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Multiple "injuries"

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by 12padams, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. 12padams

    12padams New Member

    Just wondering if tms can have more than one symptom at once in the body. Basically in 2008 I began working at McDonald's and on the first day I had back pain. I could never work more than 3 hours due to my back pain and every Saturday I would work for 3 hours and it would take about 6 hours to recover from the terrible pain. Pretty soon I had an xray of my back which confirmed I had scolisos and kyphosis. I quit my job at mcdonalds in 2009.

    By 2011 I was an absolute computer nerd and loved being on the computer playing games and programming. I loved it more than anything and I guess you could call it an addiction. I was top in my class in all tests and assignments. I truly was "the best". During a software development class however I learnt about RSI and become scared I would get it. At the same time however I was scared about the HSC (Frightning exam done in new south wales australia at the end of highschool that many students have commited suicide over) and was hoping that something would happen to me so I didn't have to do it. A month later I got RSI and 6 months later at the end of year 11 I couldn't type or write anything... I was truly disabled and had to leave school.

    I changed my career direction and instead went into childcare. I got my cert 3 in the first half of 2012 and have been working since then... My RSI has improved and I can write and type again but it's still their preventing me from ever enjoying the computer again. Pain from computer use currently comes in about 10 minutes or less in some cases so I don't use the computer for entertainment because what's entertaining about damaging my body? Just for info the pain was originally in my hands, then my arms and then finally now my elows and shoulders.

    Anyway a week ago I started having pain in my right knee and I was worried because I need my knees for childcare but no so much my hands. So this was terrifying but I told myself it was tms and it went away in a few days. My psychologist says she believes the "RSI" pain is Psychosomatic and that the knee pain was interesting because it fits in with the RSI. She said the pain is an escape from situations that I don't like. For example the RSI an escape from the HSC. Then she told me the knee pain was an escape from childcare. I said I like childcare however and she said "yes... But it's not what you originally wanted to actually do is it?" she told me knee pain would return if I started becoming sick of childcare...

    Looking back on it I wonder if the back pain "caused" by scolisos is just an escape too... The only reason I dislike childcare now is because of my back pain. I come home everyday and have to lie down for ages to recover from my 8 hour shifts... It takes up my entire day leaving no "me" time. Not that I have any anyway because then I have to look after my little 3 year old sister.

    What do you guys think?
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome, 12padams :)

    It's great that your therapist recognizes you are having psychosomatic pain. You mentioned she says the pain may be a way to get out of certain jobs or situations. Although for me there were certain advantages to being in pain (getting out of things), Dr. Sarno's distraction theory made more sense for me--the pain is there to distract from feelings that we repress because they are perceived as unbearable. It's possible your back pain doesn't have to do with dislike of the job but something else, I don't know.

    With me, pain would sometimes come on when I was relaxed, doing something I really enjoyed. In a relaxed state, these repressed feelings were closer to breaking through so pain would come on to distract me. Some of my worst pain would happen on vacations.

    Have you tried journaling at all? When I first started working on TMS I made lists of everything that could be bothering me in my life, things from childhood or the past that might be bothering me (even if I wasn't normally thinking about them), and various personality traits and habits that contributed to my stress. If you do this you might be surprised at what you find--there might be something besides work that is bothering you. This sounds very negative, but it actually is a relief, just to know these things are there and could be stressors, even if you don't change anything, just having awareness about your feelings will help.

    The good news is you now know about TMS and are working on it so pain-free days will be coming your way, hopefully soon!
  3. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi and Wow you have an interesting story.

    Any situation that causes us stress (or even bigger--any conflict we feel ) can cause a physical ailment. It seems you've already seen that. The brain is trying to get our attention and say HEY !!!

    In the past I had not paid much attention to secondary gain, but years later it has become so clear to me that personal situations and those I see in others are giving secondary gain in some way.

    It may not be your job that is causing the pain as Veronica said . It could be something about the job, or something someone triggers for you that is a past memory, the stress of getting up to go to work every day, etc. There could be many reasons but only you know which resonates with you. It could also be an unconscious or buried past memory that is being triggered too.

    Don't underestimate what the brain is capable of creating while trying to "protect" us. I would encourage you to read Dr. Sarno's books again. This information takes time to sink in and is very different than how we've been conditioned. It's great you are aware of your issues possibly having emotional causes. That is step 1!! :)

    I also recommend reading some profiles to see how some of us have recovered from being disabled by tms pain. Journaling about what we think could be bothering us (if it comes to mind, it is bothering!) is very beneficial too.
    Forest likes this.
  4. 12padams

    12padams New Member

    Yea, it's interesting you say it comes during leisure activities. I don't find gaming a "chore" but I do find it a waste of time even though I used to really enjoy it before I got RSI. I really wish I could play again but whenever I try to I'll be sore within 10 minutes. And playing for 2 minutes at a time then having a 30 minute break isn't very fun at all. I wish I could just go in and play a massive 2 hour painless session like I used to in my free time but no... I can't because of "RSI".

    I have found that program on the tms wiki which is based on journalling and I was wondering if I should give this TMS treatment a go but I've got to get my phycholigists permission first. She can help me by looking over my journals. I somewhat am scared about what I am going to uncover though because even though I act like a positive person, a child magnet in my job due to my warm friendly character and overall a really helpful kind person I actually have tricked myself into believing I am happy when I know deep down inside there is some potentially dangerous thoughts, anxiety and depression. I don't really want to bring that into the open because then nobody will like me anymore and make me more depressed.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi 12p and welcome.

    I'm going to take a bit of a leap here and say that if you are thinking that there is a TMS "treatment" that you might have "a go" at, you are probably not yet understanding what you need to to do to get well.

    The #1 thing you must do is fully accept the TMS diagnosis. Clearly your therapist already accepts it - but that's not the same as YOU accepting it. **100%** This is absolutely essential to moving forward, because it means that you understand the principles of what your brain is doing to your body, and why - although at first this is just generic understanding. Once you acknowledge this without any doubt, then the rest is just discovery. I'm talking about the discovery of your personal emotions, the dangerous and ugly emotions that your brain is trying to hide from your consciousness.

    There are many ways to go about this discovery. Our Structured Education Program is just one of them. The nice thing is that it's here, it's free, it certainly can't hurt, and there are other people taking the same journey and posting here on the forum. But it's not a treatment! A treatment is something that a health professional does for you. Understanding TMS is mental and emotional work that you must do for yourself. A skilled therapist can help guide you if you're really stuck, but he or she can't open up your brain for you

    My favorite list of success stories is at the Thank You Dr. Sarno web site - you will find all of your symptoms, and more, listed by many many people whose lives were changed by discovering Dr. Sarno and accepting the TMS diagnosis. Reading and rereading them always inspires me and keeps me in touch with the infinite possibilities inherent in the power of our brains.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress, okay? That's why we're here, because we are all on the same path.

    Forest likes this.
  6. 12padams

    12padams New Member

    I really wish I could have complete confidence that this is completly TMS and I know that you can't treat TMS unless you know nothing is physically wrong with you. But that's the problem, everyone around me is telling me that this is physical even though I have known about TMS for about 8 months now.

    My Bowen therapist said this is partly in your mind and partly RSI. That's exactly what my psychologist is saying too. But the problem is that if it's both these disesases at once then I can never be cured. The RSI will get worse if I ignore it and type yet then if I leave it along and don't use my hands/arms the TMS will get worse. I hate being told its both at once because now I'm stuck with this my whole life which I don't enjoy at all because of my pain.

    Basically my psychologist said to still use my hands and not avoid using them otherwise I will have this chronic disease by the time I am 40. At the same time however I should do "pacing" to stop my RSI getting worse. She said to use them for 5 minutes then have a long break before using them for another 5 minutes. I hate that idea because my time is Avalible in chunks. I may get a 2 hour chunk of time for myself in the day but with this pacing method I only get to use about 20 minutes of my time. With 5 minutes to myself I really don't enjoy that 5 minutes whether I am working on my current book or playing games/chatting with friends. It just makes the computer a disaster to use and not worth it...

    I tried to tell her about the idea of TMS where you go on the computer and build up the activity everyday and ignore the pain knowing that it's completly in your head but she said not to do that because I will make my RSI worse... Ive had RSI for 15 months now... How long does it take to cure? Seriously I stopped using the computer the first day I started getting pain I my hands and have used the computer for no more than an hour per day since then and it still won't go! Why can't I just get diagnosed properly and then start my recovery. I am sick of these "professionals" making my problem worse. Especially when they have 12 years worth of study, 20 years experience and cost $160 per hour!

    I wish I just knew I had TMS and then could start treating it. I want to go back to using my hands for 6 hours per day but how can I if professionals keep telling me I have two diseases that prevent eachother from being cured...
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, 12p, I'm sorry to say that I only skimmed your two middle paragraphs, by which I mean that I'm ignoring them. That's because they focus on symptoms, and we don't spend a lot of time analyzing symptoms here. Ignoring the details of symptoms is what it takes to heal.

    Yes, I'm being tough on you!

    Veronica suggests that you re-read Dr. Sarno, who will agree with your psychologist and who will also tell you to ignore the advice of the doctors who can't actually find anything wrong, so everything they suggest is just guesswork designed to make you feel like they do know something.

    Lori suggests that you read success stories, as do I. And I've got a big success story for you, told by someone who was as tough as they come - on himself. Before you do anything else, please read every post by Steve Ozanich here on the site. Just put Ozanich in the search box in the upper right, and you will see that we've assigned him his own forum "label". Steve has written a new book called The Great Pain Deception and I believe that our friends in Oz are able to get it from Amazon, although I don't know how long it takes or how much more it costs. It's also available for the Kindle for half the paper cost. I'm still getting through it - it's pretty dense, amazing, and inspiring.

    If you suffer from anxiety, most TMS practitioners consider it to be a TMS equivalent, but you have to get it under control. The wonderful Claire Weekes, an Australian psychotherapist, wrote a number of books and produced audios on this and other topics. The one I read is a little book called "Hope and Help For Your Nerves" and it was just as helpful for me as Dr. Sarno, since anxiety was a really big stumbling block for me.

  8. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    It sounds like your therapist is open to a mind-body connection but does not believe in TMS. That might be a real hindrance to you. Honestly, it might be better to find another therapist. Many people on here have recovered from RSI just working with Sarno's methods and not doing any of the things your therapist is talking about.

    You mentioned that you were afraid that the Structured Program might bring up something really negative. That type of belief is part of what's driving TMS and repression of feelings--the belief that something awful is inside of us and has to be stuffed down. EVERYONE has these "negative" emotions and they are not bad and don't mean you are not still friendly, kind, etc. It doesn't mean that people won't like you. If emotions start coming up while journaling that are too intense, you can take a break and work through them with a therapist.

    Jan mentioned reading the Thank You Dr. Sarno stories--there are also a lot of other success stories on the wiki that might boost your confidence in TMS.

    Take care,
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hiya 12jpadams and Welcome to the Peer Network,

    I had RSI for years, and like you I couldn't type on a keyboard for more than a few minutes before my hands and wrists start to hurt. Now, I am completely pain free and type all day long with absolutely no symptoms. I had chronic pain for 18+ years. If I can recover, so can you.

    The first thing to realize is that RSI is TMS. The reason your psychologists keep telling you that it is a physical problem is just becuase they don't know about TMS and are blinded by their focus on the physical. This is referred to has Medicine's Blind Spot, and simply suggests that a lot of physicians just don't understand what is causing chronic pain, because they are not aware of this approach. You need to break the obession with your phsyical symptoms and start thinking psychologically. When you start to do this, you will begin to recover.

    Like you, I stopped working on the computer when my symptoms developed, and I also thought a whole lot about taking breaks after a few minutes. But none of this helped me get better, and I am pretty sure it hasn't helped you. This is because all of the different RSI techniques I did, only treated the symptoms and not the cause. The cause of my symptoms was repressed emotions, and the cause of your symptoms are repressed emotions. It also sounds like you tink a lot about how many minutes you've been on the computer and when you have to take a break next. Doing this is the TMS at work. Your unconscious mind wants you to think about these physical-minded thoughts because they prevent you from understanding your repressed emotions that are trying to come to the surface.

    I would encourage you to read one of Sarno's books, forum posts here, and the wiki. By consuming knowledge you will begin to gain the tools necessary to recover. You should also check out the Q&A with an expert response entitled" Is it PPD/TMS or a real structural issue.
  10. 12padams

    12padams New Member

    Thanks for the advice guys :)

    What I am going to do is simply do heaps of research, look at success stories and read through "the divided mind" and actually finish it this time rather than putting it aside due to the lack of time I had to read it while I was at Tafe.

    There is one burning question I have first however... Does "RSI" actually exist? Before accepting TMS you must make sure there is nothing physically wrong with you. How would I know if I had RSI or tms? What is the difference in symptoms? Or is there no difference and is it true that all RSI is just tms?

    Also depression... I heard those with it can't be Cured using the TMS method. Working through school made me suffer extreme depression (I don't wish to use words to explain it) and it was all a buildup of fear to the HSC at the end of it. But in the end this TMS I appear to have got me out of school 1 year before I had to do the HSC. The only thing causing me depression now is the pain itself. Why won't it just go away because school (the main cause of my problems) is finished.. It has no purpose anymore and now is just not letting me be happy. Finishing school is supposed to be the happiest moment of my life but how can it be now that I am disabled. I am even less "happy" then I was at school a year ago...

    Anyways while you answer those questions I'll go do some research. Thanks for the help :)
  11. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I had many TMS symptoms...headaches, TMJ, foot pain, eyelid twitches, anxiety, etc. I think of TMS as the underlying condition and everything else as symptoms of that condition. It sounds like you have already seen a doctor who would have noticed if you had something serious like a broken bone, cancer, or an infection. You can think of RSI as a TMS symptom.

    I haven't heard about depression being different from any other TMS-equivalent. Maybe pain, depression, school stress were all distracting you from sitting with your actual feelings?

    Recovering from TMS is a process, be gentle with yourself :)
  12. 12padams

    12padams New Member

    Well... I was getting all excited about this but look at what my psychologist just said to me when I emailed her asking permission to treat my pain with the TMS methods:

    "Hi philip – I think it is best for you to wait and see what the specialist says tomorrow and also to talk to him about pacing and whether he is happy for you to do this rather than the whole TMS approach as it might be a bit extreme for you."

    The specialist I am seeing tomorrow is an orthopedic surgeon who will be checking out what needs to be done to fix my scoliosis and back pain. I don't know if I'll ever get permission to follow this tms path :(
  13. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    i think the permission is needed from yourself to go down this path. i had the choice of doing surgery too for my foot pain but i declined and wanted to try something else. believe it or not most psychotherapists dont believe in TMS so good luck trying to get the ok from them to do the TMS route. trust me its hard to do this on your own when you dont have a professional telling you "this is what you should be doing" but you have to trust intuition and do what your gut tells you.
    12padams and veronica73 like this.
  14. 12padams

    12padams New Member

    Funniest thing actually ending up happening... I went to the back professional, he got me to have an X-ray and then said "scolisis doesn't actually cause any physical pain". He also said "there is nothing visible in this X-ray that would explain why you have any back pain at all. You should not be limited at all in what you can and can't do and back pain should not be a problem for you at all because physically your back is fine". I then asked him if he knew about tension myositis syndrome and guess what... He knows all about it!

    To be on the safe side however he is doing a full MRI of my body and a ct scan of my legs (one leg is longer than the other). My phycholigist however is not wanting to do anything however until the results of my other two tests come in.
  15. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    That is terrific to hear. It sounds like you went about everything in the right way. Having a doctor check things out and rule out serious conditions is key for everyone (it does help when they turn out to know about TMS). With the test you mentioned above, you could probably start the TMS approach with no fear that you will hurt yourself.

    One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone is aware of TMS. You need to keep this in mind whenever you work with a new practitioner or when you are with friends and family. It is very easy for people to see things in the old body-focused lens, which blinds them to seeing the truth about TMS. In the end, you can't do anything if someone won't accept the diagnosis. The key is to not let how other people view TMS to affect you.

    BTW - Check out I like my therapist, but she doesn't know about TMS
  16. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    That's great news, 12padams! Glad to hear you doctor knew about TMS. I think that helps a lot.

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