1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 1 It was like reading my own biography!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by wrcftw, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. wrcftw

    wrcftw Newcomer

    Oh boy...I DEFINITELY have TMS. I was an anxious child, thought about death a lot, and worried about little things children aren't normally anxious about. Then came the teenage years...One very traumatic event for me was when a friend was talking to a group of us about how he had to get an ultrasound done to see if he had testicular cancer. My cousin had just passed away from childhood leukemia and I was really afraid of death, that it could take someone in their early 20's who just a few months ago was at my house playing golf and pool. I remember learning about testicular cancer and going home to check myself and lo and behold, I found a little lump. For the next 6 months, I believed I was dying, and did not go to the doctor. I believe I was 16 or 17 at the time. I was so afraid that it was too late for me and as the months went by, I felt complete dread that the doctor was going to say sorry, you should have come earlier. I was paralyzed with fear. I told no one. Until finally one day I broke down and told my mother, and was so ashamed that I had waited this long. Fear gripped me until I went to the doctor, had an ultrasound and was given a clean bill of health.

    It was then when I started to develop TMS like symptoms. Weird muscle pain in my leg for weeks, until checked out by a doctor and then it went away in days. Pain and tenderness at basically every lymphnode spot...until a blood test reassured me that I was fine. On and on and on. Then I developed panic disorder riding the bus to University, which translated into full blown panic disorder at basically any time one would not want a panic attack (fear that I couldn't escape without causing a scene). Dating was traumatic even though I kept at it and met some great people, long car rides or stuck in traffic induced a strong urge to go to the bathroom. Then came the CPPS symptoms. Oh boy, my first full blow pain/tms meltdown...

    It was my 4th year of University, and I decided that I didn't want to work as what my major was gearing me towards (a very specific path). I had worked at an internship and was disastrous at it. I felt like a failure, had major imposter syndrome and was told a few times I wasn't cut out for it by my supervisors. My desire to feel loved and a part of a community and RESPECTED was crushed and gone. Self-confidence in anything but my physical appearance was completely gone (thank god I had a cute face or I'd have had no chance at confidence). I started studying for my last round of finals and what started as a feeling like I constantly had to urinate (even though I didn't) became extreme pain and discomfort in my rear end and penis. Oh boy. Not only was I embarrassed, but I went into a full meltdown over the next few months. I was basically bed ridden and a tangled mess of anxiety. I truly felt like my life was over. It took months, many doctors and a trip to the ER for me to realize that nothing was physically wrong and that this was all 'in my head'. I found a CPPS forum and read a few books....and, after a few weeks/a couple months, the pain was gone. It returned a few times in the 10 years since, but only for a week or two and only during extreme stress.

    That was 10 years ago. Almost 2 and a half years ago I hurt my lower back gradually as I was trying to get in shape at the gym. That started the low-back pain cycle I'm sure everyone here has been through already. I've seen 5 different physios, 3 doctors, bought a million different devices etc etc. Told I have mild/moderate L5-S1 bulge, pars defects, annular tear etc. Thankfully my pain isn't so bad that it's completely debilitating physically, but it is mentally. I've been to countless psychologists/therapists and nothing was helping. I ended up leaving my wife over this, as our relationship deteriorated into bitterness and me seeking pleasure elsewhere (I'm ashamed to admit it). I started drinking heavily, and having sexual encounters with women was my way of coping for quite a few months. It was the only thing that made me feel happy...what I realize now is that I had no self confidence, respect for myself and I felt validated by women thinking I was attractive and wanting me. I had a purpose. My pain went away for months. I didn't care about it anymore because I didn't really care about anything anymore...if the pain came back I basically told myself I'd end it. I don't think I ever could or would have, but the fantasy of living life without responsibility or care was enough I think to lessen the tension and stress temporarily.

    About a year ago I met someone I wanted a relationship with. We settled down and now live together, and my responsibilities have increased, and I am back in a lot of pain. Mostly in my legs, butt and sometimes lower back. Odd nerve like pain, pins and needles, burning, muscle tightness. It isn't really helped by anything...currently doing physio/Mackenzie exercises and thats about it. But it isn't helping the leg pain at all, in fact its getting worse as I get more afraid of the future of living with this pain constantly. I'm obsessed with it...wake up with it, go to bed with it. Think about how if it would only go away, I could do so many things, be such a better person etc. It makes me depressed, I fantasize about not having to deal with this anymore. I think about how I'm not doing great at my job and pin it on my physical pain. I live with the shame and guilt of a divorce and how I hurt someone, and then turn it into thinking about my pain. Everything is about it.

    I don't know why I can't accept that this is the same as CPPS...maybe its because I did have a small injury 2 years ago that should have be healed a long time ago by now. In fact, I can move find in every direction and lift things and my back doesn't hurt at all...and yet, I'm convinced I've got scar tissue touching my nerves (doesn't even make sense, both legs hurt and my MRI only showed mild left side nerve contact). I'm terrified of surgery, have heard so many horror stories of fusions and decade long recovery stories, or people in constant debilitating pain.

    My problem I fear with the TMS theory is I am so skeptical. My physio put it this way to me once..."I feel like you want me to tell you that you're OK, because according to my tests you are, and then you don't want to believe me".

    I know 100000% that I turn emotional stress into physical pain. I knew that with CPPS. It happens like clockwork in my life....got an exam to study for? Let's throw some pain in there, that'll give you an excuse if you fail. Starting a new job? PAIN to distract from something. I desire success, to be respected and good at something, I envy my peers, I feel like life is passing me by and that I am a quitter and a loser.

    I have a lot to work on...but I know this is me. All of this screams that I am the perfect candidate for TMS. I've done it my whole life and am extremely conditioned to using physical pain as a distraction.

    Oh, did I mention I also developed Tinnitus from all this, and my knees are starting to hurt a little? Dr. Sarno would have had a big smile on his face if I were to walk into his office.

    I am going to work hard on this, because I know its my only hope. Surgeons in Canada won't operate on me, psychologists so far have just tried help with coping strategies for me. But I know it worked for me for CPPS, I need to believe that it will work for this low-back/leg thing that is consuming me.

    Thanks for reading! Sorry for rambling!
     
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, I have to say that it was worth reading your story for this gem. I think there are a number of us here who could make this our tagline due to the frustration we experience when we encounter obsessive reassurance-seeking. Your physio absolutely nailed it.
    @Dorado, I think you'll like this!

    @wrcftw, you're on the right path, finding this community. Dr Sarno gave us the knowledge. We've got the resources and the support. All you need is the commitment to go for it 100%.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
    Dorado likes this.

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