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Psychosomatic Arthritic Pains?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by M.D_Eire, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. M.D_Eire

    M.D_Eire New Member

    This my 1st post & I will make it Brief.
    I have been a big reader of Dr Sarnos work and have rid myself of many pains in the past.
    On this occasion I am unsure if I now really have a physical issue or if I am just being caught out by the brain.
    I have had finger, toe, elbow and knee pains for about 9 months. significant pain.

    My Doctor is very open to mindbody and is anti drugs where possible but she believes I have seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis (43 male).
    The Rheumatologist believes the same.

    I am not totally convinced but I have to admit... I still have the pains..

    Before I give in to/accept the diagnosis I would like to know if someone has a specific example to backup or reject my diagnosis.
    Dr Sarnos books are not 100% clear..
    He does say R.A is not TMS and is a genuine inflammatory process, then he does say that many autoimmune are TMS.

    Anyone specific experiences..
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  2. M.D_Eire

    M.D_Eire New Member

  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sorry, I guess the best I can offer is the book When The Body Says No, by Gabor Mate, MD. He goes into the physiological processes behind what he calls the stress-disease connection. And by "stress", he is definitely referring to the stress of lifelong emotional repression. He goes WAY beyond Dr Sarno's theories. Pretty radical, quite brilliant, and beautifully written.
  4. M.D_Eire

    M.D_Eire New Member

  5. Kattermeran

    Kattermeran Newcomer

    Hi - I know this is an old post but I’m new to the wiki - I am currently working with a seronegative RA diagnosis (repeated tests over 5 years and always negative) but my knee inflammation is wild - set up to get an MRI with contrast to confirm diagnosis - I am such a classic TMS’er though I feel like this could be TMS - any luck in your journey? Thanks!
  6. M.D_Eire

    M.D_Eire New Member

    It was TMS and I haven't had an ache or pain since, I burned all the doctor letters and got on with it!
    the rheumatologist quietly even agreed with me off the record, I get the impression the medical and pharma industry know they are dealing with Mindbody chronic conditions but choose to take the money!
    Just accept that its not a physical problem, don't stop doing anything physical and the pain will vanish..
    my knee rarely hurts and doesnt stop me doing even fairly extreme exercise, im coming 47.
    if it hurts occasionally, I know what it is, I pretty much ignore it and its gone.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for responding to the question, @M.D_Eire, and with such good news! If you were able to write up a short post about your experience for the Success Stories subforum, that would be terrific!

    Ironically, considering how I responded to your post back in 2019, I was formally diagnosed a little less than a year later with sudden-onset RA (and late in life, at age 69). I had tried to "treat" it as TMS for two months before realizing that there was no fluctuation in symptoms, only consistently worsening ones - and before I knew it, I was quite crippled in my hands and feet. I couldn't even journal - or open a can of cat food without a special device - and that's when I suddenly thought - holy crap, this ain't right! Finally went to my PCP who ran a few basic labs for inflammation and immediately sent me to Rheumatology, where, after another 14 vials of blood, it was official. I was prescribed a short-term intensive course of prednisone along with methotrexate for the long term.

    I was not a happy TMSer by any means, but the prednisone quickly brought significant relief while waiting for the methotrexate to take effect, so I had to accept that there was a serious inflammatory process going on. I also consulted privately with David Schecter MD, a well-known TMS practitioner, who reviewed my medical records and bloodwork. He said that I could certainly assume that the onset resulted from stress and distress (and there was a lot of that) but that I also had to be a good patient and follow my rheumatologist's recommendations, because now that I had a physiological process going on (see my previous reference to Dr Mate!) I was risking permanent joint and cardiac damage if I didn't stop the inflammatory process in its tracks. He also said that remission is entirely possible.

    Now, I am not a disciplined individual when it comes to mindfulness, because if I was, well, first of all I don't think I would have developed RA at all. I was incredibly stressed out by a volunteer job that completely changed and became impossibly demanding and took hours of my time as a direct result of the pandemic shutdown, which is a very long story but suffice it to say that my goodism and perfectionism came out in full force, mindfulness went out the door in the face of constant needs to be met and fewer people to meet them, and I believe that my immune system rebelled. I am doing well on a low dose of methotrexate which is the first medication typically tried, and I continue to think that if I had the discipline to establish and maintain a daily meditation practice, that I could achieve remission. The one thing I am better at maintaining is more exercise, and I also cut WAAY back on added sugars. The approach of winter has caused flares the last two years (the days get distressingly short and dark very quickly up here in the upper left-hand corner) but I see that as the TMS aspect of RA, and this year I already have exercise classes in place three days a week, on top of walking and yoga. So we'll see.

    Getting back to the original question:
    Now that I know much better what RA is (I barely had any idea back in 2019), to me this fits into the category of so many so-called diagnoses of what are really mindbody conditions - they just string some words together that make it sound like a diagnosis, but all they're really doing is just describing the symptoms. "Looks like RA but as far as we can tell it isn't" is your diagnosis. Which, in our experience, and nicely confirmed by @M.D_Eire, is TMS. Be thankful that it isn't RA and that you can most likely address it as TMS - that's a win!

    For a good description of someone's journey with hand symptoms that were tested (and rejected) as possible RA, and from which she totally recovered, check out this thread, which is actually about the book that our member @TG957 wrote about her recovery: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/cts-carpal-tunnel-syndrome-crps-dystonia-raynauds-full-recovery.22242/#post-115344 (CTS(Carpal tunnel syndrome), CRPS, dystonia, Raynaud's - full recovery)
    This is where I draw my inspiration (so far lacking in realization :shame:) to mindfully find my way to remission.

    Good luck - we've got two free programs here to help you on the road to recovery.

  8. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

  9. Lynette S

    Lynette S Newcomer

    So happy to have found this old post (the October updates, not so ancient). I developed a pain in my hand and wrist overnight last September. It progressed to a pain beyond anything I'd ever experienced and I seriously thought amputation might be necessary. I was also certain something was seriously wrong. Broken bone, ruptured tendon. What on earth could be causing this mind boggling amount of crazy pain and the spectacular assortment of symptoms? MRI showed lots of stuff, but nothing in particular that docs found alarming. I showed it to a friend who's an ER doc and she agreed. Nothing that could cause this level of pain.

    ALL blood work for inflammatory markers, indications of autoimmune disorders and the like were negative. I'm shockingly healthy. So what? Jan. 3 of this year, rheumatologist says "it is complex regional pain syndrome." Over the top pain after a minor injury or sometimes no injury at all. Okay, so what? Plaquenil, which is an anti-malarial, and continue steroids for a few weeks. I discontinued steroids after two more weeks because they were making me insane. Symptoms pretty much the same.

    IN THE MEANTIME, I found "This Is Going to Hurt" and Dr. Schubinar's work and *TA DA* as I was watching the film, the pain vanished. It didn't stay away, but it diminished to the point it felt like 98% of my old hand and wrist.

    Again, in a healing with my friend in New Mexico (a gifted shaman who hates the term), the pain was gone.

    Saw the rheumatologist's stand-in last week and now, despite zero evidence in blood work, they're thinking rheumatoid arthritis.

    So I've been reading ... and reading ... and this really brings me to the point I'm trying to make with all of this first-time-here yacking: On the RA forums and various groups, there are a number of people who have negative bloodwork. "Seronegative rheumatoid arthritis."

    WHAT IF IT'S TMS???? They just don't know what to call it? The treatments for it (plaquenil, now methotrexate for me, which I've not yet taken) are going to fail, because RA isn't the problem.

    I have an appt with a clinic in Chattanooga early April and I was talking to the doc there via email. He suggested that if I had anything even remotely like the pain-free responses to both the documentary and to the shamanic healing, it's almost certainly TMS.

    Am I wrong to feel pretty hopeful about it being TMS? I can look at my history and there's evidence of life events / emotional issues bringing on pain at various times.

    And when I had OA of the knees which I controlled with aspirin, still managing to work on my feet running an antiques business four days a week, I was okay ~ until I watched my husband go into cardiac arrest right in front of me while desperately trying to get help for him. It was deeply traumatic and though I walked into the hospital with achy knees, I needed crutches to walk out four weeks later when he was released.

    I'm pretty sure I hold everything in this body, because all but "sweet and kind" "good little girl" emotions were verboten in my family. Not blaming those good German Lutherans, that's just how we did things. I've learned a lot and overcome a lot of that old programming in the last several decades, but there's always more.

    So blah blah blah, there's my story which is really intended to be a thank you to Jan and MD Eire for the discussion on RA.

    Oh, one more thing: what really convinced me with the documentary is that the very same things that show up in MRIs and xrays can cause pain in one person and not in another. My hands show the wear and tear of being 65. They were pain-free Sept. 19 and painful Sept. 20. My knees in 2011 were tolerably painful and four weeks later agonizing to the extent I was crippled.

    I want to release all of this stuff and be able to just allow and let go of what can't be released (physical damage). Hoping and happy about it this morning. Thanks for reading this far.
    Lizzy and JanAtheCPA like this.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome @Lynette S! We're very happy you found us!
    This question put a big smile on my face because it's a perfect example of your "TMS brain" trying to manipulate your rational brain so that you don't go down this path. Your TMS brain needs you to remain fearful, but that's a primitive survival mechanism that simply does not work in the modern world. But our brains still contain this mechanism, so it will always try to do this. The great news for us is that we can learn to recognize this faster and easier as we progress in this work, and we can gently talk back to our fear brains and get on with our lives better than before.
    You've got it. It's shocking, really, isn't it? To quote part of my own post from above, "... many so-called diagnoses of what are really mindbody conditions - they just string some words together that make it sound like a diagnosis, but all they're really doing is just describing the symptoms. "Looks like RA but as far as we can tell it isn't" is your so-called diagnosis. Which, in our experience, and nicely confirmed by @M.D_Eire, is TMS. Be thankful that it isn't RA and that you can most likely address it as TMS - that's a win!"

    I had to accept that I really had RA because of my blood tests and the fact that the meds really work (and the prednisone to start out with was like a damn miracle, providing almost instant and very consistent relief within a few days). Meds might work for a while for TMS-based "SNRA" but that will be the power of the placebo effect. Lots of people with RA report having fibro and chronic fatigue as well, which everyone knows are TMS equivalents.

    It's all connected, and the scary part is that it's possible to stress ourselves into serious medical conditions, so it's vital to stop that possibility as soon as possible.

    I posted pretty recently about how I connect the maintenance of my RA with just a low dose of methotrexate (happy rheumatologist) to my TMS work. Plus exercise and low sugar, which are recommended for everyone, really.

    So jump on in and join us in "doing the work" Have you looked around at enough posts to find info about the two free programs we have?

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2023
  11. Lynette S

    Lynette S Newcomer

    Hey Jan, thanks so much for your response. I'm skulking around here in the midst of working on a big project today, but I will be reading reading reading over the next few evenings. Interestingly, as I was reading here earlier and considering that the seroneg RA diagnosis might not be correct, the pain in my left hand/wrist and shoulders has diminished by about 50%. Yesterday, having quit taking the plaquenil day before (wasn't really helping anyway and causing severe mood changes), I was caught up in fear and started feeling pain EVERYwhere. (My own nuttiness is one of the things that I find really hopeful too. THIS brain could create just about anything, I think.) So I'm pretty excited. I'll check out the two programs you referenced. At the very least, I feel 1000% more positive about this than I have anything since September last year. Again, thanks!!
    Lizzy and JanAtheCPA like this.

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