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New to TMS, but already recovering...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by igloo, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. igloo

    igloo New Member

    Hi - I am new to this forum and, relatively, new to the concept of TMS and Dr Sarno.

    I'm in my early-30s and have suffered from chronic, disabling pain in my legs for 3 years and 11 months. More on that below, in case you don't want to head my life story just yet... ;) Of course, I've had every scan and treatment you can think of, the vast majority of which have had no effect on my pain. A few months ago, I came across Dr Sarno's books online. I read the reviews on Amazon, 90% of which report being 'healed' after reading his books. I thought that this was just wacky - it sounds unbelievable that you can get pain-relief from a book! But part of me thought that there must be something in it if so many people say so.

    So with an open yet sceptical mind, I started reading 'The Great Pain Deception' by Steve Ozanich one month ago. I'm only half-way through and already I have found that my symptoms and mobility have improved significantly. I still have a long way to go, but now I really feel like there is hope ahead - and not just a long dark tunnel of pain!

    I would be grateful for advice from other TMSers on journaling. Not sure where to start, so would appreciate some tips! Also, it would be great to connect with other people recovering from TMS, especially in the UK.

    My pain/TMS story
    The pain, initially very localised, first came on in late 2008 after vigorous cycling (so much fun, I didn't care if it hurt!) I was told at the time that it may have been tendonitis. It may have been or may not have been, I shall never know! To cut a long story short, I was on crutched for a couple of weeks but the pain soon seemed to fade and my leg seemed to go through what seemed to be a normal healing process. However, I was treated with contempt by bullying orthopaedic 'specialists' and a nasty gung-ho physiotherapist, none of whom took me seriously. For a number of reasons, the pain seemed to get worse after a few weeks and, 4 months after the initial 'injury' the pain became constant and so severe that I gave up work and could barely leave my (3rd floor) flat. Soon, severe pains developed in my other 'good' leg - within a few months my whole life had been turned upside down. I didn't know what was happening to me. My stress levels went through the roof - I was having a full-blow crisis.

    In the last 4 years, my symptoms have ebbed and flowed and moved around to different parts of my legs, feet and ankles. At one point I thought that I was really recovering and had regained significant mobility. After almost a year of not working, I started a full time job with a hefty commute, thus triggering a major flare up of pain including new symptoms in my lower legs and foot/ankle. I was convinced that I had injured myself again through pushing myself physically to return to work. But the MRI scans came back 'normal' and was left with no answers, just more pain. Despite soldiering on, the pain got so bad that I had to stop working for the second time and move in with my parents (one of the worst things about having pain!) I've been on a pain management programme and, until recently, had resigned myself to a life with pain and narrowed horizons and opportunities. But not anymore!

    Thanks for listening!
  2. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Igloo,

    Welcome to the forum. I think you'll find quite a few people here with similar stories! If you have a look at the Structured Educational Program on the main wiki, you'll find a great program that uses journaling extensively. Also, the book Unlearn Your Pain, by Howard Schubiner, goes into journaling pretty extensively. There are lots of other resources, but those are a great place to start. Good luck!
    Anna1 and igloo like this.
  3. igloo

    igloo New Member

    Thanks Terry! Just took a look at Howard Schubiner's website. Looks like a great book - but there are so many TMS/Mindbody books out there, it is difficult to know where to start. 'Unlearn Your Pain' seems like more of a practical programme, which is more what I'm looking for rather than another book explaining what TMS is...
  4. Susan

    Susan Peer Supporter


    Welcome! I completed the Structured Ed Program on this site and moved into the Schubiner book and program after that. Rereading Sarno is a good strategy and you can do the Schubiner program as well.

    What I like about Schubiner as an adjunct to the SEP is that he has a marvelous CD that comes with the book. I use it every day. He also gives very specific examples of how to reprogram your brain as you heal. I had a lot of anxiety and insomnia as I was trying to figure out what to do with all my physical symptoms before finding Sarno. Schubiner's book has tips for lessening insomnia in his book's Appendix. I have used his protocol since August and have almost eliminated the insomnia.

    Healing totally is taking time for me, but I am past 60 yrs and realize I have had TMS for a very long time. I get more patient with the process as time goes on and I am certain I will finally be pain free one day.

    Best to you on this journey,

    Anna1 and igloo like this.
  5. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

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  6. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

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  7. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    Hi Igloo:

    Welcome to the forum. You will heal. It's just a process.

    In August I began having all over body/nerve pain. I had gone through a very stressful year and a not so good childhood. I was diagnosed by a TMS MD and talk to a TMS psychologist. I am healing more and more each day. I am finding though that the healing is not linear. I read Sarno's book and then Steve's book which really helped a great deal. Steve's book was the turning point for me.

    After 8 weeks, I have had completely pain free days and then those days like earlier this week where things started to go backwards.

    Journaling so very helpful for folks. I am finding however, the more I get out and see people and have fun, the better I feel. The theraphy for me is also enormous.

    Also, the wiki team was my life line early in the process especially getting access to resources. You will likely connect with people who you can talk with via phone and e-mail as well. I have, and they've been there in my darkest moments. It's amazing how complete strangers are so willing to help and give of their time.

    Keep posting and know you will heal!

    Anna1 and igloo like this.
  8. igloo

    igloo New Member

    Thanks for your support everyone! Yes, I am in the UK :)

    Spiralgirl1: I am familiar with GO's website, but must have missed the journaling tips - looks like what I need to get started, so thanks!

    Has anyone else in the UK tried the SIRPA programme? I had an initial consultation with a SIRPA therapist where we basically skimmed through my long medical history form (which the therapist clearly hadn't read!), and to be told at the end of our 50 minutes that I have TMS. And a snip at £130! I would have been tempted by the full SIRPA programme if it didn't leave a £400 dent in my savings (+£45 for a special 'workbook'!). Plus, I have been feeling much better since reading The Great Pain Deception, so I've less motivation to seek out 'therapies', though I know that I still need to focus on my healing to get to where I want to be in life (i.e. fully fit and pain free).

    Look forward to getting to know other TMS recoverers (sic) !
    Anna1 likes this.
  9. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

    Hi Igloo.. don't know where about's in UK you are based. I do know of a doctor and mind body focused psychotherapist in the south if you felt you needed that sort of back up or more in depth
    support. None of that sort of support comes cheap tho..
    Have you tried the SEP here on the Wiki or Dr Schubiners 'Unlearn your pain' ?
    Glad you have made good strides since reading Steve O's book.. :)
    I think we can do huge amounts ourselves to heal but must admit I personally got to the point where I felt I needed some help from a counsellor with a real understanding of tms/ mind body
    to find the deeper issues..

    Good luck with the work..
    igloo likes this.

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