1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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My 1st post

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by mrti10, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. mrti10

    mrti10 New Member


    I am on Day 25 of the Structured Educational Program for TMS. I am self diagnosed, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to go through the program. I am a 42 year old male, and I have had a long history of strange and mysterious aches, pains, and discomforts which have ranged from merely annoying to debilitating to downright terrifying. These events have been mostly chronic, but also acute in some instances lasting only a few hours to days. They have also occurred over what has probably been a 35 year span, having increased in frequency and severity in the last 5 to 8 years. I have been an athlete for most of my life. I play soccer, run, lift weights, and practice yoga. I am also a musician. I play guitar and sing. For many of my pain issues I was given diagnoses of acute or overuse injury from the myriad of doctors and specialists I consulted over the years. Mostly though, I seemed to confound the doctors as to why I was having pain. Almost every time tests were run there was no obvious anomaly that could be attributed to the pain. As I have always been active, I believed for many years that perhaps I had simply worn my body down. Here is a brief rundown of some of my many issues over the years that have either dissipated, vanished suddenly, or continue to persist.

    - Medial lower leg pain: Prevented me from running for a good 5 years or so. Then slowly dissipated.

    - Sharp pain in lower right psoas muscle: Caused major pain when kicking a ball or sprinting for over a year then disappeared literally over night.

    - Plantar Fasciitis: Sudden onset for no discernible reason. Was intensely painful for a few months. Had surgery on both feet and slowly over the following year became mostly pain free. Have had a recurrence of pain in my feet a few times for a few days in the 17 years since the surgery.

    - Sitting pain: Best described as Cyclist’s syndrome until I learned of TMS. Sudden onset after a long bike ride 6 years ago. Has caused burning pain when sitting ever since.

    - Dizziness: Gradual onset of this issue over a month long period. Feels like I am rocking forward and backward. It is worse upon waking from sleep. It is constant not episodic like BPPV or other vertigos. Has been present for 7 years at various intensities. Was diagnosed with an underfiring right lower cerebellum, but was never given a reason as to how it occurred.

    - Periodic muscle spasms: They will occur often with no obvious cause. They occur mostly in the back or the legs.

    - Depression: For much of my twenties I was depressed. I do feel as though depression can be a normal reaction to the level of suckiness in one's life, and at that time the level in mine was off the charts. Toward the end of my 20's, my frequent bouts of depression seemed to subside. Since my twenties, however, I have noticed that the incidences of pain and discomfort I have experienced have increased.

    There are of course many other issues that have come and gone and are currently present. I realized recently that at some point about 4 years ago I had purchased the audiobook version of Dr. Sarno’s, “The Divided Mind”. I can’t remember how I heard of it. Earlier this year I got a concussion playing soccer and in the months following started having symptoms that I began to attribute to the concussion. Some were classically post concussive like amnesia and mildly slurred speech, while the most frightening were not typical at all. They consisted of numbness, tingling, burning, stabbing, and shooting pain in the hands, feet, legs, arms, back, and after some time almost everywhere. I also, had major fatigue issues, as well and what distinctly felt like blood flow problems. Basic activities like climbing stairs and simply walking had become difficult. I read much about the post concussive syndrome symptoms and consulted with and was treated by a neurologist, a chiropractic neurologist, and a chiropractor. As I know the main treatment for neuropathic symptoms like the ones I was having is medications or nerve surgeries, I avoided Gen. Practitioners. The specialists I did see offered many theories, but didn’t feel the concussion was really responsible for those symptoms. After much research I came across a malady I’d not heard of before called “chronic altitude sickness”. I had been living in Denver for four years after living in Florida most of my life. The symptoms fit, blood work didn’t fully support it, but I was determined to attribute my pain and discomfort to something logical even if it was a stretch. I was already planning to move out of the state as life had not gone well for me there in those 4 years, and so I sped up the process and by June of this year I had moved to Ontario, Canada. Some of my issues improved within a few weeks of my move, but many persisted. In search of more clarity I listened to the Sarno audiobook again and within 15 minutes of listening, I wondered how I could not have seen how much this applied to me the first time I’d listened to it 4 years prior. I have since started the program as I mentioned and plan to see a psychotherapist. In my time on the program I have come to many eye opening realizations about myself, my mental habits, my psyche, and my past. I realize now that I have had mental and emotional issues which most likely stem from a combination of:

    - Developmental hindrances in early childhood.

    - All kinds of emotional repression throughout my teen and adult years.

    - A mostly unrewarding, dissatisfying, and unfulfilling adulthood.

    As I’ve begun my serious introspection, I’ve uncovered memories I’d forgotten or underappreciated for their importance psychologically. I’ve also seen how many times I’d sort of been clued in to what has really been going on in my head on so many, many, many, many, many occasions. It’s almost kind of funny. I even recall very distinctly the following:

    During a most painful breakup with my ex girlfriend 11 years ago, I went through the most intense and trying emotional pain I’d ever experienced. I went sleepless for days, lost weight, started having panic attacks, had constant breakdowns in front of friends, family, and strangers. (Sorry yoga instructor, and guy at Target!) So yes, during this period I actually recall thinking to myself and then saying aloud to other humans, “I hate going through this. I think I would rather have a painful injury or something. I could deal with that way easier than this.” I actually said that.


    I have seen a reduction in certain symptoms since starting the program. I have even caught my symptoms moving around on me! I have been constantly rotating the 3 audiobooks from Dr. Sarno that I purchased. Finally, I have found an explanation for all of the previously unexplained issues I have had all my life. TMS is in fact, the only thing that provides a reasonable explanation for ALL OF THEM! So while I am new to the idea of TMS and to the program, I know that I will eventually be pain free. Because I have uncovered so many issues and potential sources of tension in my past and present I will soon be seeking an ISDTP therapist to aid me in my progress.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    This sounds like wonderful progress to me. You are finding some relief from your symptoms by believing in TMS and that is the secret to healing.
    I urge you to join the Structured Educational Program, free in the subforum of this web site. It helps us to discover the emotions causing our pain.
    Journaling is most helpful and you already have a good start on this by reflecting on childhood emotional stresses.

    Here is a pep talk about the SEP from a TMSer that could be helpful to you.

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely readHealing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with aTMS doctorbecause it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.
    mrti10 likes this.
  3. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi MC,

    Welcome to this site, and thanks for an awesome post!

    I'm sure your experiences will be helpful to others here, many of whom have gone through a similar process. Please keep us informed of your progress.

  4. mrti10

    mrti10 New Member

    Thanks David. I will most definitely keep you informed of my progress.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome, MC and thank you for the excellent post! It should be quite helpful as well as inspiring for newcomers.

    I see a lot of similarities to my own TMS journey, including self-diagnosis after reading TDM, multiple and varied symptoms my whole life including anxiety, and non-vertigo "vestibular irritation". Except that I'm female and I was almost 20 years older than you when I discovered Dr. Sarno, and as Walt can tell you, it's never too late to do this work - but I'm very excited for you that you found it sooner than we did! :joyful:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes
    You get it!dancea
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

  7. mrti10

    mrti10 New Member

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for the reply and for your words of encouragement. The TMS educational program has given me a lot to think about and new ways to think as well. My discovery of this has been timely for so many reasons. It has changed the way I view life completely. IT's a strange thing when you think of all the things our brains are capable of, but how we are simply thrust out into the world without any training or even an operator's manual on how it really works and how to keep it functioning on our behalf.

    Thanks again,
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. mrti10

    mrti10 New Member

  9. mrti10

    mrti10 New Member

    Thanks for the post and the reply Walt. I can relate to his changed state of mind about the his physical issues. Understanding TMS has helped eliminate the overwhelming fear I was having about my health. While some people have had the typical structural based misdiagnoses we have all become familiar with, my most recent sudden onset of symptoms was met with the diagnosis of idiopathy from the specialist I saw, which was far more terrifying.

    Thanks again Walt.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, mrti10. I too love MC's encouraging post. I hope everyone reads it.

    I think that even the strongest believer in TMS can have setbacks. Some days may be better than others, emotionally and feeling pain more or less.
    We just have to be patient and steadfast in knowing our symptoms, from pain to headaches to stress and anxiety, will subside or go away.
    As Eric Watson and I say in our book, GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU TO BE IN PAIN. We have to believe it.

    Lots of us on the TMSWiki are working on mindfulness meditation, techniques for living in the present. I find that one of them for me is saying a daily Rosary. I like the videos on Youtube in which Jack Soriano leads a daily Rosary. It keeps me thinking in the present.

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