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How I am after vacation

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jaromir, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Jaromir

    Jaromir New Member

    Hi everyone,

    So I started with SEP few weeks ago, but last 3 weeks I was on summer holidays with my girlfriend and here is a little review how I felt and how I’m now..

    Me and my girlfriend decided to do travelling vacation on Sri Lanka this summer. I was a little bit afraid of my health, as I know how difficult for body it can be to travel in tropical area, but I really like to travel and my girl never travelled like this before. We planned to move all the time around the island, flight from Europe takes about 11 hours + waiting times on airports and we packed pretty big heavy backpacks with us. So here I’m, 30 year old guy with chronic pain in neck, arm and hand going for adventure on the other side of Planet :).

    Flight was of course difficult, but I was surprised how easy I handled it. No back pains during the flight and no big flashbacks of pain after. Great. During our holidays I had few "pain attacks" in my neck, I took painkillers once, just to calm it and handle the rest of a day with no (or less) pain. But I really didn’t have any constant pain at all, even it was very hectic travelling. I was constantly facing open windows in trains, blowing wind in open tuk tuks, fans or ACs in indoor areas - all of this I was afraid of. I had almost no pain in my hand and arm for the whole time and I was handling heavy backpacks almost every day.

    So all together I enjoyed my holidays and had no big pains during it. After we travelled home, we were facing pretty bad jetlag. Now after I settled a bit and feel Im back in reality again Im getting my hand and arm pain again. I believe it is very much related to work on PC, which is kind of specific arm/hand and body posture. And now Im stucked as I’m not sure if TMS is my case or not. I understand that if I loose my pain during vacation and I get it back after I start working on PC it looks like and fits TMS concept, but I also believe that posture during working on PC and hand posture during mousing (and for me writing and drawing) can trigger specific structural strains and afterward pain. I know it is also possible to have combination of TMS with structural caused pains, but how can one figure?

    Right now, after such a great vacation full of activity and almost no pain I feel like I should be doing more workout and physio, than writing journal and searching for my psychological issues. Does anybody has same experience?

    Thank you for reading, be well.
  2. Ben117

    Ben117 New Member

    Hi Jaromir,

    I think the fact that you had significantly reduced pain while on vacation - that has returned now your vacation is finished suggests there is definitely some TMS going on.

    Also, I think a lot of 'repetitive strain' injuries are TMS. I've never suffered from them, but how much 'strain' can typing and moving a mouse really cause? I think it's more likely returning from your vacation has meant you are once again focussing on your pain and other stressful things in your life - and that's why your symptoms have increased.


  3. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    Hello Jaromir,
    My experience is similar to yours.
    My pain is (was ?) located in my arms (the right one in the beginning, then both), my neck, my shoulders and my upper back. I was told is was related to my computer use as well as my work as an illustrator. I started physical therapy, but my condition was getting worse. I was always trying to stand and sit straight, and stretch all the time. After seeing my physio, I sometimes got better, but after a few days, my intense pain would resume. My physio would told me it was because of my poor installations at school (I have to type on ergonomic nightmares). After a while, I was convinced nothing could be done. I searched for books about living with chronic pain, and that's how I discovered Sarno's work.
    It was hard to convince myself my pain was TMS. It's still is sometimes. But here's some of the clues I used to convince myself :
    -While cooking, cleaning, and gardening, my pain would get better. Why would it, since I was using my arms and hands the same way as working on a computer ? You say you were handling heavy backpacks and still got no pain in the arms and hands. If your injuries were due to a postural issues, it would mean your arms wouldn't be able to support this kind of physical stress, don't you think ? Imagine you were in intense pain during your trip : try to think about what it would have meant to you. Would it have been a confirmation TMS exist ? Or that it doesn't ? What conclusion would you have made ? The same ?
    -Whenever I would get better, I would try to work for a while on my computer, but the pain would come back in no time. I couldn't understand why, since I was standing so straight, and my work station was ergonomic. If this was the issue, I should be fixed.
    -My osteo found some trigger points in my stomach. She told me I should of focus less on my posture, and more on my breathing. I was very confused at that time : it makes more sense now.
    -I know a lot of people who draw. Some have pain, but the majority doesn't. The ones who have arm pain like me have huge TMS personality traits. The ones who are pain free have terrible postures (but everybody does). So I think posture is not the main issue : tension is.
    Since then, I'm trying to understand why physical therapy didn't help me, and why my pain got worse during my months of treatment :
    I was always focused on my pain, trying to understand in what context, or posture, it would happen. If I had pain in my left shoulder, I would be pissed at myself for not being careful enough, and would stretch and try to relax my muscles using hot pads. But he pain was always moving, and even my physio didn't seem to understand why I wasn't getting better.
    Also, while trying to achieve the perfect posture, I would be terribly tense. So there it it : tension + huge fixation on all the sensation in my body = PAIN PAIN PAIN

    Now, working on my TMS hasn't been a piece of cake either. I was in lot of pain when I first started to use the computer, but it got better.
    I am still not aware of how tense I am all the time. My jaw is always tense, as well as my stomach and shoulder. I know it's going to take a lot of work to be able to face day to day stress without being so tense all the time.
    I don't think journalling is helping me anymore. It was when I first started the SEP program, and maybe I while get back to it when I feel the need to.
    I had some pretty terrible flare backs. When you are pain free for a while, it is awful to be in pain once again, even a little bit. During my flare backs, I was strugling to believe in TMS.
    Right now, I am pissed about something going on it my life, and I was a lot of tension in my neck while tying this. Yesterday I drew all day without pain. It would be easy to tell myself this pain is due to all this drawing, but I just know it isn't. So I'm going to draw today again, because I don't fear my pain.
    I hope this helps.
    Take care !
  4. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    I'm so glad that you enjoyed a relatively pain-free vacation! That's wonderful!
    I'd suggest that you continue with the SEP, and keep up with the reading and journaling. Returning to the "real world" can definitely trigger an onslaught of TMS symptoms.
    Blessings on your journey of healing.
  5. Jaromir

    Jaromir New Member

    Thank you all for your replies. I will continuously wor on my SEP. It is difficult for me to get back to it after that break, but I will manage..

    Hi Sacha, thank you for your reply and story. It is obvious that you are facing same frustration as I do. You want to draw and use your hand as a regullar person, but you are getting pains which are building a wall between you and stuff you really want to do. If I will have no pain from using computer and drawing, I will be probably trying to get in to industry where you are at - illustration. But as I do have this TMS, RSI or what ever this is, I dont force myself in illustration work, I actually calm a lot in this regard. Im looking for other hobbies, Im getting to be uncomplaining about my regular day job (which is boring but easy for me) and so on.. I know this is opposit from what should I do in regard to Sarnos book, but on the other hand it can bring some peace and rest to my life - which might be good to calm this tension you are writing about.

    I know, that handeling heavy backpacks might sound like a lot of hard work for hand, maybe even more than typing, mousing or drawing. But as I know quite a lot about anatomy and physiology, I know that this constant work of fingers and forearm is a lot of hard work for hand. Nobody without this type of pain will understand it Ben. Our arms, starting from shoulder gridle to our fingertips, are the most complex part of our body. There are so many small muscles, all intersected in wierd spirals and every single muscle is affecting each other. Any small movement in your hand is going all the way up to your shoulder. And this is just muscle physiology, all this connected via nerves rooted from cervical spine going through weird muscle tunnels down to your fingers + all that other soft tissue mess, all connected to your skelly and everything magnificently managed by our infinatelly complex brain. How can one find the cause of a pain? I can imige myself being dull - low inteligent, not thinking just accepting things doctors would say to me. I might be withou pain all my life. My problem might be overthinking - oh boy Im getting lost, sorry.

    Sacha I saw your aother posts and it is great to see that TMS approach is helping you. Positive thinking is probably the big part of all of this. I will try to be positive as much as I can and will try to discover myself a bit more. I was drawing a little yesterday and I realized how much I missed drawing, it is great feeling to recreate your vision on paper just by piece of charcoal :). You know what I mean. So what do you do to net be in tension during your drawing session? Any tips ? Thanks.
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    If it's TMS NO! Dr. Sarno wrote in his books, that before IBM Selectras and computers, there were vast secretarial pools of typists banging away endlessly on manual typewriters--and carpal tunnel was UNHEARD of. You just proved to yourself on your vacation, that your hands aren't delicate, and POSTURE is BS! If it's TMS, your job is creating it, accept it, or quit your job and find something that pays the mortgage that you like doing better that doesn't cause stress and bodily tension.
  7. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    I'm so glad that you had a good vacation! You sound like you are on the right track. What great news! dancea
  8. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Day four of a five day vacation and no TMS pain. Good sleep mostly. Good mind in more balance than the the anxious run-up to the trip.
    Almost no relationship conflict. I am not tangling with little power skirmishes that are often so irresistible to my ego, but which contribute to tension, so letting go and laughter have been my goals. So far, so good.
    The ocean is beautiful, there is a breeze as a storm approaches and I am loving the weather of hot, humid, relaxing. No dogs to care for, people to call, office to attend to. I must do this more often, even closer to home.
    I live two hours away from amazing hot springs and the best massage of my life - a Watsu- water shiatsu which is rather like flying in water and silence.
    I am promising myself to go in September for even one night to keep releasing the daily buildup up of my stresses. Meditation and mindfulness are crucial. Stopping altogether for a weekend is, too.
    TheUndyingMind likes this.
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Is that at Harbin Hot Springs?--hippie heaven! Had a watsu there once from a goddess named Diane--that memory will be in my bodymind forever.:happy::happy::happy:
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  10. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Two Bunch palms, Tennis Tom. Cannot recall the guy's name. ...inside my heart I am still flying through water while every muscle let go and I was free. I get it!
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  11. TheUndyingMind

    TheUndyingMind Peer Supporter

    IMO if you go on vacation - or even over a weekend - and your symptoms reduce or disappear then it's definitely TMS. Think about it, the "T" stands for TENSION. You're stressed, probably from work or just your life in general, but then you go on vacation and you feel better. Don't overthink it, there doesn't need to be a more complicated reason. Learn to RELAX and think less - your mind and body will be rewarded.
  12. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I have often had my worst TMS pain on vacations. In fact, I was unable to walk in Nice ten years ago and blamed it on climbing ancient stairs of Monte Carlo. Re-read Sarno while flat ony back and had my biggest stretch of recovery since then. Always wary of my TMS and vacations tho. Have had a few really rough times.
  13. TheUndyingMind

    TheUndyingMind Peer Supporter

    That's very interesting. Any bad travel or vacation experiences in your past that could be a trigger?
  14. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Ha, you sound a like me. A therapist?
    I did a lot of work on this years back and return to it with regularity - picking a current stressor and a past stressor and using the trigger as an opportunity to heal... like a 12 step approach with psychological aspects. We moved at pivotal times when I was young and trauma was shoved down and not addressed.
    When I go away from home for travel, I feel loss. I know it's not rational, I'm not really losing anything, but the feelings are of impending doom.
    I use them now instead of running from them. Have to maintain meditation and yoga practice while on the road or it catches up and bites me on the butt, e.g., feel deep gluteal pain. Almost comic the way my unconscious works. Puns
    TheUndyingMind likes this.
  15. TheUndyingMind

    TheUndyingMind Peer Supporter

    Thanks for sharing. That gives me something else to ponder. Perhaps some things can never be fully resolved but only recognized and handled as best as possible.
  16. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Cool place, legend is Al Capone hung out there lying low from the law. Hollywood stars hanging out incognito reading scripts. Had a mud-bath there, takes a lot of time to get the mud out of all the cracks and crevices. They shot the mud-bath scene there from the Altman movie "The Player".

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