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My Story....

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Chuckles66, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. Chuckles66

    Chuckles66 New Member

    Greetings. This is my first post to this remarkable support group. Here is my story...so that there is full disclosure and understanding if I chose to interact with anyone posting in this or other threads.

    TMS is often marked with a "starting point". A moment in time when we recognize that "something other than the physical" is causing or contributing to physical and mental pain/anguish. That starting point for me was in 2002. Shortly after getting married I began to develop horrendous lower back pain. I did everything I could to find a cause and cure. PT, Chiro, injections and surgical consideration. Prior to making that surgical appt, I heard about Dr. Sarno on the Howard Stern Show. My wife said.. (like so many of our spouses and friends have probably said), "get the book...what have you got to lose". So I did, and as I read the pages, the "geyser like" emotional reaction was palpable. I read and re-read the book and had some success. Yet, I was still reacting to the external world and having terrible pain. I was managing this pain with meds, and at that point I decided to reach out and visit with Dr. Sarno. I was lucky enough to meet with Dr. Sarno twice in 2002. He, like a head coach of a pro team laid out the facts, reasons, and game plan to understanding, and stated to me that "it was up to me" to take control of my life. I did see a psychologist and my pain did slowly fade away.

    I was generally pain free for about 12 years when I was struck with another attack of TMS. This was particularly nasty as the symptoms moved around. It started with digestive issues, (I got my guts probed...all good) switched to prostate issues (got that probed...normal for my age), then manifested full blown into a cervical/neck issue. Ah..FINALLY a pain that cant be easily explained.....I quickly realized that it was certain "life issues" that was fortifying a reaction within me. I did the same mistakes of trusting the medical communities diagnosis's. I remember my Primary calling me after receiving the MRI results.."Wow..your neck is very bad, you NEED to see a surgeon". (This is what Dr. Sarno called the NOCEBO affect). In a panic I contacted my PT and he recommended a "Pain management Group". They gave me about 4 courses of Shots in my neck (in a 3 month time span). They did very little to reduce the pain. I went to PT, learned the exercises, did them daily for months, then went to a Chiro. The Chiro did help me a bit. I got 3 surgical consultations...(that was a profound experience...I felt like a cow being reviewed for auction. I remember one surgeon stating that I QUALIFIED for this procedure. However, upon researching the success rate opted out). I remember one honest and empathetic surgeon saying that "if you were my brother I would advise you NOT to get this done". I must stress, that these were the same things that I did when I had my first bout of TMS...searching desperately for a PHYSICAL explanation and cure. I was so distracted that I did not see this "story" developing. Pain became the ultimate distraction to my suppressed rage and anger. I remember Dr. Sarno's words about rage and "goodism" and soon there after I became a bit calmer.

    During this bout of Pain, I began Jhana meditation and that helped me conjure up the courage to accept my pain, yet the hindrances of doubt, skepticism, ill-will, self evaluation, and "conditioned thinking" kept the pain at the fore front. The Dhamma practice helped me keep my emotions in check. Reading stoic philosophy and the Pali Canon (Buddhism) also aided in understanding that "unreasonable reactions to impermanent phenomena is aiding in the distraction of PAIN". Realizing that I must accept life as it is and not get upset that it is different than what I want it to be, (easier said than done). I understand that all of life is impermanent, however my reaction and anger sees this otherwise. I felt like I was a man with 2 lives, I needed more help to fully integrate this process.

    I reached out to this forum and I searched for Psycho-therapists that understand TMS. I have been seeing my therapist for about 2 months and I also still do my meditation. I still have pain...and more importantly DOUBT. (doubt is the fuel that keeps fear alive...resulting in pain). However, I understand and fully embrace the empirical evidence surrounding TMS. I have a long road ahead of me, but I am courageously forging ahead to confront these suppressed issues and then let them go.....As the Buddha says..."like foam on the ocean, all that arises..passes away."

    So that is my story, in a nutshell, ...I appreciate those that read it. I hope to gain insight and wisdom from members, and look forward to this journey of understanding.

    Soph1802 likes this.

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