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Mega-relapse, need help!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Orion2012, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    I have been pain-free for nearly two years and my success story is posted here: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/tms-healing-worked-for-me

    For a about a year, I have been working a high-stress job in community mental health. I also teach two online classes, am the father of a young child, and have a wife who also has a demanding career. This November, I had my first ever psoriasis flare-up. A few months of healthy eating and positive thinking, and the psoriasis disappeared.

    Shortly after the psoriasis cleared, my sciatica came back. The intensity was moderate. I knew right away this was TMS, but I made an appointment to see my physician to get it checked out. She agreed my sciatica was likely just stress and referred me for massage therapy and acupuncture. I delayed a while, and continued to journal and meditate. The sciatica seemed to be slowly improving. Then, I figured massage and acupuncture can't hurt, since I know there is nothing wrong with my body. So I make appointments for both.

    Three days ago, my low back feels a little stiff getting up off the table after my second acupuncture session. The next morning, my low back is so tense, I cannot move without tremendous pain. The tension and pain is more intense than any previously experienced.
    I have a hard time making it to the bathroom, and call in sick to work. So, I drag myself to the car and go back to see the acupuncturist, and she thinks my back spasm is unrelated. I go see my physician, she checks me out, says it just a muscle spasm. She has never heard of Sarno, but says the back is mysterious, and tells me a few ancedotes about back pain coming from nowhere and disappearing just as mysteriously. She writes me up an rx for pain pills and muscle relaxers, and orders blood work to rule out anything serious. The labs came back clean.

    So, here I am three days later, with the worse back pain I've ever had. I can't even move. I'm well aware of past and current stressors. And while work is the worst if it, work has been getting less stressful recently, and should continue to be that way for several months. Missing work is actually more stressful than going to work at this point.

    I know there is nothing wrong with my back, and do not understand how acupuncture could have have brought this on.

    I'm at a loss on what to do, and would love to hear from anyone with some insights or who has gone through a relapse or something similar...
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Number 1, quit the acupuncture, you're wasting your money. Real studies have debunked it, and Dr. Sarno and other TMS experts also debunk it and any such physical treatments to solve a TMS emotionally created pain. I had several hundred accu sessions resulting in NO improvement and only emptying my wallet. The only benefit was from the hour of relaxation on the table, with the heat lamp above and some soothing music--while the practitioner went onto needle his three other rooms full of patients. With massage, at least you get some human touching with the relaxation--but you shouldn't go into it with any thought that it is fixing a physical problem, since TMS isn't physical. I'd recommend finding a TMS therapist you can do phone sessions or skype with, there's a long list of them here.
  3. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    My experience w acupuncture is the same. Zero benefit. Studies always fail to show any benefit. It continues to amaze me respectable hospitals offer it and doctors recommend it. At the same time it could not have caused your flareup in my opinion. My money is on severe muscle tension and contraction from some unconscious process.
  4. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    I've actually found acupuncture to be helpful, but my experience has been with a home-based practitioner who offers tea and chat first, then the needles, no rush to get me in and out or to attend to other patients. I don't imagine that your acupuncture could have caused your intense back pain.

    In my brief time since learning about TMS and studying it, I think TMS is a nasty, sneaking being who will continue to try to cause pain, anxiety and fear until it is completely vanquished.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    That sounds veerry pleasant--how much does your practitioner charge for that?
  6. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    She charges $65 for a session. I've now moved two hours away, so haven't been to see her recently.
  7. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    Thanks for your replies. While it seems unlikely that acupuncture could cause this flare-up, here I am. If it can help, then it can probably hurt. I get the feeling that my TMS didn't much like me trying to finish it off with acupuncture, hence the flare-up.
  8. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    Sounds about right. Maybe this is what I get for attempting the acupuncture short-cut: TMS strikes back!
  9. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    Well, maybe the acupuncture resolved something so the TMS found more room to pester you. I recently had dry needling therapy to relieve trigger points in my shoulders/pecs. It worked really, really well. The trigger points were much much better. Shortly after that, my legs, hips and lower back were absolutely on fire. So painful. The PT told me your brain can only process so much pain at one time and that the lower body pain was probably nothing brand new to me but the shoulder/upper body pain was keeping me so busy I didn't notice.
  10. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    The pain is absolutely more intense this time around. Strange that I have no fear of structural injury to overcome, but the pain is off the charts when I try to move. As if my subconscious insists I do nothing but lay here. I am having to use very basic affirmations, like "I can stand up. I can walk. Etc."

    Can't seem to sit up yet. Maybe my fear of returning to work?
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  11. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Acupuncture and massage? To what end? They are both 'physical' and no matter how much you intellectually believe in TMS, they are only acknowledging that some sort of external physical something could possibly help? Which if it is TMS CANNOT!

    Even taking an Ibuprophen, if it is to 'relieve pain' is going all the way back to "I think there is something here to fix". I only take Ibuprophen when I actually harm something, like when I broke my finger this winter (hit it with a mallet...shattered,black and blue). If I took it for a TMS symptom it would be gas on the fire...

    If acupuncture resolved anything it was a placebo, but even participating in a placebo can trigger conditioning and we are All conditionable/conditioned though are ego's don't like it

    You rolled right to and through the truth in your first few sentences... you guys (your wife and you)are in the 'responsible' years and it sounds like you're highly conscientious , determined and work around a bunch of crazy people in your job....and being a good dad? That's where I'd go shopping for an answer. Remember...Sarno said when an attack seems to come out of nowhere to look CLOSE.

    MWsunin12 likes this.
  12. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm sorry you are going through this. Many things are weighing on you, and especially if you work in the mental health field.
    A friend of mine who works in an ER said the increase in anxiety / panic / depression cases coming through has really increased in the last 6 months.

    I agree with Pax, above. You sent your mind the message that acupuncture might be the answer to your physical problem, so your mind has responded by making sure you believe you have a physical problem. Return to thinking psychological. Take the panic off of wondering why it hurts so much and what to do about it. Have some compassion for yourself, today. Breathe deeply. Distract yourself as you can. Watch a funny movie or read something.

    Best wishes.
  13. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    Thanks all for your kind and thoughtful replies. Acupuncture and massage seem foolish in hindsight. I guess I really thought that they could help with stress, which does seem to be a part of the puzzle.

    I am having a hard time being kind to myself at the the moment. I am so disappointed to be back in this mess.

    I am so angry at the pressures of my job, the broken system. And at at myself for my apparent inability to handle it.
  14. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    ... And at at myself for my apparent inability to handle it.

    Don't be. You might as well be upset at yourself for the color of your hair, or how tall you are. It is just nature taking it's course. The longer I have studied TMS (and we all have to be students to get and stay well) It is only highly motivated, hard working individuals who get it. The Bum, lazy don't-give-a F people never get TMS. Sarno noticed this and I have noticed it as well in my 'field' observations....and as Sarno says, 'we are copers par excellence'...that's WHY we get it. Coping or Handling it means the ability to turn away from your own concerns to focus on the task at hand.

    When I have had relapses I am grateful afterwards because it's like God giving me a nudge on the shoulder "Hey dude...slow down and take a look at something"

    we have all had these relapses. They just get shorter and easier to manage over time. Go scribble down some notes and take 15 minutes alone with the reminders. It'll do wonders!!
  15. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    Thanks for these helpful words. But everytime I feel a little better, I go back in to work, and then it's back to square one. I can barely move again. Looking like I am going to need medical leave to actually recover.

    The question is, will they give it to me? I know damn well I don't need surgery. But some rest, some reflection, that is what I need.
  16. lazydaisy

    lazydaisy Peer Supporter

    It seems to me there is nothing wrong with your back. There is a lot wrong with your job.

    Is there anything you can do about that? I'm so sorry you are having a hard time.
    plum likes this.
  17. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    ACUPUNCTURE DID NOT BRING THIS ON! It's obvious your job and all the other stressors in your life are at the root of it--you need to understand this is the cause of your TMS attack--ACCEPTANCE. Try to change it up.
  18. mikewalling

    mikewalling Newcomer

    "In my brief time since learning about TMS and studying it, I think TMS is a nasty, sneaking being who will continue to try to cause pain, anxiety and fear until..."

    Cricket this sounds so much like the ego (nasty sneaking being). Have you read any of Eckhart Tolle's work? I feel as if Eckhart and Dr. Sarno are both courageous explorers on the edge of a vast un-explored inner universe.
  19. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    Thanks for the reminder. Tolle can be helpful:
    Ellen and Lainey like this.
  20. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    After about two weeks, the intense back pain is 90% gone. I been journalling and meditating a little most days. It feels like progress to be able to sit, stand, and walk. Of course, this comes with an increase in sciatica, but the sciatica is not nearly as intense. I am off all pain meds and muscle relaxers and have returned to work.

    For the past few days, I have had less pain, but a lot of numbness in my right leg. I am walking with a ridiculous limp, but hurting less...

    My wife wants me to go back to the doctor. I made the appointment, but I am confident nothing is physically wrong with me.

    I also made an appointment with a therapist.

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