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Passing the torch (Book)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by EricMd, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. EricMd

    EricMd Peer Supporter

    2 weeks ago I had never heard of TMS and now I am giving Dr. Sarno's book away. I saw a patient today with a 5 year history of neck pain due to a car accident. She has had multiple different treatment all of which have not been effective. She had many personality traits of a person with TMS and she scored a 7/10 on the TMS screening tool I used. I was trying to explain TMS to her and I became anxious and my mouth became dry. It has been easier to tell someone they had cancer than to tell her I thought she had TMS. I had a physiologic reaction to this event. I also had an emotional response to her when she said she did not think she had TMS. I felt like a scared little kid who did not know what he was talking about. My rational self took charge and asked for her to simply read the 100 page book and have her fiance read it as well. I still have difficulty accepting that I have TMS. Logically I have TMS. I just have to make sure I keep telling my subconscious that too.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is interesting. I really think that having a psychological issue frightens us more than having a serious medical condition. When I had my symptoms, I almost preferred to think that I had some unknown structural condition than admit it was a psychological problem. If I had a structural problem, a doctor would be able to fix me, but with TMS I had to heal myself. I could no longer be passive in my healing, and that can be frightening to people.

    I do think that a lot of the resistance people have of TMS can be overcome by how it is presented. For me, I never really felt that my physicians listened to me, and understood what I was going through. I tend to think that practitioners who have/had TMS can present it to people better than those who never have had it. Knowing what it is like to suffer from chronic pain can really help in connecting with people. I know for me, the TMS message only got through my defenses after I heard about it from people who had it. Reading forum posts and success stories really resonated with me.
    EricMd likes this.
  3. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Wow, you are amazing and very brave. And you are convinced you have TMS otherwise you would not have discussed this with her.

    I have probably told 60 people about TMS. But I am selective based on what I observe (personality traits ) and see as their physical pain (and their willingness to not reject me). I told a friend last night about TMS. I observed a slight shrug of the shoulder, twist of the head and her tone of voice was lukewarm. I am so very observant of other peoples breathing, any body language, tone of voice... with in seconds I have interpreted that as being disappointment in me or me no making them happy. As the evening wore on I could start feeling tightness and tension building in the back of my thighs. And that all too familiar dark cloud starting to form in my head.

    Journal, journal, journal
    EricMd likes this.
  4. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    Over coming patient resistance is always a major challenge – second only to overcoming my own personal resistance and denial.I am so glad I am no longer in the business of fixing people.

    It is all I can do to fix me and I want to be well. So may patients argue for their conditions and disabilities. Back when I was paid to help them you could e either be a proactive therapist and try to get them to understand or just doodle, say “lets go on” and burn 50 minutes. Over time many therapists burn out and just doodle!!

    Being proactive was like trying to turn the titanic for some people and unless you learn to doodle it can make you tense......
    EricMd likes this.
  5. EricMd

    EricMd Peer Supporter

    I have always tried to help patient within their own belief system. I am like the 2nd year medical student who see's pathology in everyone. Now I see various form of psychosomatic illness almost everyday. They do not all have TMS but many of them have fear and anxiety which magnifies their pain and prevents them recovering from there injury. I try to dispell many of the myths about recovering from an injury like rest is the best policy. This is despite studies from 20 years ago that document delayed recovery with resting after a back injury. I try to use more subtle mind body techniques because I do not think they would accept a psychologic cause for their pain. I would not have accepted a diagnosis a year ago. I thought a I had something like a conversion disorder and was looking for what that was and some treatment for it. I had asked my accupuncturist for her opinion and I could tell she was not completely comfortable but she was kind and compasionate and did give me names of psychologists. I feel relieved to have found my diagnosis. I love the idea that patients can fix themselves. I tell my patients that it is there bodies job to fix itself and my job is to make sure it does its job. I feel empowered to help those patients who get stuck when there bodies should have healed and there MRI is normal or nearly normal. See pschosomatic illness is others and helping others has made my belief in my TMS much stronger. It is my job to show them the path and not to take their journey for them. They have to accept the diagnosis. I felt rejected and small just as you did Sandy when that patient told me she did not think she had TMS. Thanks for all the support. I has been a powerful journey and it is only day #8.
    veronica73 likes this.
  6. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Not everyone is going to accept this new information. It is counter to most doctors, media, and people's belief. TODAY. More and more the effects of stress are becoming known to manifest themselves physically.

    It's taking time for this information to spread. I also believe there is a readiness factor unique to each person.

    Who knows--the person may think about what you've said and at some point believe it to be true for them.
    veronica73 likes this.
  7. suzanne straub

    suzanne straub New Member

    I know this is an old thread but I'm glad I read this. I am a Nurse Practitioner, my pain was worse on Monday while working. I thought it was because I ran that weekend, but maybe I was feeling stress from my patients. I have several patients who have mult chronic pain issues and anxiety. I saw two of them on Monday and then my pain started. I find them very overwhelming, they cry, have so many complaints, I feel like I never have anything to offer them. I tried to bring up TMS but they were in crisis mode so I didn't. I wonder if this made my pain worse. If so, I'm going to have to learn how not to take on their fears ect. What do you think?
  8. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Suzanne, I am so responsible. I have been the person that fixes things all my life. When there is a crisis my family has always depended on me to fix it. I have been the Caretaker too... you are too. I feel like I have disappointed them if I can't fix it or I let them down which for me resulted in physical pain and depression.

    Yes, I can see it causing your pain to increase. Keep journaling. You will start making the connections. Have you read one of Sarno's books?
  9. deborah a burns

    deborah a burns Peer Supporter

    I like what u had to say but, what's with the tms guru???
  10. suzanne straub

    suzanne straub New Member

    I am reading Unlearn Your Pain by Schubiner. I'm in week two. I'll stop going to PT, I like her but it is a far drive. I'll just keep working thru the book and this web site! Thanks.
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Suzanne, I went to PT dutifully for years, exercising my work ethic and perfectionist traits to their limit, and all it did, I swear, was reinforce my TMS programming so it became harder and harder for me to overcome the syndrome. In fact, going to PT like a mad man just kept convincing me that the problem might be physical - just enough doubt to counteract information I gleaned from reading Dr Sarno that my real problem was psychological. So, by all means, cut out the PT. Of course, that's one of the things that Dr Sarno advises you must do to get well, but I kept trying to hedge my bet and keep putting my chips on both the red and the black. Healing from TMS doesn't work like that and demands 100% acceptance of the psychological diagnosis. I found Unlearn Your Pain a very constructive set of exercises that really helped me stop hurting as much. Hope it does the same for you.

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