1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

New to TMS- long read ahead!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Skylark12, May 26, 2016.

  1. Skylark12

    Skylark12 New Member

    Hello! This might be a bit long!

    I'm a 20 year old university student in the UK, and I've been lurking around this website for a while now, but have only just mustered up the resolve to actually post something. I'm not really sure where to begin, but I'll do my best to make this as interesting as possible!

    When I was 19, in the month right before I was due to start my first year at university, I noticed I had a lot of cracking joints that appeared to have come on from no where. As an extremely anxious person, I kind of freaked out, and things just really went downhill from there. In regards to my anxiety, it's something that I have had since early childhood, where I was excessively anxious in social situations as a child (to the point where I used to cry whenever anyone at school so much as try to talk to me; I was a weird kid!), worried about everything (once asked my mum if our house was going to flood and whether we were going to drown), have an overactive guilt complex and essentially just grew up constantly tense. It just seemed to be 'normal' for me. Fast forward into high school, when I was 17, I had a sudden onset of what I could only describe as 'OCD'. I've not been formally diagnosed, but I'm almost certain that it was what I had/have. I obsessed about things, spent every waking moment thinking about them, and caved in to carry out compulsions. Over time, I got a handle on it, and by the time I was 19, I thought 'hey, that hell is finally over. Now I can go to uni without anything to worry about!'. And that's when the myriad of health issues came on.

    Aside from the cracking joints, namely the hips, (which I'm actually no longer that concerned about), the first painful symptom I noticed was a sharp pain in my right flank region when I woke up in the morning, that went away upon getting out of bed. Back then, the pain only came in the morning, and there were also days when there was no pain at all. Through the past year, the pain has spread to my lower back, which is present throughout the day. It's a kind of ache, and over the past few weeks, (probably thanks to my fixation on it) has developed into an occasional stabbing pain too, alongside cold burning sensations in my legs. I could go on to elaborate on how uncomfortable I am, but I'll save you guys that tedious read. Essentially, right now, walking, sitting, running, and standing is just a constant, quite literal, pain. And I think I'm going crazy.

    I've had 2 xrays done, and a host of blood tests, and nothing was ever found. I haven't pressed for an MRI, and no doctors suggested it, although I'm now wondering whether that's a good option, just to rule out other possibilities. I'm actually leaving the UK to go on a university placement year to work in Florida starting in July, and although I know that we're getting health insurance with the company we'll be working for, I'm jus worried about how much it's going to cost to get MRI scans etc done over there, if the pain doesn't ease up. My greatest fear is probably a diagnosis of some autoimmune condition like ankylosing spondylitis, although various doctors ruled that out (or rather, it felt like they just blew me off).

    As a result, I guess right now, I'm just really stressed from exams, stressed because I can't concentrate on work due to this chronic pain that has suddenly gotten 10 times worse, worried about the possibility of somehting being seriously wrong with me (I've always had some health anxiety), concerned about how things are going to work out on my placement in the USA, feel guilty for not talking to this about my parents (I told them about my hip and back pain at one point, but they freaked out so much it made everything so so much worse, so I ended up telling them it's all better now), and a bunch of other stuff I'm consciously worrying about (and no doubt a boatload of issues I've stuffed to the back of my mind) .

    After writing all that out, I've only just realised how much I've got going on in my head. I really want to embrace the idea of TMS, although I've always been doubtful of 'rage' being the dominant drive in the disorder. I also have this intense desire to 'filter' my symptoms neatly into 'TMS' and 'Non-TMS', but I know that's probably impossible. I guess I'm just really scared, in pain, freaking out about life and wondering what to do. Should I try and get an MRI before I fly off to the USA? Live with the pain and apply the TMS principles and see how things go?

    I'm so sorry for how long this turned out to be. If you've read this far, thanks. Also, thank you so much for the wealth of information on this site. It has been my place of comfort when I hit walls and feel like I couldn't carry on.
  2. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Just like me! - and many of us. I'm not a doctor, so this isn't a professional diagnosis, just my personal opinion: you're oozing tms. Congratulations! You don't have an autoimmune disorder, and it doesn't matter that your joints crack, and, well, basically... you're totally fine. Now take a deep a breath, let it lift out of you, and move on. Hahah! If only it was that easy! But (again, personal opinion) you're in the right place. The aching and the burning and the pain moving around and the focusing and the anxiety and the university shift and the job move... c'mon! The doctors brush you off when you ask to get tested for rare autoimmune disorders because they've seen your ilk before! Hell, they saw me 3 years ago asking for the same tests for the same rare diseases! And they know I was a hypochondriacal kook, ergo, dun dun dun dunnn. It's OCD-hypochodria-fear-focus-catastrophizing!
  3. Skylark12

    Skylark12 New Member

    Thanks very much for your reply :)
    Your comment gave me some strength and courage, and I'm glad we're in similar boats; I'm almost glad that you feel like I'm literally oozing TMS like a slime ball or something, haha.

    I'm certain that once we shed the fear of our pain, all the way down to the subconscious level, we'll be able to overcome it. That's the conclusion I've come to, at least, if my limited experience in life (hahaha 20 short years is almost laughable) has taught me anything. Fear is the greatest weapon you have against yourself, whether you realise it's there or not.
  4. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    you are definitely in the right place and as a fellow UK resident, with a very similar back story to yours, with so little available in the UK it makes your situation even more isolating. If you re read your post you will probably answr your own question and realise with your student instinct that the evidence is clear :) PS Dont undermine yourself with words like kookie or weird, that is the sort of thinking that undermines you. You are clearly bright, thoughtful, eager to please and human . . . dont beat yourself up. You are you. . unique and special in this world
  5. Skylark12

    Skylark12 New Member

    Thank you for pointing out how I undermine myself; I actually didn't even notice until you mentioned it! That's actually quite an eye opener- I never thought that I was harsh on myself, or angry with myself, until now.
    I wish you luck on this journey, and hope that we'll be able to keep supporting one another in this community! Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post :)

Share This Page