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 Story

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by DanielTMSer, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Daniel:

    Congrats on the new bride. Finding our soul mate is such a "high". Glad you had such a great honeymoon.

    Of course you need to rule all things physical. Is there a TMS doctor or therapist near you? I don't have one here, but the therapist I've been seeing for anxiety has followed my TMS journey and is 100% on board with the diagnosis. She has done research on my behalf. I feel very blessed.

    My husband has incurable cancer. The emotions and anxiety that are constantly with me over this are part of my TMS journey. Perhaps this could be explored as a reason for the pain returning? Underlying fear and anxiety about your dad? These are questions to ask yourself, not to answer me. But I know this stress adds an additional component to my ability to heal.

    I started with lower back pain, then it went to my shoulder and neck, then back to my lower back. I have numbness in my hands (doesn't last long because I ignore it) in the mornings and evenings. I'm also dizzy on occasion. For me, I know this is all TMS. I am trying to work simply with my back issue and chalk the rest to TMS.

    If it was me, I'd look into a good TMS therapist (some work through email) and get the diagnosis. Sometimes it is physical, but you've done this before and perhaps some writing on your dad's condition as well as what it means to now have a life partner would help you sort it out.

    Good luck and pain free days ahead! Welcome back!

    Forest likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Daniel, I am hearing your frustration, but the good news is that the answer is right in front of you - you wrote it all yourself.

    I really love your line about "every professional" eager to diagnose their particular specialty. I was reminded of my close friend who kept bugging me to get an MRI of my neck so that I could be diagnosed with stenosis (like her) and then get a cortisone shot (like her). She kept going to various practitioners until she found one with an answer that she liked. Of course the cortisone didn't last, but more importantly, other symptoms popped up in the meantime.

    Anyway, I never did do that, and my neck pain is now mostly non-existent, and when it does bother me, it's a minor annoyance, easily dismissed as a TMS flare-up. If I experience too much flaring up, then it's time to step back and do some self-reflection and journaling.

    As Veronica indicated, there is nothing wrong with the way you sleep, but the placebo effect is strong for suggestions such as this (and typically doesn't last). You don't need acupuncture in order to engage the healthy flow of energy in your body. Vigorous exercise and mindful visualization will do more for you, cost way less, and can be done on your own whenever you want.

    Stopping SSRIs 8 months before your pain started is not connected EXCEPT for the fact that anxiety and TMS are totally intertwined as Veronica also said (we agree a lot :cool:). There's a lot of chicken vs. egg discussion about anxiety. You've probably had TMS equivalents off and on for much if not all of your life if you really think about it. Addressing the anxiety is crucial. Many of us have suggestions/resources for that aspect of TMS - start a new thread and ask!

    Here are my suggestions for reinvigorating your belief:

    1. Re-read your favorite book by Dr. Sarno.​

    2. Get Steve Ozanich's new book The Great Pain Deception. Read Chapter 1, then skip to Chapter 5. Then start over from the beginning, being sure to read Ch. 1 again. I'm only just finishing Chapter 5 myself, and it's a pretty powerful message for non-believers. Steve says that Chapters 1-5 comprise the essence of his journey with TMS. I think the rest of the book is a compendium of knowledge he absorbed over the ten years it took to research and write the book. An encyclopedia of TMS, perhaps. He cites numerous authors and practitioners along the way - check out anything that resonates with you.​

    3. Start following this thread about The Presence Process: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/the-presence-process-and-shanshu-vampyr.418/#post-3109 Forest just posted a summary of The PP on this thread​

    4. Peruse the forum on topics that resonate and see what other posters are recommending.​

    I'm really sorry to hear about your father. Recognizing, owning, and accepting your emotional reaction to this news and how it makes you feel about the core human issues of life and death is especially important during a time like this. Dr. Peter Zafirides talks about these core issues in his practice of Existential Psychotherapy.

    On the other side is the happiness of your new marriage - that's the "life goes on" side of human existence, even while the threat of death makes us guilty for enjoying what we can while we're here. Push-pull. Fear. Anxiety. Guilt. TMS. You have the power to change your emotional reaction to all of this.

    By the way, it's possible that your own belief in the power of the mind over physical symptoms (because you will get there) could help your father endure the treatments he will be going through. When my father was being treated for lymphoma 30 years ago he stopped taking his blood pressure medication and started using relaxation and meditation instead so that he could eliminate that drug from his system during the chemo. Well, we know from one of the "guest MD" chapters in The Divided Mind that there is a significant mind-body component to high blood pressure. It was 1980, he was 70, and I wish I'd had the knowledge then that I have today so that I could have asked him where he got that suggestion, because it was pretty enlightened, both for the era, and for his age!

    But back to you: the bottom line is that in order to heal, you need to look for validation within yourself, not from others. Make a commitment to believe - it's very powerful.

    Sorry to go on so long, Daniel - I get pretty excited by this stuff.

    Pulling for you,

    yb44 and Forest like this.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    In a lot of cases, when TMSers go on vacation, their symptoms fade away. This is, in part, because they are being active and have a whole bunch of things that are distracting them and grabbing their attention. When we are on vacation we are, for the most part, in the present moment. Our focus is not on how much pain we are in or when are we going to have pain again. It is on having fun and relaxing.

    It sounds like when you got home from you honeymoon you had to face a whole bunch of very stressful issues, so no wonder your symptoms came back. Jan touched upon Existential Psychotherapy and I really think some of that may be going on. When you returned home you had to face a whole bunch of stressful issues that, again as Jan mentioned, could force you to address some of the core issues, and starting a marriage on top of all of that. This is a lot for anyone to deal with.

    The major thing that stood out to me though was that wrote you expected you symptoms to begin again. The main point here actually relates to the latest podcast by Dr. Zafirides where he suggests that we are what we think. In other words, if we have negative thoughts, fear our symptoms, think our pain is going to come back, then most likely it will. The good part is that we can change our thoughts and how we handle situations, so instead of thinking negative, we can think something more positive.

    Lastly, search through the threads on this forum and follow the advice Jan gave above. If you have a Sarno book re-read it. Also check out the discussions we had about the Great Pain Deception at Ch. 1 & 2 discussions and Steve Ozanich Drop in Chat . There is some great stuff in those threads about how to get better.

    Stay positive

  4. DanielTMSer

    DanielTMSer New Member

    Does anyone have any recommendations? Is this something that could be done over Skype/Phone? Can it be a therapist or does it actually need to be a doctor?
    Im really sorry to hear about that. There is a lot of emotion and anxiety that I have been experiencing as well. Im 28 and I think a lot of this is forcing me to "grow up" My TMS therapy has brought up a lot of emotions dealing with the fact that Im not 16 anymore and I have a lot more responsibility. It is also very hard to see my parents getting older. Im so used to them taking care of me. Its hard to see the roles starting to change.

    I wonder if I was able to deal with my emotions when I was on the SSRI because they numbed me to them. Once I stopped taking the pills, the flood gates, so to speak, were opened up. I'm now having to deal with the emotions without the "crutch" of an SSRI. Perhaps I wasnt able to deal with the emotions all at once...therefore the pain came. Thank you for all your suggestions as well. I just ordered the book you suggested.

    Very good point. Thank you.

    Thank you all. I can tell that just writing in the forum again is starting to help,
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's helping all of us, all the time!
    Keep us posted :cool:
  6. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Daniel,

    There's a list on the wiki of TMS doctors and therapists: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Find_a_TMS_Doctor_or_Therapist I don't know if they can officially diagnose you over the phone but many of the therapists at least offer skype or phone sessions (I'm seeing a TMS therapist who I found on here, and we are meeting by phone since she's on the other side of the country).

    Glad you're back here!
  7. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi Daniel. Keep in mind there are "normal abnormalities". My x-ray shows DDD and the MRI shows herniated discs. However, they are not the cause of my former pain.

    Regarding your engagement, yes, I do believe that is very stressful. I think you're having issues with doubt, Daniel, and that can indeed hinder recovery. You seem to have seen for yourself that you can be pain-free (happy to hear you had a great wedding/honeymoon) and that stressors trigger pain again. I noticed that you expected the pain to come back--and your expectation was fulfilled. Next, how about expecting the pain will go away and not come back? Also I suggest keeping on with the program and re-reading Dr. Sarno's books as it takes time for this new information to sink in.

    Best wishes for healing.
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is where accepting the diagnosis comes into play. Believing in TMS is, at its core, fully expecting that our symptoms will go away if we uncover the root emotional cause. One of the hardest parts of a chronic pain patient is to expect that their symptoms will go away, but that is because the medical community and our culture convinces us that we must view our symptoms through a physical lens. Once you change the the lens from the physical to the psychological, you will be able to break the cycle of pain expectation.

    The good news is that reaching this point only involves educating yourself about TMS. The more knowledge you consume about this condition, the more you will begin to overcome it.

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