began to have a very intense fatigue that began around June or July (2015). It would come and go, but sort of set in pretty hard around August, so that's why I decided to go to the doctor. He ran all sorts of blood work and the only thing that turned up was that I was BARELY pre-diabetic. I began to have fasciculations and random muscle twitches, which he basically boiled down to stress and anxiety.
    He even ran the blood test for Ankylosing Spondylitis and ordered an X-Ray to see if I had it... and I didn't!! This sort of shattered my reality because I was certain I had it. After finding this out, that meant that after 5 long years of health problems, I had not a single diagnosis and yet another doctor just sort of shrugging at me. He sent me on my way and told me I needed to learn how to relax. The last time I saw him was in September, and shortly after I started seeing him I began to have numbness in my left arm. The numbness then spread to a spot on my leg, and traveled down to my foot. The numbness also spread from my hand to my arm. During a panic attack one day (which I have only ever had like 2 of) the numbness spread to my right leg. This was a major sign that everything that was going on with me was sort of "psychosomatic" in a way. The anxiety attack was about my health, and how I have no idea what is wrong/or when I will ever get better.

    Because of the numbness, fasciculations, and muscle twitches I decided to see a neurologist. I saw him on Monday and he believed me to be Neurologically sound. He doesn't believe it's even worth my time to get an EMG or MRI to see if I have ALS or MS because I passed his clinical exam so well.
    He told me he thought it was more than likely the cause of stress, and told me I really needed to do something about it and potentially consider therapy. I have gone to therapy though, years of it. I was seeing a therapist for a good portion of my "doctor break" from 2013-2015.

    I should have mentioned that some time during all of this, probably after I stopped seeing doctors in 2013 I go heavily into mind body philosophy and the subconscious. I have all of John Sarno's books, as well as a few other mind body healing books. I decided to really dedicate my time to finally getting over this by doing a better job of managing my stress as I am sure I simply have TMS/MBS at this point.
    I cannot get a TMS diagnosis as there are no therapists here, but I think it is pretty safe to say I have TMS at this point. I have to ask though, how do you guys fully accept this? I am a natural worrier and need to just lay this to rest. I believe the body is capable of amazing things. I just need to believe it for ME.

    I will say that as a new thing appeared for me each time lost all most all concern for the previous condition. For example, since finding out I didn't have Ankylosing Spondylitis, I have and almost zero concern or pain. Keep in mind I had consistent back pain for years, I even stopped using a pillow at one point - I have since resumed use of a pillow as I am trying to "resume normal activities".
    I have been consumed by the twitches and 24/7 numbness that developed during and after I had my most recent round of check ups.

    I just wanted to put this here to introduce myself and say "hello!".
    I am glad to be joining your community.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Kyle, and welcome to our forum!

    That is quite a story for someone so young - and as someone who's been around reading a lot of similar stories for the last four years, I gotta say that TMS/MBS is really the ONLY thing that makes sense.

    Sadly, traditional talk therapy doesn't seem to do a whole lot of good for most people who land here. You probably recall that Dr. Sarno went back to Freud when he developed his theories, and Freudian-style psychotherapy probably makes more sense than most when dealing with TMS and its many equivalents. That being said, there are a number of fine TMS therapists who work remotely - you might check out Alan Gordon's Pain Psychology Center.

    Alan has been extremely generous with his time and information, with two webinars (still on the forum, I've posted the links on my profile page), that helped me enormously, just listening to them, and later on the donation of his TMS Recovery Program to our wiki. The other program we have is the 42-day Structured Educational Program, designed to help you take things one day at a time, and introducing you to different information, techniques and resources. Alan's program is probably more emotionally-based than the SEP, and is particularly helpful for people who tend to intellectualize instead of going deep.

    The favorite book around here for anxiety was written in 1969! It's Hope and Help For Your Nerves, by Dr. Claire Weekes. It was my second life-saver after The Divided Mind, my favorite Sarno book.

    And another favorite author who might interest you, is Dr. Gabor Mate, who wrote When The Body Says No, about the stress-disease connection. And by stress, he means specifically the stress of emotional repression, so he is totally on board with Dr. Sarno, but his theories go even farther onto the realm of self-healing.

    If you want to see plenty of stories of recovery from the whole world of possible symptoms, be sure to check out our Success Stories subforum. This is a great place to go when you are feeling down or experiencing a setback. Which of course you will, but we're here to keep you thinking psychological and believing in your own ability to recover.

    Keep posting, and keep us posted!

    ~Jan
     
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  3. inymyfruitcup

    inymyfruitcup New Member

    Hey Jan, thanks for the reply.
    I'm super glad to be here. I can't believe I didn't just come to this sooner though.
    I should have known it was TMS/MBS with the way my symptoms would sort of shift and change with each negative prognosis given to me.

    In my time off from 2013-2105 from doctors, I only really ever saw a doctor a few times about a sore throat to find out that I was allergic to Milk.
    I really think this too is TMS/MBS as well though. I admit when I first started avoiding Dairy my symptoms improved, but then it became wildly inconsistent. My throat would sometimes be sore for weeks when I know I hadn't eaten any Dairy, and then sometimes when I would intentionally eat Dairy (I love ice cream), I wouldn't even get so much as a tickle! Now I rarely ever have a sore throat when I eat dairy, but I have wild eczema that at first correlated with when I ate dairy, but then started to have a mind of it's own like the sore throat.

    Our bodies are so weird and complex, it's hard to not marvel at them even if they can be a pain sometimes.
    I can't wait for the day that I can go to a regular doctor and have them talk to me about some of this stuff. The connections seem so obvious.

    I will check out what you suggested, I am familiar with Gabor Mate and am a huge fan.

    What was your TMS struggle?


    Thanks again!
    Kyle
     
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Kyle. You poor guy, to have gone through so much so young. But I do think your symptoms are caused by TMS, repressed emotions. I suggest you stop thinking your pains are physical and believe in TMS, that they are psychological. The Structured Educational Program, free in the subforum of this web site, helped heal me of severe back pain and has healed many others. It will help you to discover the emotional causes of your pain.

    Welcome to the TMS community. We will look forward to your future posts. I am confident they will be positive healing reports.

    I didn't learn about TMS until I was 82. I'm 85 now and consider it one of the best things that ever happened to me. I not only healed from back pain but learned more about myself and others than I ever imagined. So will you.
     
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Kyle, you are right on when you correlate allergies with TMS - especially so-called food "sensitivities". I have noticed that my seasonal spring allergies are significantly reduced since I started doing this work four years ago.

    Okay, let's start with food! In the summer of 2011 I was losing weight rapidly, and not in a good way - this was due to digestive issues, which were uncomfortable, unpredictable, and possibly life-threatening if they had gone on too long. I was eliminating all kinds of things from my diet to the point where I was on the "white" diet - chicken, rice, saltines, bananas, and applesauce. Ugh. Reading The Divided Mind turned that around, and I later came to realize that I could talk my way out of even occasional digestive "episodes" from overeating. The last time I was up all night with digestive distress was "before Sarno". I eat and drink everything and anything these days. Although I do believe in moderation and being height-weight proportional, and I tend to follow Michael Pollan's advice (somewhat paraphrased): Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly plants. So I avoid processed foods, fast foods, fake foods, fake ingredients, and soft drinks. My favorite food motto is "if it ain't butter, don't bother".

    I also had chronic neck pain and frequent muscle spasms, shoulder pain, shaky legs, disabling "5-ibuprofen" headaches, lower back pain, sciatic episodes, anxiety attacks, and worsening depression. I had tenderness along the top of my collar bone which I believe is a classic symptom of fibromyalgia, but I only realized that after it went away, by reading descriptions of fibro via this work.

    My worst symptom, which was in danger of making me house-bound, was dizziness, something I'd had off and on for years, but which really reached a crisis point in 2011. AND that is the one symptom that still comes back whenever I'm stressed out and not being mindful of my thoughts. I have had two bad episodes this year, clearly tied to some very stressful demands on my time and energy and involving deadlines and complicated logistics and other people's expectations. Perfect breeding ground for TMS. (Can you say "perfectionist"?)

    You are going to hear/read the following a lot if you stick around here: Do not beat yourself up about this! Or about anything else you do or don't do :D Walt has already told you he was 82! when he discovered Dr. Sarno. I was 60. Intellectually I'm sure each of us still thinks how great it would have been to discover this work in our twenties, but emotionally, we have let it go, and we are enjoying being in the present with our new-found physical and emotional health.

    The fact is, finding this in your twenties is awesome. Think of how many years ahead you have to share this knowledge with your friends and family - even kids if you have them! Because that's the only way we are going to change how people and their doctors look at this - by word of mouth, one person at a time.

    It's great to have you on board, Kyle!
     
  6. inymyfruitcup

    inymyfruitcup New Member


    Hi Walt,

    Thanks for the reply and words of kind encouragement. I plan to start the structured program today when I am off work! I have to admit, I am quite excited!!!

    I used to poke around this forum a lot before taking the leap and signing up, I saw your posts all the time. It was pretty funny to see you replying to my post!
     
  7. inymyfruitcup

    inymyfruitcup New Member

    Jan,

    Thanks so much for your reply.
    Hearing your story gives me a lot of hope. It's nice to talk to someone who eliminated symptoms outside of back pain using the ideas behind TMS. I know that this has been done, but sometimes my mind likes to scare me by pointing out that John Sarno's theories were developed around back pain and that symptoms are probably much worse.

    But I know I have seen them shift and be wildly inconsistent in nature. I've also had doctors of just about every specialty treat me like I am crazy... So it's got to be TMS/MBS.

    I look forward do abandoning my allergies, aches, eczema, digestive issues, anxiety, etc, etc, etc!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Kyle,

    Welcome to the Forum and Wiki. Your story reads like a catalog of TMS journeys, all rolled into one!

    Jan and Walt give you a good welcome and support, in my opinion.

    As you engage Dr. Sarno's work fully, you might read your introduction post occasionally to see patterns in how you are engaging Dr. Sarno's work, patterns that are part of the SEP personality. You mention worry for one. There are probably others, including the need for "solid ground" about your condition, and diagnosis. These propensities are not wrong; they are natural to you.

    When you enter Sarno's work, you bring all the personality traits that cause TMS, into your new work. That can't be helped. But it can be seen for what it is, and with mindfullness and insight, relax over time. Or simply connected to your symptoms. "I am being perfectionistic about my SEP program. How might my Inner Child feel about this?" for instance.

    My work with myself is about developing self-compassion, and working with the Inner Critic, work that tends to challenge the TMS personality patterns. You have a lot of awareness in your path so far, reading your story. I hope you can step back, know you are on the right path, and observe the whole journey with compassion.

    Andy B.
     
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