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New member w/ 'hysterical' TMS symptoms looking for support

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Brainstorm, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    Hi everybody, thanks for reading.

    This is my first post, so I'll briefly introduce myself as a fit 30 year old male, elementary school teacher.

    (Here is a brief description for those who don't want to read the long version below (tingling arms and leg, uncoordinated right arm, burning arm muscle pain, "fog", testicle and groin pain))

    Just under 5 months ago I took a blow to the head--I did not black out or even feel that much pain. Forgot about it, and had just the slightest of headaches the next day. The day after, my headache began to increase, until it was nearly constant. I'd have sharp, rippling pains in my head, or pressure feelings. They were rarely severe, and gradually faded over 2 - 3 months. However, after two or three days my right arm began to feel uncoordinated (weak, but not weak, heavy but not) and tingly. However, I can still lift a normal amount, type, play the drums, etc. Eventually my leg began to tingle as well. Later, I developed a burning pain in my left arm-sometimes bicep, sometimes tricep--sometimes in both arms. Sometimes in my right thigh. Only my left leg has been wholly unaffected. Also, even though my initial headache was gone, I would sometimes get a mild, strange-feeling headache that would be accompanied by a strange "fog" that didn't make me dizzy, but did make me feel sort of desperate and far way. I could still function, but it made it more difficult and was a disturbing feeling.

    Perhaps relatedly, perhaps not, I was diagnosed with "epididymitis"--and had pain in my left testicle and groin area (like the vas deferens, below the belly button). I was prescribed antibiotics, twice, and both times it did not help. The pain has been fading very much, but today it is back. It has done this several times.

    I never feel all the symptoms at once, it seems, but they seem to change in intensity from moment to moment, and change combinations from moment to moment. I have had stretches of a few days where I'd feel 90% normal, which was great until the symptoms returned.

    It's hard for me to accept these symptoms as TMS, because I know the head and spine can be very mysterious. It's also not hard not to obsess over pain in your own genitals--very suspenseful stuff.

    Also, yesterday I began to have tingling in my left arm, for the first time, and I have pain in both my pinkies, close to the knuckle on the sides of my hands. Getting new symptoms is also discouraging.

    So lately I've been doing yoga, trying to relax, weight-lifting, exercise, jogging, etc. in an effort to prove to myself that my body functions the same as ever, and to help myself relax and be more in touch with myself. I've also been journaling (though not as much lately because honestly it gets very boring), and going to therapy (I see a social worker to talk about problems---I have told her I believe I have TMS and I want her help uncovering and accepting unconscious emotions).

    I've read Mindbody Rx and am almost finished with Divided Mind.

    However, today my right arm feels extra floppy, and my testicle is hurting after feeling better for almost a week. So I'm very discouraged.

    Reading about people with tingling limbs, uncoordinated/"weak" body parts, etc. has really been helpful for my acceptance of all this as a psychosomatic occurrence. I'd really like to read about and talk with people who have dealt with and hopefully recovered from these silly, hysterical symptoms. If I don't get some lasting relief I may return to the doc to get my reassurance that I am structurally sound.

    Thanks for reading: keep up the good fight, everybody.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  2. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    This is interesting, although probably not to you.

    Here's the short answer. You may have done neurological damage, but it doesn't sound right. How does a blow to the head strike a blow to the balls? (As it were)

    It sounds more like a trigger that was waiting (wanting) to happen, that you needed... to express something.

    See what your neuros say. If they clear you, then start at the beginning.

    Are you a perfectionist?
    A goodist?
    What was your childhood like?
    Have you had other TMS equivalents?

    Piece yourself together.

    In my opinion, the question of, "what's going on in your life now?" is paramount. So, what could be your need for all these new symptoms? Is there one? Or more?

    It's a puzzle that only YOU can put together. But your safety is first. Get the testing. Then get to work.

  3. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    Somehow I edited out some important information:

    I have seen 3 doctors:
    -a general care doctor (who prescribed muscle relaxers and dismissed my initial complaint of arm "weakness" and prescribed ineffective muscle relaxers)
    -an ER doc who gave me a CATscan and said I should be fine but to see a neuro if my symptoms didn't go away. The CATscan was normal.
    -a neurologist who seemed unimpressed by my complaints and told me to come back in 3 months. I did and he sent me for a neck MRI. This was also negative.

    I know that some of my symptoms could be explained by a head injury--but this muscle and genital pain do not make any sense. So, I am convinced it it TMS. The neuro even suggested that I may just be more "sensitive" now. So, I believe the head hit was a trigger, as you suggested. The headache was likely real, the following symptoms are likely psychosomatic. However, I may return to the doctor to have more tests in order to receive more reassurance, which I believe will help with healing.

    Before the accident, I had a very short temper, and would fly into a rage all the time. After the accident, getting angry gave me a headache, and gave me a very direct way to monitor my emotions. Over the past 5 months I have had almost no outbursts. This leads me to conclude that my outward rage was substituting for unconscious rage, and now, in the absence of that, I have developed new replacement symptoms.

    I am certainly a goodist, a worrier. Definitely had a tumultuous childhood. I started seeing the therapist after my symptoms began in order to uncover emotions that are causing these strange pains, etc. I have noticed that extreme stress usually, but not always, increases or causes symptoms to return--especially if there is conflict involved. I have had two periods of a week or so with almost no symptoms, but when someone yelled at me at work, or my girlfriend got angry with me, I felt stressed and the symptoms returned the same day.

    When I read threads like this one: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Depression-Mental-Health/MS-or-extreme-anxiety-hypochondria/show/268674
    I see dozens and dozens of people with the same symptoms as me. People who, like me, thought they could have a disease. The extreme similarity of our symptoms is very reassuring to read. I am looking for more of this. Both of the Sarno books I have mention weak body parts, tingling, burning/shooting muscle pain.

    In fact, in an effort to get feelings off my chest I called my sister 2 nights ago and we discussed our childhood. She still lives with my parents, and told me her pinkies tingle or feel numb when she gets stressed!! I couldn't believe it, because that very day I had developed a new tingling in my left pinky. My symptoms are chronic, however, unlike hers, which are episodic.
  4. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    Hey there, I'm glad you added the info about the docs. I think that's important. Neurological issues are nothing to mess around with, and going back again to a neurologist who is more understanding might even be worthwhile. That said, while your headache sounds like post-concussive syndrome and conforms to the typical timeline for that (occurs after the blow, persists for 1week to a few months), the rest sounds awfully suspicious, especially the symptom pattern you're noticing with regard to anger and stress.

    One question about the neurological situation that might help you worry less is - once you're adequately examined to rule out issues that you could worsen yourself, or that need early treatment, it can't really do any harm to treat them as TMS, so you can just go with it. Even if they are real neuro symptoms (probably not) most neurological symptoms can't be worsened by what we do day to day. :)
  5. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    Thanks for the input. I believe the headache was definitely PCS--the other stuff is very suspicious, though. I assume by 'suspicious' you mean these sound like TMS symptoms. I have searched online many hours trying to find out if head injuries can cause muscle pain--so far I haven't found any information of the sort. The tingling is also strange, since it moves from one side of the body to the other.

    I'm not sure what other tests to get after the CATscan and MRI, though. The symptoms are really just so random that I know it's just gotta be TMS! I wish I could see a TMS trained physician somehow.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  6. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    Thanks for replying, also, armchairlinguist. The thing is, 95% of the time the pain is very mild or just uncomfortable. It's just the mystery and the feeling of powerlessness that really gives me the most trouble. I think I'm going to go to a new neuro and get a final confirmation that I am structurally okay. Then, I will simply ignore the pain, since it's doing a great job of distracting me and keeping me obsessed with the symptoms.
  7. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    brainstorm..........if you do have epidyd........ then you should be able to produce pain upon palpating the epidydymis (sp?), then you'd know for sure, at least on that. I had it before, was on a 30 day cipro script, which seemed to clear it up.

    Welcome to my world on the other symptoms, I have a lot of what you are dealing with but it changes sometimes faster than the weather. Had a pretty good day yesterday but today both my hands are hurting quite a bit, as is my left arm.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ah, those childhood stresses. I journaled about mine, my parents divorcing when I was 7, and
    my older brother bullying me and beating up on me. It led me to understand them better and
    to forgive them. Then my back pain went away.
  9. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    Walt, I have a question for you.........do you ever have any negative thoughts with respect to the things that were causing your TMS or did they all disappear once you dealt with them?
  10. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    @Brainstorm Yep I did mean they sound like TMS, by saying they were suspicious. That was a bit vague of me, but I'm glad it made sense to you. A CAT and MRI can verify that your hardware (brain) is working OK - good place to start. A neuro might have a few other suggestions based on your symptoms. After that it sounds like you are not in too much pain, so you can move your focus to the psychological patterns you see.
  11. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    I once read something where a doctor said resolving epididymitis is a "slow, smoldering process" and mine is definitely fading. I hurt less and less each day and I think I"ll be all the way better soon, so I'm really grateful. Check out this blog this guy wrote--he starts out super-hopeless about the condition, but discovers Sarno and has amazing results. Reading it was very inspiring and made me start to feel better right away. Solidarity, friend.
  12. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    Mine were drug addicts and physically fought all the time. My father is back in jail and will probably receive life in prison--I've spent so much time trying to forget all that happened that it seems almost counterproductive to pick that particular scab. I know that often it is not necessary to get too detailed over these emotions, but I'm just not sure in my case. When I try to think of my feelings there isn't anything particular that jumps out at me, so I just go with the odds and try to write about different family members. So far I haven't hit a nerve, but I know there's something there. I just hope I'm not being counter-productive by getting too specific with my journaling and recollections, I guess.
  13. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    The pain has been increasing lately, from intermittent mild discomfort to moderate, constant arm pains. However, I know I'm still a lot better off than many, so that gives me some encouragement.
  14. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    Also, I began feeling relief after combining Kundalini yoga with TMS practices. I feel like epididymitis is related to prostatitis, which is known even to the mainstream medical community to often be "stress" or "emotion" related. Kundalini focuses on the bottom of your spine area, and by visualizing releasing tension in my muscles down there, I felt relief the same day. There are also stretches/exercises for this. I don't know if TMS physicians would agree with my advice, so keep that in mind.
  15. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm New Member

    Although now that I'm rereading, yours seems to have cleared up. I know there was another guy on here struggling with this chronically. I must have mistaken his post for yours. I will try to direct this info to him.
  16. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Brainstorm, I like your advice about visualizing tension releasing in your spine area.
    Visualizing pain lessening or being gone anywhere in the body can send strong doses of
    positive thinking there. Mild stretching and exercises are helpful in healing... that's encouraged
    by Dr. Sarno and others such as Steve Ozanich in his terrific TMS healing book,
    The Great Pain Deception.

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