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Newbie . . . Do You Think I Have TMS? Please help.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by AlyssaCa, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. AlyssaCa

    AlyssaCa New Member

    Hi there,

    In Alyssa and new to the forum and TMS. I finished reading Doctor Sarno’s healing back pain and Mind Body Prescription a few days ago. I only heard about the concept about a couple of weeks ago and quickly picked up the books and watched some YouTube interviews.

    I haven’t been able to find a TMS doctor, but I have gone to a lot of doctors.

    I’ll try to summarize things the best I can to see if any of you have any thoughts that this TMS. I want to apologize in advance for the length of this.

    I have read Healing Back Pain and The Mind Body Prescription once. I have heard some videos from Doctor Sarno and have been reviewing the material daily for the past week.

    My experience is about ankle tendon pain and nerve pain in legs and arms.

    General Health History

    -As a child I suffered with convulsive behavior to wash my hands over and over. Never received therapy for that. Have a tendency to triple check things to this day and obsess about minor things.

    -Normally pretty healthy in general except for seasonal allergies and sinus infections.

    -Had on and off stomach issues like aches and reflux for the past couple of years. This has stopped in the past couple of months.

    -General Weakness that lasted about a year after a case of pneumonia.


    I am a perfectionist and hold myself to incredibly high standards. My parents never went to college and I pushed myself to go to a top school and work at a very high profile technology company in Silicon Valley.

    I also do have a tendency to want everyone to like me, but I can still dislike those same people I want to like me easily.

    I struggle to express my feelings, I was not encouraged to express my feelings growing up and was told to suck it up. My mom gave me a lot of tough love.

    I also really value my career.

    Health Event Years Prior

    -Generally healthy except the following

    -Seasonal Allergies

    -2015 - Extreme Fatigue after a case of Pneumonia. This lasted about a year. I struggled to walk around and generally just be active. When I went to the doctor once about this, they had nothing to say.

    -2015 & 2017-early2018: When I started my new job(s) in May 2015 May 2017, I noticed my stomach acted up immediately after. I had to watch everything I ate to a tee. Sometimes I would eat everything correctly and still get a pain. This issue stopped when I was laid off in February 2016 from the first job and this issue stopped in March 2018.

    General Life Events in the Past Few Years

    -Moved away from parents after college 400 miles away.

    -Struggled to keep a permanent job from 2012 to 2017. I was laid off 4 times and had 9 jobs before accepting a job in May in which I had been at a year. During those times, I worried about keeping a roof over my head.

    -A relationship of 2.5 years ended.

    -A new relationship that has gone over a year started in February 2017.

    Recent Stressors

    -My team hired someone I seriously dislike in January. Unfortunately they sat next to me.

    -Accepted marriage proposal in February, Upcoming Wedding in October.

    -I had my first ever injury end of March.

    -My work team changed organizations in early April and is moving to a new building. The transition hasn't been easy and my manager mentioned she cried upon hearing the news.

    My Prior Activities

    -4 - 6 Mile Hikes on the Weekend

    -6 Mile Bike Rides on the Weekend

    -Daily running and shooting hoops for 15 - 30 minutes for the past eight months

    -Walked into work daily (2 miles round trip)

    What Happened Past Few Months


    Month Highlights: First Injury

    Physical Symptoms

    -At the end of March, I slipped in a hot tub. I didn’t think too much of the moment it happened, I felt some pain in the arch of my foot. I continued my normal activity like running and during the weekend felt some minor ankle pain when trying to do something reflex intensive.

    -By the time the next week came around. It started to hurt to go up stairs and I noticed my Achilles’ tendon hurt. When touched, it hurt a lot. I also noticed when I sat down at my desk, my calf felt like it was fire and the bottom of my foot tingled.

    Doctor Diagnosis 1 (Primary Care): My first doctor I saw at my work’s clinic said it was Achilles Tendonitis. Doctor gave me crutches with no estimate of when I would feel better.

    Doctor Diagnosis 2 (Primary Care): I followed up with a 2nd doctor closer to home and they said Achillies Tendonitis and recommend Physical Therapy before I went back into activity and did not want to give an estimate on when I should feel better.

    Feelings: I missed playing basketball and being active. All I could think about is when I would be ready to get back to sports. I trusted the 2nd doctor more as I had worked with her before when I was recovering from pneumonia.


    Physical Symptoms:

    -My Achilles tendon continued to hurt.

    -Suddenly it seemed like that I noticed I had ankle pain again after the PT Diagnosis.

    -Late in the month, I also noticed that for a week, I seemed to get very minor nerve pains in my right leg. It also seemed like my right leg got weak and heavy suddenly. That lasted a couple of weeks. I saw a doctor.

    -I also had an incident at work in which we had a team outing where we hand to stand up for about 80 minutes, I don’t think I was ready physically for it and had tons of pain after the event.

    -I continued on with PT, they did kinesiology tape which I thought helped me go up and down the stairs.

    PT Diagnosis: -The Physical Therapist who saw me for my initial evaluation said it was not Achilles Tendonitis, but a Grade 1 Sprained Ankle.

    Doctor Diagnosis 3 (Primary Care): Sprained ankle from the tub incident and right leg compensation.

    Feelings: I still missed being active. I also was freaked out I sprained my ankle without even knowing it. I had played basketball and walked many miles on it without even knowing in March! I noticed I would start to pay attention to any little sensation my body did. The therapist I saw chided me for doing so.


    Physical Symptoms:

    -Thinking I was ready to return to activity due to no pain in my Achilles, I resumed basketball. I didn’t feel anything when I resumed it. However, I returned cautiously and did not run.

    -Suddenly on the weekend, I woke up with felt like fire in two toes (not the smallest, but the two other small ones). It showed up when I woke up and progressively got worse. I noticed I could not wear socks, put blankets on top, etc). It burned when I sat down, lied down and stood.

    Doctor Diagnosis 4 (Primary Care): I saw my primary care doctor and they said I pinched a nerve. They said it should resolve quickly within a few weeks. They recommended I see some special doctors.

    Feelings: I was also stressed about our team reorganization as I thought there was a chance we may lose our jobs. I missed physical activity deeply. I started to become obsessed with what movements I could do and couldn't do.


    Physical Symptoms:

    -The nerve pain in the two toes continued to act up when sitting, standing or lying down. I noticed there was a little ball on my ankle and I could make those two toes tingle if I rubbed my foot enough.

    -My left foot also started to swell a little.

    -I tried to get back into physical activity like walking to and from work, but my foot felt swollen in my shoe.

    After my visit with the Podiatrist, I started to feel buzzing in my left foot in addition to the burning symptoms. The buzzing jumped around my foot.

    Doctor Diagnosis 5 (Podiatrist): The Podiatrist said I likely stretched out a nerve in my foot and called it neuropathy when I sprained the ankle or had a herniated disk. They recommended I see a neurologist. The wait to see a neurologist would be a month.

    Chiropractor: Feeling desperate with the nerve, I decided to see a chiropractor. Chiropractor felt the ball I mentioned and said that they didn’t see anything structurally wrong with my back or in general. They did say they saw some minor swelling on my left foot. They also felt the ball in my ankle, they were unsure what it was.

    Doctor Diagnosis 6 & 7 (Orthopedic): The Orthopedic said Regional Complex Pain Syndrome 2. They said that my nerves were acting up in response to the injury. I read up on the syndrome and did not really felt it matched. They did an MRI. The orthopedic recommended hot and cold baths. On the 2nd visit, they said they thought it was a stretched out nerve and cited the MRI results for the tendonitis.

    TEST: MRI for LEFT ANKLE The MRI said: Mild Peroneal Tendonitis. It seemed like after I got the MRI done, my left ankle swelled more and hurt worse.

    Doctor Diagnosis 8 (Favorite Primary Care Doctor): I emailed a doctor I had really trusted and she said she would be at my work’s medical clinic again for a weekend. I got an appointment and she said that I likely twisted my ankle and got some minor nerve damage. She said she saw imbalances in strength on my left and right side of my body and wanted me to continued physical therapy. She wanted me to go to acupuncture and change my physical therapist.

    PT Diagnosis 2: The new PT I saw said it was my peroneal nerve.

    Feelings and Personal Life: When the nerve pain came, I was a bit terrified as the fire in my toes as rest scared me. I was starting to feel let down by the physical therapist I was working, they ignored me when I mentioned my nerve pain. They told me to ignore it. When my favorite doctor told me to change, I was excited.

    I also started to feel even more and more apart from my normal life. I started to feel shunned at work and felt like recovery was nowhere in sight. My mom also seemed to want to take complete control of my wedding as she was helping me plan it. I felt like I was letting my fiancé down as we were so active together and now we were doing nothing really active anymore.

    We also moved into a new apartment half a mile away. I had been in my other building for 5 years. While the other building acquired a bad manager, it was also my first place in a new city far from home.


    I started acupuncture that month and decided to change physical therapists. I continued to see the chiropractor for adjustments.

    My neurology appointment arrived and I felt I would finally get the help I needed to resolve my nerve issue once and for all since I thought they were an expert.

    Physical Symptoms:

    -I went on vacation this month and my nerve symptoms almost completely died out, I felt buzzing in my foot for at most 10 minutes a day. On vacation, only my left tendon would hurt and it wouldn’t hurt during the vacation.

    -When I returned back to work, the buzzing quickly came back within a few days. It didn’t hurt, but it was annoying. I noticed my toes wouldn’t burn anymore, but this buzzing persisted.

    -Later in the month, I started to get nerve pain through my leg.

    -I noticed a lot of my nerve symptoms would drop off over the weekend.

    Doctor Diagnosis 9 (Neurologist): The neurologist said they think I stretched out a nerve with the original injury as the burning was specific to two toes. As for the buzzing around my foot, they simply said that buzzing shouldn’t move around like that. They said if I like, I can get an EMG for piece of mind.

    TEST: EMG for LEFT LEG - Nothing

    PT Diagnosis 3: Sciatic Nerve Pain from Piraformis Syndrome due to sitting too much. The therapist said it was interesting that this didn’t appear when she tested me the month before.

    Feelings: I was starting to feel helpless. I didn’t understand how my body kept getting one thing after the other when I was so healthy before. I continued to feel like I let my fiancé down by not being active. I felt my mom was continuing to run the wedding.


    Doctor Diagnosis 10 (Different Primary Care for Annual Physical): The doctor said my bloodwoork looked exceptional except low Vitamin D and high Immunoglobulin E.

    Doctor Diagnosis 11 (Favorite Primary Care Doctor): I saw my favorite doctor again who was not quick to say it was stress, but wants to test if it’s stress / emotional related. She also recommended I get Vitamin D as I was low. She wants me to continue PT because she says my posture is bad and the left ankle needs some work still.

    I found Doctor Sarno’s book by chance from a YouTube video from a personal trainer. I started to watch the videos online the first week of August. I finished reading the book on August 13th. It seemed as soon as I started to learn about these concepts the pain from my left ankle tendon completely disappeared and moved into the right. I started to have nerve pain throughout both legs, and both hands, with most symptoms in the left leg still. The symptoms have varied, sometimes shooting pain, sometimes tingling, etc. Some days, it seems it’s not present much and others a lot.

    I should also add after I read this book I started to hike again and shoot hoops. I forced myself to do some of the active things before. I never got pain during the activity. Maybe some buzzing in my hand.

    After reading this book, I noticed my symptoms flare up before going to bed, standing, sitting at work, and working in general.

    As I wrote this, I had tendon pain in the right which then switched to nerve pain in my leg. Yesterday, I had nerve pain in my right and my hurt. Since reading his book I have tried to contend with my feelings more as I think I am good at pushing those aside and used to use physical activity to ignore them. For the past few days I have been crying daily.

    I have continued acupuncture but instead of citing nerve pain have cited stress. I have also continued to see my chiropractor, but she told me she did not think it is anything structural now that the symptoms have jumped around. As for PT, I have continued, but they are citing tight muscles in the gluten and butt for the nerve pain and that is sitting too much is bad in general.

    I also noticed that like Doctor Sarno says that my symptoms seem to dominate my life. I have been very focused on what has been going on physically. I also noticed that I became obsessed with behaviors of what I can and can't do. I have a lot of fear I think that something is seriously wrong as well.

    THANK YOU! (If you read this!)

    Thanks again if you took the time to read this. I wanted to describe everything as best as I could.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  2. EmQ

    EmQ New Member

    AlyssaCa, Glad you came across Dr. Sarno's work and this forum. Now you will not feel so alone in your journey with TMS. Enjoyed reading your story....very similar to my own....different symptoms but same idea. All consuming fear and constant worry are the devils that keep us suffering! I have overcome major symptoms in the past so I know it is possible....stay the course.....EmQ
  3. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Simply the way you write your symptoms down is telling. You are focused on every detail. It’s good that you look at your feelings! And you can use the money you spend for acupuncture etc. for something else ...something that brings joy! I bought me new lipstick when I decided to cancel all sorts of physical therapy.
  4. AlyssaCa

    AlyssaCa New Member

    Hi EmQ and Time2Be, thanks for your responses. I am starting to feel a lot less tingling and pain in my tendons. I noticed I even started to forget or things get nuts and pain will jump all across my body, but at times I expect it to be there when doing certain actions like sitting, standing or lying down. It's definitely TMS! Breaking the conditioned responses is the hardest part I think.

    I have even slowly added some running and been doing good! It's amazing what the brain is capable of.

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