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Loving my life again

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Shosh, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Shosh

    Shosh Peer Supporter

    Though I no longer visit this TMS Wiki website, I am posting this in the hope it will give someone else hope – as these success stories helped me in the past.

    The reason I no longer visit the TMS Wiki website is because I’m out and about enjoying my life. However, this time last year I spent hours every day on this website and the internet in general googling my health symptoms. I also have OCD health anxiety which magnifies my sensations and fears. I was filled with anxiety from the minute I woke up until I went to bed. My heart raced and I slept poorly. I was obsessed with my pain symptoms and it consumed my life. I was severely underweight and life was not fun (nor was I fun to be around).

    I have had TMS most of my life, including a bout of lower back pain, sciatica, burning mouth syndrome, eyelid twitches, eczema, thumb twitching, migraines, hemicrania continua, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, heart palpitations, globus, toe pain, TMJ, IBS, panic attacks, abdominal pain, chest tightness, acid reflux and more.

    My most debilitating brush with TMS involved upper GI/ abdominal pain. I was diagnosed with gastritis a few years ago (via endoscopy) and after a very difficult, extremely painful and prolonged period of time weaning off a proton pump inhibitor similar to Nexium (never again will I take those), I was left with abdominal pain, heart burn, chest pain and extreme fear of food. I slept with a wedge pillow, took a plethora of supplements and restricted what I could eat to the point I became 15 pounds underweight. I became fearful that I had every possible malady that could affect the upper GI region, and researched them all incessantly for symptoms and solutions. I was consumed with contacting doctors, getting tests and researching health issues.

    My chest felt tight and painful all the time (it moved around a bit). I had an ache in one side of my abdomen on and off for 12 years. I had invasive medical tests that showed the gastritis was gone and everything looked good. But I still lived in pain and fear that consumed my life.

    Fortunately for me (and my family who had to put up with me), I live only an hour’s drive away from the Pain Psychology Center in Beverly Hills. I also live close to Dr David Schecter. After talking to me and reviewing my test results, Dr Schecter told me there was nothing physically wrong with me. He also pressed on points in my back that confirmed I was highly susceptible to TMS.

    At the Pain Psychology Center I began weekly meetings with my therapist, Daniel Lyman, to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. He calmly and patiently helped me come to believe what he was confident of all along – my symptoms were TMS. There was nothing physically wrong with me. This was all just anxiety coming out physically.

    It took a while for me to truly believe this, as my pain and fear felt so real. But through continued work with Daniel, including directly addressing my OCD with exposure response prevention, my pain started to leave. Today I only infrequently have abdominal pains or chest pains, and when I do, it doesn’t create the same fear in me. I can acknowledge that my anxiety must be acting up and think about what is probably bothering me. The pain always goes away.

    I’ve gained back my weight and am eating things I was scared to put in my mouth. I sleep well again. And though I still get heartburn sometimes, I know this will pass too as my fear continues to subside (true to TMS, when I eat “safe” foods I tend to notice heartburn more than when I eat something like barbeque pork ribs with cornbread). I no longer use a wedge pillow.

    It was also very helpful for me to take an SSRI for my OCD (I’m on Celexa). While it may not be for everyone, for me, the addition of an SSRI helped my OCD immensely by turning down the volume on my incessant obsessive thoughts so I could resist acting on them, thereby rewiring my neural pathways and teaching my brain that the thought was irrelevant. I don’t plan to ever go off it because I feel a million times better on it.

    I still see Daniel regularly as he continues to help me with TMS, OCD and life in general. I’m happy to say that now I love my life – spending time with loved ones, exercising, traveling, doing my hobbies and enjoying my career. I no longer read TMS books or visit TMS sites because there are too many fun things to do instead, though I’m extremely grateful for the help they gave me.

    And if a new pain comes along, I’ll know it too will most likely be TMS, and that’s ok. Just that knowledge that it’s TMS takes the wind out of its sails.

    So hang in there. There is hope and there is help. And life can be fun again.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
    JJY, KellyCM41, Baseball65 and 11 others like this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Shosh,
    Thank you for posting your success story with details. I like this:
    I can just feel the satisfaction and the relaxation you express!
    Your hard work, the outside help, and the pioneering work of Dr. Sarno has given you a good life. I am happy for you!
    Andy B
    TrustIt, readytoheal and Shosh like this.
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    What a fabulous and heart-warming success story. Thank you for taking time out to post this and to give others hope because many people seem to get fixated on food and diet without realising it's nothing more than another distraction.

    Here's to your fun and fruitful life, and to your healing rolling out ever onwards towards the life of your dreams.

    Plum x
  4. Buckster

    Buckster New Member

    Wonderful post, and many thanks for posting it. Inspiring words...helps those of us on the journey. And rock on with loving life!
    Shosh likes this.
  5. Boo1

    Boo1 Newcomer

    Thank you for this post. I think that many people here may feel at the end of their tether. It is very inspirational to hear that someone actually healed.
    Shosh likes this.
  6. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Thank you for telling your story. It is always encouraging to read success stories!
    Shosh likes this.
  7. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Excellent stuff. Remember reading over your posts as I too was plagued with GI issues for a while. Great to hear life is good.

    Top tip: now you’ve done your success story delete the site bookmark from your browser and forget this place ever existed.
    JJY, Cece, TrustIt and 1 other person like this.
  8. leslie0766

    leslie0766 Peer Supporter

    Hi! I have had burning mouth for 7 years. Can you address your thinking on this as I see it listed in your symptoms? I think part of the reason I can’t get rid of it is that it seems so strange. What a weird sensation. So glad to hear of your success. It’s an amazing and inspiring story.
  9. Shosh

    Shosh Peer Supporter

    Hi Leslie. The burning mouth stopped shortly after stopping taking a proton pump inhibitor called Dexilant, however then my focus was drawn to another GI area, so I believe TMS was at play. I know how awful the sensation is. Hang in there. There's hope.
    Suzanne likes this.
  10. talkinghead

    talkinghead New Member

    First of all, thank you so much for this post. I know there is less incentive to visit this page once you have overcome your issues, but it means a lot to people to see these success stories. It gives hope.

    Specifically, I'm very curious about your eczema. Personally, I am going through a terrible bout of eczema that has sapped my quality of life from me. I am confident that it is TMS, as I have been diagnosed by multiple TMS specialists. I've also overcome prior manifestations of TMS (severe lower back pain).

    Believe it or not, I'm also experiencing a similar food-related issue. If you've ever researched or know anything about eczema, you know that one of the primary theories for what causes/ aggravates it, is the food one eats. Accordingly, I have subjected myself to an extremely restrictive diet and have become convinced that certain foods are causing eczema outbreaks. I avoid so many different foods out of fear of a skin flare up that I am under-weight and it has impacted my life quality. Yet the eczema remains.

    I am wondering if you've fully gotten over your eczema and if you are certain it was TMS.

    Thank you, again, for your story.
    Shosh likes this.
  11. Shosh

    Shosh Peer Supporter

    Hi talkinghead. I'm glad my post was helpful. This site helped me a lot a year ago, so I'm glad I can offer some hope. I only visit here now when I get a notification that someone replied to this post. You can get there too -- to the point where you have no reason or desire to visit this site, or read TMS materials, because your life has moved on to more fun activities!

    My eczema has come and gone over the years, and I'm sure it's related to my emotions. The only exception I can think of is a brief flare up behind my knees when I sprayed magnesium oil back there, and my skin didn't like it. But other than that, when I've gotten it, there has been no physical cause that I can think of, including what I did or didn't eat. Eczema doesn't scare me or impact the quality of my life though, so maybe that's why the episodes, when they do occur, are brief. I give them little notice and they go away. So when eczema flares again somewhere on my body (typically my elbows or behind my knees), as it probably will, I really won't care. I know it's no biggie and won't last long. I will, however, think about what may be stressing me at that time, and let TMS know I'm onto it.

    Are you seeing a TMS trained therapist? That has been essential to my continued recovery. I never thought, when I first saw Daniel, that we would talk about anything other than my bodily pain and symptoms, because that was all I thought about. Yet here we are just over a year later, and at most of our sessions bodily sensations aren't even a discussion item, because it's not a big deal anymore. You can beat this too. Hang in there -- there's help and there's hope.
    TrustIt and talkinghead like this.
  12. Johnnysanchez

    Johnnysanchez New Member

    Yeah..I have a backpack full of supplements myself..
  13. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    Thank you, Shosh! I have posted here from different positions on the roller coaster I have been on with the some of the exact same issues...IBS (TMS) and serious food fear and elimination diets and health anxiety...15lbs lost. I have felt truly healed several times and that is SO liberating to get back to living. Then pain and frustration resurface at times and my old thoughts surface about possible food causes, but I can usually switch them quickly to something emotional that had happened, even a tiny thing I consider petty. The reaction is still there obviously. A trigger is a trigger. The old negative thoughts come back with the first twinge of the familiar pain but it isn't the abject fear I experienced before I had this knowledge. I am so grateful to all the people here who share these stories. I am better every day, I absolutely know this. I have to work on patience and expectations.
  14. Suzanne

    Suzanne Newcomer

    TrustIt likes this.
  15. Suzanne

    Suzanne Newcomer

    Hi Shosh. Thanks so much for your post. I have so many of your same symptoms, my biggest being burning mouth. I have health anxiety and OCD as well. I am considering getting the help of a therapist from the Pain Psychology Center. Do you do it in person? I will need to do it remotely.
    TG957 likes this.
  16. Shosh

    Shosh Peer Supporter

    Hi Suzanne. Yes, I had burning mouth (now gone), and still have health anxiety and OCD, but both are much, much better thanks to an SSRI (medication for OCD), ERP therapy (for OCD) and TMS therapy with Daniel Lyman, whom I found at the Pain Psychology Center. Actually Daniel helped me with my OCD, TMS, health anxiety and eating disorder. I'm a different person today thanks to him.

    I started working with Daniel almost exactly 5 years ago, at first in person, but he moved and is no longer with the Pain Psychology Center so I still see him every other week, but via computer. When I first started seeing him and was in so much TMS - related pain, I couldn't imagine talking to him about anything else, but now that my TMS issues are gone, I see him for general life issues.

    So in answer to your question, while in person is great, remotely works too. I think the most important thing, at least for me, was to find a therapist I clicked with, be honest with him, and be willing to do the work that had to be done to get better.

    You've got this!
  17. Suzanne

    Suzanne Newcomer

    Again, thanks so much Shosh. I would love to find a therapist like Daniel.

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