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Not making progress - feet pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by WantToBelieve, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    I've had bilateral chronic feet pain since 2001. It really started to worsen around 2008-2010 and by 2012 it was simply awful. I won't get into all the in's and out's of my pain here, but of course i've tried EVERYTHING! No test has ever come back showing that anything is wrong! I am healthy otherwise, 38 years old, very active (still). I've never let this stop me. My feet pain is only present when I stand. It is 100% gone when I sit. Instantly gone! It hurts to walk, but absolutely nothing like the pain I feel when I have to stand still. Again, I'm a fighter....I still hiked thru Peru (just brought a trail stool to take breaks). I do all my own grocery shopping and care for my 2 year old all day alone.

    I learned about TMS in October and read Dr Sarno's books. I live in Chicago and have a doctor here who trained under Sarno who does a 4 week TMS course. I attended that. I journaled, I do visualization, I started therapy to try to uncover where my anger, fear, sadness, etc is coming from? I read Steve O's book. but NOTHING. No improvements.

    I know focusing on the timeline of when I will be healed is a kiss of death, but it's so hard not to gauge this on a daily basis. I also know that everyone's journey is different and very personal so no one can give me the magic path. But I'm so discouraged that my pain is not changing in anyway.

    Of course I start to doubt that it isn't indeed a physical problem. My pain doesn't move around, it's always just been my feet. The only other pain that i've ever had is a tailbone pain. It's super minor compared to the feet, but it's the only other pain or condidtion I have.

    I don't want to go back to pursing medical fixes, so I guess there is nothing else to do but keep working on this, but it's so hard. I wish i could see even the slightest of improvements.
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    If you have been checked out and cleared, you have tms. Take hope in that, although the journey may be tough and long hang in there. Doubt is part of the process.

    You have tried everything and feel desperate, I know the feeling. It consumes you to where you don't know where to turn. Until you alter your relationship with fear of the symptoms they will persists. Each time a symptom comes its a chance to empower yourself and not react to fear in the normal way.

    Another way is to not care about the symptoms. Let them come and go about your day. Outcome independence is crucial. Read Alan Gordans article on the site.

    It took you your lifetime to develop symptoms so don't expect them to leave in months. As Sarno said the brain will not be denied. Stop focusing on your body and symptoms. you being scared they are not shifting is focusing on the physical. Nothing is wrong with your body it's your mind that needs healing.

    Hang in there, faith and perserverance go a long way in the process. Your body is trying to tell you something, keep searching and doors will open. Be kind to yourself and get off your own back. Enjoy life, love more and laugh more. Goodluck, we are what we believe.

    Boston Redsox, Ellen and Anne Walker like this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi WantToBelieve,
    I am sorry that you are discouraged. This is a great sentiment for you, and everyone who is working on TMS and feels discouraged.

    Perhaps the way forward is to not obsess about progress, or your pain, but just keep at the practices. If you have done a one month program, and you are following it up with some regular TMS practices you are doing what you can, in compassion for your suffering.

    I wonder if you have considered working with a TMS counselor?

    Hang in there, and give it more time. Dr. Sarno said foot issues take time. While I had a remarkable recovery, I still get pain on occassions. The nerve pathways run deep!! From my perspective, I would never have believed I had a mind-body issue given the pain I had, and the physician's assessments drilled this in.

    This is natural. The pain makes you think this. Have compassion for yourself, and stay steadfast in "thinking psychological." This is not easy for me, even after two years of practice. The mind is a bitch!!

    But read my story if you have not. Take heart http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/account/personal-details#story

    Andy B.
  4. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    Wanttobelieve: I'm with ya on the not making progress concern but I haven't been at this for years so i'm technically a TMS novice. Being human makes us want a quick fix for a problem that often took years to develop. I wish I could talk my GP into sending me for an EMG, if it were to come out clean a lot of my current fears would dissipate. He does not think it is anything to write home about though so i'm going to have to deal with it. I am mentally worn to the nub.

    Biggest issue with TMS IMO is being able to stop worrying about my health, which, coincidentally, is the hardest part of dealing with TMS. I am putting my wife through hell as well, I think.
  5. linapina

    linapina New Member

    I feel you. I am in the same situation and I despair some days but some days I feel better and more hopeful that I am on the right track despite lack of progress. It took 53 years to get where I am so I am not expecting it to go away quickly. But I still wish! I am a very impatient person so this is a test for me. Luckily I am also very stubborn and I think it might be helpful this time. I truly believe I have TMS and I will continue this and eventually I will have results!
    Hope you hang in there!
  6. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Are u taking any meds for pain
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Worrying about health just tells the Mind that the Body is not healthy.
    MindBody healing, TMS healing, teaches us to drive out the worry about our health
    and focus on feeling well. That may sound like Mary Poppins, but it has been true for
    thousands of people all over the world. It's positive thinking that heals us.
    And discovering the emotional, psychological cause of our pain (Dr. Sarno's TMS theory).

    The Structured Educational Program is one of the best ways to learn about TMS and
    if you follow its daily practices you will be free of pain and happier and healthier than
    you ever thought possible.
    Lizzy likes this.
  8. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    I do not take anything for the pain. In the years that I have had this I've tried tramadol (up to 200mg) with no help, Gabapentin (up to 1800mg) with no help, and even oxycontin/oxycodone for a few weeks after I gave birth and my feet pain went crazy! That did nothing except make me very very dizzy. Bleck! I hate meds and since none of them even take the edge off, I've finally decided not to take any more.

    I hear what everyone is saying about just living and not focusing too much on the symptoms, BUT that is how 2 years have passed by with the same amount of pain. I didn't know about TMS yet, but in 2012 I basically just decided I was done trying to find a medical cure for this and to just live my life. I find ways to do everything. I found a bike called the Taga bike where I can put my daughter in front and ride all around, since pushing the stroller hurt after a few blocks. We take trips and I get a wheelchair in the airport but we rent condos on the beach in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cayman, etc. I just took trapeze lessons this past weekend! I did a Spin class on Thursday. I DO live life and I do have fun and am very grateful for what I have, but the pain remains.

    And I'm seeing a TMS dr and therapist familiar with TMS.

    Not sure what happened to my font!! Anyway, I find if I just go along with my life that nothing changes b/c what am I doing to actively change it? (aside from the once a week therapist and bi-weekly TMS discussion group I attend). But if I try to 'do something' about it daily, I find I'm focusing on the pain more and then I seem to be hurting more. I make adjustments like using a chair in my kitchen to cook and taking breaks to sit when I'm out. By doing this, I can have a day where I can manage the pain and not get a place of crazy pain. But if I try to cut out those 'crutches', my pain increases as I'm standing more and then I think about it more and then I'm physically and emothionally/mentally spent. Make sense?

    Is there a fine line? Should I just stick with the therapy for a bit and see what happens but not do too much else? Should I eliminate the crutches? I'm not afraid to eliminate them at all, but I've done it so many times and the pain is always more and then I'm again discouraged. I feel like something else needs to change or there is a missing link.

    I push through the pain (probably like many of you) but often to my own detriment. So I finally decided to not force myself and to be kind to my body and give it the small breaks it needs to keep the pain manageable. If I go back to just pushing thru (I did this for 10 years!), I'm pretty unhappy in my day as the pain is thru the roof.
  9. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    I don't think you can count the two years that you stopped physical treatment, because you still thought it was structural/physical. What you fill your thinking with will affect your sub-c. It takes most people time for it to sink in.
    You believe it. That is huge. I had foot pain that went away abruptly thru belief, but it still flares up briefly sometimes. I am able to think phsycologically and it goes away pretty quickly, but not instantly like the one time.

    Sometimes I sing to my brain pain. You know rain rain, go away? I made up words to that tune and others. Silly, but helpful.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  10. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    You need to slow it down and not put so much pressure on the healing.
  11. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    Okay, so do I just keep doing my normal life and see if anything changes? I feel like I need to do something other than what I've been doing. I've been doing TMS for 5 months.
  12. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Are you learning about what emotional stuff is behind this? Journaling and feeling feelings? You speak of seeing the therapist, but is anything changing regarding emotional pain, if not physical pain?
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  13. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    What kind of pain, nerve pain muscle pain?
  14. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    I think what @Ryan is saying is pretty key - you're driving yourself so hard, you're so determined - they are great qualities, but they are also ways to put pressure on yourself - to function, to heal. What are you missing about your emotions by being so focused on doing? Everything you wrote that you DID for TMS - it sounds like you're trying to jump the right hurdles so that you get the correct outcome. TMS isn't really like that - that's more the mindset that causes it, not the mindset that heals it.

    It's hard to really slow down if you have a two-year-old, but just try to take some moments to be more aware. Maybe focus on having some fun with your kid doing silly stuff. Don't just do TMS - you can do it way too much if that's all you do aside from trying to accomplish things. And don't just do TMS - just be yourself, be aware, be open to the idea that you have feelings about all kinds of things in your life that may not match the feelings you're "supposed to have". Spend 20-30 minutes a day doing TMS at most - if it comes up another time, just dismiss it with "OK, I know this is pain that isn't pathological" or take a minute to think how you might be feeling, then move on.
    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) and Lizzy like this.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I really like armchair's advice.
    It's counterproductive to spend more than half an hour a day on TMS.
    Spending more time than that on TMS keeps us thinking about the pain
    and that keeps us in the pain.

    Do try to enjoy being with your 2-year-old. Kids grow up so fast. Have as much
    fun with him/her as you can. It will be good for you both.

    Have you done much reading to your child? I don't know how much they understand
    at that age, but if he or she is too young to read to, maybe spend time together
    playing games or with coloring books. Watch cartoons together. All this can take
    your mind off any pain you feel.
  16. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    I guess muscle pain? It's not nerve pain. I've had a nerve surgery before so I know nerve pain and this is totally different. It feels like I don't have enough padding in my feet.
  17. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    im trying to learn what the emotional issues are, but after a 4 week TMS class here in Chicago, I didn't come up with much. My TMS doctor feels maybe it's a conditioned response more than a particular emotional issue. and/or maybe a 'cup is full' type thing. So all of life (and how I deal or not deal with things) has just all added up and I'm experiencing pain now. I'm working with a therapist and starting with dad issues as that is really the only obvious conflict in my life. Nothing has really come about yet, but it's only been 4 sessions. My personality is very Type A, perfectionist. I do not avoid conflict though and I do not lack self-esteem. I have noticed over the past 10 years, I've had a remarkable ability to just roll with some pretty difficult things that have come my way. I seem quite resilient. I thought it was a good quality, but now I'm thinking I need to pay more attention to my feelings.
    Lizzy and Anne Walker like this.
  18. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    We read SO much! In fact, my 2 1/2 year old has memorized over 30 books because she LOVES reading more than anything. Her favorite movie is Frozen (what 2 year old doesn't love it?!). Today I took her swimming. So, I definitely do things to enjoy her. At 38 years old and with some health issues, I'm very aware how blessed I am to have my little girl and wonderful husband.
  19. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    I think your TMS doctor is probably on to something, maybe more than your therapist. Four sessions isn't really enough to tell, but it sounds like you might have more of a conditioned response developed from a general life spent trying to Do Things and Do Them Right. I kinda have the same thing going - I did have some family of origin issues to process initially, but this go-around it seems to mostly be from my perfectionist tendencies and the accumulation of daily life.

    If you have some hard stuff in the past it might be worth revisiting. But remember sometimes that the happy things can drive TMS as well. It doesn't change that we feel great about those happy things, but the other feeling is still there. For me this happens a lot with my job and my house - I love my job, but it does bring up strong emotions on a regular basis, in part because I love it so much and care a lot about the experience that our customers have (I do tech support) and of course not everything goes perfectly - we get muddled communication, people forget stuff, the site has an issue....

    And there is a lot I appreciate about owning a house but it's also a pain in the neck to take care of sometimes.

    For you maybe some of that comes with parenting. Kids are wonderful (I don't have any atm, but my friends' kids are great) but they are also challenging/exasperating/sometimes a grind to take care of. It's OK to feel both ways.

    We believe in you :)
  20. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    I too have feet pain, and I've had it since I was 12 years old. Mine is heel and arch pain and also feels worse when I stand. Mine has gotten about 50% better. Have you made any connection with what was going on when your pain started? Anything that would have affected you emotionally?

    I find it interesting that you said your pain got worse when you had your daughter. To me, that is huge. Having a child can really stir up many emotions, and I'm not talking about baby blues. It is a joyful, yet serious life-altering event.
    You mentioned being a perfectionist. Up till about a month ago, I didn't realize I am a perfectionist when it comes to certain things. I want to be a good mother and raise my children to the best of my ability. That can cause emotional stress, especially when you are a perfectionist. Stressing over being a good wife can do the same. Could any of these things be bothering you?

    Being a perfectionist also can hinder your treatment. You sound like you are stressing over healing RIGHT NOW. This is one area I'm not a perfectionist. I've had this pain for so long, I know it will take time to heal. I don't even know how long its been since I first started getting better.

    Are you using affirmations? I really like the ones Eric Watson wrote about in his and Walt's book. I read the first five chapters the other day and found them helpful. They are things such as--"I let go and forgive easily" and "I am calm, relaxed, confident and patient." If you tell your brain these things over and over, it helps. Eventually they will become habit and be true. Here is a link:

    Meditation is also helpful, to help your type A personality RELAX. I might be wrong, but you sound very busy, like you're flitting from one class or activity to the next. That can stress you out no matter how well intentioned. I hope you feel better soon :)

    E. Lynn

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