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Need Advice and Help

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by SME61, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Hi All
    I have posted this in the general discussion forum as well, but hoping some of you might be able provide some additional support and thoughts as well. This will be a fairly long post, so please accept my sincere thanks in advance.

    Diagnosed with L5/S1 disc herniation through MRI
    July 2015 could not walk more than 100 feet without severe pain for 6 weeks.
    Start physical therapy in July 2015 and can walk in August 2015, but still burning pain down Leg constant 6-7 on pain scale.
    Have epidural steroid injection in Sept and Dec 2015 helps a bit but pain and burning continues.
    Start with a chiropractor in November 2015 and spinal decompression makes things worse, so stop after 2 months.
    Try 5 sessions of accupuncture no relief. Doing lots of core strengthening daily.
    Jan 2016 until June 2016 begin seeing a psychologist and dealing with issues. Find out about Dr. Sarno and see Dr. Paul Gowzdz August 2016 TMS diagnosis confirmed!

    I begin accepting TMS/MBS and pain dissappates at times, but is usually present. Sometimes only a 1-3 on pain scale or less.

    Working the SEP now (since August), but still fairly obsessed with pain when it comes on which is often. In working with psychologist discover that I am very stressed about childhood, when I discuss it I just cry and cry this has happened 2-3 times.

    Strange thing happens when I travel and visit my dad who now has stage 4 cancer and stay at my sister's house. I have gone 5-7 days with no pain at all recently! As soon as I return home the pain begins and ramps up again!

    My psychologist tells me I am making very good progress, as I am getting in touch with my inner child. I also run one mile a day now.

    So what gives?
    I still have burning pain in my leg off and on most of the day and sometimes in my Butt (Piriformis syndrome). When the pain comes my mind just runs with it and I worry I will have it forever. Of course, I am telling myself and talking to my brain about my stressors and that seems to help and then the pain comes on again.

    I an trying to be patient and kind to myself and deal with my emotional turmoil and apply Sarno' s techniques and meditate twice a day as well.

    So, I am really not sure what to do and when this will end, I think there's proof enough that it is TMS/MBS. How long can this go on?

    Thanks for reading this, any advice or similar stories of those that gave overcome this would help!

    eskimoeskimo likes this.
  2. Brant

    Brant Peer Supporter

    I can definitely relate Steve, even had 3 fusion surgeries S1-L5-L4 which only gave me short term pain level decrease over time. I can totally relate to the same crippling pain where 100 feet was a good day, burning pain in my leg and butt exactly were my areas affected too, tried every non invasive method like you mention with little to no difference also(unfortunately for me I had completely forgotten about TMS that helped earlier in my life, but was totally convinced by surgeon that surgery would really help, oops not so much). I too can relate as I get some serious ailments when I would travel to visit my parents, somewhat embarrassing to mention but one symptom was constipation. I believe you can overcome and get back to living, I accept that this is a lifetime thing that will take work but hey that's okay, so just keep plugging away, it is not your forever, I am living proof! even though I'm an old guy I am still very active and play hockey!
  3. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Hi Brant
    Thanks this gives me inspiration and hope. I am so much better than I was,a year ago. But I really want to get back to no pain! The doctors tell.me I am fly functional, so there's not much they can do.

    I sent you a private message as well.

    Thanks again
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Steve,
    My feedback is that you are making progress, and it isn't perfect, and that's OK. You see how the pain comes and goes, which is great evidence that you have TMS. This can be very reassuring, even though the mind grabs the pain, and tells you scary stories. Your experience is common, and the pain will dissipate in time, more and more. If you have pain, you can simply recognize: "Oh, of course I have pain, I am human and subject to the age-old TMS." The more you simply accept the condition for what it is, the less worry, and hence less pain.
    Andy B
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Steve - It was impossible to fully explain this today on the chat, so I'll try again. This is something I learned about by being briefly exposed to the concepts of Existential Psychotherapy about four years ago. It was incredibly useful to me during a time when I lost two important people in my life, within a very short time. I feel lucky that I came across EP here on the forum, and that I was far enough along in this mind-body work to be able to incorporate the concepts into what I was going through, a year after I discovered Dr. Sarno.

    The issue I wanted to talk about is abandonment, which is one of four core human issues in EP. We experience abandonment throughout our lives, probably beginning with the trauma of being born and being forced from the safety of our mother's womb. Never mind being forced to stop breast-feeding, being forced to leave home to go to school every day, and being forced to grow up and leave home for good. And all of the uncounted moments we experience abandonment by other family members, friends, etc. It's a constant issue, but we don't know enough to recognize it when it occurs. However, our unconscious brains recognize it, and treat it as a dangerous negative emotion.

    The life-threatening illness of your father is a perfect stage for abandonment to play out from both sides, and it plays out at a very deep level that your brain tries to repress.

    First is the rage of being abandoned (or at the fear of being abandoned sometime in the near future). Your brain thinks that this is an unacceptable negative emotion for you to have, for whatever reason (the reason is probably unique for each individual experiencing it). The solution for your brain is to repress it with symptoms.

    Second, on some level, is probably unconscious self-abuse for abandoning your father each time you have to go back home - presumably to get on with your life, to work and pay your bills. Your unconscious probably thinks that you should not leave him, even though, logically, this is neither practical nor desired by him or anyone else. Intellectually knowing this to be true is not good enough when the real struggle is going on in your unconscious. This struggle must also must be repressed by your brain, and replaced by symptoms.

    If you allow yourself to acknowledge these struggles deep in your unconscious psyche, no matter how they are actually manifesting in your conscious thoughts, your brain has nothing to repress, because you've brought all that negative stuff out in the open, acknowledged it, and accepted it as being totally normal under the circumstances.

    The relief from symptoms while you are with your father is explained partly by the fact that being with him is enough of an emotional distraction that your brain doesn't need to provide pain; and partly by the fact that you ARE with him, which lays the dual-abandonment issue to rest for a while - until you go home again.

    Of course, I'm only guessing about all this, based on my own experiences with the process of losing two people after lengthy illnesses. What struck a chord with me about Existential Psychotherapy is the emphasis on the universality of the four key issues for all humans. Which means that if you were to go a little further with the concepts, you might discover that all four of them apply to your current emotional struggles. The four issues are: Freedom, Isolation, Meaning, and Mortality. (with Abandonment standing in for Isolation when you're looking at the death of someone in your life). Facing the reality of our own mortality is a BIG one when we are with someone who is dying. And it's something our brains are really good at stuffing back down. Healthier to acknowledge the reality and the fear.

    By the way, you might notice that although it seems that Dr. Sarno tends to focus on digging up past issues, here we are talking about very current emotional issues. The past is important when you understand that we are all traumatized by living, even if we had perfect childhoods. Discovering how the past influences our emotions today is important - but it is very often today's emotions that are causing our symptoms.

    As Andy said, you are clearly making progress - keep the faith, accept the downs with the ups, and above all, accept and love yourself.

  6. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    These are awesome replys and I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate the support. I am discovering so much about myself in this journey! Although, I wish that the pain that I am having did not have to accompany it.
    From your perspective how important are the repressed childhood memories in overcoming pain/TMS?
    I can't believe what is coming up and it is heartbreaking to others. My psychologist is encouraging to do 3 voice journaling, as I guess I have 3 different sub conscious beings. An Adult, A Child and a A Bully.
    Has anyone had success with this method?

  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Steve. You have gotten wonderful replies and advice and encouragement from Jan and Andy. I can only echo them, and encourage you to believe 100 percent in TMS, that your emotions or personality traits are causing your pain, and it is not structural. Running a mile a day is great. Stay as active as you can. It is a big help in healing.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Steve. I think that a number of people do have success with "parts" therapy - some decades ago there was a very popular one that was similar - the parts were Parent (judgmental), Child (submissive and needy), and Adult (actualized). I often talk about the negative messages we bombard ourselves with - seemingly from a brain that does not have our best interests at heart. Viewing that brain as actually composed of different manifestations of our personalities makes sense to me. In the end, it's what works for you.

    This is going to be different for everyone. Someone who had a dysfunctional childhood with old memories and emotions that are being repressed had better get that garbage out in the open or they will never get better. IMHO. However, many of us did not have horribly dysfunctional or traumatic childhoods. yet we're still suffering. The work I've done to uncover my past helped a LOT to explain my anxiety, which was very interesting, and it allowed me to develop a completely different (and much healthier) relationship with my anxiety. But in my case, I was able to figure out that my symptoms were related to repressed emotions about current issues (such as aging) and an inability to live in the present.

    But that's me.

    That being said, there are a few things about this work that I think are universal. One of them is this: to be able to do any kind of emotional work successfully, you must be willing to be completely honest with yourself. If you find yourself sorting through the things you're willing to talk about in therapy, if you're suppressing things that come up, and creatively substituting other things that feel more comfortable to work on, you need to recognize that this is your BRAIN repressing the things IT doesn't want you to look at. Your brain is really really good at convincing you that certain things simply are not important enough to discuss. You have to recognize what's going on, and be willing to look at those exact things. If you let your brain keep repressing those "unimportant" little things, you won't progress. IMHO!
  9. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think this is a great approach. Then in the moment, after inquiring a little by journaling, link this to Dr. Sarno's work directly:

    My Inner Child feels _____________ about ______________, and this material is difficult to feel and acknowledge, so there arise these symptoms:_______________, as a distraction, so that I don't feel____________________. I would rather feel and understand these feelings:________________ than to distract myself with these symptoms:__________________.

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