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New here: My story and a question..

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by E. Lynn, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    Hi Everyone,

    So glad to find a place like this! I read Dr. Sarno's books about three years ago, and am reading Steve O's book right now. Steve's book really made an impression on me. While I was slightly doubtful I had TMS before, I am convinced now. Here is my story:

    I grew up a minister's daughter, moving from town to town every two years or so. I was shy, and having to change schools so much was tough. From 4th to 7th grade we finally stayed in one place for a few years. Unfortunately, I didn't like the school there and my parents were stressed because of their job situations, life with three kids(one being my rebellious older teen brother), bad neighbors who partied all night and threw beer cans in our yard, mom's health problems, you name it. I began having Irritable bowel syndrome, and long story short, went to the Children's Hospital and they found nothing wrong. They gave me some medicine to relax my colon and told me to eat plenty of fiber. Even then, I knew my stomach hurt because I didn't want to go to school, but didn't know what to do about it. As a young adult, I finally figured out it was anxiety, worked on breathing and relaxing, and no longer have IBS.

    During the same time period(around 1985)my feet began to hurt. I was told I had fallen arches by someone, and my parents had me wear Dr. Scholl's arch supports. They helped a little, but I still had foot pain. It's silly now, looking back on it, I don't have fallen arches at all, there is definitely an arch there. But my feet do over-pronate, and I do have plantar fascitis that has lasted for YEARS. I can't even remember not ever having foot pain, and it has grown worse over the years. Cushy orthotics help, but I still have pain, mainly in my heels.

    At age 16, one day I woke up and my jaw was locked into place and wouldn't open fully. I went to the orthodontist and started a treatment plan that lasted for 4 long(sometimes torturous) years.

    Got married to my high school sweetheart at 18. Later on, at age twenty, my hubby and I were expecting our first child. I developed back pain in my sciatic joints. I've had that off an on now(more ON than off) for twenty years. I've tried chiropractic, and it has helped some. Physical therapy didn't help. I've also had 2 MRI's, and they both looked pretty good. Around age 33 I developed a pain around my T12 joint that lasted for a whole year, and hurt every day. Looking back, my oldest daughter was facing some health isssues around then, and I wonder if those coincided. I became depressed and ate snacks at night. Turned around and realized I'd gained 30 pounds in no time. While the weight is easier to hide on my 5'8" frame, I wasn't too happy about that.

    So here I am today. Still have the feet pain, SI joint pain, along with back and occasional neck pain. TMJ is way better. I HAVE learned that my back pain starts when I am stressed or hurried(from Dr. Sarno). For the past two years, I've been having such bad SI joint pain(more raw and centered at the actual SI Joint) at night it would wake me up all night long. Used to, I always knew that going to bed would help my pain, but not anymore!

    After the first several chapters of SteveO's book this past week, I got mad. I wondered if that stinking SI joint pain I'd been experiencing was TMS. I thought back to when I "injured my back" and started this newer, worse pain 2 years ago, and how I must have healed since then and my supposed injury really wasn't that bad of an injury. Guess what? For the past week, I've been experiencing some of the best sleep I've had in a long time. I told my brain it was TMS and it finally felt better. It isn't 100 percent better, but it is so much better and I am SOOO grateful.

    Now, I dare to wonder if some of my other pains are TMS. I would be unbelievable to me if my foot pain was TMS. I once had a foot doc tell me that my foot is flexible and collapses more when I stand, compared to other people. That is why I have the pain. The fascia pulls on my heel.

    So that's where I am now. Here is my question. When I have to do something I don't want to do, my back starts tensing up and hurting. I've tried to relax it, but it doesn't seem to work. Okay, maybe it works a teeny tiny bit, but it's like I can't get a hold of it. Here is an example: Last night I was making supper. I couldn't find the ingredients I needed, didn't really feel like cooking(but my family has to eat :) and the back pain started in. I tried to relax my back to no avail. I face this time and time again. I tell myself it's TMS and to relax, but my brain and muscles don't want to seem to listen. How do you overcome that??

    Thanks a bunch,

    E. Lynn
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had a terrible case of plantar fascitis about four years ago. I found it very depressing because one of my favorite things to do is take a 45 minute walk each day. I couldn't go on a walk for about three months and that really had me feeling hopeless. This was before I discovered I had TMS. I started riding a bicycle and then my knees started hurting as well as my feet. My feet were especially bad after sleeping or resting for a while. Sometimes I would get up and it would feel like I could not put any weight on my feet. My physical therapist at the time gave me some exercises and recommended that I roll my feet on a frozen water bottle. I started doing some yoga for my knee pain and forced myself to go out on 10 minute walks no matter how much it hurt. Those were long walks! I was determined to not let the feet and knee pain stop me from exercising, walking and riding my bike... slowly over a few months the pain got better and then eventually went away. I now know that the foot pain was TMS. It went away and morphed into some other pain because I had stopped focusing on it and through persistence and determination not allowed it to ruin my pleasure of exercising. Sometime in the next year my occipital neuralgia/head/neck/shoulder pain took over in a big way and this is when I began my TMS healing journey. As I was recovering, sometimes the plantar fascitis would come back but this time I knew it was TMS and did not find it a convincing distraction and so it would fade pretty quickly. My biggest struggle/distraction has been anxiety and worry. I know you would be very surprised to discover that your foot pain is TMS but I think as you recover from all the other symptoms TMS is creating you might find that it is all connected. It really doesn't matter how long you have experienced it.
    Ellen and Gigalos like this.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh and here is a suggestion: the other night when you were trying to cook and you realized you really didn't feel like cooking and so your back started hurting... instead of just trying to tell your brain that it is TMS and to relax, take a few moments to sit and really explore how you are feeling in that moment. It might be a great time to take a few minutes and journal. As you are exploring, if you find that you are angry and frustrated, allow yourself to feel that as much as possible. Don't be rational about it, don't think about the outcome, who it is directed at, how it might be impossible to change the situation...none of that matters. Just let yourself really feel however you are feeling for a few moments. This does not have to take a long time. But it will take some of the pressure off. And this is the beginning of how you learn how to think psychologically and not focus on the pain instead. The more you do this the less pain you will have! I have teenagers and dogs and when I arrive home after work it is a very stressful time for me. Animals need attention, kids need to be heard, dinner needs to be cooked, laundry needs to be folded... Often my husband is off socializing or doing something fun. And I need to sit down and rest!! Perhaps I can't realistically just go and lie down on the couch for the rest of the night, but I find if I just take 5-10 minutes and allow myself to get a little angry "well, I'm just going to let it all go and they can all fend for themselves!" or "who cares if there is a Mount Everest size pile of laundry. I don't have to fold it!" then I end up feeling much better. Its funny because usually I start folding and cooking after that and I feel fine. Then it feels like a choice and not something THAT I HAVE TO DO. Its important to pay attention to when the pressure is building and when we are stuffing how we are feeling because we don't think there is an alternative. Getting a little angry at the weight of responsibility doesn't make us a bad mom etc. Sometimes its just as simple as recognizing and allowing yourself to feel.
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    A father living in the present moment. tire repair.jpg
    Anne Walker likes this.
  5. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    Thanks for your reply, Anne. I hope the plantar fascitis is TMS because it gives me hope that it will get better. You're right, it is hard. It not only limits your exercise ability, but the type of job you can work, also. I've done the frozen water bottle thing too, when the pain was at its worst. I'll work on the suggestion you gave--focusing more on the emotion vs. the TMS.
    It's kinda funny, I was just researching occipital neuralgia on here, and read a post of yours before I posted. My mom has it and also has pain from two torn rotator cuffs. She also has fibromyalgia. I gave her Dr. Sarno's Prescription for healing a couple years ago. She read it(and said she saw herself on every page) and did improve some on her lower back pain, but the occ and shoulder pain is the worst. The occ developed after having physical therapy after having surgery for the torn rotator on one shoulder. She has to sleep every night in a chair, and her sleep is interrupted with pain a LOT. I feel so sorry for her, it hurts my heart. I asked her to read Steve's book and she is hesitant. I think deep down she thinks her pain is not TMS. I think most of it is, I'm just not so sure about the Occypital pain and rotator cuff pain. I would love nothing more than to see her better, she has suffered so much. They gave her a nerve block the other day for the Occ. and it didn't do anything. I learned yesterday if the nerve block shot doesn't help, then it's probably not occ. She's wanting to have a thing put under her skin near her neck that shocks the nerves into submission, but the doc keeps putting if off. That is the last option, as nothing else has helped.

    Thanks again,
    E. Lynn
  6. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    What I have found with the Occipital Neuralgia is that doctors can't offer much other than surgery and shot in the dark medications. I resist medications and find it extremely difficult to take new ones no matter how desperate I am feeling. I have had doctors recommend all kinds of things for my Occipital Neuralgia. I was offered surgery, nerve blocks, medications.... I know how hard it is to believe that these extreme pain conditions could be caused by TMS. I tried to cure my back pain(ruptured disc L4L5) with Dr Sarnos' recommendations 20 years ago with no success. I gave up after a few months and had a $20,000 out of pocket back surgery. That did not cure my pain and over the next 20 years I have had a long list of symptoms that I somehow suffered through with a lot of expense and time spent on doctors, physical therapy, massage and too many things to even list... Finally, when I was at the end of my rope so to speak with the Occipital Neuralgia and not really trusting the doctors since they couldn't really explain what was causing the pain to begin with, I made a real commitment to the TMS diagnosis. It took me about 18 months but now I finally not only have my life back, but see the world in a whole new way. I say that because I think I have always suffered from TMS to one degree or another and now that I have finally figured out the "what's wrong with me?" it has changed my life. I am 52 years old and terrified of death and how short life is still, but very excited and happy to be alive! I am not being judgmental when I say that I am not sure why it is so difficult for us to accept the reality of TMS. I resisted the idea for so long. It is a shame though because we suffer so much unnecessarily. You and your mother have lived with these painful conditions for so long that it may seem difficult to even imagine a painfree existence. I have nothing to gain in trying to convince you other than I know what it has meant to me and I truly understand what it is like to live with chronic pain and fear. The occipital neuralgia was probably the worst of what I endured(although bladder pain is up there as well) and I am convinced that if there were a true structural cause for occipital neuralgia, the doctors would be able to explain what that is and to offer some relief other than nerve blocks. There are so many personal testimonies of the nerve blocks not working and many who claim they actually made their pain worse! There are many people sadly living in agony. That's what made me so afraid to try these treatments because I knew there was no way I could handle even greater pain. I am afraid to describe how good my head feels right now because sometimes that just jinxes things for me. I wish you and your mother some relief soon!
    E. Lynn and Ellen like this.
  7. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi E Lynn and welcome to this wonderful forum. I've had planter fasciitis and yes it is TMS. I also had chronic foot pain for over twenty years. The good news is since my discovery of TMS and starting my TMS healing journey I have overcome this foot pain and you will too. SteveO's book was an enormous help to me in this journey so you're on the right track. Stay the course - you'll get there. Check out my story for details of my pain and recovery:)
    E. Lynn likes this.
  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lynn if you look in the Appendix of TMS Symptoms in the back of SteveO's book you will probably find PF is a TMS symptom--if you look in the index of most any TMS book you will find the same. I've known personally some foot docs/podiatrists, played tennis and partied with them, visited their schools, and think more of them in the category of chiros. I've been to several for stuff and got no relief. I've bought the $500 custom orthotics that hurt my feet worse then the original pain--the best thing for your feet is playing barefoot on grass courts. Start training for a marathon like Caroline Wozniaki. You've written a well rendered TMS bio BTW, yours sounds like classic TMS history. Maybe write a TMS book someday, you write very well.

    E. Lynn likes this.
  9. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    Anne, thanks so much for the reply. I'm going to take it slow with her, but I'm hoping she'll accept that more of her pains than just low back are TMS. I just remembered yesterday at one point she was dealing with tennis elbow. Don't know what happened to that one. If you don't mind, I might share some of your posts with her in the future.

    Colly, I read your story and it was very inspiring. I was comparing my foot with my 15 year old daughter's foot last night and she had one of the same characteristics in her foot as me (she takes after me quite a bit) that I thought might be causing my pain and she has no pain. Hmmmm. It gave me some hope. :)

    Tennis Tom, that's interesting about comparing the podiatrists to chiro's. I'm certainly familiar with both. I've had two pairs of orthotics over the years and one pair was awful/painful and the other pair were pretty helpful. Had to stop wearing the helpful ones after about two and a half years because of another foot condition popping up. Now I just wear homemade ones made by my podiatrist and they work fairly well. Nothing has gotten rid of the pain though, but I am trying really hard to see my pain as TMS. Thank you very much for the compliment on my writing. I just got my first article published and have a YA fiction book coming out soon. Woo! :)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    E. Lynn, congratulations on having your first article published, and a YA novel coming out soon.
    I've been a fulltime freelance writer of articles and novels and nonfiction books for 40 years
    so I know what your accomplishments mean to you. Keep up the good work!

    I've been having my new YA and middle reader novels published free from CreateSpace.
    They're great even though you have to market the books yourself.
    E. Lynn likes this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wrote a book on TMS with Herbie who is a frequent poster on the forums.
    We got it published free from CreateSpace, available in both paperback and Kindle.
    E. Lynn likes this.
  12. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    Thanks Walt! How cool to talk with another writer. That is quite an impressive list of books you've written over the years. Nowadays, you pretty much have to market your own book whether you are an indie or traditionally pubbed, unless you are a big name author. Times sure have changed over the past few years in the publishing industry, haven't they?
  13. Nattycakes

    Nattycakes Peer Supporter

    Congratulations on accepting that this is TMS. And it IS. Everything that you've said and experienced points to this. Now it is time to accept, ignore, and show no fear. It will do everything in its power to get your attention away from knowing what it is. It will move around your body and make you second guess yourself. Stay in the present moment. Don't focus or analyze any pain or weird sensations.

    Sounds to me like you need to release anger and visit your past.

    When you have a reaction to something.. When you start to worry.. Think why?... Where did this all stem from. You need to get to the root of the problem or it will show its ugly face in your every day life.. With your thought patterns, expectations of yourself and others, etc.

    What is your pain telling you? Remember it is a diversion for you to not feel. Those ugly emotions.. Or.. Is it try into get your attention perhaps to let you know that you have them and they need to be resolved?...

    Everyone has TMS. You just have a flare up, and now are at a point where you can actually realize that you can live your life a different way.

    Accept the pain. Show no fear.... Hell, you've had worse days than this.. Ignore the symptoms.. And believe that they will go away.

    Some people suggest this is all you need to do.. But I say do the shadow work and get rid of all of that old junk buried deep inside you so it won't haunt you later.

    You are AMAZING!!! And so strong! And you are going to heal in no time!

    Love and light..

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