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New here and stuck between a rock and a hard place

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jules, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    (Long) First some background info:

    I have been dealing with chronic pain for 20 years now. I have been diagnosed with all the gamut of syndromes you can think of, that deal with pain. For example, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, costochondritis, Tietze syndrome, as well as Hypermobility, vertigo, thoracic outlet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, PID, IBS, interstitial cystitis, etc...

    About four years ago, I was at my wits and and found Dr. Sarno's books. I devoured them and saw myself on every page. I did all the journaling, I did pyschotherapy, and mantras, you name it. At that point, I wasn't taking any medication that I had to withdraw from.

    Fast forward to today, and I still have the pain. It has been a very rocky road, trying to get my brain to finally accept TMS. The reason being is that my kids, especially my son, didn't believe in TMS and kept telling me that it was some type a structural problem or genetic problem. Suffice it to say, it brought me around to the doubts again. In fact, before my daughter's wedding four days before Thanksgiving in 2013, I started with the carpal tunnel on my right side. My shoulders and everything on that side started hurting. I determined it was TMS and after a month or so of wearing the brace, it all the sudden got better. Of course, then I ended up with more of my rib pain.

    Now I have bilateral problems with both of my wrists and shoulders, and I've been to physical therapy, chiropractors, and even started on Lyrica, hoping that things would lessen up, because my doctor said I had TOS, a real medical condition (his words), of course I listened and did what he told me to do.

    It's now been almost 7 months, and I still have the pain. My doctor wants me to do two MRIs, one with the T-spine and one of the C-spine, which is 45 minutes each, and me on my back, which tends to make things worse. But, I also feel like this test two will be negative. Of course, that also got me to thinking it must be TMS. I have been seeing a new therapist because my insurance stopped covering my old therapist this year. She did notice that a lot of my pain seemed to stem from trauma accumulated from childhood all the way to when my last daughter was born and I almost died. And in fact, that's when my chronic pain started, after her birth.

    Anyway, I am a freelance writer and because of that, every time I go on the computer to write, I end up with major pain in my wrist and my rib cage, because of just the act of typing. I can't vacuum, and I can't scrub floors, without my muscles screaming at me in protest. I have had every test known to man and have been to probably 15 doctor/specialists. Every test that I've had done has always come back with nothing.

    Anyway, sorry this is so long, but I thought you needed to know everything. I am at this point in my life, middle-aged and with two grandchildren, to where I need to finally, once and for all, get rid of this pain. I keep wondering what it is I am missing. There is one thing I've noticed, since going to this therapist, my pain has gotten worse. We have really dug into some traumatic events that happened to me and to my family, which has stirred up a lot of very
    uncomfortable emotions. That has to be good, right?

    I have seen so many success stories that have given me hope, but there still that elusive thought in the back of my head that I'm never going to get better because I have been doing this work now, off and on for the last four years, and I don't seem to be making progress.

    I figured there are many people on here who are in the same situation or they wouldn't be on this forum. Any thoughts, advice, suggestions, whatever would be helpful at this point.

    TIA and wishing you all happy holidays and peace.
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Jules. I would put off any MRIs and keep giving TMS a chance to heal you. Write down the repressed emotions that may be causing your pain. If you have not yet, begin the Structured Educational Program, free in the subforum of this web site. It will help you to discover those emotions and then your subconscious will stop the pain.
  3. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Just an observation from your post but it sounds to me as if all your doubts about if you have TMS or a structural issue are external. You sound as if YOU are quite sure that your symptoms are psychosomatic but it is your families and doctors opinions that are driving your doubt. I'm quite intrigued by that as my doubt is generated internally and not really centered on others opinions or thoughts. I don't know but maybe you need to find a way to hold your opinions and gut instinct above those of others however well intentioned and well informed they believe them to be.
    Ellen and tgirl like this.
  4. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Yes I am sure you're right. It's difficult when your kids think your a hypochondriac, as well as your husband. But, I know that this is TMS, because in 2011, me and my husband went on a Mediterranean cruise, which at that point I was afraid of flying and my pain got so much worse. When I finally met my fear head on, and ended up having to fly back home by myself for 13 hours due to Government strikes back then, I conquered it and the pain that I had had dissipated for a while.

    Interestingly enough, while on my cruise, I didn't have the typical pains. I had walked all over the place and had been walking on the treadmill so I could be ready for it but my typical pains were gone, although my stomach issues had ratcheted up. Yes, another distraction. This year, I finally went to the therapist who asked me some tough questions and got to some childhood traumas that help to help me understand what was going on. You see I have PTSD from the birth of my last child, with my uterus ruptured and I was bleeding out and almost died. Since then, I have been OCD about my health and about dying.

    I feel that if I finally face that fear and process those traumas, the pain will start to dissipate. The fact that the pain started after the birth of my last child is a testament to me that the trauma has a lot to do with it.
  5. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Yeah...my wife constantly goes on about me being a hypochondriac. She has had to put up with me being like this for about 10 years so it isn't easy on her but it does cause a lot of friction. We have a little boy so I try to be careful with him picking up on things as well...he already comments on my bad back. Funnily enough we have done about 4 Med cruises over the last 3 years...the one we did in April followed the typical routine of feeling awful before the trip, being totally symptom free of GI issues whilst on the cruise even though I wasn't paying any attention to what I was eating and drinking and then literally the symptoms starting again as soon as I set foot off the ship.
  6. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Amazing isn't it? Something so stressful as a trip, which you think would make things worse, actually gave us respite. So, my thought was that I was able to leave my troubles behind for a while, but we always know that running away from our problems never work because they'll be there right when we get home.
  7. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Check out Abigail Steidley's website, think you might find it very valuable
  8. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    MRIs can be a double edged sword, because they may find stuff particularly in a person of a certain age that may well be completely unrelated to pain but that doctors will seize on and make into nocebos. Howard Schubiner has written on this. I would be wary unless your doctor can give you something very specific he or she is looking for that has a high correlation with your symptoms.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/unlearn-your-pain/201406/can-mri-hurt-you (Can an MRI Hurt You?)
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199407143310201#t=article (MMS: Error)
  9. ladyofthelake

    ladyofthelake Peer Supporter

    The thing that jumped out about your story was you are sharing with family and regarding other people's opinions. In fact I bet those people might even be invested in you repressing those emotions. I didn't talk to anybody about TMS except people on this forum. I know if I had naysayers I'd have a harder time. Or if people were supportive I have felt a need to perform or succeed.
    Once I really saw results I told a few people in a matter of fact way.
    Now I'm in a weird situation where the other people/friends around me with chronic pain are saying "you know how it is...to be in pain...it's so hard" and I don't quite know how to tell them I'm not in their club anymore. And I can tell they would not be ready to hear about my success. And I might not be ready to hear how different and worse and real their physical causes of pain are.
    My most significant TMS pain started like yours, very abruptly with a very traumatic event. I didn't really allow myself to acknowledge that until the journalling exercises 8 years later. Sounds like you've got that insight, good start.
    I'm still in therapy dealing with anxiety, anger, co-dependence, healthy boundaries and trauma. I feel like the therapy and EMDR are a side-thing to TMS recovery, I need to deal with those repressed emotions day to day instead of turning them into pain. Brains are weird.
    David88 likes this.

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