1. Our TMS drop-in chat is today (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern U.S.(New York) Daylight Time. It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support. Celayne is today's host. Click here for more info or just look for the red flag on the menu bar at 3pm Eastern (now US Daylight Time).
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Introduction - grateful to be here

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Healingintexas@13, Jun 27, 2021.

  1. I first learned about TMS October of 2020 ... I read Dr. Sarno's book Healing Back Pain ... during a very painful back pain flare up that came seemingly out of nowhere. [back pain is not new I had a horse injury, a military injury and many flare ups in a job where I had to bend a lot in the past but that was 30 years ago] I watched the documentary: All the Rage. I read part of The Great Pain Deception by Steve O. So now June 2021 ... I find myself in my first back pain flare up since 8 months ago. But I also realize that what I thought was a new shoulder problem that cropped up a few months ago ... is almost certainly TMS too. Limited range of motion and difficulty even putting my hair up in a ponytail. The pain in my back makes me wish all I had was a frozen shoulder.
    It seems I recovered very well in last October ... I even started bending and walking/doing more and I was no longer afraid to carry reasonably heavy items (in the proper way but I lost a lot of fear), or ride an hour in the car. I continued to journal about feelings everyday not past stuff so much but current stressors and my feelings about them ... things I could do and working on allowing and accepting feelings ...and that was enough for 8 months.
    Then stress built up over travel that I want to take this summer (DAMN IT ... IT SEEMS LIKE A PIPE DREAM NOW) and have the $ to take to see family ... and a new demand on my time popped up helping someone that triggered my old fears around having had my life energy and years/decades gobbled up by caregiving. Now this demand has receded (someone had to take over for me the driving to appts for the person as I can't even get into a car yet for more than 5 min at a time) and is for now over with but the travel (cross country flight/rental car) is not possible until I can sit on the 3 airplane segments and 2 hour rental car drive required to get there one way from Texas. And I can see that my brain is using well known neuropathways to divert me from the conflicted "want to go ... it seems too hard ... is it really safe/COVID ... will I get stranded ... will I relapse ... mental/emotional back and forth about traveling.
    I thank goodness I know about TMS because this flare up is the worst I've had since I was in my 20s and locked into a bad job and a difficult stretch in a relationship + frosted with caregiving children and parents. Back then I had a whole month side tracked and I quit my job eventually thinking the lifting of children in pre-school toddlers + changing diapers was the culprit.
    I have to dig deeper, believe the diagnosis even stronger (which is not really difficult because I am an absolute match personality wise and score 48/50 on one test for TMS). I believe that I believe I have it. But I can now see as I work my way thru Dr. Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain ..... the book/workbook = there were a lot of other things in my past having to do with my body that were TMS ... not just the back pain!!!!!! The symptom inventory was a huge wake up. I'm 57 now. This is a lifelong pattern I can see going back to being sick every Christmas and the only kid in pjs for the pictures. Led right into an eating disorder and childhood obesity ... eventually led to headaches, sinus allergies, shin splints, heel pain, neck pain, rotator, back pain, hip pain, sciatica, depression sprinkled on periodically. Ugh. [in 2018 I overcame the weight issue + I'm normal weight now with intermittent fasting and this year I overcame the past money/debt issues ... so maybe I have fewer coping mechanisms unhealthy ones but still ... ]
    Current scans show "only" degenerative arthritis. The doctor wanted me on pain meds, PT, and cognitive therapy. I had already read Dr. Sarno's book so I declined that. Right now I am for the most part not taking anything except using occasional CBD creme for the bunched up tight muscles. Maybe twice this week. Pain has been up around 8 at times and down to 2 or non-existent certain times of day.
    I feel like I'm STILL very distracted by the pain and physical part. It is doing it's job. I have several (mainly 3) big emotional issues that are difficult to "work on". Face. Think about. I have a counselor I talk with twice a month -- and he is on board about the TMS.
    I am even helping my spouse understand why I don't choose the medical model for this psychological problem. At first it was a big contention and argument. He is getting it now. Dr. Schubiner's brain knowledge got thru to him.
    I have much to learn still and practice especially. While at the same time WORKING TO not be TMSing even more by obsessing and doing the reading and workbook and videos 24/7 ... can't get better that way ... I must life my normal life ... it's so hard since riding in the car is still painful and this week I must confront that and take some desensitizing short trips and deal with it. Then I could get back to a more normal for me life. I am practicing relaxing it has NEVER come easy to me.
    Thank you for listening. I'm happy to find this place. My counselor suggested I join since I told him I feel isolated by this and not many people even have heard of this and many say ..... that arthritis will do this but I know the overall picture and it is truly TMS that I am sure of.
    Hope to meet many people and help and be helped. Eeeks this is so long. I apologize for that.
    HattieNC, Cap'n Spanky and Ellen like this.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome! Read, listen, ask questions. This is a wonderful forum!
  3. Cariad

    Cariad Peer Supporter

    Hello Chris!

    You sound so smart about TMS! I know that's maybe more frustrating - that you can see it all but still don't feel magically better... but as you say, thank goodness you do know about it, you're on the right track...

    I've been 'a believer' for years now, but still need to challenge new issues that crop up from time to time. Some of the hardest are ones where you do have a legitimate 'reason' for pain - previous injuries or illnesses - but I have to remind myself that the body is a healing thing, that it likes homeostasis, it likes movement - it's just the mind getting in the way. I'm 56 so we're close in age, and so we both know that some things DO get more creaky or less efficient as part of the natural ageing process (yes, media and advertising people, ageing IS natural and normal! :D)

    But what I'm hearing from you is that there are definitely things you're conflicted about, roles you don't feel happy with. Again, as we age, we can start to take a reckoning of what we do and don't want to do any more. I read that, with our drop in oestrogen, we don't feel that urge to care or nurture that we might have when we were younger... and I personally think it's all well and good to drop a few responsibilities as we get older! But maybe we're seeking 'permission' to do that, and our body speaks up for us by getting pain and immobility because that's easier than challenging people (and ourselves). People don't generally like us changing if we've been looking after them, do they...

    But maybe I'm projecting my own thoughts around this lately! I'm sure your counsellor will be much better able to explore this with you. All I will say is, you don't have to solve everything at once. Give yourself time and space. Put a few things on hold and see if that makes you feel better. Our answers can often be found in our feelings!

    All bests, Cariad x
    Healingintexas@13 likes this.
  4. Hi Cariad,
    Reading your reply I right away realize that I've been putting myself under intense pressure to travel like NOW because it has been 2 years since I was able to see my almost 80 year old Mom ---- thanks to COVID and the timing of my last visit was such that almost a year after my last major trip to see her COVID hit and then it was not a possibility until just recently when my home state reopened and there is at least a way for me to see her at her ALF (assisted living facility). It's no wonder I had such a flare up.
    I know that even though it has been so long, I've got to be ready and more able to calm my nervous system down. I think you're right about putting a few things on hold for awhile. It may not have to be for a long time ... just for a time while I continue to practice going back to all my normal activity here at home before hopping 3 flights and a 2 hour rental car drive ... :)
    Thank you for your reply.

  5. Aimee88

    Aimee88 Well known member

    Welcome, Chris. I was so grateful to find this place, too. My 'laundry list' is similar to yours, and I'm not far behind in age. Before this, I had been in pain and having other issues and diagnosis for about 35 years. I've made great progress, but I'm back this week because I'm having quite strong pain again. I'm grateful to know what it is, and I'm back reading the books and soaking up the wisdom and encouragement here.

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