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Day 1 Hopeful

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Broohaha, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Broohaha

    Broohaha New Member

    I am very happy to have found this site. I've known for some time that the different medical ailments I've been dealing with have some psychological component and I've known about Dr. Sarno's approach for years (had heard about it in Howard Stern's books and on his show). my condition began to get worse and worse, I took his book off the shelf and tried to start reading it but never was able to really finish it and didn't know the best way to implement his approach. However, the structured program I see here seems really promising and I am going to force myself to commit to it.

    The one problem is that my most serious ailment - ulcerative colitis - is not classical TMS. It is not exclusively pain related and there is a clear physical component that can be diagnosed (I have the scopes of my large intestine to prove it) and, presumably, treated. However, my treatment has been agonizingly slow. My UC began two years ago, around the time I began working full time. It took me six months to realize that constipation, pain, urgency, frequency and extremely bloody stools during defecation were not normal and to go and get a full colonoscopy done. Afterwards, my doctor had a clear diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and he prescribed me with prednisone. My symptoms were gone within days. It felt like a miracle.

    Unfortunately, about 5 months ago I had a flare up and this time the prednisone did not solve things. I've since gone on another, stronger medication, Imuran, tried various alternative remedies like accupuncture, deep tissue massage, meditation, etc. and my problems are still with me (though it should be noted that on each day I did the accupuncture and the deep tissue massage, my symptoms seemed to subside and I was able to pass stool much more easily, but that improvement would only last one or two days at most) and seem to be getting worse. I am feeling more and more desperate because not being able to control your bowels makes living life extremely difficult, for obvious reasons. I have had multiple accidents and the pain and stress on my bowels is making me worry about the toll it's taking on my body, to say nothing of the toll it's taking on my personal and work life, where a sudden spasm of pain may strike me while on a phone call, in a colleague's office, or while at lunch with friends.

    So I've decided to continue my medical treatment (staying on the medication being prescribed to me and seeing my gastroenterologist) but am also going to pursue this structured program. While ulcerative colitis isn't listed as a classical TMS malady, I've done an online search and somebody else on another website mentioned that he has found the Sarno approach directly impacts his ability to recover from a UC-related flare up. That scenario -- experiencing a persistently stubborn flare up of UC -- is exactly the one I find myself in so I am hopeful that Dr. Sarno's approach will be effective.

    That reminds me -- I haven't even begun to list my other maladies. Many of them are classic types of things that would seem to be psychosomatic. It started with a pair of nervous ticks: I would pick at my eyebrows (often pulling the hair out entirely to the point where I would look noticeably strange in public) and "click" my teeth with my tongue, making a very loud noise. The former would be an uncontrollable urge that I could only stop if I put tape over my eyebrows; the latter was almost entirely subconscious - at times I would be in a room with five other people and start clicking and people would stare at me wondering what my problem was. I still do both on occasion but much less frequently.

    In the place of eyebrow pulling and teeth clicking, I am now dealing with several other problems. First is a generalized stiffness/pain throughout my body as well as occasional back or neck pain. It began with pretty serious back pain which lasted a couple of weeks (but which has subsided since I bought a back support for my office, home and car chairs). But the generalized feeling of stiffness still persists and I occasionally still have back or neck pain.

    Another issue I deal with is inordinate sweating. I sweat a tremendous amount, much more than normal. I was on a medication for this which worked great for a few months. But my body apparently got used to it and it no longer has any effect.

    And then there is another issue which I've dealt with since I was teenager - generalized depression and, especially, anxiety. I have certain stressors in my life which I know result in these two problems but they're intractable issues that I have to somehow deal with. Fortunately, my knowledge of the Sarno program makes me realize that these stressors have been buried in a way that has resulted in not just depression and anxiety, but sweating, eyebrow picking, teeth clicking and, most seriously, flare ups of ulcerative colitis, that have made me utterly miserable and unable to live my life. Now that I've found this website, I'm very hopeful that a sustained and directed program will help me use Dr. Sarno's techniques to have these problems go away or subside in a way that makes me a healthier, happier person.
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Broohaha,

    Welcome to the forum. I love your forum name. It really made me smile this morning. I am looking forward to seeing your avatar if you choose to use one.

    On a more serious note, I wanted to recommend a book by Dr. David Clarke entitled They Can't Find Anything Wrong. In the book he talks about stress illness and its effects on countless patients suffering from a range of gastrointestinal disorders. The book is mainly comprised of case studies but does include a section on suggestions for overcoming symptoms.

    Having an X-ray or MRI image that shows some abnormality is usually a sure fire way to convince us and keep us convinced that our symptoms have a physical cause. This will lead to doubt. Doubt prevents us from healing.* Also using special equipment like what you have for your office and car chairs sends messages to the brain that you believe you need them to feel better, that pain or stiffness in your back is a physical problem. Again by using them it is proof that you are doubting.

    Despite all of this no one here will expect you to change overnight, to throw away your equipment or disregard those images. It takes time. All you need is patience and persistence. The gang on this forum are so helpful and supportive. They won't ever give up on you or let you down.

    While reading through your post where you start to list your other symptoms my first thought was, 'will he mention anxiety in that list?', and sure enough you did. Anxiety is inextricably linked with TMS/PPD. Many of us have suffered from anxiety alongside our other symptoms. Many, many people have recommended another book, Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes. I haven't had a chance to get this yet but it has helped many sufferers of anxiety to overcome their symptoms, mental and physical.

    For an immediate and free option, check out the Structured Educational Program on the wiki. Of course, read the articles and success stories on the wiki too. Keep posting on the forum. We are rooting for you.

    Edit: *Although Dr Sarno mentions colitis as a symptom of TMS, Dr Schubiner takes a more conservative stance: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Q&A:_Addressing_serious_medical_issues_along_with_typical_TMS_symptoms

    If it is possible for you, can you get this symptom checked out by a TMS doctor?
    veronica73 likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great advice for Broohaha. Follow it to good health. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
  4. Broohaha

    Broohaha New Member

    Thank you for the welcome, yb44. I appreciate your input regarding not attributing my maladies to the scope/back rest and will make sure to keep what you said in mind. I am very persuaded that the TMS approach is on to something and it makes a lot of sense to me. But at the same time, I appreciate the helpful reminder/direction so that I truly internalize the concepts and don't get distracted by mis-attributing my illnesses to things other than my emotions.

    Also, you mention a TMS doctor. I did not know there was such a thing. I would be very, very interested in seeing someone like that. Do you know where I can find such a directory? I live in Houston, TX by the way.
  5. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

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