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Question About Seeing a TMS Doctor

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by gailnyc, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    So I have an appointment on Monday to see Dr. Rashbaum in New York. I made this appointment back in January when I still wasn't sure I had TMS. Now I'm sure. My concern is, what if he gives me a diagnosis that causes me to have doubts again?

    Every time I've gone to a doctor during this situation, I've developed new symptoms afterward based on their diagnosis. Just this fact alone has convinced me that I have TMS.

    Since I'm sure now, I wonder if I should just cancel the appointment.

    Merilu likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Okay, Gail - now I'm going in circles trying to think of an appropriate response to this question o_O

    In my opinion, every human being experiences physical symptoms that are caused by emotional repression rather than by some pathological source. This means that learning about what we here call TMS (because it's a convenient term, but it's not really comprehensive enough) is going to be beneficial for the rest of your life - and that includes helping you to recover from actual pathological conditions, faster and better than if you didn't know about the power of our minds to affect our bodies. Read Dr. Gabor Mate - who never mentions Dr. Sarno or TMS - to see what I'm talking about.

    So here's the thing - you certainly DO have TMS - one way or another. And I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

    I forget what kind of doc Dr. Rashbaum is - if he provides psychotherapy in addition to examining you I would go for it. But if all he does is examine you in order to assure you that there is nothing pathologically/seriously wrong with you, and then gives you information about TMS that you already know from hanging out here for two months - then it might be a waste of time and money. On the other hand, if you really, deep down (be honest with yourself) need that reassurance in order to contradict the "you are damaged" diagnoses you might have received from traditional surgery-happy docs, then you'd better keep the appointment.

    Everyone is different (geez, I say that a lot) so truly, no one else can tell you what you should do. You've got to get in touch with your reasons for making that appointment to begin with, and honestly decide whether those reasons are still there or not.

    In my case, I had my MD, two types of PTs, and a naturopath all assuring me that I was quite fit and healthy, but that I seemed to be anxious and overly-sensitized. I never had any MRIs (although a really good friend was convinced I needed one so I could be told that I had stenosis and then join her in getting steroid injections - bleagh). After finding The Divided Mind, it all made sense, and I never looked back. I never saw a TMS doc, because I was absolutely convinced that TMS explained my symptoms. But if I ever heard of a brilliant TMS psychotherapist where I live, I might be inclined to see him or her, because this stuff is not easy to overcome!

  3. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Getting an official diagnosis from a TMS doctor helped me remove any lingering doubts that I did indeed have TMS. I was already feeling a lot better by the time I went to see him but it was still helpful. Maybe you can mention this concern to Dr. Rauschbaum when you see him?
  4. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Thank you both for your thoughtful replies!

    Jan--my insurance covers the visit, and I have the day off anyway, so the time and money spent will be negligible. Dr. Rashbaum is a physiatrist, which seems appropriate for my foot pain.

    My real concern is that somehow this visit will HARM my recovery--that he either won't give me a TMS diagnosis, or won't be thorough and I'll be skeptical, or some such thing.

    Veronica, I think that's a good idea. I can definitely mention to him at the beginning of the meeting that I am already convinced I have TMS and am actually a bit nervous that he will tell me I don't.

    Thanks again!
  5. OtterMan

    OtterMan Peer Supporter

    How did your visit go? Was the Doctor any help?
  6. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I was just coming back here to post about my visit!

    The appointment went very well. Dr. Rashbaum was very nice. I told him at the beginning of my visit that my major fear right now was that he was going to say it's NOT TMS. I gave him my history and told him that I had been given 6 or 7 diagnoses, but the most recent one--Sympathetic Nerve Dystrophy--was really scary. He told me before even examining me that a well-known doctor in Oregon has posited that this condition is psychogenic in nature. He then examined me and told me I don't have it--he listed a number of symptoms that I simply don't have. He told me that my doctor was looking for something physical and had come up with this diagnosis, but that it was wrong. This was very heartening to hear.

    Then he started talking to me about TMS. He never actually came out and said, "You have TMS," but instead explained to me the basics of the condition. He then told a story about his ankle, how he had broken it in two places a few years ago, and how he would never be crazy enough to walk on it while trying to heal it with his mind. I said, "You must be used to talking to people who are resistant to the diagnosis." He said it's not just that, he also wanted me to understand that he doesn't just give this diagnosis to anyone who wants it, as much as he would like to.

    He told me I would have to stop seeing my chiropractor (big surprise!). He said, you can either be treated by him or you can be treated by me. You decide.

    Then he told me to choose one of Sarno's books and just keep re-reading it every night.

    I have two follow-up appointments in July--I wasn't able to get anything earlier than May, and I'm hesitant about taking time off work. Hopefully by July I won't need the appointments anyway!
    OtterMan, Forest and veronica73 like this.
  7. Barbara M

    Barbara M Peer Supporter

    Where is dr rashbaumS office? What state?
  8. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    He is in New York, at NYU Rusk. He has taken over Sarno's practice since he retired.
  9. OtterMan

    OtterMan Peer Supporter

    Hmm maybe i should go see him... Thanks for your update from your doctor visit. How do you feel now about it all? Like that you have "TMS" now and is it a relief?
  10. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Otterman, the biggest relief I feel is that I don't have Sympathetic Nerve Dystrophy--that diagnosis was really scaring me!

    I think I will have to let it all sink in further now. I will continue to do "the work" and see what happens. Hoping the pain magically disappears now after seeing the doc is unrealistic, I think.
  11. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I should admit that even after seeing him, I still have niggling thoughts regarding the following:

    1) My second toe has moved slightly over towards the big toe since last summer.
    2) My podiatrist, when he gave me a steroid shot in August between my second and third toes, told me there was a very slim chance that the needle could rupture a tendon. "We'll know in six months," he said.

    I didn't ask him what he meant and I think this has been bothering me subconsciously for months. Last night at a seder I got into a conversation with a woman whose sister just had foot surgery--she'd been walking around for years with a ruptured tendon and didn't know it! So naturally this got me anxious and "thinking physical" again.

    This morning I finally called my podiatrist and asked him what he'd meant--six months have passed now and could I possibly have a ruptured tendon? He said, "If you did, you'd know it." He said I'd have extreme pain in the ball of my foot and my second toe would be rising up and crossing over the big toe when I'm standing. Neither of these is happening. So I'm glad I finally checked on that.

    On the other hand, I'm beginning to think that this is a typical TMS reaction. There is a constant desire to obsess over physical symptoms, to look up stuff on the internet, as though through knowledge you'd have control, except what you wind up with is a constant LACK of control. So even though this one question is answered, I'm sure my mind will continue to come up with more. The answer is not to ask more and more questions but to focus more on emotions, on stress, and try to work on reducing anxiety and fear. I don't think these things can happen simply from one visit with a TMS doctor, though I think my fear is reduced a bit. It's more my natural inclination to react with fear to any little physical problem that I really have to work on.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    For years I saw a chiro who was actually somewhat frustrated that she could never get my A-O joint (atlas-occipital) to stay in place - it would migrate off to the right, where anyone could feel the bump (it always amazed my husband, and creeped him out a bit). I had a lot of neck pain and blinding headaches. She had recommended swimming (not my thing), regular massage, and even a gait specialist who gave me custom orthotics, that he kept adjusting more and more on the right foot (I'd always known that my right foot is a bit wanky from a childhood injury). All this is the prelude to the rest of my story.

    About one year before I discovered Dr. Sarno, I started going to an MD who practiced cranio-sacral therapy - which is a type of mind-body-energy work. Shortly after I started working with him, he suggested that I didn't have to worry about my A-O joint, because I was perfectly capable of keeping it in place on my own - and he asked me to stop seeing my chiro, which I did. After more than ten years. He was a very convincing advocate, and that was the end of my A-O problems! A few months later, he suggested that I didn't need my orthotics. He asked me to take them out and go home without any arch supports in my shoes at all, and put the regular supports back in. And that was the end of the orthotics!

    Now, this guy never told me directly about the mind-body connection, but when I read The Divided Mind (a book I found referenced on a migraine site) it all fell into place. I stopped going to him (he was very expensive) because I had quite a lot of instant relief from many of my minor symptoms after reading TDM, and I was convinced I could work on the rest of my symptoms on my own. Still, looking back, I'm very grateful to him for those two things he did for me, because they were both related to physical conditions that were really easy to feel and see - and thus "real" in the same sense that disc bulges and meniscus tears and so on are "real" - but they are not the real cause of the symptoms, and in the end, I was the one in control.

  13. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Jan, that's a great story. It sounds like your cranio-sacral doctor was a good healer.
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    He was, Gail - but only to a certain point, which is the interesting thing. I think that symptom substitution was the name of the game, and I never had significant relief from my neuro symptoms while seeing him - I did a lot better with those after discovering Dr. Sarno!
  15. LarryB

    LarryB New Member

    Hi. This is my first post. I have seen Dr. Rashbaum twice. I had been diagnosed with "severe spinal stenosis," and have difficulty walking or standing, with pain on my left side. At my first visit he pointed out that my pain pattern was inconsistent with my neurologist's diagnosis. He told me I have TMS. This was a relief and I began to tell myself there there was nothing wrong with my back every time I felt pain. After the second visit the pain moved to a different spot on my right side. I started walking without worrying about the pain. Now I am trying to walk 10,000 steps a day for exercise, although I still have to stop and sit frequently. The pain is still there but is reduced. I'm looking forward to my third visit later this week.
    Lavender, JanAtheCPA and CMA like this.
  16. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

  17. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I hope you'll let us know how your third visit went! I myself have my 2nd visit with Dr. Rashbaum scheduled for 4/29.
  18. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I want to emphasize the importance of doing this. It has taken years to condition our brains in what we could call the WRONG direction. Now we have to be conditioned to thinking the RIGHT or accurate way. That takes time. this information doesn't sink in overnight. This is why Dr. Sarno tells his patients to read his program (page 142+) in The Divided Mind every day for 30 days. I remember lying in bed (couldn't get up--too much pain) and having the papers in front of me thinking I know what this says--I read it yesterday and the day before. . . but I made myself read it every day. It takes time to sink into our brains. We need the repitition of the accurate information.

    Best wishes!
  19. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I think you're absolutely right but I find Sarno's defensiveness really grating. When I see Dr. Rashbaum next I'm going to ask him if it's okay if I re-read someone else's book, like Dr. Alexander's or Marc Sopher's.
  20. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Dr. Alexander's book was a good choice for me. He is fresher, has very updated information and picks up where Sarno left off.
    gailnyc likes this.

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