1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

I am Back and I am Shouting from Rooftops

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by LindenSwole, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. LindenSwole

    LindenSwole Peer Supporter

    I've been actively involved in the TMS Community for about a year and a half but had no yet posted my recovery story. A lot of twists and turns along with some moments of doubt along the way.

    In a nutshell, I have had TMS symptoms going back to probably when I was 8 or so - the first one I can remember was frequent urination. I started getting knee pain when I was 12. Reflux showed up just before my 21st birthday. Throughout my mid and late 20's it was elbow problems, shoulder problems, knee problems and stomach problems. 2013 I had my first really severe symptom, I would say, with a terrible dairy intolerance that would, at best, make me constipated for several days and at worst would give me terrible nausea.

    In December of 2014 I developed flu-like symptoms that went away a couple of weeks later.

    In late 2015 I started having a lot of shoulder trouble. I was knee-deep as a competitive Weightlifter at the time and this really slowed me down. This was the beginning of me jumping from doctor-to-doctor and getting way too many opinions, images and explanations. I went ahead and had surgery in April of 2016 and had one of the smoothest recoveries the doctor and PT had ever seen. What was supposed to take 8-10 months ended up taking about 4.5 months. As I was inching towards full medical clearance I developed sciatica out of nowhere. Once that went away I developed severe knee pain. Then, the day before medical clearance for the shoulder I had my first back spasm. Later that year I developed really terrible flu-like symptoms; twice in the month of December I got the "flu" and was even put on medication to cure "c-diff" until the tests came back negative and I didn't have c-diff at all. Doctors shrugged their shoulders and couldn't figure it out.

    What followed was 10 months of absolute hell. I would spend 2x per week in doctor's offices, usually 1x per week at a chiropractor and another day at a PT. I was diagnosed with pinched nerves, thoracic outlet syndrome, upper crossed syndrome, lower crossed syndrome, IBS, tight muscles all over the place, brachial plexus compression, on and on, and on. In all, over the course of 10 months, I saw 25 doctors and specialists and walked away with new treatment plans each time. I even drove 20 hours roundtrip to have my neck worked on (not insured) with a nerve entrapment procedure. All-in, I probably paid about $15,000 out of pocket and I had insurance the whole time so who knows how much that really would have costed. I saw MD's, PT's, chiros, rolfers, acupuncturists, massage therapists, etc. At my worst I was sitting at work for 4-6 hours each day researching new symptoms and possible diagnosis’. By April I had even grown a half-a-golf-ball growth in the front of my neck that was said to not be a tumor but that they weren’t sure what it was.

    Then, I read about a doctor at the University of Washington (15 miles away) who was an expert in nerve entrapment procedures. I had positive imaging and tests for a variety of "nerve lesions" so I thought I would go and see the best in the field. She examined me, evaluated my imaging, and probably spent close to an hour with me. In a moment that at this point seems like a dream, she goes: "Tell me about the stress in your life." I assured her I wasn't stressed but she kept pressing for family issues, work, etc. Instead of the typical treatment planned I was handed, she gave me a referral to see a sports psychologist and out I went.

    I sat with this information for a few weeks. One night I was on my deck researching mobility tools on Amazon and saw "Healing Back Pain." I bought it and read it in two nights and my world was completely rocked.

    I sought out a therapist (not a TMS therapist). He was aware of Sarno but wasn't trained in psychosomatic specifically. However, the value of having another person to talk to that I felt I could trust 100% without any judgement was so critical.

    Since then, I have spent the last 1.5 years more or less dedicating my life to the legacy of Dr. Sarno. I have a podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and AudioBoom called "The Mind and Fitness Podcast" that gets somewhere between 5,500 and 7,500 listens per month in over 70 countries around the world. I interview some of the leading experts in TMS and deliver the message to the masses.

    I got back to full physical activity via CrossFit within a few days of finding Sarno's work, but this is not at all an overnight healing story. It took a long time - probably a year and a few months before I'd say the worst of my symptoms left me.

    All-in, the things that have been cured:

    - Asthma and Allergies; for 8 years I had been taking a daily cocktail of three prescriptions for these and stopped taking all of them cold turkey about 6 months ago with no problems
    - Dairy intolerance is gone
    - Oat allergy is gone
    - Chronic Back Pain is gone
    - Chronic Neck Pain is gone
    - IBS is gone
    - No more constipation
    - Knee pain is gone
    - No more sciatica
    - The limo in my throat disappeared first.

    I'd say the greatest gift by far has been the development and the capacity for me to process emotion and understand myself. I feel like I was running on autopilot for so many years. I was hugely successful in sales, making a ton of money, but always felt like the world was on my shoulders. I don't feel that way anymore and have recognized that I don't need to be Superman to be really, really happy. It's made me a better person, a better husband and a better father to my two girls.

    I could literally go on for days about this (you can hear it all on the podcast). But I'll spare you.

    Thanks so much for reading and best to you.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi LindenSwole,

    Thanks for posting, and thank you for the fine podcasts. I recently listened to a few, and you really asked great questions, and clarified questions from listeners. We're all spreading the word!!!!

    And I am so happy about your TMS work.

    This comes through in one of your podcasts, how the whole process changed you. I think this is the deepest gift for everyone involved in this process. I work with many people who never really looked deeply at their lives until they considered the TMS connection to their ailments. Life changing!

    You might like this post I made, about the long-term benefits of doing this work, including how so many other symptoms drop away.
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/ease-trust-success-and-positive-loops.19807/ (Ease, trust, success, and positive loops)

    Andy B
    HattieNC and LindenSwole like this.
  3. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    This is such an amazing story! I am going to check out your podcasts.
    LindenSwole likes this.
  4. stradivarius

    stradivarius Peer Supporter

    Wow LindenSwole, congratulations on your amazing recovery! Thanks for sharing your story, I think it will give hope to a lot of people. Many of my symptoms are similar to yours, in particular I am suspecting that I have brachial plexus compression. I will check out your podcasts too.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @LindenSwole thank you for this fabulous post!

    There are so many things to like. Here are my favorites - the first two because they are so valuable to others who are experiencing frustration, and yearning for perfection in their process:

    This is much more the norm than the overnight "book cure". It takes work.

    Too many people want a strictly "TMS therapist" and are not open to the fact that many competent therapists are firm believers in, and perfectly capable of working with, the mindbody connection.

    I am in awe. You are really doing the work, 100%.

  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story. You will be an inspiration and resource to others. Congratulations!
  7. Harzee

    Harzee Peer Supporter

    Hi Eddy! Great podcasts! Can you please tell me about your elbow pain? Thank you!
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Harzee! Tell you what? Look: the whole point of TMS awareness is to understand that the details of any particular symptom are completely irrelevant. The fact that you are asking for details about someone's long-gone symptoms means that your primitive brain does not want you to accept the knowledge of the TMS mechanism. @LindenSwole (Eddy?) is not a doctor - only a doctor can tell you if there is something physically going on with your elbow. But I'm assuming you are here because the doctors can't find anything wrong, and you believe that your symptoms are caused by TMS, right? I know it's not just elbow pain - your list is way long, but "they" can't find anything wrong, and you've already said that you're just short of a fibro diagnosis. Which we all know is TMS. Right?

    You have to fight back against this desire to keep asking people for details! Don't let your brain trick you into this - it's just a huge distraction, and it's another way to keep you in pain. Your fearful brain is totally in charge, and you continue to let it be in charge. As long as you're doing that, you're just spinning your wheels, and recovery will continue to be out of your reach.

    Dorado has already given you some of the very best advice you can receive, back in February, and I'm going to repeat it here:
    I'm going to go further than Dorado with a possibly risky statement - or a hard truth: people with fibro - most of them female - seem to have the toughest road to recovery, because there is almost always something pretty bad that your brains are deeply committed to repressing. The only path to recovery is by doing the emotional work, and IMO, that means serious psychotherapy. Not just "working on your health anxiety". Because, honestly, your health anxiety is just another distraction. You have a choice: finally face your fear, and the underlying real emotions, or live your life in pain.

    TrustIt and Ellen like this.
  9. stradivarius

    stradivarius Peer Supporter

    Jan, that was an amazing post - thank you- one of the most helpful I have read. I have fallen in to the same trap as Harzee - I am constantly trying to find out if others have the same symptoms as me and whether nerve inflammation can be TMS, or not. Now I see it is just a distraction.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  10. Janecw

    Janecw Newcomer

    I am a retired RN and former psych nurse so have always been interested in the mind body field. I share that part only to show that I can be duped by my mind and body just as easily as anyone else. I first learned about Sarno by watching John Stossel while I was in the midst of persistent sciatica pain. Within two weeks of applying the TMS principles my sciatica was completely gone. So I knew that it works. However recently I began to notice I was having more arrhythmias than I normally do. The more I noticed them the more I seemed to have. I was also having stomach and back pain. I decided I needed to have a heart check up due to my age and the fact that I hadn’t had one in many years. My 48 hour Holter monitor showed almost 14,000 irregular beats in 2 days. Luckily they are the benign type and my other heart tests checked out fine. Within 2 days of finding out nothing was wrong I pretty much stopped having them. That’s when the TMS lightbulb went off and I wondered could my stomach and back pain be TMS? So I re read The Mind Body Prescription, wrote out my list of all the things that bothered me and started working the principles again and sure enough my daily pain started to subside and I began to have days with no pain at all. I have a new mantra now that I repeat throughout the day to remind my brain that I am ok: Observation, Oxygenation, Relaxation. I truly did not realize how much tension I was holding in my body and how much my feelings were affecting me. I look back on this last TMS experience with kind of a DUH now but also with gratitude. Thank you to all of you who are willing to share. I read the forums often for knowledge and encouragement.
  11. ImGa

    ImGa New Member

    Wow. The dairy intolerance sounds just like mine. Insane constipation from it over and over since I refuse to stop it because I do believe it makes no sense and it can't be anything else other than TMS.
    I would like to know how you tackled it though.
    Like for me, for another symptom like fatigue, I just accept the feeling, don't freak out and let it pass and it does work. For constipation, I m not sure how to handle it, because everytime it happens and I let it be it becomes harder and harder to go to the bathroom as the days go by since not emptying the bowel makes it drier ....
    How did you deal with this specific issue and how did you manage to eat dairy without constipation.
    I m one million sure it's TMS, I just need that little trick to start this properly.
    Thank you for your help
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The answer to your question is that Eddy (aka LindenSwole) did the emotional and mental work. When you "do the work", as we call it, all kinds of symptoms simply disappear because your fearful primitive brain no longer needs to distract you from your "dangerous" negative emotions with physical symptoms.

    This is the basis of Dr. Sarno's theory of what he labeled "TMS". I see you were here briefly last year, but I wonder if you ever read Dr. Sarno - or if you need to re-read him. Mind-body science has advanced quite a bit since his day, but his brilliance is how well he explains the mind-body connection and the emotional repression theory. I recommend his last book, The Divided Mind (2007) which includes chapters by five other MDs and a psychologist; or his previous one, The MindBody Prescription (1998).

    I understand that testimonials helped you a year ago, but there will be no special trick specific to ANY of the symptoms on Eddy's long list. This is the experience of everyone who does the emotional work. I can also tell you that it's a waste of your valuable time and energy at this point to just search success stories for your exact symptoms and then try to ask specific physically-focused questions - especially on an old thread. Besides, the OP already told his story. The whole point of Success Stories is that the road to success is in the stories, IF you can absorb the entire story, rather than being laser-focused on your symptom. If you read enough Success Stories from a big-picture point of view, which means letting ALL of the information sink in, you will come to realize that each one is unique when it comes to the individual techniques and skills used to access emotions and calm down the nervous system - but that the one common theme among them is doing those two things. Each individual must take the time to explore and adopt the particular skills and techniques that work for them.

    You're certainly not alone in this quest to find the one post or person who will provide the one thing that will "cure" you! Lots of people do this - but the truth is that you are under the influence of your TMS brain which wants you to believe you are accomplishing something by doing this. Unfortunately, it's just another TMS trick. This kind of thing will get you nowhere and simply keep you stuck in fear and doubt - which is exactly where your TMS brain wants you to be!

    The fact that you now have a different symptom a year later, one which is not receptive to the simple "I'm going to ignore this" technique of a year ago, is partly symptomatic of our extremely stressful times (see Nicole Sach's podcast from March about the Symptom Imperative), but mostly a sign that your brain is onto that trick, and you have to go deeper this time around. This is a very common experience.

    Ultimately, this is Eddy's answer to your question:
    In order to "do the work" Eddy engaged a therapist who worked with the mindbody connection. However, you can start doing the work yourself at no cost, no registration required, with our self-help Structured Educational Program (on the main tmswiki.org site).

Share This Page