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Overcoming fear of exercise

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by The Fool, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. The Fool

    The Fool Peer Supporter

    A couple of weeks ago I had a medication review with my doc. I told her I had been on the infamous Gabapentin for 6 years now, and while it does take the edge off my pain a little, it doesn't really do a great job of controlling my pain. She was very honest about my condition (chronic neuropathic pain), and said that they can treat the symptoms, but told me that medical science isn't advanced enough to know the cause. I have been treating it as TMS for about 3 years now, with a modicum of success. I have made some improvements, but still have a long way to go yet. With regard to my meds, she said that if I come off the Gabapentin, they can try Pregabalin. I agreed to try to come off the Gabapentin slowly, and omitted to say to her that if I ever get off this drug, I'm definitely not trying anything else.

    So, I joined a gym last week, as the doc said there was no reason medically why I shouldn't get back to exercising. I had a health check yesterday at the gym, and for a 55 year old, I'm in pretty good shape with a BMI of 21 and VO2 max of 41. I have booked myself in to have a program worked out of some light free weights, and a short cardio workout. Last night, and this morning, my pain is off the scale, and that's before I actually get into the gym to do any exercise. I know this must be fear, but however much I try to calm and soothe myself, it's just not working. It's almost as if I'm setting myself up to fail before I've even begun.

    So, with much trepidation, I am heading off in a short while to don the Lycra. I really hope I can stay the course this time. I always got a lot of enjoyment out of exercising pre-TMS, and miss that great feeling of well-being. Here goes ............
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  2. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    The anticipation of pain is worse than the pain itself. Maybe once u get going you'll find that it's not too bad. Good luck & keep us posted on how it goes

    Ellen likes this.
  3. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    This is the biggest hurdle for me. Previously I was in top physical condition as an athlete then on Docs advice severely limited activity until my back got better. It didn't and was steadily declining until I found Sarno. Trying to override years of that Nocebo diagnosis has been incredibly difficult for me.
  4. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    In spite of back pain I pushed through and kept running. Then wham my foot felt like a nail had been driven through it! This was before TMS knowledge but now it makes sense since I hadn't injured it
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    A very courageous step to take. Good for you. What I found when I returned to exercise was that I could exercise through the pain since I knew it couldn't hurt me. It's mostly about convincing yourself that it is OK even though there is pain. Your brain is sending you a faulty signal. You may need to give yourself some time to convince your brain. I think starting gradually is a good approach, but isn't needed for everyone.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen is right. Get into exercise gradually and think positive all the time. Even a short time of gentle exercise
    is good for us physically and mentally.
  7. cishealing

    cishealing Peer Supporter

    I absolutely understand both your issues. I was on gabapentin for about a year. I started weaning off of it in January of this year and finished on March 15th. I was on a pretty high dose (2400 mg/day) and came off of it very, very slowly -- probably dropping 200 mg. every week. Physically I'm sure I could have tapered much faster, but I was trying to avoid scaring myself into more TMS pain, and this worked really well.

    I've also been using the gradual approach getting back into physical activity. This is due to the fear issue, with which you are familiar. Doing a little more every day or every week will add up to LOTS more activity over the period of a couple of months. This was much easier for me to take fear-wise than jumping in all at once.

    Good luck, and I'm pulling for you!

  8. The Fool

    The Fool Peer Supporter

    Yay! I survived - and I found it quite enjoyable. However, I did experience a serious kick-back last night. Took a long soak in the tub, and slathered myself liberally with magnesium oil, and I don't feel a lot worse than normal today. But I did take it very steady, and I do have to keep reminding myself that I'm doing this to regain my sense of well-being, and not to eliminate the pain. My TMS brain does keep going back to that old broken record of "if I just do this (include any activity here) often enough I may cure myself" routine.

    Thank you everyone for your encouragement. Irishsceptic - I too have many nocebos to overcome. Only this morning I visited my dentist who wanted to give me yet another splint to try to alleviate TMJ symptoms. Before finding Sarno, I paid an arm and a leg for two supposedly "miracle-working" splints, which only seemed to exacerbate the symptoms. I politely declined, and told him I was exploring other forms of treatment now.

    Ellen, thank you for your words of wisdom. I always love reading your posts - such good advice.

    Cee - I have been on Gabapentin for five years now. I was also taking 2,400mgs per day last year, but managed to reduce it to 1600mgs per day very slowly. I am now trying to come down in increments of 100mgs every two weeks. This is quite scary for me, as my pain is evident constantly, and becomes more and more acute as the day progresses. My only respite is sleep. I have learned to not focus on the pain so much over the last few years, and many of the people who know me have no idea that I have a problem.
    Fear is my enemy, but I'm clawing my life back gradually, and trying constantly to eliminate the negative thoughts. I also try to remind myself daily that life is a beautiful and wonderful gift, which shouldn't be squandered whatever it throws at you.

    So, maybe tomorrow I'll try a Pilates class.
    cishealing and Ellen like this.

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