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need helped..pain on vacation

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by okidokisan, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. okidokisan

    okidokisan Peer Supporter

    Help! I had a good three weeks a month ago. I was walking up to an hour..so it seemed possible to plan a vacation in Mexico. We have been here a week and my pain gets worse and worse. I would say I had pain prior to trip..but now I can barely walk a block without pain. The past 2 nights have been excruciating..hours of pain with no relief. I'm in great pain now and can barely walk. What should I do? Go home? We already changed trip and are now just staying in tiny bungalows. We are10 days into month trip.
    This pain is relentless.
    I have been doing tms program since October and cycling in and out of pain..but wonder why it is so unbearable now after some success.
    Msunn likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Okidokisan (love your name),
    So sorry to hear that your pain is flaring up after having some success with your TMS. I'm listening to the audio version of Sarno's Healing Back Pain, and he just addressed the issue of pain flaring up when on vacation. He stated that he believes it is due to the fact that when we are busy with work and the routines of our normal life, that is often enough distraction from our repressed emotions, so the need for pain as a distraction is less. Now you have time to experience your emotions, but your unconscious brain is distracting you with increased pain.

    I suggest trying the mindfulness meditation practice of actually focusing on the pain, but in a non-judgmental manner--like a curious observer--for at least 20 minutes. I find that this exercise of acceptance of the pain without judgement can actually cause it to release, instead of fighting it and agonizing over it. There is a similar exercise called Focusing that if you do a search for that term on this site, you will find instructions.

    I would do some journaling to try to get at the what the repressed emotions are that the pain is trying to distract you from.

    I would talk to my brain, reassuring it that there is nothing wrong with my body and there is no need for pain, that I'm aware it is a just a distraction technique.

    And Dr. Sarno says there is nothing wrong with taking pain medication when one is having an acute attack. Be kind to yourself.

    Hoping you get some relief soon and can enjoy your vacation. I would love to be in Mexico right now.
    Msunn, Mermaid and yb44 like this.
  3. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen has some great suggestions. I was on vacation recently and also experienced a flare up in pain. I took pain relievers at least once every day but I made sure that I planned activities and stuck to those plans. I also had surges of anxiety on and off (very rare symptom for me) but used breathing and meditation to calm myself. Now that I have been back for a month and into a routine I haven't taken more than a couple of doses of pain relievers. It is true what Dr Sarno says. We use the busy-ness of our routines as an effective distraction. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    I had a similar pain-flare experience when I went away for 10-weeks last summer. I had not yet discovered Dr. Sarno, however. Nevertheless, in retrospect, I see that my anxiety levels went through the roof and I began to anticipate the pain, which of coarse feeds the pain cycle. I started to expect the pain to hit if I engaged in certain activities and so it became a vicious cycle of pain and anxiety.

    So I agree with all the above advice. Anything to reduce the anxiety and change expectations and beliefs about the pain will help. Easier said than done when you're in the middle of it but if you can stop and drop into breathing and mindfulness you can stop the run away train feeling. Use anything that can break these cycles. (I found music to be a wonderful aid. Also, staring into a candle flame and just focusing on it brings me into the present moment when other methods fail me.) And yes, use medication if you have it, when you need to . Just remind yourself that you are treating a symptom, not the cause.

    These techniques will help. I with you all the best.
  5. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Okidoksian

    I've had the same type of thing happen when we went on a short getaway a few weeks ago.

    In my case the pain happens in my arms and is never severe, but my anxiety was also higher when I was supposed to be taking time to relax! So I guess my TMS goes into higher gear to distract me at times when I could be actually relaxing and not paying attention to it.

    At this point I've had so many symptoms come and go, I just noticed it but didn't let it ruin my trip. Being in severe pain would make that much harder to do.
    I'm not sure I can add anything to Ellen's great suggestions. I know when I'm having symptoms flare up if I can just try not add anxiety fear etc it seems to pass.

    You're not alone
    Hope you get some relief. All the best
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
    okidokisan likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pain while on vacation can be a bummer. Mindfulness meditation which Ellen suggests is a good idea,
    and also taking some pain killer which Dr. Sarno suggests.

    I'm going to give you some reminders about mindful meditation from Herbie, a frequent poster on the TMSWiki:

    Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation are new powers of the mind techniques that are great aids in TMS healing.

    Mindfulness is taking a negative memory -- think about it as hard as you ever have -- look at it for what it is. Then imagine the best time in your life and see what you saw and hear what you heard and feel what you felt. Then say “I release,” and let go.

    Now think again of a great time you had in your life -- like relaxing on a beach, for instance -- and really feel it. Think on this calming thought for 30 seconds. Can you remember the negative thought? I didn’t think so. But if you do, then go ahead and use advanced reframing like taking the tranquil beach picture in your mind and feeling it in your body. Blow it up, make it bigger, then say “I release” and let go. By that simple affirmation we’re telling our brains what to do, and it works.
    okidokisan likes this.

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