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New member with new problem

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Tomasso, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Tomasso

    Tomasso Newcomer

    Hello, I am actually not completely new to TMS - I've been turning to Sarno's books for years, on-and-off - but I won't go into that right now. I have a pressing problem. I apologize in advance for the length and detail of this.

    In 2 and a half weeks, I'm going to Sicily. (I live in New York). It will be my 3rd trip to Italy since 2012. The 1st, to the town of Sorrento, was positively idyllic. In 2013, I sought a repeat of that experience, but I wanted to visit Sicily - the often-maligned island at the southern-most tip of Italy - and so I did. That experience was not quite as idyllic. I found myself in a 3rd floor walk-up over a very noisy street with a badly-hurting knee (I think from running through the Rome airport for a connecting flight, which I missed), and lost luggage. As the knee slowly got better, I managed to explore the capital city, and have some good experiences, but I lost a lot of time and didn't get to see half the places I'd intended.

    So, in either March or April, I booked a flight, and I am to return to Palermo in 2 and a half weeks. This time I'm staying in a very well-reviewed B&B on the 1st floor, facing a courtyard, and it should be pretty quiet.

    Why am I telling you all this? Because, since May 25th, I have been plagued by: canker sores; mouth irritations which the best dentists in New York couldn't locate but I could feel; and, as of August 11th, the following progression: terrible fatigue; a vice-like headache; two days off from work at the suggestion of my primary care doctor who felt it was just a virus; and, starting on Friday, August 15, a sore throat that turned into a horrific cough which my ENT diagnosed first as allergies and then as a bacterial infection. I went on antibiotics on Monday, August 25, and finished them on Friday, August 29.

    Today, there has been very little coughing, and I was ready to write this off as a cold that hung on a bit long., or a sinus infection that's finally cleared up. However, around 6pm, I realized I felt a soreness in the upper left side of my throat, towards the sinuses. It's still there.

    I know I've been on red alert for awhile because I had a bed-bug scare in late July (an inspection by pro exterminators found nothing, and I realized the bites were probably mosquitoes), and ever since, I've been obsessing over how I'll avoid picking those things up on the plane, at the B&B, in my travels. That's not even counting the obsessing I've been doing in my daily life working in a library and traveling on the filthy buses and trains of New York City!

    Finally, I should mention that, in May, I was referred by two Americans I met in Palermo to a native Sicilian who offered me an apartment for a very generous price. Though we'd never met, over Facebook messaging I took a real liking to this guy, who told me to "consider that you have a brother in Italy." So it wasn't until late July (again) that it occurred to me that I needed a little more information about the place, and found out that it's located in one of the noisiest areas of the city. I agonized over what to do, and finally sent an email apologizing profusely but explaining that I could not take the apartment because the noise would drive me insane. I have not heard back from him. I still feel bad about this. If I had the money, I'd offer to pay him what I would've paid had I stayed there, but, despite all these overseas trips, I am not rich.

    So, considering the stresses I've described,
    1. if I'm coughing up yellow mucus (as I was) and my otolaryngologist believes I have a bacterial infection, can that be TMS?
    2. if that seems to clear up, but then more throat irritation appears, can THAT be TMS?
    2. even if it can be, what do I do about it?

    I'd prefer not to take more antibiotics, and I pray this is NOT another bacterial infection; I need to clear this up in the next week or so, because despite the difficult time I had there last year, I DO want to go back to Sicily!

    Last, but far from least: I have a lot of obsessions around food. I eat a pretty healthy diet, in fact healthier than ever before in my life, but I've done so much OCD-inspired reading about how everything except brown rice is going to kill you that, whenever I get a new physical symptom, the first thing I think is, it's something I ate, the naturopath at the health food store says you should never eat that, I'll have to give it up forever, blah-blah-blah. I joke about it, but in my mind, the obsessive loop is relentless.

    Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you for reading this saga.

  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Tomasso. You have been under a lot of stress, so it's to be expected that you have some pains and other symptoms.

    It doesn't sound like you're physically or mentally okay for the trip to Sicily. If you can, wait a while. Let things calm down.

    If not, just consider it all TMS anxiety and do deep breathing, stay in the present moment and don't think about the future or
    the trip. Sicily will still be there six months or a year or more from now.
    Tomasso and mike2014 like this.
  3. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    I was very organic for many years. I don't know what is wrong with taking a natural antibiotic, like colloidal silver, available at health food stores. I think being gentle with yourself is important. You don't have to make things really hard. I agree with Walt about letting things calm down. But, in the end, only you can decide what is appropriate, if you really need this trip or not. While you are travelling you could listen to some calming meditations, or Claire Weeke's if you are oversensitized. Good luck!
    Seraphina and Tomasso like this.
  4. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Tomasso,

    Some great suggestions by Walt and Peggy. I would also couple this with visualisation imagery and positive affirmations.

    Spending several minutes a day imagining yourself in good health and without any health issues is known to help release chemicals within the body which will help strengthen your immune system. If you get a chance, please read - You are the placebo, I cannot recommend this book enough.
    Tomasso likes this.
  5. Tomasso

    Tomasso Newcomer

    Hi, Walt,

    Thanks for your reply. I have looked into getting my ticket refunded, and that's not going to happen. I'd be out over $900, which is a lot for me.

    The good news is that, today I had virtually no symptoms - the throat irritation is pretty much gone - except for TMJ pain on the right side of my jaw from the uncontrollable coughing I did for a week and a half. And I believe that's just one more thing to either (A) distract me from emotional stuff, or (B) keep me miserable and anxious and in fear.

    I had considered that I might have to miss this trip, but if my health holds up, I think I'm going to go. I've looked forward to it for too long, and this would be a good time to get away from my job, for various reasons.

    I will try deep breathing and staying in the present moment, as well as the Buddhist chanting I do.

    Again, thanks for responding on Labor Day.

  6. Tomasso

    Tomasso Newcomer

    Hi, Peggy,

    I didn't realize colloidal silver was an antibiotic. As I wrote to Walt, it seems that today, most of my symptoms are gone, with the exception of fatigue - I'm really tired.

    If I hadn't paid over $900 for the plane ticket I might consider not going; I suppose it wouldn't kill me to go in the spring, which I've wanted to do anyway. Unfortunately, $900 isn't the easiest thing for me to come up with.

    However, I do agree that I might need to think about post-poning this. It might be good to "let things calm down a bit." I think I'll wait til the end of this week and see how I feel.

    Thank you for your suggestions, and for your reply on this national holiday.

  7. Tomasso

    Tomasso Newcomer

    Hi, Mike,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I will look for this book, and try the visualization, although I've never been very good at it.

  8. Karim

    Karim Peer Supporter

    Lichen planus

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