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New Here, not sure if it's TMS or a Physical condition.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by chlorocala, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Hi, this is my first post here, so apologies to the size of it.

    I've been reading a lot about RSI over the past few years, and TMS comes up quite often.

    I've had ongoing RSI for a good few years now, however this year the pain ramped up quite severely, and in April I noticed I had a slight tremor in the mornings.

    By June, the tremor and pain got worse, and now I have a tremor a lot of the time, my typing is clumsy, I shake when I try to write etc, even if I feel calm or noones around. All very distressing.

    I had an MRI of my neck, and conduction studies in 2011, and I'm just about to have some more this week.

    I should also say that I had a bad car accident in 1998, which left me with some scoliosis, and that my last conduction studies revealed a slight ulnar entrapment on my left hand side, but not major enough to cause my symtpoms, especially as my main complaint fitted more with median nerve!

    My MRI showed I had lost the curve of my neck, and had some muscle spasm there, all the therapists I've seen (I've tried lots!) have commented on my neck/shoulders being tight.

    I've recently started some exercises, nerve glides, tendon glides etc, and a new physio, and I have to say, the pain is reduced quite a bit, but still very much there, especially if I use my hands.

    Also, I'm off work because of this, and now my anxiety over my tremor is massive (outside work I like to draw and make things), I'm terrified I have nerve damage, and also terrified that if I don't, I'll be left with the tremor for the rest of my life. I'm worried about my job, relationship etc, it's all got me very low, and I'm beating myself up for not addressing it before the tremor arrived.

    I was curious about your opinions on this, half of me thinks maybe there's something to the TMS side of it, half of me thinks I can see totally how years of bad posture, and repeated small keystrokes could have done me some physical damage, particularly as I can charge the symptoms slowley worsening over the last 7 years, and finally hitting me with an increase in pain, and tremor.

    As it's been going on so long, I honestly can't think of any major emotional issues at the outset, although I am a fairly emotional person.

    Also, my anxiety until recently, was really all about my symptoms, I think!

    Sorry, big post, lots to read, but I'd really appreciate your thoughts.

    I'm happy to post back with more information, and I have more questions to post too!

    Sienna likes this.
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    You have come to the right place. Start gathering as much knowledge as you can. I would start by reading healing back pain and hope and help for your nerves. After you got these 2 books read, I would then read the great pain deception. You are not broken and your body is strong, your mind is letting you know your not in balance with life.

    I have had the same symptoms as you, along with many others, I used to shake in my hands and it was my ulnar nerve in my dominate hand. It is gone now and I had it for years. You are not alone everything will be ok. Its tough times in life that push people to change for the better. The tms beast will hit you in areas that bring you the most fear. Fear perpetuates tms and you have to start getting into your head like you never have before. Fear is a driving force in life if used correctly to let the light shine through.

    The changes will not happen overnight but if you have been cleared medically, then I would drop every treatment your doing for your symptoms physically. I am no doctor so I can't tell you what to do, you have to believe deeply that your symptoms are mentally enduced. It will be ultimately your decision to heal, others will just help you a long the way.

    Maybe try doing the SEP program on the sight. Let go live life and enjoy each day. Faith and perseverance go a long way in the process. Wishing you the best of luck. We are what we believe.

    Sienna and Ellen like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Chlorocla. Ryan has given you excellent advice. He really knows how to heal from the pain you have.
    I too recommend starting the Structured Education Program.
  4. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Thanks for the replies guys, I've ordered Help for your nerves, and I have healing back pain already, so I'll look back over that. I read most of it, but at the time I was struggling with it being a physcial issue.

    I still am to be honest, I think because there are old injuries there, I keep assuming that's where all of this stems from, and I can see how years of bad posture at a PC could mess your body up, so I'm having a hard time accepting that it might all be TMS!

    I have my conduction studies later, but I feel like even if they come back OK, I might not be convinced, like my mind will be 'ah, but they don't cover all types of nerve' or something like that, and the fear will remain.

    If the purpose of TMS is to keep your attention on your symptoms, it's working to a debilitating level!
  5. labrador

    labrador New Member

    Hi, before I knew about TMS - I went through a phase of blaming my pain on bad posture aggravated by years of sitting in front of a computer. Basically I needed something to hang it on. (This was aggravated by a physio who I was seeing at the time who suggested a lumbar support roll for my back which she said was weak. I tried various different supports none of which made any difference, in fact some made me worse). On reading Sarno I stopped using any props, started exercising again and slowly my fear decreased as did my pain. I can now sit for a day in front of the computer with very little pain. Before, I would be in agony after 5 minutes. The SEP helped me too. It takes time and a lot of patience to accept because you have to break through all your old fear conditioning. I would also try doing things you love, that make you smile that take away the focus on the pain.
    Ellen likes this.
  6. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Thanks Labrador. I think I'm finding it harder because there are some old physical injuries, and some diagnosis of minor nerve entrapment, even though at the time they said they didn't fit my symptoms. So I keep thinking well, my pain is worse, and now I have tremors, so the nerve stuff must have got worse.

    The odd thing is that all the way through this, I still did the things I loved, I just got upset because it hurt to do them, but now the tremors mean it's actually hard to do those things, so even though I'm not scared to draw for example, it's almost unpleasant because it's feel uncomfortable and now I shake!

    Because of that I'm really struggling, like how to shrug of the tremors is the tricky part because they're so present, and they've got me so down I can barely think straight.

    Hope that makes sense!
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chlorocala, I think it would help you a lot if you read Steve Ozanich's book, The Great Pain Deception,
    because he tells how keeping active physically helped him heal back and other pain.
    He kept playing golf despite the pain and it eventually went away. He had driven fear out of his mind
    by staying active. He also healed by learning the cause of his pain and that was anger (rage) over
    a doctor's malpractice that led Steve's wife to be confined to a wheelchair. It's a great book that
    has helped a lot of TMS people.
    Sienna likes this.
  8. labrador

    labrador New Member

    It does make sense! I think we all go through a stage like that I know I did. Steve O's book helped me a lot too. I think it says in there somewhere that TMS will often manifest itself in places where old injuries have been because this will frighten you more (after all who knows you better than your own sub-conscious?). It took me a while to accept the Sarno diagnosis - intellectually I accepted it but you have to feel it to - sometimes this can take time to sink in. If you have been medically cleared - I'd look at the Alan Gordon program on this website - there are some practical things to do like the Evidence Sheet that start to help break the cycle. Meditating & yoga and just calming myself down in general helps me
    Sienna likes this.
  9. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Thanks again for the replies, I have started reading hope and help for your nerves, and The Great Pain Deception arrived a couple of days ago.

    I clearly need to make a shift here - at the moment I'm thinking 'but I still do all the things I want, so what's TMS stopping me from doing?' when actually, what its stopped me doing, especially recently, is enjoying those things because of the pain and shaking, which I guess will sooner or later make me want to stop doing them, I already feel less motivated to work on things I enjoy, because I know the results will be shakey, and the process uncomfortable.

    Thanks for pointers, I need to get reading and make some time for mediation - I keep putting it off because when I try, my mind won't be quiet!
    Sienna likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, chlorocala. You have some of the best reading and both will help with healing, shaky feeling and pain.
    To keep the mind focused and quiet while meditating, try deep breathing while counting backwards from 100 to 1.
    Sienna likes this.
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    My understanding of mindfulness meditation is that it's not so much about quieting the mind, but of experiencing the present moment. When thoughts appear, as they always do, then just watch them like clouds going by in the sky. The goal is to strengthen the observer part of our mind that is aware of our thoughts, and to not get carried away from the present by our thoughts. When that happens, just gently bring yourself back to the present. Like anything, it gets easier with practice.
    Sienna likes this.
  12. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Thanks Ellen, I didn't realise I hadn't replied, sorry about that!

    I'm still struggling with it all a bit, but I'm going to start a second thread as I have some specific questions.
  13. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just observing your busy mind is a deep practice of mindfulness. Don't worry about results, just start taking a little time each day. Walt is right about counting your breaths, which I have found good...but don't worry about "perfect meditation" or "peace." It doesn't really work that way!! If you want evidence for how TMS is occurring, seeing and feeling the frenetic mind-energy is pretty convincing! Then you can say "Wow, there is a lot of pressure in me! That must be related to my pain." Then you can begin to undo the TMS, because you are seeing the real causes.
    Sienna likes this.
  14. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Thanks Andy, I've noticed that I'm even putting off the meditation now, like I'll try, and then feel more relaxed afterwards, but then find that i'm 'too busy' to make the time, and instead find something else to do like housework or something, when actually I have plenty of time to practice.

    I guess that's part of it, it's almost like putting off trying to get better?!
  15. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is very familiar to me. We get so used to "doing." It creates the well-worn nerve pathways that are familiar and reassuring to us. For me, my "busy-ness" is a way to avoid anxiety, partly through distraction and partly because by staying busy, I think I am somehow "attending to important things that are causing my anxiety." The way I deal with this is to embrace the anxiety as part of meditation, start sitting with it, and feeling it, becoming more courageous in the presence of anxiety...then, like you, I feel the benefits. Good luck in this!
    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) and Ellen like this.
  16. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Thanks Andy, I'm glad it's not just me who does this - it's almost become another thing to beat myself up about, like, how can I wan't to get well, then not make time to do the most important things?! It's a ridiculous situation really!

    Some days I'll have lists of things to do, impossible to achieve in a single day, and then be stressed that I didn't get them all done, or I'll deviate from the list, have to make a new one! haha.

    Madness, I really need to strip all those behaviours away and focus on what's really going on.
  17. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mindfulnes, living in the present moment, and meditation are, to me, all one big psychological pot of chicken soup, and no matter the ingredients,
    if I tell myself not to worry, whatever is troubling me does go away. Deep breathing is truly amazing, it bring such a profound calming.

    Years ago I had a panic attack from worrying about the future. I was driving my car at the time, so I pulled over and stopped, got out, began
    running like someone was chasing me, breathed deeply, and it calmed me down immediately. I didn't even know the power of deep breathing at the time.
    It was just me calming myself automatically, as if I knew it was TMS, more than forty years before I read Dr. Sarno's books.
  18. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    I need to learn this. I'm up to 3 min before I'm compelled out of my seat by anxiousness. I can even be completely exhausted when I try to follow a meditation tape, but it's like an energy builds up until I have to stop meditating and move.

    @chlorocala I can't speak to your condition, but I went through a period where my ulnar nerve was 'lighting up'... it felt like a bolt of lightening from my finger tips up through my arm pit that branched out around my arm. When I tracked it down with the Google, it was following where my ulnar nerve was running. That 'feature' came on its own and eventually left on its own without any medical treatment. At it's peak, I was getting 6-8 times a day and I'd drop anything in my hand when it happened.
  19. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    As you may have noticed, I'm great at posting my fears, not so great at coming back and replying! It's partly down to me trying to avoid googling my symptoms constantly!

    @Buckeye - that's interesting to hear, I have something similar, but it's more often like I'll bend my arms, or hold them out to the side, and my little fingers will go dead.

    Having said that, I do get the occasional zap like that as well, they're awful and quite scary!

    Everything started just ulnar tingling and muscles tightening up, then moved onto median stuff and zaps....gah.

    Re your comments on meditation - I find it works much better in a group setting, I'm trying to find a class/group to attend because I find when I do that, especially if it's guided, I can stay with it more, although I've been trying Walts suggestion of counting and it definitely helps me stay with it.

    I think reminding yourself that it's 15minutes out of your day, which is nothing, and out of your week it's less still, out of your life, it's a tiny amount of time to sacrifice for the benefit.

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