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My situation -- jumping and changing pain, but with success

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by RoseofTime, May 22, 2023.

  1. RoseofTime

    RoseofTime Newcomer

    Hi all,

    I had a lot of success with TMS symptoms related to my jaw pain and dislocation several years ago. Since then, I have had various issues and didn't really think to relate them to TMS. I am trying to deal with all of that now, and figured I would write here, because this seems like a good community and has helped me in the past. My situation:

    My older sister used Sarno's book and would always talk to me about it. I had dislocated my jaw and had a lot of TMJ/jaw pain that was very debilitating. I got a minor surgery and found some relief, but not much. In 2017, I got into reading Sarno's book with interest only in the emotional healing, since I had a lot of trauma. I did not care at all about the chronic pain solution and did not believe in it at all. I spent an evening discussing some of my trauma with my parents and then let out a lot of my rage and repressed feelings for hours for the first time in my life. The next week, a few days in, I remember realizing: wait, why isn't my jaw in pain? I opened and closed my mouth quickly several times, something that always caused me fear. My jaw pain has very briefly returned at times, but never lasted. I also still clearly have a "malformed" jaw, my jaw opens sideways and affects my bite, but it doesn't hurt anymore.

    Years went by and I continued having various types of pain related to some injuries that I have. My joints are hypermobile (and this runs in my family), and resulted in a minor shoulder dislocatiaon as well as sacroiliac joint dislocations over the years. I got into using ergonomic keyboards and mice at the computer, stretching, doing various types of physical therapy. Part of what got me thinking this may be TMS is that I have gone to around 4-5 physical therapists since 2020 (I moved around a lot, which is why I went to multiple), and they all noted some muscular imbalances and so on, but none seemed to think there was any reason why I should be experiencing nerve pain or the pattern of pain that I had. I notice that acute injuries I have gotten, like dislocating my sacroiliac, cause a lot of pain, but that pain just kind of fades away when the dislocation is dealt with. Once the joint is re-set, I have a few days of dull ache, and then I'm totally fine. This contrasts a lot from TMS pain, obviously, which comes and goes in mysterious ways.

    I thought about TMS again because for the past year or so, I dealt with relatively severe acid reflux that would limit my diet, cause anxiety and sleep issues, and cause vomiting occasionally. I mentioned it to my sister, and she said "Oh, do you think it may be TMS?". I hadn't thought about that. I considered it and did just one session of "rage writing". No more acid reflux since that day, which was maybe a month and a half ago.

    Since that time, I had more pain in my back. This limited what I could do, made me scared for the future, and made me unable to exercise as much as I wanted. I am dealing with a number of acute stressors at the moment, including a very fruitful but difficult addiction recovery program and a budding relationship, as well as an upcoming move in the next six months. I realized my back pain could be TMS, and started doing "rage writing" again, and am trying to keep up on it every day for a few minutes. My technique is to write all of my writing on one "line" of my notebook, so at the end, it just looks like a crazy jumble of scribbles, which makes me more comfortable getting my true frustrations out, since they can't be read by anyone afterward.

    I bought a copy of The Mindbody Workbook to try to deal in a more straightforward way with some of these issues, since it may help, and am going to reread The Mindbody Prescription. When I get back pain, I say to my brain "Give me more blood in that area please!", to get it firm in my mind that this is the issue.

    Lastly, I do have muscular and joint issues that I can point to pretty clearly, and affect my ability to do hard exercise and so on. However, I am trying to distinguish that from the vague chronic pain that I get, which seems very firmly to be from TMS. I am still doing exercises I learned from physical therapy that can strengthen my weak core and my unstable shoulders. However, when I was in physical therapy, my PT encouraged me to rock climb and rollerblade and do other exercises. He said there is no danger, so I know that I am safe, and this is just to make my body stronger. As such I am trying to treat it as exercising for health, rather than "physical therapy". I have never been very fit, and I 'd like to be.

    Last, I want to mention that the pain I currently have is limited to my right side: on my neck, back, and hip. When I started to have pain in that area several years ago, I read a book where a very neurotic character had some kinds of nerve issues only on his left side. I remember thinking, oh no, I hope that doesn't happen to me! I think that fear and obsession sort of got to me, even though it sounds silly to say, I have to admit it affected me.

    At the moment, my back still has some discomfort, and some soreness, and some pain. However, the constant very severe pain that I was experiencing has been severely dialed back.

    Ok, thanks for listening everyone.
    Wildflower6 likes this.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Rose:
    What a great job you have been doing! Re-reading Sarno, and focusing on the psychological is such a key. You are continuing to move and work on movement fear any way you feel safe and expanding that feeling of safety mentally, emotionally and physically which Dr. Sarno also suggests. Recognizing your anxiety (so many people don’t!). And deciding to follow the program in your work book… you are on such a great path. Your sister has been a blessing!
    Best wishes on your journey.
    JanAtheCPA and RoseofTime like this.
  3. RoseofTime

    RoseofTime Newcomer

    The crazy thing is that it has actually been two different sisters at different times! Both very helpful. Exercising is definitely a bit scary since sometimes I get sore or whatever, but I just exercised and although I had some soreness, I am totally safe, totally fine, and know that it is not going to cause any issues: I have done it enough to know that myself even without being told by my PT. Thanks for the encouragement!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    My own PT asked me to reframe “soreness” as “muscles working”. Maybe that will help!
    RoseofTime likes this.

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