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

My Storey so far.... and TMS challenge

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Michael Reinvented, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Michael Reinvented

    Michael Reinvented Peer Supporter

    My Story

    Hello All,

    I have been struggling with Chronic bilateral foot pain past 2.5 years, original diagnosis, planter fasciitis. I am a 50 year old 15 years self employed salesman, otherwise perfectly healthy.

    I have obsessively tried to reclaim my former athletic (excercised daily since 20 to de-stress) life, with each attempt making the symptoms WORSE.

    Here's a brief but not exhaustive roll call of failed modalities: - Anti Inflamms/Cortisone shots both heels/PT/ Immobilisation/Chiro/Osteo/ Epidural/ Orthotics/ Accupuncture/ endless stretching/Stem cell injections... low dose anti depressants... phew get the picture?

    In the past 12 months, as I have battled to maintain my own business, the symptoms have spread to lumbar/glutes/ hips and my left elbow. In the background are also long periods of chronic insomnia interspersed with the odd 5 hrs straight from complete exhaustion.

    Desperately trawling the web way back in June 2010, I saw refs to reading Dr Sarno's book alone being an "information cure", and being so immersed in the logic of a physical cure, dismissed it out of hand.

    1 week ago I read the Mind Body Connection and recognised my lifelong habits to withhold anxiety to be manly, to be a perfectionist in all areas of life and to be my own harshest critic. Having been told numerous times by medical "experts" that my Autonomic System Overload/ Regional Pain Syndrome was incurable, and at best manageable, I feared for my future having to put up with pain every time I put weight through my feet.

    I knew instinctively that I was dealing with TMS, so Dr Sarno's Book lifted a lot of fear from me, I recall sleeping 8 hrs straight the night I finished it, a 12 mth record!

    This past week I have deliberatley been following the structured programme, thinking psychological as often as possible, and especially paying attention to much more positive self talk. I am desperate for more mobility, and have a question on reasonable expectation.

    Yesterday, rather than excuse myself and disconnect sadly as usual, I walked gently with friends 40 mins in the nearby Forest, in my old beloved hiking boots. This is 4 X more than i have done in the past 2 years.
    Today I really feel it in the lower limbs, and to doubly reinforce the TMS self diagnosis, in the left ELBOW as well (not too much obvious load on that one when walking!) I feel the old fears rising.. HOW do I reach the point at which pain starts to subside?

    My Mum suffered a horrible nervous breakdown 4 years prior to her death in 2007, and I have sometimnes projected that this fate could well be mine. I take no medications, and am absolutely determined that i can regain my life pain free.

    I am so inspired by the stories on this site. Any insights gratefully received.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Michael and Welcome to the Peer Network,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you have been through a lot over the last couple of years, and tried a whole bunch of different modalities to recover. The good part is that while all of those other modalities treated only the symptom, TMS treats the actual cause of your symptoms, which is why it works.

    Your account of hiking is really a great example of how inconsistent TMS is and how it just doesn't make sense. I get how hiking can cause some soreness in a person's legs, but in the elbow...perfect sign of TMS at play. Why does it do this? To distract you, and make you think physical. Luckily you are reading Sarno and doing the program so hopefully you are developing tools to combat this.

    Your pain will subside, when it subsides. This may not be the best answer you are looking for, but it is the best manner to go about recovering. If you try to recover by a certain date, you will constantly be checking on how you are doing, and therefore continue to think physically. Something else to keep in mind is that as you accept the diagnosis and think psychologically, your pain may increase, which sounds like what happened when you went hiking. Your pain is desperate to distract you from your emotions. The more you focus on your emotions, the more your pain will try to fight back. This is only temporary, and means that you are on the right path to recovery.

    The more active you are the more signals you will send to your unconscious that you do not have a physical problem. You have to fully accept the diagnosis to recover, and pushing yourself can help. Of course, you may need to develop your stamina before you do anything too strenuous. Don't avoid pain or accommodate it. The whole point is to stop thinking physical and believing that you have a structural problem. When you avoid sitting in a certain chair or doing a certain activity, you are reinforcing the pain cycle

    Lastly, begin to understand the psychological reasons behind your TMS. It is not important if you identify the exact event or emotion behind your symptoms. Think in very basic and immature terms at the reasons . Think like your id-child, not like a rational and mature being. For the most part you don't have to fully resolve any of these emotions, only recognize they are there and accept them.
  3. Michael Reinvented

    Michael Reinvented Peer Supporter

    Thanks heaps Forest!

    Just to read those words "you are on the right path to recovery" seemed to flood my body with relief. I let go of a lot of tears. What a trip.
    I know the destination now, and it's not a life shrouded in pain.

    The thinking psychological part is a massive challenge in the presence of such distracting, sometimes consuming physical pain. I always take my shoes off after the 10 min walk to my office, for "relief", but will start to avoid this habit..seems too physical in light of your comments. MR.
  4. crimslock

    crimslock Peer Supporter

    Thanks heaps for your story mate... It was awesome to see you give the Sarno treatment a crack and go hiking for 40mins..Good on ya mate, give it hell. Tell it off. Thats what i've been doing lately. I have terrible burning in my body when i sit or lye, but know i just tell it off and focus on all the things Sarno says to do, like: Focus on nasty emotions & feelings when noticing the pain, tell my self theres nothing wrong me, this pain is harmless, pain is just a way to distract me from the rage etc... Hey mate, there is no perfect or correct way also, i got caught in that trap. Just keep reading and learning and you will natural come up with what to say and what to do when you notice the pain.

    As Forest said "Don't avoid pain or accommodate it. & When you avoid sitting in a certain chair or doing a certain activity, you are reinforcing the pain cycle" I know that sounds so hard to do, as i type i have terrible burning in my legs but i will not fear it or give attention to the pain. Stuff it, pain rack off. It took me a while to get to that point. But now i just enjoy my life regardless if the pain will be bad or is bad.. I just don't allow myself to think"i can't do that cause it will hurt" Now i just don't really care about the pain anymore because i know it is harmless and just a phony!!!

    Keep it up mate, you will get better and you are better>>>>
  5. Michael Reinvented

    Michael Reinvented Peer Supporter

    Great to receive your support Crimslock. This Forum is a blast of HOPE!
    For many long months, I have racked my brain on why my feet could hold such a stubborn "injury" (worse how the pain could so readily spread), and now it all makes perfect sense. The Brain learns pain, and can unlearn just as well. I have no doubt that the solidarity created by this site is a powerful tool in helping TMS sufferers increase their will and determination.

    I feel lucky to have discovered a whole new self help tool kit to attack this beast with.

    A piece of background info omitted from original my Story post relevant to feelings of gratitude was my experience with a so called Pain Specialist. This Sydney Aust, Doc reviewed my scans/history and then promptly fished around in his top drawer to lay on the desk a positively scary looking power lead and battery - a "Neurotransmitter".
    "This device we implant in your epidural space. It isn't cheap he offered, about $40K, but we have had good success in intercepting the pain signal between the source and the brain. Only small side effect is that you will likely have buzzing feet instead of painful feet"... mmm I tried to visualise walking around forever with a black prince cicada jammed in each shoe.

    Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, absolutely desperate, I was scheduled to see another one of Sydney's emminent Pain Drs ( months waitlist), 3 days after receiving Dr Sarno's Healing Back Pain in the mail, and honestly feel saved.
    I cancelled.
    There's no going back to external fixes now. From your progress, and the accounts of so many others, it's obvious the remedy is within us all.
    veronica73 likes this.
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    You have the right mindset. You can not look to external fixes to heal you. You must look within yourself to heal. It involves understanding that you have repressed emotions and changing how you view your symptoms. Reading Healing Back Pain will really give you the knowledge you need to recover. But you will still need to implement that knowledge and change your thought process.

    I do agree with you that learning about TMS is a blast of HOPE. When I learned about TMS I felt like I gained my life back. The hope comes from understanding that you don't have a strucutral problem and are not broken. Keep up your wonderful progress.

Share This Page