1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Hiawatha922, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    I've written a number of posts on this website in the past. To me, TMS makes a lot of sense but either I have not effectively implemented treatment or I am missing the mark (like maybe symptoms are due to something else).

    I am in the midst of a number of stressful situations. I am in the process of divorce at a time when I am in my late 50s. I moved into an extended stay hotel in September. In October, I moved out of State (to the same city where I lived prior to getting married), and I started a new job at the end of October. Lots of change. This weekend, I've been working on moving things into a new house. My symptoms have continued throughout all of these experiences, much as they did prior to my getting married. These symptoms have persisted for over ten years at this point.

    But even with all of the above developments, the thing that has added pressure most recently is my dinner with my brother and a family friend last night. There were several things that were challenging about this dinner, as well as some good things. The most challenging, though, came when my brother asked me about my physical symptoms.

    I mentioned what was going on, how right leg sciatica and right foot numbness were persistent (the numbness feels like it is slowly spreading across the foot). I shared how I have been to numerous doctors...and I mentioned Dr. Sarno's work.

    My brother is seven years older than me. Throughout his life, he has struggled with psoriatic arthritis. He has taken heavy duty medication for it since he was in his early 20s.

    When I told him about my persistent symptoms, he said "what are you going to do about it?" In his mind, doing something means pursuing traditional medical interventions as he did. When I told him I had seen numerous doctors with no definitive diagnosis, he said he too had suffered from sciatica. He said initially the doctors said it wasn't likely to be caused by arthritis...but he said after trying a medication (I forgot which one), the symptoms subsided...or at least they were no longer bothersome. He said his symptoms were definitely caused by arthritis...the response to medication proved it.

    My brother, however, has numerous symptoms associated with arthritis. I do not. One of my x-rays revealed possible Ankylosing Spondylitis but I am not struggling with back stiffness. The rheumatologist I saw said she did not recommend treatment unless other symptoms emerged.

    Anyway, this interaction with my brother has me preoccupied and worried. Certainly, it is likely he and I have some genetic predispositions but I don't have identifiable arthritis, at least not according to the doctors.

    The conversation with my brother creates a bit of fear in me. I suppose there is some sibling rivalry and I'd like to be right about this (the mind-body connection) but the fact that I have been unable to make noticeable progress is very frustrating. I find myself doubting more than usual. I think doubt has been a challenge all along but this conversation with my brother heightened the intensity (even though a TMS doctor said I have TMS).

    I wonder at times if I should try medication to see how it would affect my symptoms.

    Any thoughts or observations would be appreciated!
  2. Bitzalel Brown

    Bitzalel Brown Peer Supporter

    I can really identify with your feelings of fear of having something "real". As Alan Gordon points out in his pain recovery program http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram (Pain Recovery Program) fear is at the root of our TMS symptoms. The mix of sibling relationships, belief in "real" medical prognosis's and the whirlwind of events you are living through could send anyone one who has had TMS symptoms into a full blown TMS blowout. We need to remember TMS and Dr Sarno work are "real" medicine not a hoax. Its is base on science and and is rooted in human psychology, yet are modern era medical mindset is so used to running to the quick fix and treating of the symptoms, instead of getting to the root cause . I would suggest you take a few minutes every day to read a TMS help book to re-anchor your mindset. In regards to genetic predisposition, even modern medicine today understands that genetics are only a loaded gun but we can go a lifetime without ever firing a shot. Try to get clarity on your fear = symptoms equation and practice some form of mindfulness that allows you to "feel" the manifestations of you concerns and fears in your body. This help immensely in diffusing the TMS's ability to trigger symptoms because we have become aware and accepting of the feelings and their manifestation in ourselves. We pray you will soon see the fruits of your efforts and fear no more.
  3. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Thank you, Bitzalel Brown. I appreciate your feedback. I agree it would help for me to re-read some of the TMS material.

    The duration of my symptoms has occurred over good times and bad...pleasant experiences and challenges. This fact prompts doubt because symptoms have persisted even when things have been good. But I know, from TMS material, that it's not the experiences of which I am conscious that are the primary causes of TMS symptoms but, rather, the subconscious things. It's just hard to really grasp this...but I guess that's part of Dr. Sarno's educational approach to treatment.
  4. Bitzalel Brown

    Bitzalel Brown Peer Supporter

    Yes, it is really hard when it"s a symptom that doesn"t come and go. It seems so "real" because it doesnt go away. I have someone with ringing in his ears for over five years but due to his persistance and changing up different tactics he made a chink in the TMS armor and it lessened for a short while. Bingo! He then understood its all a fake out. I am confident you will reveal a chink in your brains armor and relief will come.
  5. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    I contacted the rheumatologist who did my most recent exam. She said she does not think I have ankylosing spondylitis. Good news...but I still wonder about the possible influence of some form of arthritis since my brother has had psoriatic arthritis his whole life.
  6. johnebbe

    johnebbe New Member

    I fully understand where you are coming from. I was lucky to have people in my life that were really supportive in terms of me trying other types of treatment. They actually were the ones telling me that my stress were the root cause of pain, and I didn't believe them at first. Not having them at all, or having them doubt Sarnos approach would have been very difficult.

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