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One step forward and two steps back....ugh

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Shine4me, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Shine4me

    Shine4me Peer Supporter

    After being almost pain free, last night everything hurt. My feet ached, my hips hurt, I was emotional and weepy and my body felt on edge and itchy achy all over. I also could not get to sleep until 3.30 ish so got up and cried and cried in the bathroom and took a handful of Meds.

    I don't know why, except that I'm rather stressed. Two things happened. One is that we're going on a short trip away and of course 'Mrs Perfection' has to have everything ready packed and I worry in case I've forgotten something. I get so angry that such small things bother me. Second thing was that I had an argument with my significant other, which always stresses me and I wanted to run away and escape.

    This whole episode has left me feeling hopeless and useless.
  2. MSZ812

    MSZ812 Well known member

    The dreaded setback.

    I know them well. My pain history over the last 3 years can only be described as peaks and valleys. I have now come to believe more strongly in the TMS diagnosis because of these ups and downs. My shoulder pain is clearly linked to stress and emotional issues. Unlike many who are diagnosed with herniated discs and pinched nerves, my tests came back completely clear. In fact, my doctor said that it was the best looking shoulder MRI he had ever seen, and that he would consider using it to compare with "the bad ones". The only plausible explanation is that my pain is not a structural problem, but a psychological one. When I get discouraged, I remind myself of all the evidence pointing to TMS. The biggest battle I have right now is my reaction to pain. Do I rest? Do I take NSAIDs? Massage? IcyHot? If I truly believe in TMS, I need to think psychologically. What is bothering me? What emotions am I ignoring?

    Do not beat yourself up over this setback. It will pass. Keep digging, keep thinking of all the things you want to do pain-free.

    "Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air...but only for one second without hope."
    Shine4me and Ellen like this.
  3. Shine4me

    Shine4me Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much for your response....and yes like you I too am more convinced than ever that it must be TMS. I am amazed at how my mind is always concerned about something, but I am slowly learning to think psychologically to discern what might have been the trigger.
    MSZ812 likes this.
  4. grateful_mama

    grateful_mama Peer Supporter

    Don't despair! My latest major TMS back pain (the one during which I discovered TMS) occurred right after a spat with my husband, which actually helped me see more clearly that it's emotionally driven. Even before I heard about TMS, I instinctually would start journaling after a fight to get the anger and emotion out, and it always makes me feel better (even if I go into it planning to write all the things I'm mad at him for, to show him later, though I never do). I also have a tendency to go crazy packing and stress myself out before a trip, and I have one coming up, so this is a good reminder to be mindful of my psychological state :)
    How did the trip go? Has the pain diminished a bit?
    MSZ812 likes this.
  5. Shine4me

    Shine4me Peer Supporter

    Hello grateful_mama,
    Thank you for asking. The trip was to Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. We flew in on a light aircraft and had four idyllic nights on a houseboat with friends, just fishing, birdwatching and lazing about reading. So nice! I could get used to that life!!
    I had very little pain on the trip, but since I got back yesterday my feet have been extremely painful again. Pain moves from toes to heel to ankle in a matter of minutes. It has to be TMS or does it? Maybe it's because I was more active so that's why my feet hurt or no it's definitely TMS and so it goes on in my head.
    This TMS journey sure is a rollercoaster with lows (when I believe that everyone else can heal but I'm the exception) and highs (when I am convinced it's really TMS and that by doing the work I'll be skipping down the road with no pain).
    I have just started reading Sarno's "The Mind Body Prescription" which should help this crazy yoyo thinking.
  6. grateful_mama

    grateful_mama Peer Supporter

    Oh! It sounds so ideal! I'm new to TMS and this forum myself, but I'm gonna go ahead and say it. YES. It HAS to be TMS. Especially if it's moving around your foot. And I totally relate to the crazy yoyo thinking...I'm the same way. But you are doing the same thing I'm doing...you desperately want to believe...and are trying to believe...but you are letting your brain talk you out of it every time you start to actually believe. So just breathe and trust. Let go a little. I think you're very close. I had a super encouraging moment yesterday that I'm gonna post about, but it basically involved foot pain that started up when I was on a walk, wearing shoes that I've programmed myself to think hurt my feet (since I have "plantar fasciitis"). Well. I was determined to wear them anyway, in an attempt to reprogram those conditioned pathways. And when the pain started...I got mad at it. But simultaneously tried not to give a shit, since "it's just TMS and would be gone soon and is harmless pain". But then, I tried to step outside myself, sort of, and try to feel what it would feel like if it DIDN'T hurt. To do that, I shifted my focus and directed it at my other foot (which was NOT feeling pain), to feel what it COULD feel like. And I swear, the pain stopped! It was so crazy and as it was happening, I was like...Whaaa?? Is this one of those success stories?? I kept sort of stepping weird to get the pain to come back (to see if it was real), like I was trying to force my brain back into the painful way of thinking. This all happened while I was listening to some super positive podcasts, and was focused on healing. I got so excited, and just kept thinking...this is such a fantastic piece of evidence to help me continue to move forward! That said, after a little while, it sort of came back, a little bit, and later that night I realized I was massaging it out of habit for pain. So...two steps forward, one back. But now I'm very encouraged. Except that my wrists are KILLING me and I'm having trouble convincing myself they are part of the TMS. But I'm going to keep at it. I find that literally saying affirmations out loud to myself every day, multiple times (I am healthy. I am strong. Emotions are causing the pain. etc etc) might be helping. I think it eventually sinks into the subconscious.

    That book should help! I just read it myself. Good luck :)
    Shine4me likes this.

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