1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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New member glad to have found you all

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Erin57, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. Erin57

    Erin57 New Member

    I’ve been reading here for a few weeks and wanted to post and say hello. I have no doubt whatsoever that I have TMS.

    I’m 57 years old this year and started having back pain in the early 90’s. I saw many doctor’s off and on for 10 years. In 2000 after suffering for a few years and having 2 small lower back surgeries I finally had my lower back fused. About a month after that surgery I started having neck pain and tingling in my arms. My surgeon told me that the same issues with my lower back were going on with my neck. Severe Spinal Stenosis, degenerative discs and narrowing of the spine. My husband, who rarely helped with the housework, did all the housework for a year or 2 as I was unable to. (Payoff #1)

    After having the lumbar fusion I noticed that I had constant aching and pains in my legs. My hips started to hurt and I could no longer touch the outsides of my thighs without pain. I can’t walk for long periods without my legs aching. I just learned to deal with it and didn’t touch those spots.

    In 2008 I was hit from behind by another driver and diagnosed with whiplash. My surgeon did a fusion on my neck that year. Because of the pre-existing condition I was awarded a 6 figure settlement from the insurance company. (Big payoff #2)

    In 2010 I decided to get healthier and lost 60 lbs. which put me into a healthy weight. I started a walking program and quit smoking. The walking started to cause too much hip pain. I saw a hormone specialist and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. In 2011 I was a mess and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I had low Vitamin D levels as well as B-12. I started having colitis attacks that lasted for a year. I was diagnosed with colitis after I had a colonoscopy. I was scared to eat anything. I fell asleep every night at 7 and then would wake up like clockwork around midnight and be up for a few hours. I didn’t want to do the steroid therapy so I went on a very strict Paleo diet for a year to try and heal my gut. I was also having extreme dizziness that would wake me up at night.

    Between 2011 and 2012 I saw 2 gut doctor’s, 2 foot doctors, 2 allergists, a nutritionist, a Rheumatologist and was under the care of 2 different alternative medicine doctor’s. I read everything I could get my hands on concerning the immune system, nutritional supplements and nutrition. I have spent thousands on x-rays, MRI’s, brain scans and doplars to check my arteries. All tests for Lupus, Fibro and MS were negative. The Rheumatologist gave the number of a shrink, which I threw away.

    I honestly thought that I was losing my mind or that there was something seriously wrong with me. I became very sensitive to sounds and smells. I was unable to go down the laundry aisle in the grocery store. The air quality in the office where I worked was horrible and I started to notice that other people’s perfumes were making me sick. The office environment was very socially toxic. A lot of back biting, stress and eye rolling. I work in an accounting field that is very deadline driven. I probably have the same controlling, narcissistic bosses that many do. Most of the people who hold the same position as I have degrees or masters degrees. I didn’t graduate from high school and am self-taught along the way. There are folks that I run circles around so I know that I am well qualified. My experience and brain know this but I must still feel inferior because of my lack of degree.

    Because of the Colitis and sensitivity to smells my boss had our IT department set me up with my own computer and I now work only remote from home. (Payoff #3) I was like a different person, working from home. I started getting more active, slept great and my pain levels were pretty low.

    I started smoking again in the Spring of 2013 and my Colitis went into remission. I reasoned that it was the nicotine, which does have medicinal effects. My toxic mother came to live with us in Spring of 2013. She has always been a bit mentally ill and none of her 5 children had a good childhood. A lot of abuse and abandonment. I’m the oldest daughter and have always sort of taken care of her.

    I thought that I could handle it, but I was angry about something all the time. We found a retirement home for her in Aug. of this year and welcomed the peace and quiet back to our home.

    I’ve had some weird heath issues this year. Eye styes, herpes, hiatal hernia, bad vertigo, night sweats and weird elbow pain that would not allow me to touch my head. Every time I would resolve one, another would pop up. I have had a cough that lasted for 2 months. The Dr. could find nothing wrong. It was only bad a night and would wake me up.

    The funny thing through all of this is that I am healthy as a horse. My doctor has commented that he wishes that all his patients had my bloodwork. Low blood pressure, low cholesterol, great blood sugars. He got copies of the work done by the specialists. Zero artery plague. Same report from the dentist. Cleaning took 5 minutes because there was no plague.

    I’ve gone through a tough time in my 20 year marriage the last few months. Work has also been a bear. The cough was back. I was angry and depressed as my husband worked through his mid- life crisis and depression.

    The final straw was when my back went out this month. I had been seeing a chiropractor for neck pain that I couldn’t work out by myself. He had me pretty much pain free after the first visit. My lower back hadn’t gone out like this since my surgery in 2000. It was bad, can’t brush your teeth or roll over in bed bad.

    I was reading some reviews for a book that I had ordered on Amazon about posture and the back. There were many folks who had suggested Dr. Sarno’s books. I remembered someone giving me one in 2000 and how offended I was. Seriously, I had an MRI and neurologist telling me that “My back was a train wreck.” Well, fast forward 14 years, 3 back surgeries and many more issues and I was ready to hear the message.

    This month I have read all of Dr. Sarno’s books and just finished The Great Pain Deception by Steven Ozanich. I “got it” from the first book on. It’s been sort of “hit or miss” and sometimes comical on the recovery so far. I have been driving in my car after spending the day training in the office and had to yell at my brain to knock it off. I was pain free after I got out of the car. My mantra has been “knowledge is power.”

    I can’t say that I am pain free, but it’s funny how I can think it away. My issues so far tend to be nocturnal. This is when the colitis, coughing and leg cramps were also the worst. I wake up every night now at about midnight in some sort of pain. Again, it’s comical because I can think it away and it goes to another area.

    I have been drinking heavily this year. Red wine from about 3-5 pm every day. I made an appointment today with a Dr. who does PEER therapy. I am in Nashville, Tn and there are no TMS doctors here. I almost hate to go down that route again. Just because he is alternative medicine, does not take my insurance and will cost me a fortune. I have been journaling and doing the structured education program from this site. The nocturnal stuff is what is bothering me. I feel as if I might need a guide for this journey.

    If you are still with me, thanks for listening!! I know that I have rambled, because it has been a long journey for me. I'm just glad to finally have some place to start. I have felt like "a special snowflake" for too long.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
    yb44 and Tennis Tom like this.
  2. Back-To-Golf

    Back-To-Golf Peer Supporter

    Welcome. I am new here too.
    Having spent a few newbie days here, I can say there are tons of valuable information around here and not to mention like minded friendly folks who are ready to share useful experiences.
    Enjoy the ride.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Erin. Welcome. I also have a complicated history with a myriad of pain conditions and ailments that I suffered from for over 20 years. I have been working on my TMS recovery for the last year and a half and I am thrilled to report that the world is a much calmer, safer place for me now. I am pretty much pain free now and am continuing to work on my lingering anxiety. I feel very optimistic about the future and generally happy in the moment. Its amazing to me that I can write those words without feeling like an imposter. I worked with a TMS therapist via skype for a while which was very helpful. And then I worked with a somatic experiencing therapist and that really helped me connect my mind and body and put the knowledge into practice. There are many ways to approach it and it can take some time(but not always) and so be as patient with yourself as you can. There doesn't seem to be any question from your history that TMS has played an enormous part. Also, I had an MRI 18 months ago which showed multiple ruptured discs in my neck. I had a lot of numbness and tingling in my arms and hands, intense spasm in my right neck and shoulder, incredible right sided head pain that would not go away(occipital neuralgia) numbness in my face, nose, front teeth...
    That is all better now. Seems to be a weak spot for me when I am under a lot of stress but for the most part, I don't have any of those symptoms anymore.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, back-to-golf.
    Glad to see you posting here. Yes, there are a lot of very caring, helpful people in the subforums, all sharing their techniques for
    healing from TMS. TMS knowledge is a powerful thing that helps us to live happier, healthier lives. The Structured Education Program
    in that subforum helps show us the techniques for TMS healing.

    Hope you stick with TMS leaning and practice by journaling to find any repressed emotions, and also live better with a perfectionist
    or "goodist" personality. I found that modifying those was very helpful.

    I hope you and Anne and everyone else had a happy New Year's Eve (I had a quiet one at home with my dog and the tv on), and
    everyone has a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.
    Back-To-Golf likes this.
  5. David88

    David88 Well known member

    I am working with a TMS therapist, also via Skype. What is a somatic experiencing therapist?
  6. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am not sure what the technical description of somatic experiencing is, but it is a type of therapy developed by Dr. Peter Levine who has done a whole lot of work on trauma recovery. My personal description is that it helps you to learn how to embrace and experience your physical sensations with awareness and without resistance. For instance, my therapist would ask me how I am feeling. And if I were to say that I was feeling anxious, then she would say, "how do you know you feel anxious, describe what you are feeling physically." Then I would have to stop and really tune into what I was experiencing precisely in my body. "I know I feel anxious because my heart is racing and I feel a buzzy energy around my shoulders and my chest feels tight." Its really strange because once you just follow it and experience it fully without fear or trying to change it, somehow it dissipates. You can easily google it or order one on Dr Levines books, but I have found that it really works well.
  7. Back-To-Golf

    Back-To-Golf Peer Supporter

    Walt, quiet one at home, with dog and TV on?
    That's a luxury I missed ever since I had 2 little 'noise machines' now :)
    Wish you have an excellent 2015!
  8. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Thank you, Anne. I will look into it.
  9. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Back-to-Golf. Send those two little "noise machines" to me (but only for an hour or two).

    I remember my father telling my older brother and sister and me, "Try to keep it down to a roar."

    Kids used to play outdoors more, so there was more quiet in the house. Now they're in our face and their volume is turned on loud.

    Hope your new year is happy, healthy, and prosperous. Did you get ear phones for Christmas?
    Back-To-Golf likes this.

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