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New to TMS - Chronic Facial Pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Miss.rheamoss, May 27, 2019.

  1. Miss.rheamoss

    Miss.rheamoss Newcomer

    I recently discovered TMS after reading the Divided Mind, and I found this wiki as well as the Curable app. A bit of background on me: I am 35 and have had undiagnosed chronic face, jaw, throat, temple pain for the past 8 years. Had a traumatic tooth extraction which was extremely painful for a few weeks, and then pain went away for two months and woke up one morning and it was back. Thought it was a sinus infection at first but it never went away. Started on the left side and now I have burning and throbbing pain alternating between both sides throughout the day. I've had all the usual tests and tried tons of meds, and nothing has really helped, except to take the edge off a bit and no one can say definitely what it is because I don't fit any of the typical diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia, TMJ etc.

    I feel like the typical TMSer is me for sure and I have a lot of the trauma and repressed rage issues discussed in the book and on this wiki. The thing I am struggling with is that it seems like part of starting to heal is realizing that certain things you do that you think cause pain are actually just the TMS. For example "x thought that every time they turned their neck they had pain , once they could turn their neck without pain they realized that it was not actually the movement that was painful but their brain creating the pain.

    But for me - most days I wake up with face pain, on a good day I have 20 mins before it sets in and then it just builds through the day, and there isn't any movement that aggravates it or makes it better. I still do most of the things I did before the pain, work full time, go on trips, moderate exercise etc. with the exception of a non existent social life because I am exhausted all the time. I just keep pushing through with this ridiculous amount of pain because I feel like I have to. So I am just not sure what things I can start to do to prove to myself that this is TMS because I don't have any physical triggers that I know of. If I keep doing the work maybe it will lessen in intensity and that will be what convinces my brain?

    I am wondering if there is anyone else on here that didn't have anything that aggravated them, and what were the things you did to show the inconsistencies to your brain? I am going to keep doing the work regardless, but I am struggling with that part of things and its making me wonder if it really is TMS that I have.
     
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Miss.rheamoss,

    Welcome to the Wiki and Forum.

    I get your question, and I cannot answer personally, but will express what I've seen with clients. What you're after is indeed important. If you can catch patterns or variations, oscillations, then you can better correlate triggers, either emotional/psychological or physical to these changes, and undermine the "believably" of the perceived "injury." Yes.

    I recommend you do stick it out with your activities. This can only be a benefit, and it does, as you suggest, send a signal that "everything is OK."

    You have this 20 minutes or so before things worsen. I would suggest you look at this time carefully, to see what thoughts, events, emotions, worries are coming up in that first 20 minutes. Also, besides the pain, what is also building throughout the day? Is there anything else? How about at night when you wake up? Is there pain? If not, where has the "problem" gone? Or what trigger might be missing at night?

    Some of this can simply be a pattern which repeats itself. There is an anticipation of pain starting in 20 minutes, and increasing. An expectation of no pain at night. These things can be questioned gently too.

    In some cases persistently "reassuring statements" can help you lengthen the time with no pain. This will be a great start too.

    Alan Gordon's program is a great resource to reduce fear about symptoms, which may also help create clarity in what the triggers are. The less you worry about the pain, the less it matters ----and I know this is a challenging view.

    This is not the only way through this. For example some people just accept the pain and it fades slowly in time, because they are less and less concerned.

    Good luck in this work. You've been cleared by physicians, so by far the most likely cause is TMS. Going to a TMS trained physician may also help your assurance/fear.


    Andy B
     
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  3. Miss.rheamoss

    Miss.rheamoss Newcomer

    Hi Andy,

    Thank you so much for your response!

    Your suggestion regarding looking at my thoughts/feelings before the pain starts when I do have a window of pain free time in the morning is something I am going to work on for sure.

    The last while I have woken up with pain, but I realized that what you said still does apply because the first thing I think in the morning is "oh great today is going to be bad" or "why do I have to have pain" etc. So I am going to TRY to not react so negatively and see if that helps at all.

    I am resolved to keep going with this, and its only really been just over a week or so, so I am sure I need much more time before my brain and beliefs really start to shift.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it.

    Rhea
     
  4. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    Hi Miss.rheamoss, I too have/had facial pain, and your post resonated so here’s my two bob’s worth. I had all the tests and “ologist” visits and realised this was MY journey, they could advise but not fix. My first breakthrough was to stop the ever present 24x7 negative loop when I listened to Meditations To Change Your Brain, Rick Hanson meditation 4, concentrating on his every word and bingo I had gone one whole hour without thinking of my pain, proving it was do-able. Next I realised I had become a zealot about The Cure instead of just being gentle and loving with myself. I had an AhHa moment when I did a list of What Made me Angry when I was young and What Makes Me Angry now (plus Sad Afraid etc whatever your gut tells you) and realised there was an obvious duplicate in both. Dr Emmitt Miller has a very good free meditation for visualising health on his drmiller.com
    I suggest a search on success stories for trigeminal and “feel” what is written, don’t just read. Also search there for Jan, Plum, Ellen, Hattie, there’s many uplifting and positive reads there.
    Pain can be isolating, so remember there will always be someone on line or nearby to help or just listen; feeling understood is uplifting when you need a lift x Marls
     
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  5. Miss.rheamoss

    Miss.rheamoss Newcomer

    Hi Marls.

    Thank you so much for your response, its nice to hear from another facial pain person, as it gives me hope that I can recover as well. Your response really resonated with me as I realized since I discovered TMS I have been so obsessed with doing EVERYTHING all at once so I can get better NOW that I really haven't focused on the basics, like really believing that I have TMS and dealing with my fear about the pain. I have had some good progress lately by simply letting the pain be there and knowing there's nothing physically wrong with me, and that seems to help it not escalate to a debilitating level. I am focusing more on baby steps now and getting a good foundation.
     

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