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Need help trusting my TMS is indeed TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JoyceVT, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    I'm a TMS person and also a runner. I am currently battling a TMS symptomwhich traditional medicine would probably diagnos as quadriceps tendonitis. I've been dealing with it since the very end of this March. I think at this point I just need help convincing myself this is indeed TMS and I'm not going to make it worse by continuing my training. Here is my history below. Any words of wisdom would be hugely appreciated. I'm so grateful I have found this site. I read Enrique's account of his battle with his Achilles TMS and it was very helpful. I just need to apply the same principles but it is sometimes easier said than done! :)

    My history of TMS:
    I've been battling TMS since the 1990s. I had chronic knee tendonitis problems as a serious cyclist back in the mid 90s. Looking back I now believe all those knee problems were TMS. The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong and even having both knees scoped didn't help one bit. I was actually a serious racer and put a ton of pressure on myself which probably brought on the TMS.

    I didn't learn about TMS until 2000 when I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrone from using a computer mouse and playing my flute (an activity I took up when I gave up on my cycling) I discovered Dr Sarno and Dr Sopher. Both helped me over come my TMS. Then I was plagued on and off with all kinds of TMS as a runner a few years later. I discovered Monte Hueftle in 2009 and bought his first book which was very helpful and exciting. I ran my first half marathon and always seemed to get through any minor TMS issues which were always triggered by my running. With continued reading of Monte's first book, then his new Master Practice and also another visit with Dr Sopher in NH, I was able to get through another TMS episode. I was then able to train and complete my first full marathon in May 2011 thanks to Monte and Dr Sopher.

    But then last summer I experienced a shin splint which I assumed was more TMS. I ran and trained for my first 50K ultra trail run. My shin was only getting worse and I ended up racing on it. I believed it was TMS and tried to overcome the pain but it wouldn't get better. I still decided to do the race. I came out of my first 50K with a very bad shin and a pulled groin injury which lasted almost 3 months. So this winter and early spring I slowly got rid of my shin splint and groin injury. Then at the end of this March I developed some tendonitis symptoms on my left knee/quadricep tendon. This I do believe is TMS like my bike racing days, but it's been a long battle the last couple months. I'm having such a hard time not focusing on the physical aspect and worrying about not being able to run the Philly marathon this coming November. I had to give up the Boston Marathon due to my shin and groin injury and not enough time to train. So it really means a lot to me to get over my new TMS and focus on my running which I love so much.
  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Joyce:

    First you probably know that we can't tell you if you have TMS or not (you seem convinced so I'm not trying to argue) that is up to a doctor to give you a clean bill of health.

    My best friend has been a life long athlete. She also puts a lot of pressure on herself when preparing and doing a race. She swam the English Channel when we were in our 20's - did very well but was devastated not to finish. She has no physical problems (which is amazing to me) and I think her strategy is to simply finish. Not be the one with the best time.When she didn't finish the swim across the channel, her dad gave her the sage advice that it's not about the end result, it's about the journey. And she had trained and gained over 30 pounds in a years time. Quite the commitment!

    A couple questions: what helped the most when you got yourself out of pain before? What did you gain from Monte that helped you get through the race? What has changed since then?

    I think a review of what worked is where you need to go. Perhaps reading Monte's book again would help.

    Did you have that shin splint checked? Were you given the OK on that? I think that's an important piece here. We do get injuries (as you describe and then get over it) and those need to be ruled out.

    Or perhaps it's time for a new book? More journaling could help you to focus on the issue and see if you can get yourself out of pain that way. Many new books and programs out there to help with recovery. I have done the Structured Educational Program here on the wiki, and I highly recommend Dr. Schubinar's work as well.

    But I don't want to send you somewhere to start a program if this was indeed a real injury this past race.

    Good luck to you - you sound very determined and know the TMS "protocol".

    Welcome and keep posting!

  3. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Hi BG,

    Thanks for your post! Yes I do understand only a doctor can tell me for sure whether I have TMS or a true running/overuse injury.

    I think what helped get me out of my pain in the past was that the information was fresh and new. Also visiting with Dr Sopher face to face was a huge help. He is a firm believer that everything has been TMS for me. He was very firm and confident in telling me that I am not fragile and that my body is heatlhy and capable of running marathons. And Monte's information was very fresh in that it was going further and saying not to repress emotions and 'think clean'. And I also believed that my symptoms were TMS 100% when I did get better. Monte's first book was very good in convincing me my pain was TMS because he is a also runner who had so many TMS issues triggered by his running like myself. So I was a believer and that made a huge difference for me.

    Unfortunately I became a bit over confident after my first marathon and then a few smaller races and felt I was immune to running injuries. I believed everything was TMS. So I trained really hard and ran a ton (too much for a new marathon runner). I believe my shin splint was a real injury from overtraining and not TMS. However I had a phone consultation with Dr Sopher in August who was adamant in saying it was indeed TMS. He told I could run as long as I could tolerate the pain so I kept going. It kept getting worse and worse as I did 26, 28 and 30 mile training runs in prep for the 50K. So I lost a little faith in the whole TMS thing for a while. And then the groin injury from the race (which I believe was also a running injury) threw me over the edge into a depression for most of the winter. I was lucky enough to have a phone consultation with Monte in December when I thought the groin injury had evolved into TMS. (It did get better in February). Monte thought my shin splint was NOT TMS as he is a very experienced marathon runner. But he did think the groin injury might have evolved into TMS as it should have been better much sooner. That I'm not really sure. I could barely walk after that race!

    But now the quadriceps tendon/knee TMS I'm experiencing feels like TMS as it sometimes moves around and comes and goes even when I'm not running. I'm not over training and I'm running very cautiously and conservatively. I've been building up very slowly and easily and making sure I have rest days. I recently bought Dr Shubiner's book and CD which is excellent. I did the written exercises for a couple weeks but noticed my syptoms got a little bit worse which is supposed to be OK. It just means I'm stirring things up. But it makes me nervous to run when things get a little worse, so I have taken a break from his exercises. Maybe I should go back to them!

    Right now I'm re-reading Monte's Master practice and wrote him an email a few days ago. I hope to hear from him.

    Thanks for recommending the Structual Educational Program. I'll check it out. I'm very open to new approaches to TMS.

    I truly beleive the thing holding me back is that I'm about 90-95% sure my knee is TMS. It's the other 5-10% that is the hard part. It's very difficult for me to get out of that "injury think" mode of dealing with the pain. But I'm working on it.

    Again, thanks for your post. It is most appreciated.

    The good news is that this morning on my run, it wasn't any worse and it was maybe a bit better until the very end when I felt a little soreness going up the final hill of my run. But then it went away. Now it's just an off and on thing here at work which is very much like TMS.

    I'll keep everyone updated. I feel that there is a happy ending to my story like Enrique's Achilles. And hopefully my story will help others like his is helping me.

    Joyce :)
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hiya Joyce,

    It sounds like you are going back and forth with if it is or is not TMS. You are thinking this symptom is TMS, while this other one is not TMS. This is the TMS distraction at work. It wants to put that doubt in your mind and make you go back and forth. Hence why accepting the diagnosis is so important. You mentioned that when you first recovered you believed in the diagnosis 100% and were able to recover. The main reason for this is that once we accept the diagnosis we no longer worry about the symptoms when they pop up because we know and accept what is going on. Exercising can help in reaching this point. Keep reading Enrique's story. It is really inspiring and it will help you accept the diagnosis.
  5. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Thanks Forest! I'm having a hard time right now because of my shin splint last summer. But this is very different and I am more confident it's TMS. My hardest obstacle is not worrying about my knee. In the back of my head I worry it will get worse and worse as I keep running. Luckily it's just staying the same overall. Last few days I've had some ups and downs.
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    When my knee hurt me I also worried that it would just get worse and worse, but what I found was that, like you, it just sort of stayed the same regardless of my activity. It increased slightly when i first started the TMS approach, but that was just my unconscious putting up a last ditch effort to distract me. We worry about our symptoms because we are afraid something more serious will happen to us. However, with TMS nothing more serious will happpen, so there is nothing to be afraid of. That is the true power of accepting the diagnosis. Once you accept the TMS diagnosis you have nothing to fear about your symptoms.
    Livvygurl likes this.
  7. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    The good news is that on Sunday I had my best run in a while with minimal knee twinging. And this morning it seemed normal w/o the twinging or minor soreness (Monday is my rest day from training). I believe I have turned the corner with my TMS. I've been very excited about buying land and that has been a positive distraction. As a result my worries about the TMS have faded, hence the fading of the symptoms.

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