1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Second flareup

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by c90danwaiel, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    I'm not really sure if this deserves a thread, but I'm having flareup #2 (in regards to my pelvic pain). I had one back in April, and I managed to pull through it after a week or two of symptoms, which left me with quite a lot of confidence about moving past my TMS. Apart from some bizarre foot pain in the past month, which I know is TMS, it's been a pain-free nine months.

    A few days ago, I found myself posting updates on some of my past posts on various pain/medical condition forums. I found the links to those old posts while going through my bookmarks, and figured it might help some folks out who haven't heard about TMS.

    And somewhere in all that past reflection, my symptoms temporarily returned and I got a little panicky, which caused the symptoms to stick around. It hasn't even been 48 hrs., and I could very well beat this in the next day or so. And about 1/3 to 1/2 of my day, I'm still pain-free and my pain isn't even in the back of my mind (those times are when I'm usually occupied with something else). And the pain is very mild. I actually find the distracting awareness of it more annoying than the pain is painful. It's more of a distracting, yet slightly irritating warmth.

    No doubt in my mind this is psychological, and I'm fairly calm right now. I know I can beat this. In the past, my main way out has been distraction. My house flooding helped me out the first time, and then an out-of-state work trip managed to pull me out of my past flare-up in April.

    But I wonder if maybe I need to address something a bit deeper. I've seen Alan Gordon's program has updated (his TMS Recovery Program really helped me), and so I'm wondering if his focus on somatic tracking might be helpful in addressing fear associated with the pain. I apparently had some latent fear about my old pain, which is why it's returned to the slight degree it so far has. If I could disassociate the two, that could help make some deeper progress.

    I'm doing my best to retain outcome independence and to stay calm. I'm debating on whether to pursue things that distract my mind from the pain (this has helped me in the past) or pursue somatic tracking and maybe try to make some progress on addressing the fear that I have connected with the pain. Or maybe both are not mutually exclusive, and I can try to keep myself occupied while also try to disassociate the fear from the pain when I'm not focused on work/school/projects?

    Anyone have any advice? Or just encouraging words to get past this? 9 months of no pelvic pain is a pretty good sign. I've already moved past one flareup. Of course I can do it again, right?
    Paigeee likes this.
  2. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    I've been practically pain-free the past two hours, but I still feel this heightened unease that it could return. Guess that's pretty telling: it's more the fear and the preoccupation with it that are bothering me, than the actual physical sensations.
  3. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    I think that is the insight really.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m sure there are people with TMS who do have constant all encompassing terrible pain but there are also those who have back burner mild pain/discomfort with the occasional flare of stronger pain. It is obviously better being in the later group but it does place you in a different place mentally I think.

    As you have noticed it is often more preoccupation and fear that is the driving force of our pain and discomfort. I want my body to be perfect. I’m 50 but active and am certainly rebelling against the dying of the light so to speak. Even though I want my body to be perfect if I was told I would have this pain/discomfort for the rest of my life I would grudgingly accept this. I think this would help in a couple of ways. It would remove the fear of things getting worse and worse (a huge driver of worry with chronic pain) and I think it would lead to acceptance. Whilst believing in and doing the TMS work is obviously beneficial it is incredibly hard to do this in a non strained manner. What I mean by this is that we are constantly doing it with the mindset of curing ourselves and changing our situation. I think acceptance is huge but I think all to often we are actually fooling ourself into believing we are accepting.

    It really is a melting pot of if, what’s and maybes. With pain we bring such a huge number of personal interpretations and personality traits to the party that it becomes such a subjective experience. I know for a fact my chronic pain and health anxiety means that even on a subconscious level I am incredibly switched on to my body noise...I could have the worlds smallest pebble in my shoe which nobody else would notice but I’d feel it like a rock, it would also be interpreted as the start of a serious neurological disorder of course. It’s somatic amplification turbo charged.

    I think it’s a good insight that you’ve had. I don’t know if this helps but I think when we are the types whose pain wax and wanes all to often we live with our bad habits and stinking thinking when our pain/discomfort is back burner level then on a flare we panic and get all Zen monk on our arses which obviously just defeats the point.

    Good luck. :)
    Time2be and c90danwaiel like this.
  4. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    Well said! My panicked Zen monk is giving way to a more relaxed approach today. Yesterday I was thinking I could "tackle it in a day or two" and now I'm remember the pain is more something I float out of and that placing a goalpost is going to be counter-productive.

    This is going to take longer than I was thinking, but that's alright. I also need to preoccupy myself with other things (the free time over the weekend has caused me to re-read things about TMS - which isn't bad, but spending the whole day thinking about this yesterday isn't helping, since it's keeping my mind preoccupied with the situation). Did some work this morning, did some somatic tracking, and I'm feeling a lot better actually. TMS work in moderation, live my life without outcome dependence, and calmly reassure myself that it's okay no matter what happens.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes. And just notice the fear, feel it in your body when it arises, and know that you don't have to do anything about anything. It is your awareness that cuts through. Your observations and insight tell me that even if you "get caught" you're still not really caught, because you can see yourself in this crazy experience.
    c90danwaiel and karinabrown like this.
  6. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Yes i am in the same boat at this point.
    Made huge progress, but some flare ups on other body parts. Too much wiki and too much thinking again. Cathing myself doing that again and now trying to be little less ocupaid with it
  7. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    Making some good progress. I think my fear peaked a few days ago. I've managed to slip into my old habit of outcome indifference. Had a peak in pain a few days ago, but now it's subsided and I'm pretty indifferent to it now. Strangely, my pain is changing and moving! It's kind of in my feet now, and earlier, when the pain was in my pelvic area, it shifted more to a strangely pleasant sensation (I caught my brain freaking out that I was developing PGAD or something!). I'm taking those all as signs that it's losing it's grip, but at the same time, I'm pretty okay where I'm at, even though the pain is in the background.

    But what's better is the fear and preoccupation has lost a large part of its hold, and instead of panicking, I'm calm and also trying to do fun things and not pressure myself emotionally as well.

    I think what may have sparked this was a week ago, I posted an update on one of my old posts (when I thought my pelvic pain was structural), stating that a mind-body approach had ultimately worked for me. And in the process, I overestimated how confident I was that this would never return, which was me being overconfident and unrealistic after nearly 9 months with no pelvic pain. And when it did return, that belief was challenged and my brain reacted with fear. I instantly thought, I can get this taken care of in a few days! And of course, when it didn't, I panicked more. Took me a few days, but I'm mentally in a better place now.

    I do feel happy in a way, because I think I'm making some deeper progress at addressing my relationship with fear and how it ties into my TMS. My foot pain also flared up, but that's since disappeared too.
    Paigeee and Time2be like this.
  8. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    that I also need to learn: when the pain returns, to stay calm. And to accept that this is part of me. The less you panic the sooner it vanishes ...
    iwire likes this.
  9. iwire

    iwire Peer Supporter

    I need to learn this too--thanks for articulating it so simply..... I "borrow" things I read on this site for my daily journaling--to inspire me, to meditate on and as prompts for my writing-- this is going in my journaling today--Thank you so much Time2be!

Share This Page