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My story

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Dutchman, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Dutchman

    Dutchman New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I like to introduce myself, but I have to warn you: it’s quite a long story. Still interested? You have my thanks! Read along:


    My name is Maurice, I’m from Holland, 28 years old, webdesigner and I finally found this forum after 2,5 years of pain.

    It all began in the gym, when my shoulder was injured. Of course I went to the physical therapist.

    He recognized it as a shoulder injury and that following weeks I was treated as such. After a few weeks my therapist said the injury was gone, but the pain still persisted. Also my right upper back began to hurt. A few weeks later the pain began to spread to my arm and hand as well. Being a webdesigner, meant spending at least 40 hours per week at a computer. But it became harder and harder. Strangest thing of all is that I could go to the gym and train with a low level of pain. The other 24-48 hour the pain began to increase and sometimes it took a week for the pain to go to a level where it was acceptable again. Irritating, but doable (pain level between 1 and 5). For the pain never went a away anymore. I woke up with it and went to bed with it. Pain was also the only thing that had my full attention. For I didn’t want to live with it! My only goal was to search for an answer and the right treatment. So my quest began.

    Faith in regular healthcare

    I went to my local doctor hoping he could find the answer. Of course he could not pinpoint a certain diagnosis and the following year I went to multiple doctors and therapists. Orthopaedists, a neurologist, a vascular surgeon, a chiropractor, other physical therapists, etc. I had X-rays, MRI’s, EEG, blood tests, dry needling, massages and much more. They found nothing and nothing helped!

    I also tried multiple medicines. From anti pain killers to antidepressants. Also no relief. Maybe 10-25% in high doses, so no actual relief. Turn side were the side effects though, so I finally quit all my medicines. (Got my first Sarno goal!)

    Some doctors said it was neuropathic pain, others said it was due to a spine wear. But most said that it was most likely a psychological problem. Yeah right, me? Insane? Making it all up? Sure! You know what? I just go finding the answer myself!

    My own search

    And where better to search than the internet! First I thought I actually still had an injury. Perhaps some pinched nerve or something, although nothing could be found. Maybe its thoracic outlet syndrome, I thought. So I was trying to find an answer in that direction. Massages myself and trying to convince doctors and physical therapists I had TOS. Of course they didn’t buy it. Most of them never even heard of it. They did find me annoying, though. Have you studied medicine? One doctor said. No, just webdesign :p. But I kept persisting.

    I was really sure I had TOS. But then the pain spread to my left arm and hand as well.

    So if it was a pinched nerve, how could the pain suddenly spread to the other side? Well, very simple....It isn’t a pinched nerve and it isn’t TOS! I have been on the wrong track all this time.

    I was devastated and totally desperate by now. After 1,5 year of coping with the pain and anxiety I told my boss I couldn’t take it anymore. I was physically and mentally exhausted! That fact that my left side began to hurt, was possible the cause of changing my mouse from right to left a few months ago. So with right and left side in pain, working had become a living hell for me. I’m a fighter and I would never give up easily, but the well had run dry. I went home in January 2014 hoping physical rest would do the trick. Oh boy, was I wrong. The pain maybe didn’t flare up as often and as heavy as when working, but the pain definitely didn’t went away. My focus and obsession on my symptoms actually did increase. This went on and on for 10 months when I decided I didn’t want to live like this. If I continued on this path, I would lose my job, lose my girlfriend, lose my home and finally lose myself. So changes had to be made! I decided I would go back to work, even if the pain could increase.

    So I did go to work. I began with a few hours a day and build up to 8 hours per day again.
    This took a few months and the pain luckily did not increase as much in intensity as I thought. I actually felt I was mentally stronger than before. The fear was still there, but maybe If I would continue this path, the pain would eventually subside. There was hope again!

    Not again!

    But since 4 months ago the pain spread all over my body. From my jaw to my feet and everything in between. With it also came the muscle twitches. Also everywhere over my body, all time of the day. Pain still varies between 1 and 5. So the hope again flew away and the fear worsened. What could I possibly have? RSI? Fibromyalgia? CFS? Well, I stopped searching for a certain diagnosis, because it freaked me out. It scares me when I read about all those scary conditions and that you will have to live with it, because no cure can be found. But I still think a lot about those scary thoughts. Not a day goes by without them. What if the pain never goes away? What if the pain will gets even worse. What if....

    An epiphany

    But then something came up! What if the fear, the focus and the obsession was the culprit? What is if all those scary, negative thoughts is what keeps the pain going? I’ve been fully physically examined, so there is nothing really wrong with me. But there must be an explanation. There always is. So in this case, it must be a mental issue! So I started to search and read about psychosomatic articles and approaches and finally found the TMS wiki website and forum.

    I also bought the book “the mindbody prescription” and guess what:

    It’s like Sarno wrote a book about me. Low self-esteem? Check. Perfectionist? Check. Goodist? Check. Live full of fear and anxiety? Check. Dependency trait? Check. I also have hay fever, eczema, often having a cold, etc. When did me symptoms begin? The year I started my own webdesign company, the year I trained (fitness) 4/5 times a week, the year I was uncertain how to proceed in my relationship. (I love my girl, but the attraction and passion was missing.), etc. So a full year of stresses! So some doctors were right after all. It actually is a mental problem!

    At this moment, I’m convinced that I have TMS. No scary diagnosis and no ailment with no cure. After reading the book and all those success stories I’m actually convinced that I can cure myself of the pain. That the pain, the anxiety, the fear, the muscle twitching etc. eventually will vanish! I also know that my biggest challenge, is the key to recovery. The fear thoughts. So “breaking the pain cycle” is my goal. Don’t let those thought divine me and control me anymore. Let me be in control of my own thoughts, not the other way around. It’s hard, but it’s not mission impossible. I know I can do it!

    So even when the pain and the anxiety has not diminished yet, I’m feeling stronger and more confident than ever! I’m on the right track and in due time I will post my success story!
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  2. Markus

    Markus Guest

    That's a great story Dutchman, well written, glad you discovered TMS!
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Nice post Dutchman, welcome to the forum. In the quote above I think you meant psychological, not physio. It's interesting that your white-coats told you it was psychosomatic, usually they find something structural to hang a dx on to write an RX for drugs or PT. All doctor's know that many of the regulars in the waiting room are "mental" but don't have the gumption to tell them fearing opening a Pandora's box or losing a ka-ching client. Maybe someday doc's offices will have TMS trained psychologists as part of their group rather then the trend now to incorporate chiros, acus, and PT's offering one stop pain shopping.

    In frustration I once took six months off to completely "rest". Biggest mistake I (or anyone else) can make--if it's TMS, It only resulted in a clinical depression--don't do it! That's probably when TMS'ers start getting the CFS's, lymes and fibros.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
    Markus likes this.
  4. Dutchman

    Dutchman New Member

    Thank you both! I really like the support and the social aspects in this forum. Everyone is so nice and caring!

    Thanks for addressing my grammar. I personally think my English is quite good, but I still have much to learn ;). I indeed meant to write the word “psychological”. Fixed it now!

    It’s actually is quite rare that doctors point in the mental direction. My physical (this time I mean physical :p) therapist try to treat me in like 12 appointments before telling me that he didn’t know what it could be and then forwarding me to a psychosomatic therapist (which of course happened to be partner of their practise). At that moment I didn’t believe in psychosomatic disorders, so I skipped it.

    My white-coat(as you so eloquently described :p) did do various tests before asking me to search in a psychological direction. But I’m glad he believes it will probably be psychosomatic. It will make it easier for me to fully believe in TMS. He also said that diagnosis’s like fibro are made purely because they don’t know what it is and how to address it. He also thinks it has a mental cause. So there is hope for regular healthcare after all!
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
    Markus likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Dutchman, I'm sorry you were put through the "white coat" mill, but that happens to many of us, me included.
    It's great that you discovered TMS and have started the SEP. Journaling helped me to discover repressed feelings after my parents divorced when I was seven. The feelings were abandonment and insecurity. Journaling helped me to better understand my parents and that helped me to forgive them,
    which helped me heal from severe back pain. It takes 100 percent belief that TMS causes our pain.

    Yes, doctors say we have fibromyalysis when they haven't a clue as to what it is or what causes it. It's TMS.
    Markus likes this.
  6. Dutchman

    Dutchman New Member

    Hi Walt, its amazing what repressed feelings can bring about. I think it must have felt like a burden of your shoulders to finally forgive your parents, made peace with your past and get rid of your back pain. I'm happy for you.
    My gut feeling is still a bit sceptic, but I'm starting to believe. I think 95% at the moment. I'm also going to journal. Not every day, but a few days a week. I think that must suffice. I will beat this thing!
    Markus likes this.
  7. PamD

    PamD Peer Supporter

    Hi Dutchman,
    I am glad that you found this site and group. Welcome to the community. Thank you for posting your story. It has been quite a journey for you too. The SEP is a great place to be right now. Keep us posted.
    Markus likes this.
  8. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    Thanks for sharing your story Dutchman........and BTW I have pretty much the same symptoms you have...pain, all over twitching, also internal tremors and paresthesia. Had a doc appt 5 days ago, he again examined me, found nothing. Symptoms going on since Oct 2014 in one form or another, every day that goes by and they don't find anything leans more and more toward TMS. Working with a TMS Therapist now on CBT. Having anxiety in the family doesn't seem to help but lends credence to this being anxiety-related and not anything to really worry over. Yes, I know, much easier said than done.

    You have learned like many of us have to attach less importance to many things. It's difficult at first but in the long run everyone seems to find that they are happier. Do yourself a favor and read up all you can on TMS, from the Sarno/Ozanich books to the tons of testimonials.
  9. Dutchman

    Dutchman New Member

    Thx PamD, I will! Mdh157, anxiety is hard to overcome, but absolutely possible! I think a TMS therapist can definitely help you with that. Good luck with it!
    I continue to read a lot on TMS and in the meantime focus on the good and joyfull things in my live.
    Tennis Tom likes this.

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