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My TMS Success Story (crippling foot pain - plantar fasciitis, wrist pain, eye pain)

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by AnitaV, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. LynnCarol1

    LynnCarol1 Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the good advice. It is hard not to watch the calendar. We have a river boat cruise scheduled for early May and a Grand Canyon trip with two young grandsons scheduled for late July. The stress I feel about getting better is probably making my pain worse.
    Last night was a bad night and if I had not just had x-rays taken by a new podiatrist (I really like her) I would have been convinced that a new trauma had occurred. Today will be a day of icing and reading encouraging words from other tms sufferers like you.
  2. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    I am the first to ease the pain with meds icing and whatever….the first and foremost thing to me about tms healing is self care , but that comes with a hitch just tell yourself that this is what you need to today and that its not a cure…I do this every time i take a med.

    I just found this out recently is to not fight the pain meaning don't rub you feet when it hurts and just be with the pain, I found out after doing this diffuses the pain and gives it less reason to distract you …some days are better than others. I hope this helped.

    Regarding trips I get the same type of anxiety, just go and if anything happens there are hospitals and dr everywhere don't let it stop you…with that being said I don't know the intensity of your discomfort.
  3. LynnCarol1

    LynnCarol1 Peer Supporter

  4. LynnCarol1

    LynnCarol1 Peer Supporter

    My pain can take my breath away! I was finally adjusting, or so I thought, to my orthotics. About 3 weeks ago I was In CA visiting family. I followed Dr Sarno's advice and walked like a "normal" person. That was Tuesday by Saturday the intensity of my pain was awful. Now the pain was on the front of my foot and my big toe. I saw the orthotic lady who made a slight adjustment in the orthotics, that was last Friday. She pretty much washed her hands of me and wants to send my back to the surgeon (ortho from HSS).
    My new podiatrist, (saw her Friday) took x-rays and is sending me for a follow up MRI. She said that the tendon (posterior tibial tendonopathy) appeared much better but the new issues appears to be caused by the orthotics changing the mechanics of my foot!! There is swelling and she told me to ice and it and try not to stress (sounds like she might be a TMS candidate). Interestingly enough she could find nothing wrong with the big toe!
    Last night the pain sent me home to my ice pack!! Fortunately meditation (I am not very good at that!) helped me go to sleep. It is better this morning but still aching.

    Thanks for the encouragement and I will not cancel any trips yet. I might change our seats so we are not sitting in the emergency exit row just in case I need a wheelchair - long treks in airports are a killer!
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    LynnCarol, your advice is excellent. Dr. Sarno writes that we should not spend more than an hour a day
    thinking about TMS or trying to discover what the psychological cause(s) are. It's hard or imposssible
    to not feel pain when we think about it all the time.

    It's great to know you find the TMSWiki site so helpful. So many wonderful people here caring about each other.
  6. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    Hi Lynn! I'm sorry for the delay in my response. I'm so sorry to hear about your pain. I highly recommend Dr. Padrone. He is brilliant, and has changed the way I live my life.
  7. Roberta

    Roberta New Member

    Hi Anita,

    I have read your story. I to suffer from chronic foot pain. I have had over 10 pairs of custom made orthotics. Never had the pain until I started wearing orthotics. Finally I ditched the orthotics and my feet are in chronic pain ever since. I was told that my feet were atrophied from wearing orthotics. My joints in the forefoot are very hypermobile and my feet are taking the blunt of walking. I have excuberent heel spurs, plantar fascitiis, metatarsalgia and the soles of my feet feel like am walking on my bones. Also been told I don't have alot of fat pad.

    My question is could all this be TMS. I am having a very hard time accepting TMS. My body is so tensed because of my feet, have extreme anxiety and have alot of trouble sleeping. Cannot find a TMS therapist. I actually tried two years ago finding someone, but they would not take me on. I am so frustrated, angry and all I want is to get better and get my life back. Please tell me what you think, I need advice. I am reaching out to you since you know what foot pain is like.
  8. LynnCarol1

    LynnCarol1 Peer Supporter

    Hi Roberta,
    I do not know where you live but if you are near the NYC area I highly recommend Dr Rashbaum at NYU Langone. He confirmed the TMS diagnosis and that really helped me.
  9. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    As long as a podiatrist and your pcp cant find anything u have tms you dont need to spend $500-700 for someone else to tell you...
    mike2014 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  10. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    Hi Roberta,

    I am terribly sorry for the long delay in getting back to you. I really hope that I can be of help. Your pain definitely sounds like TMS. When I learned about TMS and finally accepted that I had it, I had been off my feet for 2 years. For some of that time I had been walking minimally with a cane, and for some of it I was in a wheelchair. I had tremendous atrophy in my feet and legs. When I accepted that I had TMS and started walking again, the pain was insane. I think that a lot of it was from the atrophy. I was extremely stiff, and it hurt a ton just to bend my toes. I had crazy pain in my feet and in my ankles. It changed and moved and had huge ups and downs for months. I understood TMS and believed in my body and knew that I didn't have to fear the pain, and that I could get stronger and recover. It took months, but I finally did. I was also diagnosed with hypermobility, just like you. It's all total BS, forget about it. I never get any sort of pain any more, anywhere. I get other psychosomatic symptoms when I repress emotions now (allergies and illnesses), but never pain anymore, my brain's given up completely on using pain as a distraction for me, and had moved on to new things.

    Where do you live? There are some TMS therapists who do therapy over Skype, you could try to check them out. I did psychotherapy during my recovery with Dr. Frank Padrone (a psychologist who worked with Dr. Sarno for many years) and it changed my life. If you can find someone good, I highly recommend it.

    How are you doing? Let me know if I can give any more advice to help!!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  11. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    Also, when I first ditched my orthotics during my recovery my pain did get worse. Don't worry about that, it's all a combination of TMS and your body getting used to walking normally again.
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  12. Roberta

    Roberta New Member

    Hi Anita:

    Thank you for answering my post, I really appreciate it.

    I am still having alot of foot pain. I have alot of stress in my life and tried to deal with it. How did you recover from the pain and atrophy in your feet and legs?

    I know I have alot of repressed anger, but have been trying so hard. I also have alot of anxiety and I cannot sleep through the night. Did you deal with these issues also?

    I live in Massachusetts and have to reach out to two doctors but they were not able to take me on. I want to get better in the worst way, but there is always added stress which I cannot overcome and they will always be there. I have been trying to strengthen my feet as I do not want my bones fused in my feet and do not want another pair of orthotics. You mentioned you were also diagnosed with hypermobility, did you have other diagnosis with your feet. I have been told my feet and ankles are not strong enough due to the loose ligaments and tendons. I do have very flat and flexible feet, loss of fat pad (atropied), plantar fasciitis, ball of the foot pain and the joints in the big toes hurt so much, as they have been pounded into the ground. I have been told that my pelvic, core and hips are week (I have alot of issues with my SI joint getting locked). Wearing shoes is a real issue. I would love to start working again and get on with my life.

    May I ask how did you begin your journey to recovery? I really need help and I am still looking for someone to help. I was given a name of a pschologist by TMS in California, but she not able to see me until January, I am waiting for her to call me.

    My feet hurt but I have alot of issues with sleeping and anxiety. I know this issues are TMS.

    Did you ever take medications? Do you feel medications at some point be beneficial?
    Sorry for all these questions, but I would love to start my journey. To be honest, I have not fully accepted the diagnosis of TMS (but I feel it is a big piece of the puzzle). I have read if you don't accept it 100%, that you will not recover.

    Please let me know how you started your journey. I am amazed how you overcame all your sypmtoms and I applaud you. What did you do to get stronger with your body? I hope you don't mind if we correspond.

    Thank you again.

    Best regards,

  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Roberta, I can hear that you are really struggling, and I just want to assure you that belief in TMS will work, maybe not right away, but if you build on your belief and, most importantly, change the negative, self-defeating messages in your brain, you will prevail, and you will experience relief.

    Please re-read what Anita said here:
    And let's read again what she said about her diagnosis:
    Roberta, here's the thing: I lost track of the number of times you asked Anita about diagnoses. Seeking a diagnosis is a very self-defeating activity, guaranteed to keep you obsessed about your condition as a medical one, instead of a psychological one. Anita has already said that the diagnoses are BS. In order to recover, you need to believe that with your whole heart.

    Doctors diagnose TMS and all of its equivalents with lengthy vague descriptions because they don't know what else to tell you when the real problem is that they can't actually find anything wrong.

    Inflammation is a famous one. We here know (as many many TMS and mind-body practitioners are telling us) that "inflammation" is the result of psychological distress, usually due to repressed negative emotions. So it's yet another BS diagnosis.

    Forget your desire to obtain a diagnosis. Accept that unless a doctor has forbidden you from exercise, that you can not hurt yourself even though there is pain. You MUST change the messages in your brain. When you feel pain, recognize the fear message, and counteract it with a non-fear message. As Anita suggests, you want to respond to your stupid primitive fear-based brain with "I know that I don't have to fear the pain, I can't hurt myself by walking/standing/stretching/lifting/exercising/ and in fact I am strengthening my neglected muscles and building new strength".

    If you haven't yet discovered the free Structured Educational Program on the wiki, I highly recommend that you check it out. Or, for deeper emotional work to start with, you can do Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program - also free, generously donated by our great friend, Alan Gordon, MSCW, who also runs the Pain Psychology Center, another resource you might look into.

    Good luck, and keep us posted,

    Moppy and mike2014 like this.
  14. Roberta

    Roberta New Member

  15. Roberta

    Roberta New Member

    Hi Jan:

    Thank you for answering. I will have to work harder.

    It is just so difficult, as I am emotionally and physically exhausted.

    I just need help and I need to sleep.

    Thank you.
  16. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    For me, the most important first step was to fully understand TMS, so that for every question "the devil on my shoulder" asked me, I had an answer. I did this by reading and re-reading and re-reading (and re-reading) The Mindbody Prescription and parts of the Divided Mind, and by reading success stories online. Dr. Marc Sopher's book helped me too. But really everything you need is in The Mindbody Prescription. Once I really understood TMS and had answers to all of my doubts, I was able to take the leap and accept the TMS diagnosis. Once you truly accept the TMS diagnosis, it's all gravy from there. You believe in your body and are not afraid of pain, so even though you may have a lot of pain for quite a while, it doesn't scare you, and you continue to move forward.

    The biggest obstacle for me to accepting the TMS diagnosis was my inflammation. My feet had inflammation that showed up on MRI and ultrasound, and Dr. Sarno wrote that TMS does not cause inflammation. But, I read enough stories of other people who had inflammation as part of their TMS to convince me that it can.

    I also had tremendous anxiety and would sometimes not sleep for nights on end. It's all part of the package. Dr. Sarno writes that severe anxiety is another manifestation of TMS, and I agree.

    I saw a psychotherapist during this time, which changed my life. I learned when and why I repress emotions. In my experience, that is the role of psychotherapy in recovery, to help you understand what you are repressing, and why you are repressing it. Stress itself doesn't cause TMS, repression does.

    Like Jan said, don't worry about all the physical diagnoses you've been given. Every doctor will give you a new one. The root cause of your pain isn't physical, and the cure isn't physical.

    My advice from my own experience for how to get started is to read and re-read Dr. Sarno's books and success stories, every day. Find answers for every doubt you have. Spend time of this every day so that your brain is actively working on understand this.

    At the same time, spend time thinking about your emotions. If you can find someone good to talk about it, that is great, that's what I did. If you can't, perhaps journaling would help. Dig into your negative emotions and force yourself to experience them. Ask yourself this - other that my pain, what is bothering me? That's what my psychotherapist taught me to do, and I still force myself to think about that question any time I have a physical complaint.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  17. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    And remember what Dr. Sarno writes - any time your pain is bothering you, force yourself to think about what is bothering you, and what negative emotions you have. That's how you defeat your brain, which is trying to get you to focus on the pain.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  18. Roberta

    Roberta New Member

  19. Roberta

    Roberta New Member

    Thank you Anita. I am working on this everyday. Hoping you a Happy and Healthy New Year.

    I think I should start journaling as you suggested.
  20. AnnaSchweitzer

    AnnaSchweitzer Peer Supporter

    This is such a great thread. I took the time to read all of it today because I am struggling with foot pain right now too. I started with neck/back pain (caused by being a "hairstylist") , which showed up after I conquered builimia... I now struggle with severe foot pain. I've had it for 7 years now and I'm only 32! It's so frustrating. I've known about TMS for about 4 years now and I don't know if it's my personality stopping me up but I can't seem to get enough confidence to fully accept TMS. Recently my symtoms were always PF or tarsal tunnel...pain and nerve pain all over feet. Longer I'm on them longer they hurt....but now my left ball of foot has been hurting horribly. And seems to have some swelling. I got an xray and it showed nothing...but seems weird that it's in one foot and not the other? That has really stopped me up b/c I keep worrying that it's physical. It's been hurting for 8 months now...and don't know if I should go get an mri or something or just figure it's TMS and move on? Please I could use some advice. I also think I need to Skype with a psychologist because I think I tend to repress emotions and not even know because of my prior eating disorder that started in my teens! Thank you so much for this thread and any advice is welcome! :)
    IrishSceptic likes this.

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