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Horrible flare up

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by mina, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone,

    This is my seventh day on the program (2nd time). I am stuck with a horrible flare up that has nothing to do with doing the program and which is putting me in a very distressed and gloomy mindset. Here is what happened.

    Exactly a month ago I attended a CFS support group in my city. I didn't want to go as I thought that in order to follow Dr Sarno's instructions, I should avoid such gatherings. Plus, I didn't believe that I could gain anything at all from this group (or another one). Yet, my partner kind of encouraged me to go, saying that I had nothing to lose and that Dr Sarno could be right in that there is a psychosomatic part in my condition but that I should close no door since there could be something else. The meeting is set in a hospital quarter, I have an appointement with a doctor there in January, a doctor who is a researcher on fibro and cfs. The people at the meeting are all his patients. I remember telling him about my fear of catching new symptoms. I must add that I fell sick over six years ago little time after meeting my sister-in-law who has had fibro for decades. Little did I know back then what it was or that I was a TMSer, I had no idea, as you can guess. In a nutshell, knowing my tendency to copy other people's symptoms, I was reluctant to attend that meeting and I went only to see. See what... I have been wondering and I think I expected to learn something, find something interesting or meet people I could relate to (racordify as Steve O says). I am completely cut off from the world, I only speak to my partner (or my dog!).

    The day after the meeting, I started having some symptoms such as coughing, very intense and extended muscle and joint pain, sweats, cognitive issues such as impossibility to focus and very strong diahrea. From the beginning: I thought things like "I hope I haven't caught these people's CFS symptoms".
    I don't have fatigue. I remember people at the meeting complained of a great deal of fatigue but none of them had pain. After two weeks, I saw my doctor who told me it was a kind of flu virus that a lot of people had, that this year it was particularly weird and that some people had it for up to three weeks. I was reassured and kept taking some pain killer (as it helps with the fever).

    Now, it's been four weeks and I have no improvement at all. So, very reluctantly, I checked the web yesterday to try and figure out what was going on. The only answer I could find was: flare up.

    I have been doing the wiki program again for seven days and following Dr Sarno's tips seriously for five weeks. Thinking psychologically mainly is one thing that I had dropped.

    So here I am: stuck with new symptoms plus old ones that are reaching a stage where all I want to do is just be in bed and cry. I cannot help but think of my body, it hurts so bad. I had managed to do some sport, be more physical, even do some chores at home but now I can do nothing at all. I am really in hell, this reminds me of about a year after falling sick: my state had been worsening and I had reached a stage where I could no longer walk, pain was too intense. Now, add sweats and diahrea and you've got a body that is hassling me.

    Has anyone ever experienced this kind of flare up (again, I'm not talking about flare ups triggered by the program but one that is triggered by a virus). I make a difference as I know what happens due to the program and I know it is transient and goes away by itself, just by being persistent.

    What should I do? I read that some fibro sufferers take antivirals in order to shorten the flare up. That's fine but they take this medicine shortly after the appearance of symptoms, I have had them for a month...

    Anyone's insight is warmly welcome. I am very hurt. I used to be sad and moody, now I am shattered. I really wonder how to cope with this new development. I continue the wiki program, of course. I have the impression I have fallen down very very deep and don't see how to gather enough strength to pull myself up. I mean one month is long, no improvement at all is disheartening.

    Thanks in advance for sharing your insights and experience.

    jaumeb and Tennis Tom like this.
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Mina,

    You write very well, are you an English teacher? Your boyfriend, although well meaning, telling you to go to a CFS group makes as much sense as the quack dentist telling you your leg pain is due to your teeth. CFS and fibro are almost always TMS. Quit googling symptoms. Stick with the TMS stuff. If you're not reading a TMS book, start reading one. There aren't any TMS practitioners listed in France. You could go to England to see one or Skype with one anywhere in the world and it works just as well as in person, and saves on having to find a parking space and having to get dressed. I just spoke with SteveO, steveozanich.com, the other day and he's doing TMS skyping for very reasonable rates and can get you back on TMS course in a couple of sessions. He just released a new book and it's good for a TMS booster. He can also give you some tips on publishing your book since he's a writer and has published three TMS books and is now working on some children's books. You can also go to the HOME page here and there's a long list of PRACTITIONERS. Georgie Oldfield is in England http://www.georgieoldfield.com/, (the links to her aren't working for me but I'm a Luddite), maybe she can refer you to an "objective" physician if you need one, in France. My thoughts based on everything you've written is your doctors are fishing for structural stuff, when it's likely TMS--and this is the TMS Wiki.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  3. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Hi Tennis Tom,

    Thanks. I am an English teacher though I haven't been working for the past year and a half.

    I have read all the books Steven O has written and I have been in touch with him through mails.
    I have also read two books by Dr Sarno and done the wiki program once.

    You underline something of importance: we have no TMS doctors in France, noone knows what TMS is.
    If you say the word "psychosomatic" talking about fibro or CFS, people watch you sideways.

    I have come across Georgie Oldfield's site and thought of enrolling in her program and then I thought that the TMS wiki was OK.

    Well, my boyfriend is full of good intentions, everyone is but he has seen me in such despair and for so long that my guess is that he doesn't know
    what to say or how to be more helpful than he already is.

    Thanks again for your answer. I am just puzzled at this new collection of symptoms: I don't know if they are a sort of reaction to the meeting I attended
    or a reaction to following Dr Sarno's technique again. I guess I will never know and that's OK.

    jaumeb likes this.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's the power of suggestion from the collective meme. Keep TMS reading, keep skyping with TMS practitioners , stop googling symptoms. What are you doing for exercise?
  5. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Thanks a lot for your insight Tom.
    I am not working with any TMS practitioner over Skype any more. I did it twice but now I do the wiki program, which is what helped me most in the past.

    I swam twice a week between January and end of August. I have stopped as the pool is closed. I will go back when it reopens in January.
    I also did some fast walking/slow jogging with my dog in a nearby park. I stopped this five weeks ago when I had the flu symptoms.
    I will resume this. Though I was a long distance swimmer and thus very sporty, being physically active has turned out to be a big challenge.
    I have grown fearful of sport, very probably because a lot of people, including a holistic doctor, told me that it was the intensive swimming that
    had triggered my condition. You're right Tom, everyone in my country is looking for structural stuff, even the holistic doctor who though he was
    open-minded and is the one who mentioned the Gupta program to me, gave me some bloodtests to do and a ton of supplements to take.

    Taking some supplements has never helped, Gupta helped but I am not able to say what helped in Gupta, there are so many things in that program.
    What I think is that I need to journal, this is essential to me and even if I am reluctant to do it, I must stick to it.

    Just one more thing: I have so many symptoms all the time that forcing me to think of something on my list is psychologically exhausting.
    For ex, when I am reading or watching a film, I have symptoms and so I think of something on my list, and then of something else and I lose
    track with my reading or the course of the film.
    As a consequence, I am reluctant to think psychologically as it would mean spending sooo many hours a day thinking of the sentences in my list.

    How have you or other people handled this? I don't remember it being so hard the first time I did the wiki program, probably because symptoms
    were less numerous and present.

  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Keep up your exercise, at least 30 minutes a day no matter what, you can take a day off if you're feeling exhausted or get a massage.

    Did your "hole"listic doc give you the supplements of sell them to you?

    When you are doing your psychological work are you doing psycho-archeology to unearth "the incident" that precipitated EVERYTHING? Psycho-archeology is not necessary, switching the thinking to the emotional when you feel the pain, means to try to think about what is triggering the TMS symptom, probably current pressures, and solving or accepting them head-on. TMS is created by your T-personality type, your past and present/future tensions.

    Sometimes you can't find anything, but by conditioning yourself to shift your thinking away from the sub-c created pain, to the conscious mind, taking charge of your thinking, dealing with the present/now, versus your sub-c running the game, creating TMS symptom defense mechanism distractions.

    If you're sick and tired of thinking about this stuff, go do something physical or something that gives you a pleasurable distraction, instead of beating yourself up all the time with pain or self-shrinking your brain.
    plum likes this.
  7. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Hello Tom,

    Thanks again for your fast answer.

    I agree with you in that I believe that this flare up is the result of the incredible power of suggestion. I am sad though to notice that eventhough I knew where the pitfall
    was, I fell... and apart from following the program, I don't know what to do to convince my mind that there is nothing wrong with my body AND that seeing those people
    doesn't mean that I have to be like them (though nobody there had aches, I DID catch a flu like virus since my partner caught it from me BUT he recovered, I didn't, like those people in the meeting).
    I am willing to do things but I don't know what to do. Journaling about this topic? OK, but how exactly? Shall I write to my brain? This is something I have never done. I like the unsent letter exercise, I have used it a number of times to write to people. If anyone has got a hint, I would appreciate.

    Tom, I do not at all feel like going out in the freezing cold and rain to run. I can't take a massage, I hate massages, they hurt a lot. Do you realize that a simple and slight touch onto my skin hurts? My thighs especially hurt and running implies using one's thighs. I have alodynia all over my body, from my chin down to my calves.

    When I think psychological, I do what you call psycho-archeology in that I pick different things from my list of traumas and force my brain to focus on these things instead of my body. This is exhausting and depressing. My list is long and as I said, yet unfinished. Too much stuff. I still cry over things that happened to me when I was six. And, believe me, I journaled about these things and shed many tears over these events. I don't know when this is going to stop, I mean: will I be able to think of these things without crying? I used to think that after you have cried a lot about something, it kind of stayed but didn't hurt so much. This is not the case for me.

    I am afraid I don't really grasp what you mean when you talk about current pressures. I mean, of course, I have pressures, such as questions regarding my future professional life, this is something that scares me a lot. What should I do then, according to you? I have no idea how to solve this issue. I try to use mindfulness but most of the time, I can't. Hum...

    jaumeb likes this.
  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  9. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Thank you Tom, I had a long look at this section, which I had never looked at, it is full of interesting info.
    I am wondering if reading Dr Dispenza's book "You are the Placebo" is a good move. His meditation technique too
    is fascinating. I don't know anything about quantum healing, apart that it is something Steve O does. I don't meditate
    the way I did when I first discovered mediation three years ago: my mind doesn't calm down so I wonder if Dispenza's meditations
    would help me. I have seen that one of them was available on youtube, I will try it tomorrow.

    Just to finish: I saw my shrink on Wednesday and we did some Eye Movement Therapy on the CFS meeting. Surprising things have
    come out. My pain level has gone down. I don't take pain killers since I saw him and though I am not back to how I
    was before this flare up, I am on my way. I think that sometimes we get stuck and looking for ways out alone is very hard.

  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Glad to hear you are feeling better, I would still suggest you consult with a TMS practitioner by skype, in conjunction with your current therapist.
  11. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I am just puzzled at this new collection of symptoms: I don't know if they are a sort of reaction to the meeting I attended
    or a reaction to following Dr Sarno's technique again. I guess I will never know and that's OK.

  12. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Oh, Mina...

    I am never puzzled or surprised by flare ups. If we didn't have flare ups, we would be perfect beings. It's what we DO with the flare ups that is full of healing. I think of mine, like the one I am in at present moment, and see it as if I am a race car at the Indy 500 and my pit crew sees something wrong with my car (life) and wants me to pull into the pit to check the tires, the engine, in the case of TMS, it's the feelings.
    My ego doesn't want me to have any unless the feel good or great.
    The current election cycle has stirred horrid traumatic stress reactions in me. Bound to be expressed in my body. I try not to be afraid, to listen to the fear, the depression, the anger and tell my mind/body it doesn't need to perform magic tricks to get me to lie down and rest.
    The brain has the best intentions of protecting us.
    I had CFS/fibro when I started working the mind body methods, and not any more. I don't hang out in chat groups and talk about symptoms.
    For me, 12 step programs provide emotional outlets without enabling my narrative of Poor Me, I Hurt.
    I used to relish the pain... as an excuse to stop living.
    Lately, haven't felt much joy. Even in things that give me huge joy. It's temporary.
    It is not forever.
    I will get my joy back.
    I am glad you wrote so that I saw FLARE UP when I signed on. WE get well together. Not alone. The We-ness of this forum is a place of comfort and a place to break the trance of the pain.

    With warm wishes to all.
    PS! As I began proofreading this post, I noticed my pain went from an 8 to a .075. Thank you!
    plum, Shells and Tennis Tom like this.
  13. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Wow Bodhigirl!
    I am impressed at the effect the post had on your pain level, this is amazing!
    And I'm glad for you.
    Warm wishes for the rest of the TMS journey
    Shells likes this.
  14. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter


    Wow, the fact that this post decreased your symptoms is awesome! I too am glad that I saw FLARE UP when I signed on.

    Your response caught my eye because you mentioned 12 Step Programs. I have been part of a program for many years but have continuously struggled to apply the steps to this situation. I have step 1 down, well most of the time. Definitely the powerless part. Sometimes I still try to "manage" in various ways. Getting out of self helps sometimes, but at other times the people pleaser or the part of me that puts pressure on myself is at work.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Much thanks,
  15. mina

    mina Peer Supporter


    What do you call 12 Step Programs?
    I am doing the TMS Wiki, trying to stick to the daily things proposed. Thus, it makes me read about TMS on a daily basis AND journal, which is very good for me.
    If just writing a post here helped you, my guess is that journaling every day would do you good, do you do it or not?
    I stopped journaling for so long, it is painful but helpful so now I continue. Maybe we have to accept that it is something we have to do even if we are better, just to let
    go of stuff that we would otherwise repress.
  16. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter


    Here is a link that briefly describes 12 steps http://www.12step.org/the-12-steps/ (The 12 Steps).

    I have been journaling and it is getting worse. From what I understand this is common? I think I am seeking the balance of doing the program but not doing it so much that I become obsessive. This is a challenge for me!! I tend to over analyze.

    A large obstacle for me is getting over the fear of the pain. Not that I think something awful is wrong. The fear that it will never go away.

    I had one day where I was so sad and upset that the pain was secondary. It lessened for a few hours. Of course it came back as soon as I recognized that. I want to " not care" so much about being uncomfortable.

    Thanks again for your post
  17. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mina, do what feels good. Give your body pleasure.

    A lot of people get snared here. I recommend reading this excellent success story posted by @ezer

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/pelvic-pain-healed.8680/ (Pelvic Pain - Healed)

    Pay especial attention to links provided to Monte's site. The December 2013 update is an audio download that explains this day-to-day aspect of how our thinking creates and perpetuates pain. It will ask you to sign-up to receive the link.

    http://www.runningpain.com/important_tms_updates (The TMS Master Practice Program - The New-Sarno TMS Program - Important TMS Updates)

    Plum x
  18. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle


    You've journaled, and that isn't helping, a lot of people who've overcome did NOT journal, I've never journaled and I do whatever I want, whenever I want, just not enough time in the day to do it all. I seriously think you are just beating yourself up with all the thinking and feeling that you NEED to journal and dig to find the black bullet emotional incident that "caused all of this". You don't! You do need to believe in TMS theory that your TMS pain is benign, harmless, AND start DOING the physical things you fear and that are giving you pain. Having pain everywhere and pain from clothing touching you is NOT normal. You need to recondition yourself by DOING, not by overthinking this. DO SOMETHING ALREADY! I don't have anything more I can say to you. Quit jumping from one self-help program to another--you need to believe Dr. Sarno's program--that's all you need to heal, but you must get it--you're still stuck looking for answers when they have all been in ANY of his books, but you have to get with HIS program. He says to return to physical activity, there's a lot of things you can do at home or join a gym or find an indoor pool. One of the most enjoyable epiphany like events I had was running in the rain, on a foggy Sunday morning in the park, believe me you won't melt. Get dressed up warmly and walk around the block today.
    eskimoeskimo likes this.
  19. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Good question, Shells.
    If you think of the unconscious as containing the Higher Self/Higher Power (and other stuff like ego, etc), and accept that symptoms arise when the unconscious delivers a message to the brain to lower the oxygen to our trigger places... then, you can turn the pain over to the HP. In a sense, alcoholism is a symptom of maladaptive tension release. We have a problem, we have pain, we drink: now we have two problems.

    So, working the 12 steps on our pain is not unlike what most of the TMS programs are like. Schubiner's meditation on past stressor/current stressor and "defect" of character that arises from the stressor is a perfect example of how beautifully the 12 step concepts work with TMS MBS recovery.

    The ego gives the brain a directive: less oxygen, more physical pain! Then we are distracted from what is really going on. The thing is, we don't have to perfectly understand EVERYTHING that is going on. I have found writing to be very very helpful at times. Free-form journaling not as helpful because I love my STORY and can get caught up in drama and victim stuff.

    Writing a letter to the HP about symptoms and asking that they be "removed" is a sort of surrendering of the pain and the ego to the HP.

    I hope that makes sense. I am writing this after two hours of extremely boring paperwork. Hope it helps a little bit. You have a great foundation if you've worked all 12 steps. Think of TMS recovery as making amends/changes to yourself for the greater good. Imagine the third step prayer as: help me with my TMS and I will help others. Those kinds of things. You know this stuff, you just haven't synthesized it yet.

    When symptoms arise, pause instead of feeding the fear... and tell the ego, "Thanks but we've got this." Turn to the HP and say, "Now, restore me to wholeness... please."

    Best wishes with this!

    Shells likes this.
  20. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter

    Awesome!! Thank you. I'm going to think about this some more and prob pm you later if that's cool??
    mina likes this.

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