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Just beginning my journey

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by North Star, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey there, I'm Terry, a fifty-something;) mom. I have been tearing through Dr. Sarno's book since yesterday and then found this forum this afternoon.

    I'll keep my history very short. I've been struggling with pain for the past 30+ years, starting with an auto accident. When I was pregnant with my first baby, things really revved up....anxiety attacks, headaches, backaches. (And yes, it was a very stressful time.)

    The past 5 years have been especially hard. My activities (walking, swimming, cycling,) have been curtailed greatly. I have consulted with numerous health care professionals and...uh, yeah...my story reads like a chapter in the book. ;) My most recent diagnosis last year was fibromyalgia.

    What I found really funny is only recently, (before I read the book), I thought I should probably start journalling again. I even had some of the ideas in my head that maybe *I* was creating my health care drama.

    So I started journaling, even though it scared the hell out of me. ("If I uncork this bottle, it won't be pretty," I told my husband.) And guess what?

    Tendonitis pain flared up in my hands. So bad that writing was too painful. I know now, without a doubt, I am dealing with TMS.

    So here's my newbie question. I think I know the answer, but I'll ask anyway.

    My pain levels are nearly off the charts today. I tossed my orthotics and took a walk today. I also did some kitchen work...a no, no because it sets off my shoulder and migraine.

    Of course, my *standard* thinking is "well, duh, what do you expect?" But I know better now.

    So I've given myself a talkin' to a few times. "Leg, YOU ARE FINE. Shoulder, YOU ARE FINE."

    Oh dear. I've written an epistle. Thank you for bearing with me. Here's the question....

    Is this sort of reaction typical? (A massive pain flare when you're seeing the light for the first time?) I wish I could be one of those people who read the book and are set free but alas....I think know I have some work to do. :)

    Thank you so very much for your time. I can't believe I actually have real hope for healing and a pain free life.
    mousemom likes this.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Terry,

    Rest assured, the reaction you're experiencing is very common. Remember, the pain serves as a distraction from the emotional so when you start digging around in your psyche, it makes complete sense that tms would ramp to discourage you. Tis early in your discovery of all this but my guess is as you read more Sarno and explore more here, many pieces will drop into place. As for the miraculous book cures, who doesn't envy that but truly I suspect those folk miss out on a bigger prize. They'll be plenty of people here who will tell you of the immense personal boons this healing journey gives.

    This forum has a wealth of information including two free programs designed to help you find your way out of the tms hellhole. And naturally, there are loads of great people, some recovered, others recovering, to offer oodles of support and advice. Welcome here.
  3. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Very common, Sarno writes on this himself. Also, there's no rush to push yourself 100% into physical activity. Also, symptoms will begin to change, your pain pattern will move, this is the symptom imperative Sarno writes about. Recovering can be a long process, the trick is you can't set a date for your recovery. It could be 3 days or 3 years. I think many of us have learned that those who read the book and are immediately cured either a. have a recurrence at some point in their lives, or b. just didn't have the emotional baggage some of us do. Before focusing on physical activity, remember to think psychological and begin working through these things. Which, it appears you already have with the journaling. Your beginning a journey, but even before you finish you will have learned so much more about yourself. So, as in all things, it's about the journey not the destination.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  4. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Plum and Cirrus- Thank you so much for your kind encouraging comments. I realize I have a drive in me that jumps in with both feet, full speed ahead! Uh...sort of like the personality tendencies that Sarno describes. :)

    Plum, I especially like your description..."out of the TMS hellhole". What a perfect description. And Cirrus, yes....pacing is so important. This has been a long hellacious ride.

    I was surprised this morning at some of the details I journaled about. Details that I had long forgotten. Our minds are so very clever!

    Thanks again for your comments. I will be spending a lot of time here and look forward to being part of this loving community.
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Terry, You just seem to have the most wonderful attitude and I think you are starting from a great place. I also have been struggling with various pain conditions for 30+ years and have been working on the TMS for about 5 months. This is an intensely personal process and we are here to support you. For some recovery happens very quickly and for others it is much more involved with dedicated and persistent effort. I think many of us have experienced lots of ups and downs along the way. It seems as though you are not having trouble accepting your "diagnosis" which is fantastic. That truly is a huge part of the battle. Keep up the journaling and think psychological! Have you started the Structural Education Program on here? I bet you'll do great with it.
    Rinkey and Ellen like this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Terry. I'm 83 and recovered from severe back pain by following Dr. Sarno's book and TMS healing suggestions from Steve Ozanich, Forest, Herbie, and others on the TMSWiki.org/forum. Plum, Cirrusnarea, and Anne have given you the best advice. Keep reading, journaling, telling your subconscious you know your pain is from repressed emotions and you will heal. You're on a really wonderful recovery journey and will discover more about yourself than you ever imagined. Be patient, enjoy each hour of each day. Breathe deeply and think happy and positive. Laugh whenever you're in pain... it really helps drive it away. Good luck and keep us all posted on your progress.

    You may remember the old song, "Let a smile be your umbrella, on a rainy, rainy day." A smile is the next best thing to a laugh. It too, works to help heal.
    Rinkey likes this.
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Awww...you guys are the best. Anne, I am SO ready for this process. I think the past several months have lead me to this point. I've been practicing mindfulness and meditation for several months now...it's become part of my daily routine. John Kabat Zinn and Martin Rossman's stuff has been very very helpful.

    I started seeing an naturopath a month ago for acupuncture thinking *maybe* this would bring relief. I actually hurt more after one of the session. Now, I realize this is nothing more than another TMS distraction and I'm going to cancel my next appointment. She suggested that maybe I hadn't followed the protocol laid out by her health care predecessors...pt's, orthos, chiros, etc ad nauseum, and started telling me to do yet another new stretch routine. I felt like punching her in the throat. :mad: But I smiled and assured her I have followed EVERY treatment to the letter of the law. (Exercise IS very important to me.) It bugs many health care professionals that they can't "fix" you but by golly...they WILL give you something to do! (And if it doesn't work than by golly, you weren't doing it right.)

    So, yes...it with focus and intentionality I will be journaling and following the program that you mentioned. Thanks for the heads up on that.

    Walt, laughter is the best medicine indeed! What a great reminder. I love that you're 83 years old and recovered. How many doctors would say that aging will only make healing more difficult? I love the zest and energy I hear in your post.

    I so look forward to learning more from you all...
    Rinkey and Ellen like this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    If the heat and humidity in this Chicago area aren't too high (as both are today) I have zest and energy.

    My mom lived to be 94 and would have gone on longer but she fell a few times and broke one hip, then the other.
    She was in a nursing home for a while and said the hardest thing about that was there was no one to
    play pinochle with. She she kept flirting with men until the end.

    Montanamom, your mom sounds like a survivor, just like mine. Bless 'em all.
    Rinkey and MontanaMom like this.
  9. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Terry, I am Terry too, also started my TMS frenzy when pregnant, and have been at it 20+ years. Welcome to the forum, as you can probably see already, you will find oodles of love, support and good advice here. One of my favourite things you'll find on the site (you can look in Alan Gordon's Recovery Program), is the idea of Outcome Independence. In a nutshell, don't make being painfree your immediate goal. Rather make it little successes like a walk, sitting through a movie, etc. Let your pain know you won't let it control you or run your life any more. Another success is each day of self discovery, getting to know who you really are, and feeling your passion and joy come back to life again. So essentially you are focusing your thoughts on the good stuff, what you want more of in your life, and not on what you don't want (that would be pain, and fear . . .). Good luck, and don't forget to smell the roses.
    Rinkey likes this.
  10. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Terry! Thanks for the warm welcome and wise words. I already had one little success today....I vacuumed! I gave that up several months ago because it was a migraine trigger. I did it today....no problem. My family's will probably be wondering about me as I walk through the house talking to myself: "Your shoulder is fine. Your leg is fine." :p I will read about outcome independence now....thanks!
    Rinkey likes this.
  11. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Terry, Wow, housework can be a big trigger for me too. In my case, it has to do with feelimg unsupported, like when I look around and realize I am the only one actually doing my household chore list. It can be very frustrating, when we've had endless discussions where everyone agrees exactly what they will do when, but lo and behold they have all disappeared. Support in general is an issue for me that has mostly cleared up (along with a lot of pain), but not so much in this area. I didn't get much support as a kid, so it's a raw nerve-- literally! I get sciatic nerve pain if feeling unsupported overwhelms me.
    Rinkey likes this.
  12. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Tarala....boy, I didn't even connect those two but you really hit the head on the nail! I have 3 teenagers and their cooperation in household duties is less than stellar. And because my energy level has been so low, it's not a battle I've chosen to engage in. (Nothing like hearing the garbage man rumble by at 5:30 am and wondering if your kid set the garbage out the night before!)
    Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I'm suspecting I've probably got lots of this sort of frustration buried that needs to be excavated and dealt with.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tarala, maybe for your teenagers' next birthdays give them a pair of white gloves...

    or broom, mop, and duster.

    Teens ought to be glad to learn how to clean and do household chores because they will
    need some of those skills later.

    I had a roommate who was a college grad working as an insurance agent, but came from
    a wealthy family that hired maids, etc. so he learned nothing about helping me keep our
    apartment clean. I said I'd clean the rest of the apartment if he cleaned the bathroom
    and gave him a roll of shelf paper to put up in the medicine cabinet.

    He was in the bathroom an hour, then came out and asked,
    "How do you hang shelf paper?"

    I didn't renew my lease when the year was up and went my own way.
    yb44 and MontanaMom like this.
  14. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Walt, Annie has spoiled you as a roommate. I don't have teens anymore (that's the Montana Terry) but anyone who has had them is pretty sure they are not glad to learn how to clean! Pretty much like your roommate of the maids, except not renewing the lease is not an option.

    No, mine are older, and one has just returned from overseas after a marriage breakup, bringing much stress into the household. It is more work for me, and I have held my tongue (it's a wonder it doesn't hurt) because he is feeling so broken, sad and rejected. But I have had some pretty predictable flare ups. Feeling unsupported is a major trigger for me, and work around the house one of the most likely situations to trigger it.
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tarala....I was just telling my hubby that feeling unappreciated has been a trigger for me. (There goes that darn people pleasing thing again!)

    I'm so sorry for your son. And for you. I hate seeing my kids hurt. I hope you weather this tough season without extra pain.

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