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I need help...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Steve J., Sep 5, 2016.

  1. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    In June/July of 2015 I thought that I had this thang behind me. Now I'm going through hell again and I don't know what to do. I hadn't posted on the wiki for almost a year because I was so confident that my remission was complete.

    I sent this message to Alan Gordon, but he has yet to respond. I'm wondering what kind of feedback some of you would be willing to provide:

    How are you? I'm sure that you don't remember me, but we had a phone chat almost two years ago now in which you offered me great comfort and support that what I have is more than likely TMS. I then went on to have sessions with Alex Bloom for several months, but I wasn't really improving, and in March of 2015 I went to the hospital (voluntarily) for having suicidal thoughts that were not going away. After that, I went on anti-depressants and attended CBT for a while. By summertime I was feeling much, much better.

    A brief recap of my history/symptoms:

    Eczema as a child, and even occasionally now on my right pinky finger. (I'm now 26).
    2010: OCD/anxiety/depression as I was studying abroad in Spain.
    2011: 1+ year of unexplained abdominal pains/diarrhea (I saw two gastroenterologists, had stool samples taken, blood work done, a colonoscopy, in addition to seeing a urologist who performed a cystoscopy). I also had a renal sonogram performed. All came back perfectly fine/inconclusive. Eventually, the pain sort of just went away. It just did.
    2011-2012: Officially diagnosed with intrusive thought OCD. This, I thought, would be the end of me. I was an absolute disaster. I was waking up every morning having these deeply unpleasant and disturbing thoughts that I was a sexual predator. Very intense. Very scary. I did not know what was going on with me, but eventually upon doing some research I realized it was all anxiety related. Upon the recommendation of my very supportive girlfriend at the time, I started doing CBT, and greatly improved.
    March 2013: Injured my left wrist playing golf. The pain was not dissipating. Diagnosed with tendonitis by orthopedists. I had injections done, MRI's/x-rays taken, all came back fine. Eventually all the limbs in my body began to hurt. I had multiple MRI's done, bloodwork taken (rheumatoid factor), visited a neurologist who performed a brain/neck MRI, in addition to an EMG and nerve conduction tests. Some slightly low D and B12 levels so I started supplementation, but other than that all was fine. The pain was not diminishing.
    2014: I was muddling through with the pain and discomfort. It wasn't easy, but I somehow managed. I ended up seeing an acupuncturist for about two months really to no avail. Tried going gluten free, etc, etc. I discovered TMS in November of 2014 while I was having low back pain in addition to limb pain. (I was seeing a chiropractor at the time. He wanted me to study dianetics. I got the hell out of there). My pain in my back and mostly arms at this point had taken over my life.
    2015 came and I decided to go to see my primary physician (she is actually an NP) who had bloodwork taken, with equivocal/inconclusive results. I was diagnosed and conventionally treated for an anxiety disorder (my initial paragraph outlines that experience).
    As I improved during that summer, I started doing all that I wanted to do again--playing basketball/football/baseball. I was feeling great. I thought I had it all licked. At the end of the summer, while skateboarding, I broke my right ankle. This started me worrying about pain again.

    Fast forward until now. My arms and legs are in constant, round-the-clock pain. I have convinced myself that I have rheumatoid arthritis, even though I have zero swelling, and zero joint stiffness. My joints are pain-free, it is the muscles in the surrounding musculature that is clearly the issue--fibromyalgia-like symptoms, I would say. I get scared that it will take years to get a proper diagnosis. Anyway, my health anxiety/OCD has ramped up since I work as a server in a restaurant (I am a full-time student as well), and I worry that I won't be able to support myself as I continue my academics. I had to go back to my primary, and am taking anti-depressants again in addition to seeing my CBT therapist. I just had more blood work done yesterday--CBC, TIBC, RF, thyroid, Vitamin D. My primary is very confident that my biggest issue is depression/anxiety, and that those are the culprits behind my pain and discomfort.

    I am very familiar with the TMS theory. I've read all of Sarno's books at least once, and read Steve O's book three times. I also have Dr. Schubiner's workbook. But I can't shake the idea that I have TMS...AND some sort of autoimmune disease. So obviously any work/reading that I put into this will really be futile if my belief is not 100%. My question is this: do you think at this point I should see a TMS physician? I'm so scared that I will see one and will have my biggest fears confirmed: that I am sick with an irreversible/uncurable illness. I don't understand how TMS could cause this much intense pain. I feel like it's worse than ever....

    I'm sorry for going on and on. I feel like this message was almost a way for me to try convince myself of TMS again because I am seriously doubting it so much this time around, and I know how crucial acceptance of the diagnosis is. If I do see a TMS doctor, I'm thinking Paul Gwozdz since he's not terribly far away from me, and I hear great things.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this mess.

    Best,
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are adorable and you can get yourself out of this pickle. It always does well to have scary illnesses ruled out and having done this it is then wise to solicit help where help is needed. There is only so much anyone can achieve from afar and as great as tinternet is it is no substitute for a real person in real time.

    But you know, having been on the end of worst-case scenario news I can tell you that it is strangely liberating. Terrifying. Awful. Mind-loosening. But also beautiful. Many people in my circumstance leave their spouse, they run away from life and from death. How cruel and craven that is.

    Within the unfolding of the nightmare comes the opportunity to love more deeply than you ever imagined. To feel more than you ever dared. To rage at the Gods and their bastard games. To cherish innocence. To cry at the fucking stupid beauty and simplicity of it all. To finally love yourself and others for who and what you are. For no longer subscribing to I want you to love me for who I am (pretending to be).

    Shine my darling.
    Blaze like a meteor knowing that the crash will come but that it will be fucking spectacular.
     
    Ines and Steve J. like this.
  3. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Plum coming through, as always. Much love.
     
    plum likes this.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Much love x
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat Well known member

    Dear sweet Steve,
    I look forward to reading about your amazing recovery young man because I truly believe you will be writing of your recovery here because you will achieve it just as you did before! Something serious or "incurable" would not have left and came back. I too had my current pelvic pain years ago and it got so so much better, probably 95% improved for years, until recently after a year of very traumatic and stressful events and it seems to be showing it's ugly face again. :(
    Let's both focus on the fact that we had the strength and power to overcome it before. Why should that strength and power be gone now? It's there. Tap into it my friend. You'll get through this. I'm cheering you on! :)
     
    Mad and Steve J. like this.
  6. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Thank you, riverrat! I love the (rational) optimism!
     
  7. BeWell

    BeWell Well known member

    Hi Steve,

    I feel for you. You have a lot of courage putting it all out there to overcome your physical symptoms and get on with living life.
    You mentioned over and over you saw conventional MD's and all your tests came back with normal results or you were said to have anxiety. Anxiety as you have read in the books is TMS equivalent. Since all the other Doctors basically said you are healthy, there should be no worry a bona fide TMS Physician can give you a fright that you do not have TMS......all the other MD's said you checkout - healthy.

    I self diagnosed reading all four of Dr. Sarno's books and I have messed up low back pain, shoulder pain, nervous tension, foot burning and tingling, knee, hip, cold tip of finger (so-called Raynaud Syndrome) that moves from one finger to another, and other stuff. Over time by observing these weird problems I am very sure I have TMS and doubt still tries to undermine my path to well being.

    Give yourself the freedom of seeing the TMS Doctor. Let us know how it goes for you.

    Best of luck.
     
    Steve J. likes this.
  8. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Thank you, BeWell. I appreciate the response and support.
     
  9. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Just chipping in my support. I'm the same age and thoroughly relate to your story.
     
    Steve J. likes this.
  10. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Thank you, friend. Likewise.
     
    eskimoeskimo likes this.
  11. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    See the tms doctor if that will calm your fears. This in turn will tone down your fight or flight reflex. You have the knowledge . Pause reflect mindfulness deep breathing . Live in the moment by focusing on your breath . It help me break the cycle of living in my head in the past or future. Help is always here. You are not alone.
     
  12. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Thank you, intense. I feel blessed to have this forum in my corner.
     
  13. westb

    westb Well known member

    My sense too is to have any medical tests/consultations etc etc that will clarify things for you and thus put your mind at rest and let you know what you are dealing with. As has been said, the uncertainty certainly doesn't help the fight and flight reflex. I'm having a test done at the moment on my digestive issues (results in the next week or so) and while I'm quite anxious about the result, I recognise that the alternative of not knowing and persistent long-term fretting is SO much worse and much more damaging.

    I appreciate your posts in this forum very much, Steve. Good luck as you navigate this passage. Keep us posted, we're with you.
     
    plum likes this.
  14. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Thank you, westb. As you can see above, I've had many tests/evaluations done. My most recent blood work was done almost two weeks ago and I've not heard anything, so I'm assuming that everything is fine. Of course I could still go see specialists, but I will only do so at this point if my primary deems it necessary. I trust her judgment. If things don't improve over the next few months, I will go and see Dr. Gwozdz as a Christmas present. We shall see. Everybody's support is truly appreciated.

    Steve
     
  15. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Steve J. The others have given you the best advice. It always boils down to believing 100 percent in TMS. I think it would help you to read again Dr. Sarno's 12 Daily Reminders about TMS. I especially like the extended version by Herbie, a great friend of this forum:


    Herbie’s Extended Version of Dr. Sarno’s 12 DAILY REMINDERS

    1. The pain is due to TMS. This is real pain or anxiety but it is caused by subconscious tensions and triggers, stressors and traits to your reactions and fears and also when at boiling point your conscious tension can and does also cause real pain.
    2. The main reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation. This means that when you get in pain or anxiety then the blood is restricted from going to your lower back, for instance. The blood being restricted causes oxygen deprivation which causes the pain. Remember, where there is no oxygen then there is pain in the body. Also, the pain stays because of fear.
    3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my REPRESSED EMOTIONS so even though you think you can harm yourself from the years of pain you have felt and how you feel in general -- so far no reports have been heard from TMS healing knowledge causing damage to anyone, it only helps.
    4. The principle emotion is your repressed ANGER -- this means under your consciousness lies something that happens automatically to everyone. TMSers have repressions that are stored because of our personality traits, traumas, stressors, fears, strain, etc... When these stored repressions build and build, then eventually they cause the brain to send pain into your body to keep you from having an emotional crises. The mind-body thinks it is helping you.
    5. TMS exists to DISTRACT your attentions from the emotions, stressors, tensions and strains of your personality traits because if you can get distraction then you won’t have to be in emotional turmoil. When you don't face and feel your emotions and they get repressed because you didn't want to deal with something -- they are just adding up in this beaker, ready to pour over and create real pain and anxiety in your body.
    6. Since my body is perfectly normal, there is nothing to fear. So in reality when I fear the pain or anxiety I just cause myself undo strain and tension adding to the beaker of pain. If I fear, then I feed the pain, If I fear, it’s impossible to recondition. Fear keeps the pain and anxiety alive in the body through focus.
    7. Therefore, physical activity is harmless. If I want to work against the pain I could but it’s better to lose some of the pain so when I start my life over I have to be in pain trying to heal because facing the repressions and all the other activities that cause the pain and reversing my fear and focus to them, then I can heal.
    8. I am resuming all normal physical activity. I don't fear moving anymore. I believe in my body’s ability to heal now. I can move as I want. I will not fear moving with a bent back anymore. I will also practice going out and acting normal again, not in fear of what pain might do to me.
    9. The pain is unimportant and powerless. Its only power is how it is hidden -- its illusion, its fear.
    10. I will keep my attention on the emotional issues. I will think about my emotions and feel my emotions throughout the day. I will not judge, criticize or fear my emotions. I will not run from my emotional issues but face every one of them. I will feel my emotions fully and cry if I need to. Then I will release the emotion and get my mind and thoughts back to my life and living in the present.
    11. I am in control of all of this. This is how I recover.
    12. I will be thinking PSYCHOLOGICALLY AT ALL TIMES. This means I will keep my thoughts on psychological issues like happiness, fear and anger -- traits and triggers, conditioning and journaling -- The science behind mind-body/TMS healing, etc.... This way I will not feed my thoughts to the body -- that is a trick of TMS. TMS will always try to get me to focus on the body caused by the pain until I break its show and flair. When I get my attention off physical symptoms and on to emotional issues and psychological issues then I will not feed the fear of the physical issues anymore, thus making the TMS of no pain effect on the body. This will in return, give us the cure and become pain-free.
     
  16. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Steve,

    Just checking in. How ya feeling?

    Eskimo
     
    Steve J. likes this.
  17. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve, we all have those moments. Doubt is normal, being down is normal. As long as you wake up tomorrow truly believing that you have TMS.

    Come on, man, everybody knows that fibromyalgia IS TMS! There are hundreds of people who recovered from it by reading Sarno's book! How you are describing you symptoms throughout your life strikes me as clear case of TMS. Just get through the day, and there will be a better one tomorrow!
     
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  18. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Hey, Eskimo. I'm doing okay. I was doing well for a while, and had one of my best days in a long, long time, only to come home to find results in the mail of bloodwork I had done. I have slightly elevated iron levels (which I've known for years, and no previous Doctor deemed anything necessary to combat it), and for some unholy reason I resorted to frantically googling. What I saw scared the hell out of me. My primary doesn't seem concerned though, obviously, otherwise she would have wanted to see me asap, right? I don't know. I just wish I weren't constantly thinking about pain and health and all the rest of it.

    I appreciate you checking in. How have you been, my friend?

    Best,
    Steve
     
  19. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Thanks, TG. I agree. It does seem like a clear case of TMS. With my health anxiety though, I'm always thinking about the next test, the next Doctor, the something-or-other that may have been missed. This is why I may need to just see a TMS doc in the coming months to allay this anxiety. We shall see.

    I will get through the day! It's beautiful out here right now and I've got a lot to do. Hoping everything is well on your end. Thank you for the ongoing support.

    Steve
     
  20. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    My best guess is that your pain is from severe muscle tension, made worse/perpetuated by anxiety and obsessional focus on it. Believe me, when one is locked down in fear that it's something else, I KNOW how hard it is to internalize/accept that message.
     
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