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Scared and not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jesse668, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Jesse668

    Jesse668 New Member

    Hi all,
    Hoping someone can help me. After feeling like I was slowly getting better, this past week has been one of the worst. First of all, I have deep aching pains in my legs that I haven't had before. They don't seem to be responding to the TMS work the way my other pain did.
    But more importantly, I have knots in my jaw. Theyve always been there and they hurt before, but on Sat eve I kind of tried to move my jaw around to relieve some pressure, and it made some sort of noise. Since then it hurts to open my mouth, to laugh, etc. I was trying to ignore but it is so scary. Don't know what to do.
    Does anyone have any advice?
  2. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Jesse668, I am not the most experienced person here to advise you but one thing I can say from personal experience as well as reading all Dr Sarno's books,The Great Pain Deception'(Steve Ozanich) and 'Unlearn Your Pain' (Howard Schubiner) is that this sounds absolutely a normal process in TMS healing. It's scary,disheartening and instills fear and doubt in the diagnosis and process when new problems arise.Progress is rarely linear and new pains crop up (I speak from experience here) but the main thing to bear in mind here is that, much tho' it doesn't feel like it, you are probably making strides in your recovery. If the pain is moving round in an attempt to distract you then you have it on the run. Do a spot of journalling to see if anything crops up and then move on with whatever you've got to do today and refuse to be scared. If it's TMS it will go away and if it is(unlikely) some kind of strain then that too will heal and go away, so beyond the present discomfort, you have nothing to worry about. Be kind to yourself, distract yourself and don't worry.
  3. Jesse668

    Jesse668 New Member

    Thanks Solange, really appreciate your response! I came to work today, despite really wanting to stay home. Hoping it will help to distract me from these new symptoms.
    I am still scared about the jaw pain, mostly because I've had jaw pain before but not quite like this - not pain when I open my mouth. If anyone has had anything similar to this, please let me know!
  4. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    I am also new to this, but my understanding is that TMS healing is not linear, so it's normal for symptoms to re-appear, move around etc. I also find this upsetting when it happens to me, my problems are with my hands, which I make my living with so it's easy to get fearful etc. For me what has been helpful is to realize that the anxiety and fear about the symptoms are as much of a TMS trigger as the original symptoms. So I've been working with mindfulness meditation, having compassion for myself, doing fun things regardless of my TMS symptoms, and resuming regular activities with my hands. Easier said then done sometimes as I'm wired up to react with fear! Hang in there. Wishing you all the best.
  5. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sometimes there is a 'medical' reason for pains. If nothing is found, that doesn't mean there isn't something to be found. That said, if TMS is the culprit, it will take courage to work through it. Courage you may not even realize you possess. Know this: You ARE stronger than you think you are.

    I have had a partially dislocated jaw since my late teens. A rare healing chiropractor asked me to give her 30 days (dentist wanted to do surgery). I gave the 30 days, and she had the joint back in place. I was able to discard the football-looking-nightguard, and surgery became completely unnecessary. She taught me how to get it back into place. It still slips out when my jaw muscles get over tense. I work with it.

    The masseter (jaw) muscle is extremely powerful. It is always under a great deal of tension just keeping our mouth held closed. It is responsible for chewing our food. That grinding motion takes strength.

    What you might try is cupping your face (a nurturing action) and gently using the palm of your hands to massage your cheeks. Spread your fingers so your face is embraced (again, a nurturing action). Another wonderful (yes, strange) technique is to use your finger (you must have short nails!), put it in your mouth and run it slowly, firmly, along the line where your cheek and gums meet. There are a surprising amount of pain spots that can be found. Do this all around, upper and lower areas.

    As with everything we do to ourselves, do it with compassion. Your body knows a loving touch from an aggressive one.

    One of my mantras is: I am safe. I am safe. I am safe. I am safe .........

    Repeat ten thousand times ... and ten thousand times more ^_^
  6. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jesse, fear not. What you're experiencing is SO TMS! And yes, years ago one of my TMS symptoms was jaw problems. My jaw would get locked up and pop like crazy and give me headaches. There were times where I couldn't chew anything to hard because of the pain and restricted range of movement. Funny, I haven't thought about that in a long time. My TMS has preferred my shoulder and shin for the past several years. :D

    I wrote on another thread how just last night I was all over the board with symptoms...and feeling quite overwhelmed. Aches, pains, and rashes. And yeah...the weird stuff. It's always the weird, quirky stuff that pops up out of the blue. More than once I'm found muttering, NOW WHAT?!?!?!?!

    Hang in there. Your jaw is fine. The pain will pass. But do tell yourself, if it DOESN'T...you'll get it checked out. But either way, set your mind at ease. This too shall pass.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Jesse. MontanaMom speaks from experience that jaw pain for her was from TMS, and that pain symptoms do move around.
    The unconscious mind gets it that we are on to one or more repressed emotions causing our pain, so it moves around and whacks us in another place. It wants us to keep looking for more repressed emotions. I thought I'd get lucky and it would be only one emotion I was repressing. When I began journaling I discovered many. I must have finally found them all because the pain (back pain) went away.

    On the other hand, we can spend too much time delving into our past for repressed emotions (most of them go back to our childhood).
    Only journal once a day for about half an hour. Then try to find pleasant things to do and think about. Especially in the evening so you don't go to bed with a lot on your mind that can keep you awake.
    MontanaMom likes this.
  8. Jesse668

    Jesse668 New Member

    Thanks for the responses. Sure enough, my jaw pain has lessened but it's now my trap muscles and leg that are sore. Just wish it would give up already. Knowing it was TMS used to be enough to calm me down, but seems lately the symptoms have returned worse than ever and all my usual strategies aren't working. Tried
    So hard to go on with my day today, went to work, and after about 3 hours had to leave because I was just in so much pain. Wish there was a way to escape this body for a while!
  9. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Jesse, I just want to really encourage you that you are doing extraordinary well. The reason I say this is because the TMS doctor I saw on the second visit, was
    so impressed that I was able to move my symptoms from my legs to my neck. He told me with great enthusiasm this is just excellent progress. When he said that iI thought he must be joking; this is the worse pain I experienced from the other TMS symptoms. So, it sounds
    like you have lessened the pain in your jaw but now that TMS gremlin is trying to not only distract you again but confuse and fustrate you by shifting
    intensity to your trap muscles and legs. I think that TMS gremlin is trying to work awfully hard to keep your attention.

    I know you probably are somewhat frustrated with the thoughts of doubt and despair which are like fiery darts to your mind but try to believe that the reason the pain has increased is because you are healing and that TMS gremlin does not want to give up. Just know you have weakened its power over you. I learned from Steve O book that when his pain increased when he was healing he got excited because he knew he was healing
    deeper and getting closer to recovery. I am not sure if I am quoting him absolutely correctly. So, forgive me. I know Eric Watson knows this quote well from Steve O.

    I think it takes great skill in taking a firm stand against TMS and its' symptoms. I think we can be very skillful in challenging TMS by thinking psychologically,
    for me doing an organized program like one on this wiki (SEP) or Unlearn Your Pain by Howard Schrubiner, doing as much physical activity as you can,
    not obsessing over the pain which is always for me a Catch-22, and then engaging and partaking and enjoying your life, again. I have found even when I have
    pain and continue to be with friends and family that always helps. You will find what will work for you to challenge the TMS. Sometimes, I have
    found that somethings work for awhile and then they don't. That is O.K. because they are many ways to heal. I know by reading the posts especially the
    success stories will inspire and encourage you.

    You are really doing better than you think. I have found it is very valuable to keep posting on this site because you will find a whole group of loving
    friends rallying around you and that will always help one heal.
    Hope this helps.
  10. Jesse668

    Jesse668 New Member

    Thanks for that G.R. It is a lot less scary to think of new or worse in symptoms as evidence of healing. And you're right, this website is really great and it's good to know there are people out there wishing you well. Even though of course I wouldn't wish feeling this way on anyone!
    I have been working on this for a while and went through Howard Schubiners program. I found I was
    Or thought I saw results I'm the beginning, but lately it's just
    So bad it's hard to know what to do.
    Anyway thanks for all the encouragement!
  11. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Jesse, I think GR has summed up the situation perfectly. The movement of symptoms shows that you are effectively combatting the TMS so do not give up. Your strategies have been shown to work so just persevere and they will work on your new symptoms. Something will work. Shall I repeat that again? Something will work. The symptoms will go away like the last ones did but you must not calendar count; that will make you anxious and frustrated and feed the TMS symptoms.Accept that the symptoms will go away even tho' you don't know when,be kind to yourself, keep at the strategies and do some journalling about the here and now even if nothing seems to be coming up. This situation happened to me recently(different symptoms) and a few weeks on they have faded away and I am better than ever, almost as tho' I have passed through a phase of some kind. Each victory weakens the TMS. Each minute you can ignore it, refuse to believe in it or examine the underlying psychological trigger then you have chipped away a bit more of its hold over you. Try some new strategies if you want or go back to a strategy that you haven't found to help before and try it again. Perhaps it will help now. You have defeated the symptoms once, you will do it again. Have confidence.
    diver12 likes this.
  12. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Solange, I just love what you said, "Each victory weakens the TMS. Each minute you can ignore it, refuse to believe in it or examine the underlying psychological
    trigger then you have chipped away a bit more of its hole over you>" How well stated!!! And how true!!!

    Solange, may I ask you when you did or do get new symptoms, how do you deal with them. Can you please be specific? What strategies do you use?
    What has worked for you?

    Something very interesting happened lately, I recently fell and I was having some trouble walking from the fall. I realized that evening that all the TMS
    symptoms were gone. I am not sure what this means. This lasted for about 4 days then some symptoms came back but not as intense and the stiff neck
    I had for months and burning in my neck left. I was overjoyed no more stiff neck but I am nursing this leg and am not walking with freedom in
    motion. Could this be a symptom imperative?

    Thanks Solange, if you can shed any light to what you do to new symptoms. It would be very much appreciated.
  13. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Hi there GR! It may sound strange but some new symptoms bother me and some don't; earlier this year, for instance , I experienced real discomfort in my heel when I was walking. Although the pain was really pronounced, I just couldn't take it seriously and I knew that there was no reason for it as it had just come out of nowhere . I just kept right on walking and refused to give in to it in any way. I kept telling my brain that it would have to do better than that if it wanted to distract me and kept forcing my mind onto something psychological (and usually unpleasant) for a while when I was walking. About five days later the pain was gone and hasn't come back since. Now, I found it easy to show no fear to that symptom which starved the TMS of its power very quickly,same thing for ear pain and knee pain, but others symptoms can be trickier.As for your leg, just because you have TMS, it doesn't mean you can't sustain a real injury too and that may have distracted you enough to let the TMS take a back seat but if it is a genuine injury of some kind then it should clear up very quickly. If it lingers then I would suspect TMS.

    For me, the main exacerbating factor is fear of the symptom which always ramps the whole thing up to red alert status followed by meltdown. I try to avoid this at all costs. I usually start off by opening Schubiner or Sarno(but could be anyone you find useful) and reading again what they have to say about the symptom imperative . I find this reassuring and comforting and reassurance and comfort are exactly what you need in such circumstances. For this same reason, I also like to read the Thank you Dr Sarno recovery stories and reflect on how many times before I have experienced this symptom imperative-I keep meaning to write all the examples down so I can refer back to a list when needed but I haven't got round to it yet.

    I frequently do a quick 'journalling' session in which I write to my own braino_O (this might sound crazy but you did ask!) subconscious or whatever you want to call it, telling it that I know what it is doing by sending this symptom and that I do not want to be tricked or distracted from my emotions any more.I write to my brain that I want to deal with my thoughts and emotions and I also write down what I think my brain is trying to stop me focussing on. I also, even when I have no symptoms, write about anything that annoys me from day to day and how it makes me feel-just a few sentences is all it takes sometimes-so I keep on top of any day to day aggravation and stop that building up to add to the mix.

    I try to turn a negative into a positive by reminding myself that symptom imperative is indeed classic TMS and however it feels, the change in discomfort is a good sign
    that the TMS has lost the battle in that location, it's been rumbled, you have successfully called its bluff so now it's trying something new to keep your attention. Every time I feel pain or worry, I say to myself,'I am safe, I am strong, this cannot harm me,' and provided I've thought psychological about it, I then try to ignore it and get on with my day. As you have found, if that day can include being with family and friends, the symptoms subside or are less noticeable.

    I used to completely refuse to take all painkillers initially but I now will occasionally do so if I really feel I need to however, as I take them I very firmly tell my brain that I know what it is up to and why I have the pain but I just need a little relief for the moment.

    Beyond that, the most powerful tactic I use is acceptance and outcome independence. I tell my brain that I know it will make this symptom disappear in its own good time and that I refuse to change my plans or adapt my behaviour around it. If I have a long car journey to go on then I tell my brain I'm going on it whatever discomfort I feel. If I have a sore toe (as I do at the moment) I tell my brain I'm walking as far as I need to however I feel etc and then I congratulate myself when I have done it, irrespective of discomfort.
    Be kind to yourself, very kind. TMS is tiring, scary and disheartening at times. Your brain is only acting up from fear or habit so soothe yourself doing whatever makes you happy.Treat yourself as you would a friend who needed TLC not TMS!Stay away from negativity of others or towards yourself. Don't calendar watch, it's not helpful and don't push yourself into punishing regimes to speed things up. It won't work, you'll feel miserable. Baby steps are the way.

    Each of my bad phases has been followed by a good one and each time it has increased my confidence when dealing with setbacks, which has in turn made those setbacks less frequent and shorter.Get a good book or film, grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, run a hot bath and settle back and tell yourself it will all be ok. And it will. As they say in the film 'Hotel Marigold','everything will be alright in the end and if it's not alright yet then it's not the end.'
    North Star and G.R. like this.
  14. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    What an awesome response!!!! So, well written. This post did and will encourage me. Thank you so much for really taking the time to write such great detail.
    It has so helped me.

    I do find, also, outcome independence has significantly helped me. I do find to the fear of the symptom absolutely fuels the symptom to increase.
    I have been better at this but when I fell I did find myself obsessing and fearful that my walking was even more impaired. I finally got a handle
    on this. I telling myself this was only a fall and I will heal. I thought it was very interesting I explained by phone to the TMS doctor I see what happened
    and asked him how would I know this was TMS or not. I loved his answer. He explained you probably will have some discomfort and symptoms
    due to the fall; give yourself two weeks for healing or a bit longer and if the symptoms persist then just know your brain is using the fall to
    continue the symptoms. And at that time start talking to your brain. Very interesting I thought and excellent advise.

    Your reply to me is by far my favorite post I have read because it is so specific and chock full of valuable wisdom.
    Thank You Again,
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    GR, your TMS doctor sounds great. Even a fall can have TMS repercussions.

    Being off your leg gives you (maybe) a chance to be a couch or chair potato.
    A perfect time to watch all three seasons of DOWNTON ABBEY either for the first
    time or a reunion with that great Masterpiece Theater series before season four
    is shown on PBS TV the first Sunday in January.

    And as they say, "Time wounds all heels."
  16. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Walt, You are so kind!!! I feeling much better but I love the idea of watching Downtown Abbey. I
    I have only seen the first episode. I know it is not on Netflix. Where can I view it?

    I already started watching Christmas movies on Netflix. Last night I watched The Fritzgerald Family
    Christmas. It was about an Irish family of seven children and about their lives. I so enjoyed it.
  17. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Downton Abby is very entertaining ... we are getting it on Netflix. We don't have any TV at the moment, but we sure use Netflix almost nightly, watching old episodes or movies. We get the discs since our internet is not nearly fast enough to stream movies.

    Remember ... you really ARE strong enough. It is there inside you. It really is.

    with grace and gratitude,
    North Star likes this.
  18. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Lily Rose, how powerful the statement, you really are strong enough. It is there inside you. It really is."
    Thank you for that powerful reminder!!!!
  19. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    GR, Netflix does have all three seasons of Downton Abbey. That's where I got to watch them.
    It's such good story-telling and the sets, clothes, cars of the early 1900s take me to another time and place.
    A good movie like that can take our minds off pain or anything troubling us.

    It's intelligent, classy soap opera. Which reminds me that soap operas used to be so popular on radio.
    I think it gave a lot of people, mainly women, someone else's problems to think about and may have
    taken their mind off their own.
  20. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Did you rent the Netflix CD and get through the mail or did you get it from Netflix on instant play?
    I loved the first season.

    I also loved a similiar soap opera called Upstairs, Downstairs which is on Netflix instant play. If you
    haven't seen this Walt, I think you will like it as much as Downtown Abbey or even more. It is one
    of my very favorites. I believe Downtown Abbey was a take off on Upstairs, Downstairs

    Enjoy!!! And Happy, happy Thanksgiving Walt. You are surely loved on this forum.

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