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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by UFGatormom, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. UFGatormom

    UFGatormom New Member

    Hello everyone! I am 63 year old female, living in sunny Florida and mother of wonderful twin daughters. I have always been a very active sports participant; running, cycling long distance, yoga, HIIT classes, etc. I suffer from pretty severe anxiety disorder and activity always worked way better than most of the meds that I have tried. Back in 2005, I was first introduced to Dr. Sarno and other Mind Body resources when I was undergoing severe stressors in my life; breakup of 20 year relationship, both daughters going off to college, selling my home, etc. I have however always had underlying anxiety disorder since my teenage years. In 2005, I had what was diagnosed as interstitial cystitis and for two years, there were days that I wished to no longer live. During some googling, I came across a life coach by the name of Abigail Steidley (who had dealt with IC) and then my journey began with everything that I could get my hands on regarding Mind Body Syndrome. I immediately recognized myself as your typical TMSer; people pleaser, competitive, chronic worrier to the point of obsessing, horrible health anxiety, goodist, and keeping every emotion stuffed way in. Fast forward six months later, the IC was gone with occasional flare ups. Life has been up and down in the last 10 years and exercise has always been my "go to" to help me get back on track. I have now joined forum because I have had tremendous set backs in the last year and a half. Four MRIs later, I have been diagnosed by MRI with torn menisci, ACL tear and bilateral hip labral tears (I am assuming from overuse injuries for the last 35 years). I have been told repeatedly to have surgeries and absolutely do not want to have them and have been trying to incorporate all my TMS knowledge to get rid of the pain. My anxiety of course has escalated because I am a true believer in Sarno's statement of continuing with activity but it seems that the more I do activity wise, the worse the pain is. Currently the hip labral tear on left is what really concerns me. Very definitive evidence on MRI and my symptoms are typical of this type of tear. It has limited everything I do. I grit my teeth in the morning just to put my socks on. I must have read Steve Ozanich's book 3 times in the last four months to go back to that place where I believe TMS 100 percent but it is a vicious cycle. The more pain, the more anxiety and the more anxiety, the worse the pain. I used to be a gumby in yoga and now I cannot even sit in child's pose. So, sorry to be so rambling, but I AM STUCK! I would like to know from other members whether they believe that surgery will be required, that this is all structural or am I beating my head against the wall by continuing to push with exercise and having more pain while trying to believe in Mind Body principles. Thanks for your time
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm in the same boat as you are regarding my right hip. I've been told by two TMS docs it's arthritis, get a hip replacement. Been holding off on that, waiting for TMS or modern medicine to come up with something a little less invasive then amputation of the acetabulum and the femur.
  3. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    Hi UFG and welcome. You mentioned your emotional issues in 2005, so my question now is, what are your emotional issues now? You must be going through something for all this pain to surface now. Have you read David Hanscom's post this week? It is very good relating anxiety to pain. Here is the link: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/the-docc-starting-point.7280/

    I am sure there are ways for you to unravel yourself through TMS healing. My thoughts are with you . . .

  4. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    Greetings, Gatormom, from another Floridian!

    I had lots of back drama over the last 7 years but several months ago I developed left hip drama. When doing all the usual things did not help, I reluctantly saw docs, got MRI, etc. The radiology report said I had some arthritis and 2 labral tears. My primary care doc said I'd need a hip replacement, just a matter of when. The orthopedic surgeon at 1st said inflammation. When my symptoms persisted and persisted I went to see the surgeon again.

    This time I asked a different question and I got a different answer: I told him I was not better. I asked him to look at the MRI and tell me the differences he saw between the right and left hip (right hip feels normal). He confessed that they both looked the same on the MRI. In fact he said they look perfectly healthy. "I give you a life-time warranty on both hips." So then I knew this was just another TMS episode.

    But isn't interesting how each medical professional interpreted the films differently. And isn't it interesting that the surgeon changed his tune? And I think it was because I made it "OK" for him to tell me he didn't see anything wrong. Mostly the docs really do want to help...

    So I of course cannot diagnose you. I just share my story because this hip pain was so real! ANY weight-bearing exercise would flare it up. Now it is gradually getting better. I returned to practices that helped me in the past and reaffirmed my belief that the problem was not structural.

    Best wishes to you and hope to see you around the forum!
  5. UFGatormom

    UFGatormom New Member

    Thank you all for those who have replied to my post! I dont know why I waited so long to join this site. My anxiety has lessened today already! To Peggy, I definitely will check out the link as I know that anxiety is just another manifestation of TMS and you are right about emotional issues also being in the picture now; it's exhausting to expend so much energy every day so that I appear "normal" to everyone else.

    Dahlia, the same thing in my case; same readings on both hips but left is excruciating and right barely hurts!

    I believe that maybe I am trying soooo hard to embrace TMS for all my current ortho problems that this is actually working against me; again, I am just pushing myself too much, analyzing and over analyzing and ruminating instead of going to places that I don't want to explore....
    Dahlia likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    The exchange of posts among you has been very interesting about anxiety and trying hard to believe your pain is TMS.
    Have you contacted a TMS therapist through one of the subforums here? They especially deal with anxiety and other
    emotional issues.

    I'm not a TMS therapist, just someone who had severe back pain and learned about TMS and read Dr. Sarno's books and
    Steve Ozanich's. I did lots of journaling and discovered my repressed emotions were mainly anger, going back to my boyhood.
    That led me to forgiving everyone including myself and that ended the pain.

    UFGatormom, you've had MRIs that indicate structural damage, but Dr. Sarno says surgery seldom brings the relief we want.
    That comes from TMS knowledge, discovering our repressed emotions and/or perfectionist and goodist personality.

    It's very important not to rush things. Don't set a time-clock on being pain-free or free of anxiety. Don't spend more than
    an hour a day on TMS thinking. Spend as much time as you can on positive thinking and activities that make you happy.
  7. UFGatormom

    UFGatormom New Member

    Walt, thank you for your reply. I am definitely going to heed your advice about only spending an hour each day on TMS thinking. I can see where I am unreasonably demanding on myself; in fact, I am a little overwhelmed just by this web site because there is so much great information and I push myself to take it all in at once. As far as activities that I enjoy, unfortunately, the activities that always made me "happy" are things that just cause a great amount of pain. Good example this morning of me going out for just a walk but because I am the striver that I am, and being a former runner, broke into a run and after one mile, tears are rolling down my face because of the pain. I remember Steve O describing his time on the driving range and hitting buckets of balls and being in severe pain. I have an extremely hard time shifting my focus and becoming obsessed with what hurts...

    I didn't reveal too much about myself in my first thread as far as my personal circumstances from my past and present but I am overwhelmed. I am in that fight or flight response 24/7; my cortisol levels must be through the roof! I am too embarrassed and feel humiliated if I were to open myself up in a public forum so I do journal which helps. Hopefully as time goes on, I will be a little more forthcoming..I have always been a "private" person so I have a long way to go :)
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again, UFGatormom. I think you were rushing it by running. Walking would have been enough. I think we all may push ourselves
    harder than we should.

    And as for not revealing your personal circumstances in posting, try this.
    Just say this and that is the problem of one of your friends, and in another post say this and that is troubling another friend.
    Give them names. Ad don't say everything is from just one person.

    That way you can write about personal things and stay anonymous.

    Authors call it fiction. haha.
  9. UFGatormom

    UFGatormom New Member

    Just an update regarding my orthopedic issues. I am now totally overwhelmed with varying doctor's opinions regarding surgeries on hips and knees. I have been googling way too much and this has increased my anxiety tenfold. Went for second opinions regarding hip as per Dr. Schubiner's recommendation and this doc said no surgery but "let's try conservative measures (anti-inflammatories, possible PRP injections). First surgeon (one of the most highly rated) is adamant about surgery if I want to continue being athletic and living the lifestyle that is part of my makeup and helps more than anything with my anxiety/depression. For a recap, I have been diagnosed on MRI with bilateral hip labral tears and bilateral horizontal cleavage tears on knees. (all of these areas are non-vascular meaning that they do not heal on their own). What is interesting is that when the doc that gave second opinion and said "no way do you need surgery," my pain disappeared for three days but then of course came back. (placebo effect / TMS principles?) Anyway, my anxiety is off the charts, am totally thinking my body has just broken down and that surgeries are my only option. I am in despair...do not know what to do...so hard to get mind wrapped back to doing TMS work :((( In addition, knee pain is worsening with any increased activity (tried to attend an easy yoga class and left half way through bawling my eyes out when I used to do a very vigorous yoga class with ease).
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dahlia likes this.
  11. UFGatormom

    UFGatormom New Member

    Yep TT..power of the mind I am sure. As soon as this doc said no surgery, less anxiety = less pain. Yesterday had gone back for consult with leading specialist in hip labral tears and back to square one. We did discuss PRP injections and I again am loaded with terrifying anxiety strictly because I cannot commit to TMS 100%. In addition, I have to deal with two bad knees and go for consults on those...I have to be forthcoming and say that I have been a long term user of benzodiazepines on a low dose because it is the ONLY thing that allows me to function every day but of course I have built up a physical tolerance and of pretty much obsess too about my drug problem. This makes all the TMS work almost impossible...please advise
  12. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Gatormom,

    I second Walt's advice. You're putting a lot of pressure on yourself: to believe in TMS 100%, to resume your physical activities -- and to do it NOW! There are enough pressures in life already; don't put impossible expectations on yourself! Overcoming TMS takes patience, self-compassion and self-kindness.

    You've been getting conflicting advice and information from your doctors. It's okay to be confused for a while! If your doctors are confused, certainly you're allowed to be too! Give yourself time to think about the information. Give yourself permission to live with the uncertainty for a while. These things clarify themselves over time.

    Sarno advises patients to resume physical activities gradually, so as to build up confidence. Too much too fast will increase your anxiety and delay recovery. Give yourself permission to take baby steps at first. You'll get there sooner in the long run.

    Hope this helps.
  13. UFGatormom

    UFGatormom New Member

    Hi David: Your reply was so spot-on! What you said about putting impossible expectations on myself describes me to a tee (I guess part of the TMS club!) My nature is definitely not doing nothing or slowing down; it has always not been an option for me and I have never allowed myself to rest for very long. Just maybe it is that time..I am on a total emotional, resentment filled phase of my life. Dr. Sarno's advise was always get back into physical activity with no limitations and I thought that I was doing the right thing but this just brings more pain and therefore more anxiety and fear. So therefore my need to seek out opinions regarding structural versus TMS. I love what you said about things clarifying themselves over time. You read about the people that have relief after reading one of Sarno's books or some other Mindbody resource and it clicks instantly and poof, the pain is gone. I guess that is what we all wish for. I do have a ton of guilt regarding my use of anti-anxiety meds and one of the docs told me that would make me a more "challenging" surgical patient. That increased pain immediately. Sarno mentions a psychosomatic triad: 1. Deep feelings of inferiority. 2. Narcissism. 3. Strong dependency needs. He states that each of these leads to unconscious anger and rage and my anxiety is just a reaction to this pain and anger..makes sooo much sense.

    I woke up this morning with the intention to slowwww way down..calm my constant fight/flight response and not really do much of anything except try to breath and relax... Thanks for the words of wisdom Dave!
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    My book publisher boss puts impossible expectations on himself, but worse, he puts them on me, too.
    He'll also ask me to something and when I do, he forgets that he gave me the wrong directioms.
    He is a perfectionist's perfectionist, a super multi-tasker, and a way overboard Compulsive Obsessive Disorder mental maniac.

    I only keep working for him because I've learned to ignore that he's overworked and probably nuts besides.

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